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Which city is the most woman friendly?

Discussion in 'Housing' started by CharlotteJ, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. Dear all,
    I am moving as a newbe to Canada next year as permanent resident, however, as a tall beautiful somehow too friendly and naive European woman and single, I am looking for 1. the most woman friendly city across Canada, preferebly Vancouver and/or Toronto and 2ly. which neighbourhoods will be the best to live in any of these cities?
    Oh please do not get me wrong, I am not looking for a man/husband or for those who might begin to call me " full of myself" , I shall define my decription of my own, I mean I am an attractive 30+ woman who hasn't learnt to be careful with people and can easily fall victim to anybody who might take advantage of me and here in Europe, I 've only been living in beautiful and secure places, but somehow, sometime sooner or later, anyone of us will pursuit his/her own freedom and happiness right?
    So, if you have any advice for me, please feel free and let me know.
    I sadly though notice that there are pretty much some restrictions to taking along a pet (lapdog) to a rental?!
    Cheers,
    CharlotteJ
     
  2. I can't help you with neighbourhoods in Toronto and Vancouver but I can tell you that some apartment buildings allow dogs. I think you will find people everywhere who will try to pull a fast one on you. You just have to be careful. If somebody comes to your door and offers you a free newspaper for a month, just so you know, when the month is up, they will keep it coming and send you a bill. If somebody comes to your door and offers you a deal to get a fixed price on your electricity or gas, they may be locking you into a 5 year contract with that energy company. Never do anything spontaniously, always check, just say no to door-to-door or telemarketer offers. Also, if you meet a guy at the grocery store who said he ran out of gas or needs to buy medication for his sick 7 year old daughter, don't give him money. You will probably see him at the store also tomorrow and the next day and the next or maybe at another store if he's smart :)
     
  3. Thank you Leon, that is exactly I will do and will take your advice to the heart. After all, here in Europe, and supposedly worldwide, acts and conducts as such have become common and mondially practiced.

    I have a small lapdog and hopefully I ll be able to find a cosy small apartment in a fancy neighbourhood where pets are allowed.

    But I hope you can answer this question as well, do I have to apply for gas/electricity/water and/or internet provider when moving into my new home? I presume that the price of gas/electra and/or water is all included in the services provided by the realtors?
     
  4. When you rent an apartment, they will tell you what is included. Usually the water and heat are included, sometimes the power. I am not clear on the rules in Vancouver but in Toronto, when I lived there, I only had to order my phone and internet and cable TV. In Toronto, you will normally pay first and last months rent but no security deposit, it's not allowed. In Alberta you pay security deposit which is allowed to be as high as one months rent and usually very hard to get back, they will find something to blame you for. In Alberta, it's common that you also have to order your own electricity. Vancouver, I don't know.

    I don't know why you are talking about a realtor? You get a realtor if you want to buy. If you buy a condo, you would pay a condo fee every month. This fee might include some of the maintainance that has to be done on the building or other fees like garbage and water but you probably still have to pay your own heat and electricity. When you rent, if something breaks down, you call the landlord and they have to fix it. When you own, you have to fix it yourself. If you get a realtor, they will help you look for a condo and help you do the paperwork to buy it but they will not pay for your gas and electricity. They can help you order it if you ask them. Same with the landlord if you rent. If you ask them to help you find the phone number for the power/phone and other companies you have to call, they will do it.
     
