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***Living in Toronto***

Rossei

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20-Sep-2011 (Buffalo)
LANDED..........
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This long writing is meant for new immigrants (focusing Bangladeshis) who are coming to settle in Toronto (GTA) in near future. I’ve been living in Southern Ontario for last 12 years among which I stayed for 2 years in Toronto. Not only lot of my friends and relatives permanently live in GTA but also my employer’s head office is located in Toronto Downtown. As a result, I visit it often for both official and personal reasons.

So, I speak from my own experience. I’ve also listed relevant online sources where data have been derived. This article is mainly divided in 2 parts: 1) Brief introduction about Toronto and 2) Cost of living in Toronto. I hope that you will find the info helpful. Here it goes:



Living in Toronto


About Toronto:
Toronto, capital of Ontario, is Canada's largest city and North America's fifth most populous municipality – with a population of 2.7 million people. In short, Toronto is the NYC of Canada. No other city in Canada can come close to it in terms of size, population and diversity. It’s one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world. The city of Toronto itself is twice the size of Dhaka.

Geography:
It’s conveniently located in central south of Ontario, on north shore of Lake Ontario. It’s less than 2 hour drive (southbound) to Niagara Falls over which the state of New York starts. 6 different municipalities: 1. East York, 2. Etobicoke, 3. North York, 4. Scarborough, 5. York and 6. Old Toronto amalgamated in 1998 to make today’s city of Toronto. On the contrary, Greater Toronto Area (GTA) covers 5 adjacent regions:
1) Halton (far-West of Toronto): Burlington, Oakville, Milton & Halton Hills (apprx 60 min commute to city centre)
2) Peel (West of Toronto): Mississauga, Brampton & Caledon (apprx 45 min commute to city centre)
3) York (North of Toronto): Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, King, Newmarket etc. (apprx 45-60 min commute to city centre)
4) Toronto (Centre): (already described above)
5) Durham (East of Toronto): Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa etc. (apprx 45-60 min commute to city centre)

The following maps will give you a good idea about the areas of Toronto and GTA:
- Toronto Map: http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net/neighbourhoods
- GTA Map: http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net/suburbs

Climate:
Toronto has similar weather as any other south-west city of Ontario. The temperature can go up to 36°C in summer and drop down to -25°C in winter. But generally, it ranges from +10°C to -16°C during winter months and +18°C to +32°C during spring/summer. For a close comparison, it stays 1-2°C higher in winter months and gets less snow compared to adjacent cities. But it can get windy. Like any other city in Canada, it has 4 seasons (official date of each season’s start/end may vary):

Winter: Nov – Apr (mid-Dec to mid-Mar are core winter time)
Spring: May – Jun
Summer: Jul – Aug
Fall: Sep - Oct

Transportation:
Toronto public transport is the best in Canada. It offers subway, street car, bus and underground pass (downtown area) services. If you live in the city of Toronto (in any 6 zones described in Geography); you will be able to use any of the service with your TTC pass and transfer/interchange your one-way ticket. Only Toronto has subway and buses stop frequently all day long. But if you live outside Toronto, for example in Mississauga, you will have to use Mississauga transit (bus) service (myWAY) and this is not transferable to Toronto. There is also GO Train/Bus service available all over GTA and even farther for daily commute to Toronto (frequent on office time).
Links to different transit systems available in GTA:

- Toronto Transit (TTC): http://ttc.ca/index.jsp
- Toronto Subway Map: https://www.ttc.ca/Subway/interactive_map/interactive_map.jsp#
- Mississauga Transit (myWAY): http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/miway
- GO Transit: www.gotransit.com/
- Bike Share (city centre): https://www.bikesharetoronto.com/

Economy:
Toronto is the economic capital of Canada. Although it was an industrial city decades ago, most of it relocated outside city area. However, Toronto Downtown is the prime location for most major financial institutions. All major banks, insurance companies, other financial services, provincial service providers, telecom and other technical companies have their corporate and/or marketing-sales offices here (some are in Mississauga as well).

Real estate is very expensive here. Some would say that the price is over-inflated and will face downfall soon. The market is high in demand and second most expensive in Canada (after Vancouver).

