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Choosing a city for marketing person

Discussion in 'Housing' started by zabrodov, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. #1 zabrodov, Sep 9, 2019 at 2:05 PM
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    Hey guys,

    I have recently become a PR of Canada. I landed in Quebec, drove to Montreal, then to Toronto and then to London to a friend of mine. Then I left Canada and went back home.

    In a month I am returning to Canada (London), picking up my car and going somewhere. I need to decide on which city I will go to.

    I have an MBA degree from a reputable US business school. My experience is in marketing: market research and marketing strategy specifically.

    Personally I liked Montreal a lot. It has a European vibe, which I prefer to the US vibe. However, I understand that it will be extremely difficult for me to find a job there because I don't speak French. I am planning to learn French but until then, it's unlikely that I would find a decent job there.

    I don't want to go to Vancouver as it seems too expensive. The same reason applies for Toronto. Being a huge job market, it, however, is also expensive and too busy for my taste.

    I heard a lot of good things about Calgary. I don't know how the job situation is there for marketing people, though.

    All of these thoughts brought me to Ottawa. It's not as heavily dependent on French as is Montreal. It is also on the border of Ontario - Quebec, which would allow me to live in the french speaking area and learn French, yet I might be able to find a job with English only.

    Ottawa is relatively small and somewhat boring (according to some reviews), which is perfect for me as I love the quiet suburban way of living. It is also relatively inexpensive and I do like it, considering that I won't have to pay enormous car insurance premiums that I would have paid in the GTA.

    The problem for me stands there: Ottawa has a lot of government jobs that I am not qualified to have (background check) and I was wondering if anyone on this forum has had such experience that I am having and could help me out with an advice.

    My only knowledge about Ottawa comes from the internet.

    P.S. I will be looking for a job everywhere, obviously but I would like to start from Ottawa and maybe stay there.
  2. Marketing is a tough industry to get into anywhere. Toronto is really where the job opportunities will be. If you don’t qualify to work for the government and are not somewhat bilingual Ottawa is tough. There is political marketing and strategy but again most applicants usually need to be somewhat bilingual. Why don’t you keeping working at your US job while applying across Canada. The best way to secure an interview would be through some contacts you have made in the US.
    zabrodov and chikoo1985 like this.
  3. I will vote for Toronto. Because it's a big city with the ocean of opportunities.
    zabrodov and always1 like this.
  4. I am in Media Sales. I have done some research and concluded that Toronto is the most suited place to look for a job considering the fact that many corporate offices have their presence in Toronto. Also, due to huge immigrant flow, the competition is tough and hence the pay scale is low compared to US.
    Calgary is good for business but not great. Finding job will be very tough.
    Vancouver is expensive and isn't worth it if one can not afford a basic life style.
    Never through about Ottawa but now I will look into it.

    But at the end of the day one need only one good job and it can be anywhere. It's all about keep trying.

    Please share your opinion and suggestions too.
    zabrodov likes this.
  5. If you are looking for a job in Media sales you basically have one option unless you speak French which is Toronto. Getting a job will be tough. Canada is a relatively small market. If you have a good job and life I would consider why you are moving.
    zabrodov likes this.
  6. Thank you! I can't stay in the US because I left the country already and I don't have a valid visa anymore. I guess you're right because I have been looking at jobs on indeed and linkedin and looks like Toronto is the top market for any jobs. I still hold my hopes for Ottawa but it's better to be ready to move if I am not able to secure a job there.

    Unfortunately, I don't anything about media sales but my field looks relatively easy to get into. My former MBA classmate who moved from the US to Toronto in June, found an MBA level job in a month. His experience was smooth and we have almost the same background, which gives me some hope.

    I have a few connections in Toronto from my business school and I have a friend who works in the public sector in Ottawa. I will definitely use all my connections to land a job. For now, everyone who I talked to, told me that finding a job in my field won't be very difficult but I can't be so sure until I have an offer.
  7. Following, since I have a very similar background (US MBA, Marketing).

    Will share a few thoughts. My best bet will be to move to Toronto, even if it's not a dream city to me (I'm currently in Boston and love it with with all my heart, Toronto is somewhat different with emphasis on high-rise/condo vs suburban living). As people are saying here, it just has more jobs that any other city. Marketing is hard but not impossible - I'm here on OPT with a marketing job in the US. Something that nobody, including myself, would believe in until it happened. Ideally, I would love to transfer this job to Canada, but the probability of it happening is very low. So I'll have to search and commit to Toronto at least for a while.

