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Resources for Newcomers

A view of the Ryerson Image Centre from the north-west side.

If you’re new to the city, province or country, these resources can help connect you to the services you’ll need to get settled into your new home.

New to Toronto

Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. The City of Toronto is our municipal government - a public corporation that provides services across the city.

Information for residents of Toronto, including waste collection schedules, a list of parks, gardens and beaches, road notices and more is available through the City of Toronto website, external link.

There are many ways to get around Toronto, including public transit or private vehicle.

Public transportation:

  • Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), external link: network of subways, streetcars and buses, including Wheel-Trans, a service for people who require accessible transportation
  • PRESTO, external link: electronic fare payment system available across most transit agencies in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Hamilton Area and Ottawa
  • GO Transit, external link: links Toronto with the surrounding regions of the (GTA) using a distance-based pricing system
  • VIA Rail, external link: Canada’s national passenger rail service
  • MiWay, external link: transit for the city of Mississauga that also services neighbouring transit systems including GO Transit, the TTC, Brampton Transit and Oakville Transit

Private vehicle:

Each neighbourhood in Toronto has its own distinct personality, each contributing to the diversity that defines our city. This neighbourhood guide, external link provides an introduction to some of the districts that make up Toronto.

You can also visit the City of Toronto's Interactive Toronto Map, external link to explore Toronto using a legend that filters based on criteria like community, education, recreation, transportation and more.

Renting property:

For information about temporary living arrangements on campus, send an email to hr@ryerson.ca.

Purchasing a home:

For help with purchasing a home, find a real estate agent, external link using the online directory or email hr@ryerson.ca for a referral.

A number of online resources are also available, including:

The City of Toronto offers an online Child Care Locator, external link. Children served by licensed child care centres range in age from infant to school-age. Ryerson also offers child care services through the Early Learning Centre (ELC).

Parks and trails:

Toronto is home to over 1,500 parks and 600 km of trails, making it easy for you to enjoy nature, even in the heart of the city.

Festivals and events:

A wide variety of festivals and events celebrate the diversity of our people and culture.

Sports:

Toronto is home to a number of professional sports teams and boasts a passionate fanbase!

New to Ontario

Employees from another province in Canada may use their existing coverage for the first three months. After that, you will need to apply for OHIP, external link. Bear in mind it can take three months to be issued, so it’s recommended that you apply right away.

To apply for OHIP coverage, you must go in-person to a ServiceOntario centre, external link.

For information on health services in Ontario including how to find a doctor, available healthcare options, Ontario health insurance and prescription drug benefits, visit the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, external link website.

If you drive, you are required to apply for an Ontario driver's license, external link within 60 days of taking up residence in the province. For detailed information about how to transfer a driver’s license from another province, state or country visit Exchange an out-of-province driver’s license, external link.

General resources for newcomers to Ontario, including links and answers to commonly-asked questions, are available at www.settlement.org, external link.

New to Canada

If you are coming from outside of Canada, you will first need to apply for UHIP, external link. International employees and family members who are not Canadian citizens and do not have permanent resident who are working in Ontario must obtain UHIP until eligible for OHIP if applicable. You will also need to apply for OHIP (see section under New to Ontario).

Upon receiving your work permit, you will need to obtain a Social Insurance Number (SIN), external link within three days. In Canada, a SIN is required in order for your employer to pay you. Your SIN will also grant you access to government programs and benefits.

Information on applications, forms, eligibility and related inquiries are available online, but you will need to go in-person to a ServiceOntario centre, external link in order to apply. The ServiceOntario centre closest to Ryerson is the City Hall Service Canada Centre, external link.

Newcomers to Canada need to apply for an Ontario driver's license (see section under New to Ontario) within 60 days of taking up residence in the province of Ontario. All applicants must present a valid foreign driver’s license (if not in English or French, a written translation, external link from a qualified translator will be required).

When applying for a license, you must first pass a vision test and written knowledge test on Ontario’s traffic rules, pay all applicable fees, and provide acceptable proof of identity. For more information, visit Driving and Roads, external link.

Upon arrival in Canada, it is highly recommended that you open a banking account. When opening an account, you will need at least two pieces of identification such as your passport, SIN or personal identification card.

There are five major financial institutions near Ryerson:

  1. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), external link
    595 Bay Street (inside the Atrium on Bay)
    416-861-3801
  2. Alterna Savings, external link
    350 Victoria Street
    POD-158
    416-213-7972
  3. RBC Royal Bank, external link
    101 Dundas Street West
    416-581-8865
  4. BMO Bank of Montreal, external link
    382 Yonge Street, Unit #4
    416-408-1974
  5. TD Canada Trust, external link
    465 University Avenue
    416-982-8710

Visit the Canadian Banking Association, external link website to learn more about your Canadian banking options.

Accompanying spouses/partners of eligible faculty and staff who are seeking employment have a number of resources available to them.

Toronto Employment and Social Services, external link (TESS) assists newcomers with career planning, education, training and job-hunting. Visit TESS Employment Opportunities Systems, external link to search and apply for jobs, or stop by one of their many employment centres, external link.

Links for academic positions and resources:

Links for non-academic positions and resources:

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP):

This support service provides immediate and confidential assistance for any work, health or life concern. Visit the EFAP section of Work Life for program details and contact information. Your accompanying spouse/partner may choose to seek career planning advice through the EFAP.

Information for newcomers on filing taxes in Canada is available through the Canada Revenue Agency, external link (CRA). The information applies only for the first tax year that you are a new resident of Canada. After your first tax year in Canada, you are no longer considered a newcomer for tax purposes.

General resources and links for newcomers to Canada are available on Canada’s International Gateway, external link website.