All kinds of business, from small to large scale, are abundant in GTA. Its economy is highly diversified with strengths in technology, financial/business services, life sciences, education, arts-fashion, environmental innovation, food services, and tourism. You will also find tons of hotels, shopping malls, local stores, restaurants (including Mediterranean/Arabic, Hakka Chinese, Indian/Desi halal food), big chains etc. here.

Education:
Universities: 4 universities (Univ of Toronto, Ryerson, York and OCAD)
Colleges: 4 colleges (Centennial, George Brown, Humber and Seneca)
Secondary Schools: Total of 110 under TDSB
Elementary Schools: Total of 451 under TDSB

Apart from this list of public schools, there are hundreds of other private schools and colleges all over GTA. Univ of Toronto (most renowned and largest univ in Canada) and Ryerson Univ are primarily located in downtown area while York Univ (well-known for business) is situated in North York. However, some of them have secondary campus in Scarborough and/or Mississauga regions. The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is Canada's largest school governing entity.

I’m listing other universities/colleges in close vicinity (<2 hour commute) of GTA if you’re interested:

Other Universities: McMaster Univ (Hamilton), Univ of Waterloo (Waterloo), Wilfrid Laurier Univ (Waterloo), Univ of Ontario Institute of Technology (Oshawa), Univ of Guelph (Guelph), Trent Univ (Peterborough) and Brock Univ (St. Catharines/Niagara)

Other Colleges: Sheridan (Oakville), Mohawk (Hamilton), Fleming (Peterborough), Georgian (Barrie), Durham (Oshawa), Contestoga (Kitchener) and Niagara (Welland)

- List of private colleges in Toronto: http://bit.ly/2mmcTYV
- List of Designated Educational Institutions in Ontario: http://tools.canlearn.ca/cslgs-scpse/cln-cln/reea-mdl/reea-mdl-1-eng.do?nom-name=ON
- List of schools in Toronto (TDSB): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_schools_in_the_Toronto_District_School_Board
- Find your school (TDSB) depending on where you live: http://www.tdsb.on.ca/Findyour/School/Byaddress.aspx
- List of hospitals in Toronto: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hospitals_in_Toronto

Recreation:
As a large city, Toronto offers a variety of recreation sources for all ages in food, shopping, parks, beaches, sports, nightlife and other activities. I’ve listed most common places that people often visit. Mind you, these places become over crowded in long weekends, public holidays and school breaks.

Inside City: Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, CN Tower, Nathan Phillip Square, Sports Complex (Rogers Centre, Air Canada Centre), Toronto Zoo, Woodbine Beach, Ripley’s Aquarium, Toronto Islands, High Park, Bluffer’s Park and other parks/resorts/camp sites.

Outside City: Wonderland (Vaughan), Wasaga Beach (Simcoe), Glen Eden Ski Resort (Milton), African Lion Safari (Hamilton), Niagara Falls, Marineland (Niagara Falls), Niagara-on-the-Lake etc.



Cost of Living:
A good site to know avout cost-of-living in different cities of of the world: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Toronto
Most prices listed below are monthly-based unless otherwise specified.

Accommodation
1-bed apartment: $900 - $1150 (low to avg scale, outside city centre)
1-bed apartment: $1100 - $1500 (avg to upscale, outside city centre)
1-bed apartment: $1600 - $2500 (upscale, near city centre)
2-bed apartment: $1000 - $1300 (low to avg scale, outside city centre)
2-bed apartment: $1200 - $1800 (avg to upscale, outside city centre)
2-bed apartment: $1800 - $3000 (upscale, near city centre)
- If parking is not included, then it’s $25 - $75
- If Hydro (electricity) is not included, then it’s $60 - $120
Basement: $800 - $1300 (depends on size, condition and location)
Entire house: $1700 - $2400 (low to avg scale, outside city centre)
- If Hydro (electricity) is not included, then it’s $200 - $300 for entire house

Apartment rent (online tools): kijiji, craigslist, gottarent, viewit, torontorentals etc.

- If you’re interested in subsidized housing, you will have to meet certain criteria and apply here (there is a waiting list): https://www.housingconnections.ca.
- For the current housing listing in Toronto, visit: https://www.housingconnections.ca/Zones/allZones.asp.
The average waiting time can vary from 4 to 8 years to get a subsidized housing/apartment in GTA depending on availability, location, income, family size etc.

