Moving to Toronto
Welcome to Toronto, which has been called the most multicultural city in the world. As you settle into your new home, here are some insider tips to help you adjust, get connected, and have fun.
**Note: This information is provided as a resource for current or potential Wycliffe students but may not always be accurate or up-to-date.
Activities & Entertainment
Toronto is full of festivals, concerts, sporting games, farmers markets, and other events. Check out https://www.blogto.com/events/Below are some recommended places to visit:
- Art Gallery of Ontario - Only a 20-minute walk away. Admission is free on Wednesday nights.
- Royal Ontario Museum - There are dinosaurs five minutes away from Wycliffe. U of T students get free entry on Tuesdays.
- High Park - This large and beautiful park is an easy subway ride from Wycliffe. It has great walking and running trails, a beautiful playground, a little free zoo, a café, tennis courts, a swimming pool, summer camps for kids, and more.
- Local tip: Individuals and families can sign out a “MAP Pass” through the Toronto Public Library, offering free admission to places like Black Creek Pioneer Village, the Ontario Science Centre, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the Toronto Zoo, and more. Learn more here: Museum + Arts Pass>>
Students or young adults may be able to get inexpensive tickets to the symphony, opera, or other shows. See, for example:
Students receive discounts to Cineplex and other venues: UTSU Student Perks & Discounts
See additional kid-friendly activities in our section for Families>>
Wycliffe students can join U of T Intramural teams>>
Many popular tourist destinations are within a few hours’ drive of Toronto, such as:
- Niagara Falls
- Niagara on the Lake (wine-tasting, small town)
- Blue Mountain (skiing)
- Algonquin Park, Muskoka region (camping, out-tripping, cottages)
- Montreal (food, festivals, tourism): Visit Montréal
- Ottawa (Canadian Parliament)
Setting up a bank account
Choosing a bank: For a listing of major Canadian banks, see here: Canadian currency and banking. Many banks have accounts for students that have no monthly fees.
- Local tip! The RBC Canada bank at 648 Spadina Avenue is used to dealing with U of T students and may be an easy choice.
Required documentation: view the Government of Canada website on Banking to confirm the necessary documentation for setting up an account.
- Letter of Enrollment: You may find it necessary or helpful to show a letter confirming your enrolled status. As soon as you have registered for at least one class, you can contact the Wycliffe registrar who will provide this letter. You may also wish to print your invoice from ACORN.
Foreign credit cards may require you to pay a fee to use them in Canada. Check with your bank to see if they will waive your foreign transaction fees.
You should be able to get a credit card when you open a Canadian student bank account.
- Local tip! BMO cash back MasterCard (their basic cash back card) does not have fees.
- Local tip! In Canada, waitstaff at a restaurant will bring the credit card machine to you to pay; you do not give them your card. If you get a card with tap capability, you do not have to sign the receipt.
Toronto has a wide range of churches, and our students, staff, and faculty come from all sorts of denominational backgrounds. Many churches are within walking distance of Wycliffe. Below are some churches that are connected to—or known by—our community.
The Redeemer Toronto - https://theredeemer.ca
St. Paul on Bloor Street - https://www.stpaulsbloor.org
Little Trinity - https://littletrinity.org
St. Matthew's Anglican Church Riverdale - https://stmatthewsriverdale.org
Christ the King Anglican Church - https://www.ctktoronto.com
The Meeting House - https://www.themeetinghouse.com/locations
Toronto Alliance Church - https://www.torontoalliancechurch.ca
Evangelical Covenant Church:
Zoe Toronto - https://www.zoetoronto.com/microchurches
C3 Toronto - https://www.c3toronto.com
Hillsong Canada - https://hillsong.com/canada/
Stone Church https://stonechurch.ca/about-us
Grace Toronto Church - https://www.gracetoronto.ca
Knox Presbyterian Church - http://www.knoxtoronto.org
New Hope Fellowship (Light Presbyterian Church) - https://newhopefellowship.ca/
Westminster Chapel - https://www.westminsterchapel.ca/
Associated Gospel churches of Canada:
Calvary Church Toronto - https://calvarychurchwebsi.wixsite.com/website
Toronto’s climate ranges from near-tropical in the summer (up to 35° C), to very cold in the winter (sometimes as low as –20° C). You will need various kinds of clothing to stay comfortable all year round.
• Winter (Dec.-Feb.): learn to love winter and get answers to your winter questions
• Summer (June-Aug.): lightweight clothing (such as cotton) is good
• Spring (March-May) and Fall (Sept.-Nov.): sweaters and a lightweight waterproof coat
• Canadian students tend to dress casually for most occasions
• Dressing for the weather is socially acceptable.
(SOURCE: U of T Pre-Arrival Checklist)
Known as the most multicultural city in the world, Toronto is a fantastic place to experience other cultures in ministry—or around the table. You can enjoy cuisines from around the globe. Here are some Wycliffe student and staff top picks:
- Kensington Market – A wonderful place to grab market veggies, fresh bread, and cheese—and there are fun restaurants, too. It is about a 20-minute walk from Wycliffe, and Chinatown is just a little further south.
- Goldstruck Coffee – 10-minute walk. A fun coffee shop in which to study or write.
- Harbord Bakery – 15-minute walk. Great cookies (as well as bread, spreads, and more savoury options.)
- Za’ad – 15-minute walk. Tasty, affordable Middle Eastern fast food.
- Come En Casa (Church St.) – Tacos and other Mexican food. “It’ll do in a pinch.”
