Fellowship in Toronto
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ARRIVING IN TORONTO:
There was a new service adjacent to immigration at Toronto airport that will set up you Social Insurance Number (SIN). Even though you are exhausted, it is worth getting this done now so you may get a bank account and mobile account as soon as possible.
There is lots to see and do both in summer and winter. The weather is warm and daylight hours are from 5am to 10pm during summer. Needless to say it is extremely cold in winter. Buy appropriate winter clothes in September. Overall it is an expensive city. Groceries are more expensive than Australia, and restaurants add on sales tax then expect a 15-20% tip on top of the pre-sales tax total. For the most part you can get by without a car. There are plenty of car rental places or car share programs.
We had been recommended TD Canadian trust. They have many branches and ATMS throughout Toronto but present to the University Ave branch one block south of the Sick Kids which specialises in helping set up clinical fellows. Other branches are unaware of the special credit card benefits they can offer you as a clinical fellow.
You will need your Social Insurance Number, work permit, letter of employment and passport to apply for an account. A basic account will give you a savings and cheque account, with a minimum $4-5,000 in the cheque account required to waive monthly fees. The cheque account here is used like our savings or debit facilities, and a savings account is more like a term deposit, with heavy fees incurred for transactions from this account.
PUBLIC SCHOOL INFORMATION:
School starts in September in Canada.
School can start for kids that are 4yrs old – it is called junior kindergarden. There are great public schools in Ontario (100% publicly funded) and also private schools (much more expensive).
Child care can be hard to get into and expensive!
The most extensively used website for apartment letting is this one : www.kijiji.ca
The winters are sub zero but the summers are hot. I would strongly advise getting a place with air conditioning.
terms of living in Toronto, you either live downtown close to the hospital or not. If you live close there is an underground path to walk around the city near the hospitals. There is an incredible amount of things nearby to do with the kids and Toronto is filled with parks. The housing market in Toronto is hot. Apartments are gone quickly and very expensive.
Some fellows don’t live close to the hospital. It is definitely cheaper the farther away you live. You will never have to be at work before 7 am. You can take public transportation (subway, bus, street car) and still be in on time. The downside is that the subway stops running around 2 am. That can be an issue if you rely on the subway and are on-call. You’ll be on-call ~ every 6 days and you will have to come to the hospital in the middle of the night. The ones that live father away just stay in the hospital when they are on call even though they can take call from home.
Taxi driver advised us Fido had cheap, basic deals.we’ve both used our own iPhones & gone for monthly contract with them. The Eaton shopping centre centre is full of mobile providers’ shops & stalls where you can relatively easily compare the different providers for free minutes to one another, local numbers, texts, data, international texts, rates to international numbers if needed. Apparently The big Canadian-wide networks are best for coverage- Rogers, Telus, Bell (Fido is subsidiary or Rogers) Toronto specific can be patchy so ask about that. If you haven’t already & want to use ur current phone, unlock it ASAP at home.
Rogers does a reduced rate for Sick Kids employees at least and I don’t know, Rogers has a specia plan for Ontario Area Hospital’s workers which you receive 30% discount on your monthly dispenses. Rogers has good coverage. Bring your own phone to avoid a two year contract. You will need your SIN, passport and letter of employment to get a SIM card and discount. They may also require a temporary security deposit of $50-200 payable by credit card to ensure payment of bills. Once you place your order, it will take 24-48 hours to be approved and ready. (We had a deal for $60 a month for 3GB data, unlimited texts and calls across Canada, with a $5 bundle add on for 10c/min international calls and cheap international texts).
CAR SEAT REGULATIONS:
Children must ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are a minimum of 20 lb (9 kg). Children who are at least 20 lb (9 kg), but less than 40 lb (18 kg) must ride in an appropriate car seat. Children must ride in a booster seat until they are a minimum of 4 feet 9 inches (145 cm) tall, or a minimum of 80 lb (36 kg), or a minimum of 8 years old.
Avoid cross-border shopping for child car seats
The National Safety Mark (sample shown below) indicates that a child car seat is certified to Canadian safety standards, which are different from other standards.
It is illegal to import, sell, or use child car seats and booster seats in Canada that do not have this mark.
Parents are strongly advised to buy a seat only from a Canadian retailer to make sure the seat meets Canada’s rigorous regulations for safety. For more information, read Child car seat cross border shopping – what parents and caregivers should know.
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