Crime map may help you choose a safer place to settle in. Here are some online links:
http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/crimemap/
http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/statistics/stats.php

Food
Per month basis,
For each person, it’s $100 - $150
A family of 2 adults: $200 - $250
A family of 4 (2 adults + 2 kids): $300 - $500
Lunch (meal) at a regular restaurant/chain store/fast food: $10 - $15 /person
Dinner (meal) at a regular restaurant/chain store: $12 - $25 /person
Full plate biriyani at a desi restaurant: $10 /person (mostly available in Toronto or Montreal)

Desi Grocery
- Halal whole chicken (skin off, cut into pieces): $8 -$10 ($3/lb)
- Ilish Mach: $15-$20 (small), $30 (medium), $50 (large)
- Rui Mach: $30 (small-medium), $40-$60 (medium-large)
- Frozen packet/block of small (gura) fish: $3 -$6
- Frozen packet/block of large fish: $8 -$12
- Frozen paratha (family pack of 20): $5 - $7

Have a glance at different halal meat price (price may vary up to +/- 20%): http://www.bombaygrocers.ca/meat_specials.html
Regular grocery (reasonable price): No Frills, Food Basics, Price Chopper
Regular grocery (bit higher price): Superstore, Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys, Longo’s, Foodland
Bangladeshi grocery: Sarkar, Marhaba, Madina, Tajmahal etc. (located mostly on Danforth Ave in East York and Parliament St. in downtown area)

- Find any halal restaurant/market/school/mosque here: https://www.zabihah.com/reg/gTYd5R8dxQ

Shopping Guide
Major Malls: Eaton Centre (old Toronto), Scarborough Town Centre (Scarborough), Fairview Mall (North York), Yorkdale (North York), Sherway Gardens (Etobicoke), Square One (Mississauga), Bramalea City Centre (Brampton), Vaughan Mills (Vaughan), Erin Mills Town Centre (Mississauga) etc.
Others: Bloor-Yorkville Stores (downtown), Dufferin Mall (downtown), Gerrard Square (downtown), Chinatown (Dundas St. West and Spadina Ave) etc.
Online Shopping: Ebay, Amazon, Kijiji, Craigslist, AliExpress, Autotrader etc.
Furniture/appliances: Brick, Leon’s, IKEA, Tepperman’s, La-Z-Boy and various local stores
Home improvement/appliances: Lowe’s, Home Depot, Home Hardware, Rona
Electronics: Bestbuy/Futureshop, CanadaComputers, Staples, FactoryDirect, Apple Store, Sony Store, The Source
Superstore Giants: Walmart, Costco, Target, CanadianTire, Zellers, Sears, Giant Tiger
Grocery: No Frills, Food Basics, Price Chopper, Superstore, Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys, Longos, Foodland and other ethnic (middle-eastern, sub-continental, oriental) grocery stores
Internet: Rogers, Bell, Teksavvy, Primus, Contact, Start, Ebox, Vmedia and hundred others
Cell phone/cable: Bell (also owns Virgin Mobile), Rogers (also owns Fido, Chatr & Mobilicity), Telus (also owns Koodo), Wind (owned by Shaw) etc.
Pharmacy: Shoppers, Rexall, Drug Store, Main Drug Mart, Pharma Plus, Pharmasave, The Medicine Shoppe, Walmart, Zellers, Loblaws, Food Basics, Superstore, Costco, Hospital pharmacies and hundreds of local pharmacies
Automotive shop/garage: CanadianTire, Partsource. Walmart, Brand/used dealers and tons of local garages

Transportation
- TTC fare per ride: $3.25 (adult), $2.10 (student/senior), free (kids under 12)
- TTC monthly pass: $146 (adult), $117 (student/senior), free (kids under 12)
- For a 10 km ride in a cab, estimated fare: $22 - $26
- Car insurance: $250 - $350 (for newer driver). Insurance premiums depend on type of insurance, type of license, age of driver, Canadian driving record, type/age of vehicle etc. MTO-approved driver education course, G license, membership of certain work-related association/union, alumni of Canadian college/univ, bundling home with auto insurance etc. will give you some discounts on your insurance.

