I moved to Toronto for school in 2011 bright-eyed, eager and full of optimism. I had a place to live lined-up, and before I knew it I was settled in a house in the big city with my best friend from high school by my side. But how did I tackle the challenges of moving to Toronto and survive my start in a new city? Thanks to binqit I can #sharemystory with you – read through my experiences and find some information that might help with your transition to Toronto!
New Student in Expensive Toronto
Enrolled in the communications program at York University, I would be in for a commute to and from the downtown core. That meant I needed to cough up $100 (at the time) for a metro pass every month. My parents had recently gone through a divorce, so my finances were slim. They helped me as much as they could spare, but it wasn’t enough for a new student in one of the most expensive cities in Canada.
So I worked as a babysitter for two months before moving out on my own, which allowed me about $500 in savings. Add rent, food, textbooks, clothing, and entertainment (I was 17 at the time but that didn’t stop me from hitting the many bars and clubs that were begging for exploration) and the dollar signs were quickly growing. Living in Toronto brings some expenses!
Getting Hired Takes Some Time
I knew I would need a job and fast. My roommate already had a retail job set up at H&M, which she started right away. I wasn’t so lucky. When you are new to the city, without any connections, it does take some time. In August, I started applying for jobs online but with little response. The application forms online were long and complicated and I was busy preparing to start my studies. My bright-eyed optimism was quickly becoming wide-eyed panic.
I need a job - ASAP!
It wasn’t until mid-October that I finally found a job. I walked into a Winners, full of determination, (I had worked at the location in my hometown during high school) and handed my resume in person. Making conversation with one of the associates at the cash register was the best thing I could have done. We got along really well and she called over the on-duty manager. A quick conversation with the manager and I had myself a job.
Be Determined and Patient
If it wasn’t for the one-on-one personal conversations which let both parties ask their necessary questions, I fear my job search would have dragged on and my credit card statements would have grown. But I made it! I stuck with Winners throughout all 4 years of my studies and was able to focus on my grades.
Students and people new to the big city need a company that helps them get service, retail, and blue collar jobs quickly so that they can focus on the things that really matter to them (like school and those oh-so-exciting Toronto activities). Looking for a simple way? Don’t think it, binqit!