- La Chilaca (Kensington Market) – Our American students tell us it is: “Good for more authentic tacos,” and “The best tacos I’ve found in Toronto.”
- Mexicados – Mexican fast food.
- Sabai Sabai – 15-minute walk. Thai food (a little pricey.)
- Mabu Generation – 10-minute walk. “Taiwanese Fusion”
- Burger Priest – “One of the best fast-food joints I've ever been to.”
- PG Clucks – Great fried chicken sandwiches.
- Amazing Vegan food can be found all along Bloor St. West.
The following suggestions are offered for guidance only, to help our current or future students!
- Wycliffe posts jobs on our old-school, real-life bulletin boards in the main hallway, including opportunities to work at Wycliffe itself.
- Jobs in churches and Christian non-profits: Christian Careers Canada
- Libraries on campus
- University of Toronto career website
- Occasionally jobs are posted on Gracifieds (a local church’s Christian classifieds page)
International students must take additional steps to be eligible to work in Canada. Click here to learn more>>
U of T’s financial planning calculator can help you assess your finances.
Grocery & Shopping
The closest grocery store to Wycliffe is Metro (425 Bloor Street W, 15-minute walk). A more inexpensive choice is FreshCo (410 Bathurst Street, 25-minute walk). Other smaller stores are also in the area, such as Rabba Fine Foods (open 24/7, 365 days a year).
- Less expensive grocery stores: FreshCo, No Frills, Food Basics
- More expensive grocery stores: Metro, Sobeys, Loblaws
Where money is tight, consider the U of T Food bank or one of the local alternatives: Learn more here>>
Local tip! You can download a free app called “Flipp” that shows you each store’s flyers with their weekly deals.
Local tip #2! Students can receive a discount on select days at CityMarket (Spadina and College). Learn more here>>
Stores and Shopping Malls
Shopping along Bloor Street is expensive. Here are some alternatives:
The closest mall to Wycliffe is the Eaton Centre. A less expensive alternative is the Dufferin Mall, which also includes a Walmart. The most high-end (more expensive) choice is Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Each of these malls are located right off the subway line.
Canadian Tire is a helpful catch-all store when setting up a house and includes everything from kitchenware to paint.
U of T occasionally does clothing swaps.
Health & Wellness
***Emergency number (police, fire, ambulance): 9-1-1
Health coverage & insurance
To learn more about the University of Toronto’s generous health coverage and insurance for both domestic and international students, visit our Health Coverage page>>
Finding a Family Doctor
Rexall (which offers a 20% student discount) and Shoppers Drug Mart are two main pharmacy chains, both with locations within walking distance of Wycliffe. There are also many small pharmacies in the area.
Directly behind Wycliffe is Hart House, a beautiful century-old building that houses a gym, theatre, restaurant, library, and other fun things. Advanced Degree students do not have an automatic gym membership at Hart House, but you can sign up. There are other nearby University of Toronto gyms on campus as well. https://harthouse.ca
If you are in distress or in need of mental health support, U of T has a 24/7 permanent crisis line to help you.
- U of T My Student Support Program (My SSP) | 1-844-451-9700. Outside of North America, call 001-416-380-6578. Culturally competent mental health and counseling services in 146 languages for all U of T students.
- Good2Talk Student Helpline | 1-866-925-5454. Professional counseling, information and referrals helpline for mental health, addictions and students' well-being.
Learn more about available help for specific kinds of distress (mental, academic, financial, housing, sexual assault, etc.): Support when you feel distressed>>
- The Wellness Centre at U of T offers counseling covered by UHIP.
- Catholic Family Services of Toronto offers affordable counselling.
Individuals and families in financial need can seek assistance from U of T, which offers a food bank as well as other services: Resources for Families in Need
Phone & Internet
U of T’s bookstore offers phone plans at a discount: Mobility | U of T Bookstore
Prepaid plans through Freedom Mobile or Public Mobile are relatively inexpensive and reliable. They may offer cheap add-on plans that allow you to call/text internationally.
It can be expensive to text to a US/international number from a Canadian phone plan. WhatsApp is a good app to use to communicate and keep your non-Canadian #.
Toronto has many options when it comes to internet plans, with the main ones (highly priced) being Rogers and Bell. Here are just a few alternatives:
Toronto has two main subway lines: the Bloor-Danforth line (East-West) and the Yonge-University line (North-South). Wycliffe is ideally situated about a 5-minute walk from a subway station on each line. The subway connects Wycliffe to Union Station, the transit hub of the city. Students who wish to travel around Ontario or who commute from outside of the city can take GO trains, GO buses, or the VIA Rail to Union Station. The UP Express is an affordable option for travel between Union Station and Pearson International Airport.
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) vehicles (buses, street cars, subways) as well as the GO Train all use a PRESTO card (can be bought at a subway station).
Wycliffe students qualify for a Post-secondary Monthly TTC pass (~$130/month). You must go to Bathurst Station (about a 20-minute walk from Wycliffe College) to get an ID made, which must be presented to TTC agents upon request. Learn more>>
Students also receive GO Transit discounts: Going to School | GO Transit
Vehicles & Parking
Because campus parking is limited, subway is the best way to get to Wycliffe. Learn more about your options here>>
If you are a U.S. student, you do not need to import your car, so long as your insurance does not require you to do so.
Local tip! “No Parking” signs are very inconspicuous in Toronto. The side of the street that is No Parking often varies by date as listed on the sign.