Miscellaneous
Cell phone: $25 - $75 (depends on what plan you choose)
Home internet: $40 - $75 (depends on bandwidth and speed)
Home phone: $10 - $30 (VOIP phones can cost you as low as $10)
TV Cable: $30 and up


Advantages of Living in Toronto:
• Biggest city of Canada, so opportunities are abundant
• Located conveniently in the centre of Southern Ontario
• Culturally and ethnically most diversified, home to most new immigrants including Bangladeshis
• Economical capital of Canada. Employment opportunities are best in finance, business, technology, IT, telecom, health care, real estate and small businesses
• One of the best public transport services in Canada
• Lot of schools, colleges & universities including private ones
• Number of ethnic communities, resulting lot of mosques, temples, local businesses etc.
• For day-to-day needs, it has the most selections and varieties with competitive pricing

Some Disadvantages:
• High living expenses (if you consider buying a house or a car, it’s too expensive to keep them)
• Too many people causing chaotic driving experience with traffic jams
• Inadequate highways/freeways for the increasing population
• Once start living in the city, people don’t tend to leave and move out for any reason
• Crime rate is higher than most cities in Ontario (vandalism, breaking & entering etc. are pretty common)
• Highly competitive job market due to over-population, new immigrants, tons of grads from different colleges/univ
• Stereotyping/racial profiling exists, especially at high-end places


To-Do List:

Before Landing
1) Get your funds ready to carry over to Canada
2) Prepare your declaration forms (E311, BSF186, BSF186A etc.). All CBSA forms can be found here: http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/publications/forms-formulaires/menu-eng.html
3) Get academic certificates, transcripts & reference letters. Get credential assessment done prior to leaving Bangladesh if not done before for immigration. WES: http://www.wes.org/ca/
4) Obtain school certificates/assessments for your school-going children
5) If you have a valid, >1 year old driving license in BD, get driving record from MTO in order to expedite licensing procedure in Ontario (follow my post re: Ontario Driving Licensing)
6) Get your Canadian address ready for immigration at airport to mail all your PR cards
7) If you’re in a regulated profession and would like to get registered/certified here, bring study material/books that are available in BD. For example, if you’re a doctor, you can find USMLE/MCCEE books in Neelkhet (Dhaka)
8 ) You can bring some non-prescribed medications/drugs (cold/fever, pain killers, allergies, antidiarrheal, antibiotics, antacids etc.) for your family for the settlement period. However, if you need prescribed drugs, you ought to bring 3 - 6 months’ supply
9) For clothes and shoes to bring, please read my post: http://www.canadavisa.com/canada-immigration-discussion-board/all-bangladeshi-applicants-forum-t19664.0.html;msg5871553#msg5871553
10) Finalize your temporary/permanent accommodation in Toronto whether it’s a hostel, hotel, apartment, house or friend/relative’s place

After Landing
1) Apply for SIN number
2) Open a bank account, get a cheque book and apply for a credit card. You may want to have a safety deposit box for ornaments as burglary is pretty common in lot of places in Toronto. They are aware of the fact that immigrants, especially from sub-continental countries, keep lot of gold ornaments and they usually come with a metal detector in search for the valuables.
3) Apply for Health Card (OHIP). Note that, OHIP doesn’t come into effect before you spend 90 days as PR in Ontario. OHIP checklist: http://settlement.org/ontario/health/ohip-and-health-insurance/health-ohip-card/what-documents-do-i-need-to-apply-for-a-health-card-ohip/
4) Get your resume and cover letter done in Canadian style. Update your LinkedIn profile. If needed, seek assistance, attend workshops. Start applying for jobs through different search engines.
5) Enroll yourself and your spouse to free LINC classes to improve your English
6) There are multiple job agencies for both white and blue collar jobs. You can register with them depending on your needs.


