The City of Toronto is one of the top destinations for newcomers to Canada. That’s not surprising as it’s the largest and one of the most diverse cities in Canada with nearly 3 million people.
Toronto is considered the financial and commercial capital of Canada, home to about 40 percent of Canada’s business headquarters, including the country’s largest banks. It is the capital of the Province of Ontario and is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario.
While no one moves to Toronto for its weather, as it experiences very warm summers and long, cold winters, it is still considered moderate for Canada because of its southern location.
The area experiences four distinct seasons:
• Spring is a rainy season in most of Toronto. Average temperature is about 12°C in March, April and early May.
• Summer technically begins on June 21, but July and August are the warmest and most humid months of summer, with daytime temperatures usually above 20°C and often rise above 30°C.
• In the fall, the weather cools down and rain often makes an appearance. Average temperatures are about 10°C to 12°C.
• It is cold in winter and it snows often, often staying on the ground for weeks or months at a time. From December to February, the temperature is usually below 0°C, day and night. Temperatures can drop below -25°C.
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The City of Toronto and the other cities and towns that make up the Greater Toronto Area are easily connected by public transportation, including the subway/RT, buses and streetcars, all governed by the Toronto Transit Commission (for maps, routes and schedules, see www.ttc.ca).
The cost of taking public transportation varies depending on the method and distance. See here for a list of fare prices.
• The Yonge-University-Spadina Subway has 32 stations. The route operates from the northern area of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue East, south to Union Station in downtown Toronto, and then north again to the area of Allen Road and Sheppard Avenue West.
• The Bloor-Danforth Subway has 31 stations, and is a subway route running generally in an east-west direction along Bloor Street West, Bloor Street East and Danforth Avenue. The route operates from the western area of Dundas Street West and Kipling Avenue, east to the area of Bloor Street and Yonge Street in downtown Toronto, and continues east to the area of Eglinton Avenue East and Kennedy Road.
• The Scarborough RT has six stations, running generally in a north and then east direction. The route operates from the area of Eglinton Avenue East and Kennedy Road, north and east to the Scarborough Town Centre, and continues east to the area of McCowan Road and Progress Avenue.
• The Sheppard Subway has five stations, and is a subway route running in an east-west direction along Sheppard Avenue East. The route operates from the area of Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue, east to the area of Sheppard Avenue East and Don Mills Road.
For information on driving in Toronto and how to get a licence, see Driving.
• Highway 401: The major east-west highway north of the city
• Queen Elizabeth Way/Gardiner Expressway: The major east-west highway south of the city
• Highway 407: Another major east-west highway on the north, however, you have to pay toll for this highway
• Highway 404 / Don Valley Parkway: The major north-south highway just east of downtown Toronto
• Highway 427: North-south highway on the west of the city
• Highway 400: North-south highway on the west side of the city
The Toronto area is protected by the Toronto Police Service.
It has a Newcomer Outreach Program that is intended to provide new immigrants with information on police services in Toronto, information on how to access those services, and to explain some of their rights and responsibilities under Canadian law.
When to call 9-1-1
Dialing 9-1-1 is only to be used in emergency situations. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, the fire department or an ambulance. It can serve you in a variety of languages with the help of interpreters.
If you know your situation is not an emergency, then call TPS’s non-emergency phone line (416-808-2222).
Click here to watch a video and download a guide to police services in Toronto.
Places of worship
Being a diverse city, there are many different places of worship in Toronto where you can connect with your religious beliefs. Though all Toronto neighbourhoods have sacred spaces for believers to gather, certain city regions have a larger number of religious communities than others.
The main religions followed in the city include Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism.
See here for a list of places of worship in Toronto.