    After getting a few years of 'Canadian experience' I can move to pretty much everywhere (can be even Halifax because why not), but Toronto is the main entry point for a reason. It has a lot going on there. It seems to be more open to 'generic' skills like marketing (Ontario has even issued a few PNPs for the Marketing NOC 0124).

    Yes, I can't imagine myself falling in love with Toronto and wanting to make it my home for life, but things might change.
  8. Hah, another ex-Bostonian.

    Don't worry. I moved from Boston to Toronto (I've lived in Boston, Cambridge, Framingham, Marlborough so I know the area well), and I really love Toronto. There's a lot of neighborhoods in Toronto that are very much like living in a suburb - but you're still in the city! Yes, rents are expensive, but not really compared to Boston. I pay CAD$3500 for a very nice detached 3-bedroom house with a yard, covered garage, and a fully finished basement, and I'm only about 20 mins from downtown. I have the benefits of living in a city + the nice friendly neighborhood feel.

    Toronto is a very family-friendly city if you have a good job and can afford the higher cost of living.

    As it happens, I'm also in Marketing. There are jobs for people with US degrees/experience so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a job. Good luck.
    chikoo1985 likes this.
  9. Expenses in Toronto and Vancouver are pretty much same.

    I would choose Vancouver any-day over other cities.

  10. Thanks a lot for your very reassuring comment!
    What you described sounds perfect. So happy it worked out for you this was.
    I've just applied for PR last week and not moving (yet), but would definitely like to know the name of the neighborhood you're talking about. I did my research around Midtown Toronto, North York (Bayview village) and the Beaches. I'm also looking for good public schools (we happen to live in Newton now that has arguably the best elementary schools in the nation - at least according to some ratings).

    I also happen to work with a few Toronto-based people on the day-to-day basis, we have an office and a contractor there. Hopefully it can also help in job search.
  11. Really depends on where you work and how you want to commute. The beaches has a much more relaxed vibe than the other locations but is a pain to commute on the streetcar. The subways are packed on that line so not much better. Really comes down to your budget and where you find a home unless you are in the city with no rush to move and can look for months to a year. Bayview village is definitely harder to commute to from downtown if you are using the TTC.
    chikoo1985 likes this.
  12. I can just guess where I end up working, but my current company has an office downtown, right next to the Union Station. It all depends on them having a parking garage there. But I understand commuting by car is a bad option for Toronto downtown? Ideally I'm looking at something with suburban feel in a family-friendly neighborhood where I can rent a detached house (or a part of it) with a backyard, but close enough to TTC stations and amenities, within the 30 minute subway commute from the downtown core (I can add 10 minute walk to it). I read of Bloor Village, that it's also nice.

    Yes, that's the perfect case, and I can downgrade from here, but not too much.
  13. Unless you are willing to drive and pay some serious parking fees daily it would make no sense to drive. Really depends on your budget. Everyone in Toronto is basically looking for what you are describing so it comes at a huge premium. Based on your explanation bayview village is out. Would look at neighbourhoods close to subway lines, your budget, school district and availability. Detached adds another chunk of money to a purchase price. You are also looking for a rental home which may be tougher to find in some of the neighbourhoods because there won’t be a huge supply available.
  14. I think there is a fair amount of Toronto population who actually prefers condos with on-site amenities and less car dependency, so I won (or slightly outer) suburbia. Is realtor.ca a reliable source of information on rental housing/pricing/availability?

    But thanks for heads-up, finding a right place will require time, money and also luck. In terms of budget, I'm renting a first floor of a two-family house in Boston for a little less than what would be 3K CAD in a quiet family neighborhood, so theoretically if everything stays the same, this is my rent budget as of now. I'm not locked into the idea of a detached home for renting, it can be a first floor or half building, as long as it has a backyard/patio.
    What's the average utility bill in Toronto? In Boston, winter heating bills hurt.
  15. If you are talking about midtown or even bayview village that isn’t considered suburban. Mississauga, Ajax, Richmond hill, etc. is considered suburban. Would disagree that most families prefer living in condos or are living in condos. Most living in condos want to own in Toronto but are priced out of the Toronto market. You now see families with one smaller child in condos but you rarely see older children or 2 children if they are older than babies. We have an urban sprawl problem for a reason, everyone wants to live in houses. If you are looking for a 3 bedroom rental with a backyard for 3k US is likely not enough in those neighbourhoods. 2 bedroom rental may be doable but finding a place with a backyard yard in a top school district, and a 30 minute subway ride plus 10 minute walk may be tough. Apartments would be doable.

    Utility bills will depend on what kind of heating you have and how good is your insulation and windows. Electric heating will be very expensive. AC in the summer will also be expensive but necessary in my opinion.
    chikoo1985 likes this.

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