Social Services and Benefits:
I’m listing the general services and benefits that Canada offers to newcomers. Some are offered by the federal government while some are run by the provincial one.
For a complete list, please visit: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/links.aspx
1) Social assistance (for those who are unable to find employment and/or are unable to work for medical reasons)
2) Unemployment insurance (for those who find themselves unemployed)
3) Basic pension, even if you haven’t worked a single day in Canada
4) Old-age insurance and guaranteed income supplement (if the basic pension is insufficient to cover sustenance expenses)
5) Subsidized prescribed medication and medical aids for pensioners as well as people with low income
6) Subsidized lodgings for people with a low income
7) Workers’ compensation (in case of accident in the workplace making them unfit for work)
8 ) Private nurseries subsidized by the State (depending on annual family income)
9) Tax benefits and monthly payments for each child in the family under the age of 18 years
10) Tax benefits, monthly payments and discounts on a number of articles, such as diapers and baby food for parents with low income
11) Government subsidies of up to 98% of medication expenses (for people with a low income)
12) Free legal aids to people with low income
13) Government grants for people who wish to change/update their profession/occupation and need to re-qualify and take courses or continue their studies
14) Free intensive government courses which provide job-search techniques and strategies
15) Access to affordable post-secondary education, which is financed and subsidized by both the federal and the various provincial governments
16) Newly arrived immigrants can attend free intensive courses in English and/or French and in some cases; the government provides financial assistance to those studying on a full time basis
17) Both the federal and the provincial governments offer many programs to help finance and subsidize existing and new business, in all types of industries – from guaranteed loans of up to $250,000 for business expansion, to subsidizing the salaries of employees, aimed at motivating employers to hire new personnel (up to 80% of the gross monthly salary during the first six months of the employment)
18) The Canadian federal government has a program, which provides incentives, training, support, and resources for the recruitment, internship programs, retention and promotion of skilled immigrants by Canadian employers


Disclaimer: I wrote this article to the best of my knowledge. I also included most of the online references and resources I used here. Some info may not be 100% accurate and may change over the course of time. I cannot be held accountable for such changes.
 

xpressentry

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+1 to you mate for the long post with useful info. I'm your neighbour so quite a few helpful points for me too.
 

APPNOV2014NY

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Excellent Post. Thanks !!
 

maged_mmh

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+1

Many thanks
 

quick_sand

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what a post bro :eek: !!! 'Living in Toronto' is a perfect guide for a beginners !!! Hats off to u ;D
 

Rossei

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Jun 6, 2010
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Visa Office......
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Yes
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Yes
App. Filed.......
18-Jan-2011 (Buffalo)
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NA
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26-Nov-2010
AOR Received.
21-Jul-2011 (email)
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Med's Request
25-Jul-2011 (mail)
Med's Done....
03-Aug-2011
Interview........
N/A
Passport Req..
08-Sep-2011 (email)
VISA ISSUED...
20-Sep-2011 (Buffalo)
LANDED..........
20-Sep-2011 (Niagara)
Thanks all of you. I appreciate your response.
 
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j12345

Full Member
Oct 31, 2016
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Excellent post.

A question I have for food prices. The ones which you have listed in your post are for a week or month assuming that one has settled in and is preparing food at home.


Food
For each person, it’s $100 - $150
A family of 2 adults: $200 - $250
A family of 4 (2 adults + 2 kids): $300 - $50
 

Rossei

Champion Member
Jun 6, 2010
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Canada
Category........
PNP
Visa Office......
Buffalo
NOC Code......
2133
Job Offer........
Yes
Pre-Assessed..
Yes
App. Filed.......
18-Jan-2011 (Buffalo)
Doc's Request.
NA
Nomination.....
26-Nov-2010
AOR Received.
21-Jul-2011 (email)
IELTS Request
N/A
File Transfer...
N/A
Med's Request
25-Jul-2011 (mail)
Med's Done....
03-Aug-2011
Interview........
N/A
Passport Req..
08-Sep-2011 (email)
VISA ISSUED...
20-Sep-2011 (Buffalo)
LANDED..........
20-Sep-2011 (Niagara)
j12345 said:
Excellent post.

A question I have for food prices. The ones which you have listed in your post are for a week or month assuming that one has settled in and is preparing food at home.


Food
For each person, it’s $100 - $150
A family of 2 adults: $200 - $250
A family of 4 (2 adults + 2 kids): $300 - $50
Yes, I forgot to mention that in my post. I added that info now.

Anyway, the cost is monthly as most other expenses in my post are. Monthly food cost can vary a lot from person to person. If you're really into organic and healthy eating habit, it may cost you a bit more. For a family of 4 (2 adults + 2 kids), you can spend $50 for your weekly grocery (bread, eggs, milk, cereal, juice, chips, vegetables, some meat/fish, noodles/pasta etc.). That will be $200/month for your basic needs.

