Destination in Focus: Toronto
Practical advice on finding a job and a place to live Toronto, with useful links to Irish organisations, social and business networks and emergency assistance, prepared in collaboration with IrishAlien.com.
Prepared in collaboration with IrishAlien.com.
The number of Irish arriving in Ontario on International Experience Canada (IEC) visas has more than doubled in the last three years, according to Eamonn O’Loughlin, executive director of the Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce in Toronto. Between 60 and 70 per cent of the 5000 Irish who were granted IEC visas this year settled in Toronto.
Toronto has a long history of receiving Irish immigrants. The area of Cabbagetown at the centre of the city got its name from the large number of Irish who arrived during and after the Famine, and grew vegetables in their front gardens in the area.
www.servicecanada.gc.ca is a very useful website on government services for all people living in Canada, with information on finding a job, education, welfare, housing, health, legal assistance, travel and starting a business.
For information on Canadian visas, see our Destination in Focus: Vancouver .
Find a job
For information on jobs, wages, qualifications and all other employment-related issues, see the excellent government-run website www.workingincanada.gc.ca. There are thousands of jobs across all sectors advertised on the The Job Bank, a government-run recruitment website.
The minimum wage in Toronto is $10.25 per hour.
Other useful jobs websites include Workopolis, Federal Government job postings, Eluta, Craigslist.ca, Monster, Toronto Job Centre, ca.indeed.com (casual work, service industry jobs, freelance work and nixers), StartupNorth (IT jobs), City of Toronto (public service jobs), Cultural Careers Council Ontario (arts and media), and Style Nine to Five (fashion and photography).
Www.irishjobs.ca is a site sponsored by the Irish Chamber of Commerce where jobseekers can upload their resumes and details about the kind of job they are looking for. The standard format of Canadian resumes is different to Irish CVs, so this site is a good place to find impressive examples. See http://www.cvtips.com/resumes-and-cvs/canada-resumes.html for more info on tailoring your resume Canadian style.
Brian Reynolds of IrishAlien.com says: “In Toronto there seem to be jobs for everyone, having said that, it’s a waiting game and you learn to network and work your Irish contacts until your hand is shaken out. There seem to be plenty construction companies hiring and with the sort of crane filled skyline that Dublin 2003 would have been proud of, the demand is likely to continue.”
Networking is vital for any jobseekers in Canada, so make the most of any existing connections you may have, and go along to events organised by the Irish Chamber of Commerce. For more IrishAlien tips on how to find a job in Toronto, see http://irishalien.com/2011/04/15/getting-a-job/
Find a Place to Live
Apartments in Toronto are generally unfurnished, but websites like Craigslist can help you furnish them very cheaply. It also lists properties available for short-term lease. Toronto Furnished Rentals lists furnished (but pricey) properties for rent.
The Newcomer’s Guide to Canadian Housing, produced by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, offers useful information on how to rent or buy a home.
Toronto.worldweb.com has a useful guide to Toronto’s districts, which may help you choose where you want to live in the city.
Irish clubs, business and social networks
IrishAlien online network for Irish immigrants: www.IrishAlien.com
Irish Association of Toronto www.torontoirishassociation.com
Irish and New in Toronto Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/123680717695499/
Irish Cultural Society of Toronto: irishculturalsocietyoftoronto.com
The Ireland Fund of Canada: www.irlfunds.org/canada
Enterprise Ireland Toronto office: www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/Export-Assistance/International-Office-Network-Services-and-Contacts/Canada.html
Ireland Canada Business Association: www.irelandcanada.com
Ireland Canada Chambers of Commerce: www.ireland-canada.ca
Toronto Irish Film Festival: torontoirishfilmfest.com
Traditional Irish music sessions: celticmusic.ca
Comhaltas Ceoiltóiri Éireann: torontocomhaltas.org
Irish Canadian Ruby Club: www.markhamirishrugby.com
Toronto Irish Football Club: www.torontoirishfootball.com
Toronto GAA: torontogaa.ca
Irish Embassy, Ottowa: www.embassyofireland.ca
Saint Vincent de Paul: www.svdptoronto.org
Irish Connections Canada: www.irishcanadamag.com
Celtic Life Magazine: www.celticlife.ca
Other useful sites
Ontario Tourism: www.ontariotravel.net
Canada Wise, cultural orientation programmes for immigrants: www.canadawise.com
This Destination in Focus was prepared in collaboration with Brian Reynolds, one of the founders of IrishAlien.com, an information website and forum for Irish people in Canada. From visa inquiries to the job hunt and the best bars to quench the thirst, IrishAlien.com and its forums should have all the answers.
If you have any tips or suggestions for new arrivals or those considering a move to Toronto, please add them in the comments section below.