  5. Hello Leon,
    Thank you so much for your reply, truly helpful and informative. At least now I know a lot about Toronto and a bit more about Alberta and can now focus more on Vancouver. I have to make a choice myself where to start living, either Toronto or Vancouver. Off course Vancouver is more beautiful due to its unique setting and close vicinity to the nature, on the other hand Toronto is more metropolitan and closer to most major US cities such as NYC and Chicago and off course the lovely Montreal, Quebec.
    So far I 've been looking for 1 bedroom apartment rentals, preferebly with a den, across Vancouver, but a quick check on the internet regarding same type of housing across Toronto, teaches me that prices can vary a lot and are far cheaper across Toronto than Vancouver.
    Do you have any idea of the prices of a driving license? I 've a EU one, Netherlands, but presumabely I 've to obtain for a new driving license within 90 days upon arrival in Toronto and 60 days upon Vancouver, BC.
    You should have more experience in that regard for sure.
    Many thanks again,
    Charlotte
     
  6. I lived on Bater Ave. when I was in Toronto. It is on the edge of the greek neighbourhood. I always felt perfectly safe there and the apartments were not very expensive. It is very close to the river valley to go for a walk and it's also walking distance from a grocery store, doctor, dentist, the train and there is also a bus that goes right past.

    When you want to rent in Canada, you can easily set yourself up in a motel or a hotel to start and then you can just go to the neighbourhood you think you want to live in and look for signs for rent. The buildings will have a sign outside saying what is available and a phone number you can call to get information and arrange a viewing. Many of the buildings have a live-in manager who may be able to show you the place right away.

    As for choosing Toronto or Vancouver, are you planning to work or do you have all kinds of money? If you are planning to work, it might be a good idea to check out the job market in your field before you decide where to settle.

    As for driving license, exchange depends on who they have an agreement with. Your EU license is valid everywhere in Europe, including the UK and Germany but Canada doesn't have an agreement with the EU, it's provinces in Canada that have agreements with certain European countries. Netherlands not one of them I'm afraid so that means you'd have to take the test. Because of graduated licensing here, you'd have to have a translation of your EU license as well as some paper showing how long you have had your license. If they see that you have had your license for a few years, they will let you test right away to get a full license.

    You can see more info on Ontario licenses at http://www.drivetest.ca/en/license/ExchangeReciprocal.aspx and here is the info for BC: http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/moving-bc/licence-othercountry

    You can see the fees there too, for example, in BC, you'd pay $15 for the written exam, $50 for the road test and $75 for the license itself. If you are a little sneaky and know somebody in Germany, you can go over there, register your address and go get your license exchanged to a German license. With that, you don't need to take any tests, you can get your license exchanged to a Canadian license without a problem.
     
  7. Leon, you ve been more than just helpful to me and so much thanks for that. I 've been to Danford, Greek Town as known to many and didn't like it that much though. I prefer North York or Yorkville, Oakville, kind of places however, these are more expensive places.
    As for work, I am aware of the fact that finding a job at the same level as here, won't be the case and one should consider himself/herself lucky if a suitable job is found immediately upen arrival and being relocated. So, I might be looking for any job at first for as long as I don't need to use my resources and savings which I preferebly rather not touch that much. Toronto looks fine and I loved the free spiritness and easy goingness of its inhabitants. But I also like Vancouver for the fact it is a bit more cosmopolitan than Toronto. I wonder who Ottawa looks like, haven't been there yet. I am going to apply for a study, a contintue study program which I am going to pay fully myself, and that is one of the deciding factors for me, where to begin and where to reside. It depends on which university might accept my application and I guess I should better first take an English course and see if I can apply for a particular study after obtaining the diploma's. I wonder if a place close to downtown and most offices is a better place to rent and live being closer to work and university. Starting a new life isn't easy but thinking it thoroughly shall result in something good and succesful. After all, those with a pioneering spirit were the first to build up a nation called " Canada" , lazy ones could better stay where they are. right?
    Again many thanks for your help so far. Regarding the driving license, one thing is for sure, Europe is way too expensive. You should pay at least € 200,- for the test only, each driving lesson cost € 40,- on average and applying for one and taking enough lessons cost every new applicant on average € 1300,-! Especially the Netherlands which is one of the most expensive places to live/work in Europe.
     
