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AshP

Landing: Etobicoke, Toronto

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AshP

Hi Everyone

So I have been reading all the posts over the last year during our process of receiving permanent residency and have loved the support that this group provides. Our day has finally arrived and we touch down in Canada 30 May. We have managed to secure an apartment in Etobicoke and very much looking forward to the new start.

I lived in the US previously for 7 years and I know and understand the hard times we are going to go through in the beginning (however my whole family are now citizens of the US so we are now closer to family - where in SA we were further away) so I have a feeling this experience is going to be so much easier than my previous move.

In order to make the transition easier I am asking anyone from SA that has ended up in Etobicoke or Mississauga to give me all the advice about the area. Things you love (grocery stores, shops, recreation, restaurants etc.) - things to watch out for etc.

Also we literally sold everything and starting afresh (besides our suitcases :-) - so any advice on how to stock up again welcome - anyone you know selling furniture etc.

I see there is an Ikea in our neighborhood and a Wal-Mart - both which will assist greatly. Any other stores I should look into?

We have a 2 year old so advice on recreation for him would be a plus!

I have been looking at kiiji (think it is spelt like that) and added myself on fb Etobicoke buy/sell groups.

Social activities and getting to know other people in the area also great so if anyone knows of any meetup groups etc. in the area please share information :-)

Thank you!

Edited by AshP

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Nettie

I am not living in the area, but I've been there and it's beautiful.

My close family is also in the US and it made a huge difference for me to be in Canada. I'm sure it's going to be a positive move for you.

Good luck on the move and the exciting times that lie ahead.

:ilikeit:

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AshP

Thanks so much Nettie for the response! Really glad to hear it is beautiful. I had my heart set on High Park but once the apartment hunting started I realized that the rentals in High Park (and daycare) were through the roof. So we settled on Etobicoke - but must admit what I have heard and seen of the area I really feel like we have made the right choice.

 

Edited by AshP
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MaryJane

Hi AshP

Welcome to the forums.

It sounds like you're in the Kipling area.

There is also a Zellers store nearby. When you Google it, it might say it's closed but don't be fooled, it's there. They carry clothing and furniture at very reasonable prices.

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Nelline

Welcome @AshP - you're certainly approaching this in a sensible way. I have a feeling you're going to be ok :D

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AshP

will definitely look up Zellers  - thanks MaryJane and thanks Nelline for the confidence!

We are very positive in our approach. When I lived in Dallas before I always knew that once I had children I would want more for them - I had been opened to a world that was different. Safe, and kind. I loved SA enough that I returned - but soon I realized that it was ok while it was only me but I wanted more opportunity for my children. I did my tertiary education in the States and I was shocked at the opportunities I was provided. I received 3 different scholarships during the time and successfully competed my BSc and masters with very little money from my parents. I could work 20 hours at the university which aided in food and accommodation (my parents were on visas at the time and certainly not in the position to pay for my continued studies). However - it is that opportunity that got us our permanent residency in Canada. Not my upbringing in SA. I have to mention that I was on a student visa and not a permanent residency visa as I was 21 when I went so the fact that I could even get scholarships as a non resident amazes me - even to today.

I do not want to bring SA down because I have great friends there and I wish with all my might that they get through this difficult time at the moment. But I am eternally grateful that my son is now 3 hours plane ride from his grandparents and uncle - and I do not have to look over my shoulder every 5 seconds when I buckle him into his car seat. I am tired of worrying every time my husband leaves the house and jumping at every noise I hear. I am very familiar with the security one feels in a safer place. I hate it when people say to me the grass isn't always greener on the other side - because I have been there - and the grass is lovely :-)

I really hope no one takes offence to what I have said above. I do not want to start a discussion over why we left SA and whether it was the right thing  or not but what I do know is we are very excited for this move and I hope everyone else that has taken this very brave move feels positive about it as well.

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Jules

Any particular reason why you selected Etobicoke? 

Not sure if you have been following the real estate prices but you are heading to a part of the GTA where prices are going through the roof. Affording rent in a place might not be the same as ability to buy there one day. And once the kids get into the school system and make friends, one tends to become "tied" to a certain area.

If you are willing to commute then prices are much better if you go an hour north, east or west of the city. 

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AshP

Thanks Jules for the thought provoking question. These are great things to consider.

The main reason we chose Etobicoke in the end were the following reasons -

1.) From what I have read about the areas further out are much more affordable to buy property etc. but since we are both arriving without jobs and no car (and the fact that we would rent for the first year or two) we needed easy access to downtown using public transport. It seemed as if most places further out you needed to have a car to get around and we only want to look at cars once we employed.

2.) Our little one is luckily young enough (he is 2) that we have a year or two to familiar ourselves with Toronto and the different areas and really figure out where we wanted to finally settle before he is of school age.

3.) We have 2 very close couples that we know that both stay in Etobicoke. As they will probably be our life line in the beginning we really liked the idea of being close to them. They have already made the transition so much easier. For example finding an apartment - they were on the ground and looked at our top 5 - sent us pics and gave us recommendations as to public transport, daycares etc. When it came time to apply we were easily approved as from previously living in the US I had a bank account already opened. I transferred all my money into that bank account and the agencies easily accepted the currency to approve funds. The one couple then put down the first month and last month rent by a Canadian approved certified cheque for us (we just put the money into their account). I think we would have really struggled otherwise to find something.

So for those reasons I feel very positive about where we chose to live. Having people close to you that love and care about you makes all the world of difference. :-).

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Stefan

My in-laws live in Etobicoke (pronounced Etobicoe over here, weird hey!) and it's certainly a decent place to live.  There's a mall and enough grocery shopping in the Kipling/ Islington area.  It's the end of the line for the Toronto subway, so there's always that option for getting to downtown.  There's probably a lower rent place to stay in just a few km westwards into Missisauga, but having good friends nearby is invaluable.

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Freddy
On 4/20/2017 at 5:11 PM, MaryJane said:

Hi AshP

Welcome to the forums.

It sounds like you're in the Kipling area.

There is also a Zellers store nearby. When you Google it, it might say it's closed but don't be fooled, it's there. They carry clothing and furniture at very reasonable prices.

Welcome and all the best.

@MaryJane I can believe we still have Zellers in Canada ^_^. All the ones in Winnipeg are gone.

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Jules

I thought Target bought Zellers and closed or converted all of them (before Target then closed).

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Nettie

We still have one in Ottawa. 

22 hours ago, Freddy said:

Welcome and all the best.

@MaryJane I can believe we still have Zellers in Canada ^_^. All the ones in Winnipeg are gone.

 

Edited by Nettie

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MaryJane
On 2017-05-24 at 3:27 PM, Freddy said:

Welcome and all the best.

@MaryJane I can believe we still have Zellers in Canada ^_^. All the ones in Winnipeg are gone.

23 hours ago, Jules said:

I thought Target bought Zellers and closed or converted all of them (before Target then closed).

The one in Etobicoke is almost like a secret place. You won't know until somebody tells you that it's open. On Google and the rest of the world, it's closed. But physically, well...it's still there. :huh:

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