Now add roughly $100 - $150 /mo for specialty food (ethnic food, halal meat, kosher food etc.) and monthly supplies (cooking oil, flour, rice, jams, spices, sauce, baking needs, sugar, salt, coffee/tea etc.).

Occasionally, your family will want to eat outside at a restaurant. If a family of 4 eat outside once a week, that's $120 - $200 per month.

Few tips on saving:
1. Get the weekly flyer from your nearest chain-grocery store(s). You may have to add your address to their regular mailing list.
2. Some local smaller stores may sell some items cheaper.
3. Try to avoid eating outside for lunch when you start working
4. Make your own coffee, b.fast and lunch (use leftovers)


BTW, I spend minimum $100/mo on Tim Hortons. Not good at all.
 

steaky

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Rossei said:
Few tips on saving:
1. Get the weekly flyer from your nearest chain-grocery store(s). You may have to add your address to their regular mailing list.
2. Some local smaller stores may sell some items cheaper.
3. Try to avoid eating outside for lunch when you start working
4. Make your own coffee, b.fast and lunch (use leftovers)
5. Grow your own potted vegetables and herbs. Harvest as needed.
6. Learn to be your own handyman
 

xpressentry

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Nov 27, 2016
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Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
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Doc's Request.
Schedule A - upfront
AOR Received.
29-03-2017
IELTS Request
Upfront
File Transfer...
Waiting
Med's Request
Upfront
Med's Done....
28-03-2017
Passport Req..
Waiting
VISA ISSUED...
Waiting
LANDED..........
Waiting
Make your own sandwiches and coffee rather than buying it from out. Try to visit byob restaurants cos alcohol has a large markup. Look out for coupon codes and cash back sites.
 

j12345

Full Member
Oct 31, 2016
28
3
Rossei said:
Yes, I forgot to mention that in my post. I added that info now.

Anyway, the cost is monthly as most other expenses in my post are. Monthly food cost can vary a lot from person to person. If you're really into organic and healthy eating habit, it may cost you a bit more. For a family of 4 (2 adults + 2 kids), you can spend $50 for your weekly grocery (bread, eggs, milk, cereal, juice, chips, vegetables, some meat/fish, noodles/pasta etc.). That will be $200/month for your basic needs.

Now add roughly $100 - $150 /mo for specialty food (ethnic food, halal meat, kosher food etc.) and monthly supplies (cooking oil, flour, rice, jams, spices, sauce, baking needs, sugar, salt, coffee/tea etc.).

Occasionally, your family will want to eat outside at a restaurant. If a family of 4 eat outside once a week, that's $120 - $200 per month.

Few tips on saving:
1. Get the weekly flyer from your nearest chain-grocery store(s). You may have to add your address to their regular mailing list.
2. Some local smaller stores may sell some items cheaper.
3. Try to avoid eating outside for lunch when you start working
4. Make your own coffee, b.fast and lunch (use leftovers)


BTW, I spend minimum $100/mo on Tim Hortons. Not good at all.
Monthly makes it even better :)
ThoughI would not be staying in Toronto but as a first timer in Canada your post is a great help.

Thanks again.
 
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emamabd

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Jun 22, 2012
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Rossei said:
Food
Per month basis,
For each person, it’s $100 - $150
A family of 2 adults: $200 - $250
A family of 4 (2 adults + 2 kids): $300 - $500
interesting, groceries cost me much more for a family of 5 ...this post prompts me to re-assess my spending!
 

Rossei

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Jun 6, 2010
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emamabd said:
interesting, groceries cost me much more for a family of 5 ...this post prompts me to re-assess my spending!
If you happen to buy prime steaks or fresh salmon cuts or lobsters often.

Over $500 (only for grocery items) for 5 seem expensive to me. Currently, I have 5 members (4 adults + 1 toddler) as well. My monthly grocery is $250 - $300 and I do a large shopping (~$300) on halal meat/fish/spices every 6 - 8 weeks from London/Toronto. Baby food isn't included in any of these though.
 

xpressentry

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Buy cheaper cuts of meat. Cut your own fruits, vegetables and meat rather than buying pre-cut. Frozen is cheaper than fresh and has the same nutritional value.