9 things to know before coming to Toronto


When you search for French-language content on Canada, you’ll mainly find information on Quebec. If you’re looking for Toronto, it’s a bit more complicated. But you’ve come to the right place. I’m here to help! And in this article I’m going to share with you 9 things you need to know before coming to Toronto. Whether you’re planning to move here or just coming on vacation.

Before going any further, don’t forget to join me on Instagram and Youtube for more information on life in Canada.

To complete this article you can also watch the video on the same subject on Youtube.


Toronto is a predominantly English-speaking city

Although Canada officially has 2 official languages, Toronto is clearly not a bilingual city. Ontario, on the other hand, is a bilingual province. Yes, I know. It’s confusing. Let me explain!

First, you have the communication that comes from the federal government, i.e. at the national level → they must obligatorily communicate in English and French.

Secondly, in Ontario, since 1986, you have had the French Language Services Act. This law gives you the right to be served in French in 26 designated areas. That’s why you’ll often hear Hello/Bonjour when you arrive at these organizations. To give you the language option.

Finally you have the communication that comes from the city → And this is where we get to the part that interests us and is one of the things you need to know before coming to Toronto. Communication in Toronto is mostly in English. Toronto is not considered a bilingual city. As such, the city is under no obligation to communicate in both languages.

What does this mean in practice? Here are a few examples.
  • Road signs are not in both languages as I have seen in Nova Scotia, for example.
    Service Canada and Service Ontario offices offer services in French, so you’ll often get someone who speaks French. Don’t hesitate to ask.
  • Historical signs: when provided by the city, they will only be available in English. But when they’re provided by the provincial or federal government, they’re in both languages.
  • Another example: when you call a customer service department. For example, the bank, Service Ontario, Air Canada or other. You’ll have the option of choosing English or French at the beginning of the call. The wait on the French line is always longer, but it allows you to have someone who speaks your language. It also shows that there are French people in Ontario.
  • One last example: at checkouts in stores and on EFTPOS terminals. To pay, you can choose English or French.

The good thing for us French speakers is that they’re constantly on the lookout to hire French speakers. So this creates opportunities for us even if our English isn’t as good. This was my case and I’ve already talked about it on Youtube when I shared with you how I found my first job in Canada with beginner English.


Toronto is a very business-oriented city

The next point is pretty straightforward, but it’s an important thing to know before coming to Toronto. Toronto is a very business-minded city. The biggest companies have their head offices here. People are careerists. Don’t be surprised if you meet people who have a main job and a side business on the side. A former marketing colleague of mine used to sell essential oils on the side. Quite apart from the financial aspect, it’s also a way of having a passion project on the side without the pressure of a corporate job.

Adaptation can be long and complicated

The culture is really different and the codes for friendship and love are very different. I’ve talked about this on several occasions. The social aspect of moving abroad is much underestimated. It’s destabilizing and takes time to understand. I have an article to help you better understand the differences between romantic relationships in Canada vs. France.

Don’t get discouraged and multiply your opportunities to meet people to give yourself the chance to meet the right people. Remember, too, that this may be the first time you’ve had to make friends on purpose. Until now, you’ve met people without even realizing it. At school, at friends’ parties. But if you want to know how to make friends abroad, I recommend this video.

One last point about adaptation. Toronto is a busy city. Many people come to study, to gain work experience, to add a line to their CV. But there are also many people who have been here all their lives. These people will give you a certain anchoring and stability in your new country. Vary your encounters to find the people who will make you feel at home here.

There’s more to Toronto than its downtown core

Yes, I know. It’s funny to read from the girl who lives in the middle of downtown Toronto. But take it from me: there’s so much more to explore in Toronto than its downtown core and tall towers. Of course we want to see them. It’s what we grew up seeing on TV, and it’s a change of scenery. But I encourage you to explore the different neighborhoods to really soak up the cultural diversity that lives in Toronto. You’ll find plenty of neighborhoods with strong identities: Little Italy, Little Portugal, Greektown, Les Beaches and so on. Don’t be afraid to stray from the center to explore.



It’s the word most often used to describe Toronto, and it’s true. 50% of the population was not born in Canada. As you stroll through the streets, you’ll hear many languages spoken. You’ll meet people from all over the world. As well as learning about countries and cultures you’re not familiar with, you’ll also be able to taste the cuisines of the world. A real treat!

What are the key figures? Toronto has over 200 different ethnic origins, and 140 languages are spoken on a daily basis. Impressive, isn’t it?

While preparing this article, I came across the results of a survey conducted by Statistics Canada about languages spoken in Toronto. The survey dates back to 2021, and I’m posting the link here, it’s very interesting.

Lots to do, but you have to look

Obviously in a city this big you can imagine that there are a thousand things to do. I also have an article with more than 30 activities to do in winter in Toronto. But let’s be honest, you have to look for information that is not always super accessible or right under our noses. My advice: join FB groups in your neighborhoods, people always share lots of information there, follow Instagram accounts specializing in activities and use Tiktok if that’s your thing. You discovered that there are always plenty of things to do.


Life is expensive

It’s a reality. Living in Toronto is expensive. I have several videos on the Toronto budget on my YouTube channel. But there are also plenty of free things to do. For example: enjoying parks, beaches, ice rinks in winter, exhibitions, festivals, street entertainment. We come back to my previous point: you have to do a lot of research to find cheaper things to do.

Toronto doesn’t get that much snow

If you follow me on Instagram (if you haven’t already, join me, we’ll have fun!), you already know everything about the weather in Toronto. This is a topic that I share often because it’s a question that comes up often. One thing you absolutely need to know before coming to Toronto, to get the best deals: Toronto doesn’t have a lot of snow in winter. On the other hand, be careful it is also very hot in summer, and also very humid!

I’m afraid of jinxing us and receiving meters of snow this winter. But it is true that Toronto has much less snow than Quebec, for example. So if you come to Canada for the snow you may be disappointed in Toronto.

Best time of year to visit Toronto

Finally, a question that comes up often, and perhaps it is a subject that deserves its own article. When to come to Toronto, here is a summary in terms of weather:

  • I recommend avoiding March/April – full transition from winter to spring/summer. The snow will be melting and your feet will probably be in slush.
  • May/June – Temperate
  • July August September – Hot
  • September/October – Beautiful season + fall colors are magnificent in and around Toronto
  • November – first snow, usually in early November. Except this year!
  • December – A beautiful white Christmas like in the films, it’s a good reason to come!
  • January / February – very cold, if you are a fan of winter activities it is good, otherwise I would avoid this period.


And that’s the end of this article. I hope this helps you learn more about the city of Toronto where I have lived for almost 10 years!


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