  8. According to http://srv129.services.gc.ca/eiregions/eng/rates_cur.aspx Toronto is now at 9.6% unemployment and Vancouver at 7 so not that much difference. If you are planning on going to a university , it makes sense to pick an apartment close to it. If you are not sure about going to a university or which one, it depends on if you are planning to own a car or not. If you live close to the train, you normally don't need a car.
     
  9. That is true, close enough, knowing that Toronto is a little bit bigger than Vancouver and counts more inhabitants, so statistics wise unemployment is much of on the same level. Here in the Netherlands, there is less unemployment for the time being but that might change soon.

    I indeed want to apply for a " continue study program" at a good university which I am going to finance myself and for that reason it is indeed a wiser decision to rent an apartment close to the place where I will study so I don't need to drive a car and can look for a part-time job as well. My partner is the one who is highly certified and and IT professional with more than 12 years of experience and he will join me a little while later in Canada as giving up his position right now will not be a wise decision. So, for a while, it is me who have to figure out of a living in Canada and to pave the road as to say it frankly.
     
  10. what parts of Toronto do you suggest as a good neighbourhood by the way dear Leon?
     
  11. I was only in Toronto for 6 months and that was years ago. I lived on the edge of the greek neighbourhood so I know that is ok, or at least it was back then but I don't really know any others. If it's your partner who will be needing a job, he should take a look at some job websites to figure out in which city he will have an easier time finding a job. It will not really help if you find a great apartment and a unversity and then he comes and can't get a job there.
     
  12. Dear Leon,
    I got 2 more question to which I hope to receive an answer and if you don't know, perhaps somebody else will.
    1. those carrying a driving license that is younger than 3x years, are they eligible enough to apply for a new driving license after 3 months across ON or BC, off course, once they have been examined?
    2. as a PR entering Canada, will it make any difference which city to land in? I mean, as a PR entering Canada for the first time, can I land in any city, Montreal, TO or Vancouver? If I find a cheaper ticket from Paris to Montreal for example, it will be off course wiser to do that, rather than flying to TO or Vancouver, but arriving/landing in Montreal, I am not sure whether the immigration officers will accept and fill out our PR forms and help us out?
    Thank you so much in advance for your help.
     
  13. 1. Yes, you can drive around for 3 months and then apply for a Canadian license. You may be without license for a couple of weeks though because they may have to take it and send it somewhere before you get the ok to take the driving test. That is what they do in AB anyway.

    2. Normally they say you can't land in Quebec if you don't have a selection certificate from them but I think it would be ok if you tell them that you are just passing through. Even better if you get a connecting flight from Montreal to Toronto or Vancouver, then you can show them the ticket so they know for sure you are going somewhere else. Still.. safer for you to ask the embassy to make sure.
     
  14. Hello Leon,
    Thanks again and many many times again for all your advice and help so far.
    I will take your advice to the heart and in order to avoid any troubles, I will just fly to TO and out back home via Montreal, that way I can also visit Montreal and enjoy a short holiday as well.
    Greetings,
    Charlotte
     
  15. Charlotte:

    If you can, I recopmmend Quebec City over Montreal as a place of great architectural beauty, which a Nederlander from Amsterdam (offering some of the most beautiful architecture in the world) would appreciate.

    I've spent time in Toronto and Vancouver. My brief impressions:

    Toronto is more culturally diverse, and the University of Toronto is perhaps a bit more prestigious than University of British Colombia. The cultures in TO are more European; in Vancouver more Asian. For example, in TO, easier to get good opera and organ recitals; in Vancouver, not so easy.

    The UBC campus is spectacular, as is the scenery around Vancouver; and the people are very friendly and laid-back. It's impossible to walk down a Vancouver street without someone saying "hello" with a smile; in Toronto, not so friendly. Not unfriendly; just not Vancouver style.

    Rents may be a little cheaper in Toronto, but your standards might have to be flexible. In Vancouver, high.
    But if you're smaller-town person, and your husband can find work in Victoria (on Vancouver Island), the University of Victoria is OK, and that is a beautiful city.
     

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