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So I'm in Toronto for 6 weeks this summer, and I'm staying at the Graduate House. I bike a lot, and have a fairly expensive road bike I would like to bring with me, but the Graduate House forbids in-room storage, there's a limited amount of indoor storage, and they won't guarantee me an indoor spot before I get there. Does anyone have any advice on where I can keep the bike?

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On 5/22/2016 at 11:34 AM, telkanuru said:

So I'm in Toronto for 6 weeks this summer, and I'm staying at the Graduate House. I bike a lot, and have a fairly expensive road bike I would like to bring with me, but the Graduate House forbids in-room storage, there's a limited amount of indoor storage, and they won't guarantee me an indoor spot before I get there. Does anyone have any advice on where I can keep the bike?

Hey! Bike storage is certainly an issue in Toronto. Graduate House is very close to 21 Sussex Ave where the campus police is located. If I have to leave my bike overnight, that's where I lock it (surveillance). I use a U-Lock for the rear wheel, the frame, and the post, and a padlock for the front wheel and the frame. Graduate House does have a Bike Room though so I really hope there's an open spot for when you get there! 

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On 5/24/2016 at 6:52 PM, nabeeljafri said:

Hey! Bike storage is certainly an issue in Toronto. Graduate House is very close to 21 Sussex Ave where the campus police is located. If I have to leave my bike overnight, that's where I lock it (surveillance). I use a U-Lock for the rear wheel, the frame, and the post, and a padlock for the front wheel and the frame. Graduate House does have a Bike Room though so I really hope there's an open spot for when you get there! 

Yeah, there's no way in hell I'm leaving this outside, regardless of how many locks I put on it.

If there's no spot left, do you (or anyone else) know of indoor storage options? I'd definitely be willing to pay.

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On 6/8/2016 at 11:36 AM, OverCaffeinated said:

hey guys, torontonian here, if you want to ask anything just tag me in the post :) (otherwise i dont check this thread)

Hi there! What do you think about U of T and family life in Toronto (I'm looking at faculty positions)? Are the schools there good/bad/okay? Outdoor things to do, like hiking, biking, nature trails? Libraries? Thanks! :)

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On 9/19/2016 at 7:48 PM, wildviolet said:

Hi there! What do you think about U of T and family life in Toronto (I'm looking at faculty positions)? Are the schools there good/bad/okay? Outdoor things to do, like hiking, biking, nature trails? Libraries? Thanks! :)

to be quite honest, family as in kids? downtown toronto is not really kid friendly. its like any downtown major city, its dirty and people smoke right in your face. however just outside of the core you should be able to find some very nice and kid friendly areas. if you have the means look into leaside its a perfect slice of heaven for families (those who can afford it)

in terms of the nature stuff, i dont do much nature things. and all major toronto libraries have events and book readings and kids events as well. i hear theyre great!

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On 9/19/2016 at 7:48 PM, wildviolet said:

Hi there! What do you think about U of T and family life in Toronto (I'm looking at faculty positions)? Are the schools there good/bad/okay? Outdoor things to do, like hiking, biking, nature trails? Libraries? Thanks! :)

Hi! I personally think U of T is awesome. Unfortunately I just left there, but I do miss Toronto.

Schools (if you mean for children) are quite good, but they vary by area. Some people spend a lot of time and a lot of money trying to live in an area with a "good" school. However, everywhere is safe compared to basically any city in the US, and I wouldn't worry about any aspect of the school other than the schools in lower-income areas are less funded (as is the case in most areas).

Family life in Toronto is fine. I would disagree with the assertion that people smoke right in your face (I mean the smoke goes everywhere, but on the whole people don't smoke that much, mostly outside of hospitals and bank buildings). As well, Toronto is clean compared to all major cities in the US. So it's not a dirty, smoky, kid-unfriendly place. Many faculty live in the Annex area (just west of the university), Leaside (as was mentioned), the Danforth, Little Italy, Rosedale, and other areas just outside of the downtown.

There are many libraries, tons of campus but lots more in each neighbourhood, including a large, beautiful reference library.

There are also lots of large parks, the largest one being High Park, there are three interconnected islands a 20-min ferry ride from downtown that have trails and beaches (it's all car-free), and there are biking and hiking trails in the city, many along rivers where you can canoe and stuff like that. There are some beaches, outdoor pools, skating rinks, and events for kids and adults.

I'm sure you would like it, though you might not like all the people complaining about it or the traffic. If you don't have to have a car/drive anywhere, try not to. It makes your life so much less stressful.

Hope this helps!

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On 9/19/2016 at 7:48 PM, wildviolet said:

Hi there! What do you think about U of T and family life in Toronto (I'm looking at faculty positions)? Are the schools there good/bad/okay? Outdoor things to do, like hiking, biking, nature trails? Libraries? Thanks! :)

I think downtown toronto has become way more family friendly as the move suburbs has kinda slowed and more and more people stay downtown and have kids. The Annex is a good place, the St. Lawrence area, and my sister condo on Yonge and St.Clair has a ton more kids then I would have ever thought. I think schools are generally okay. Some schools might get lower or higher ratings but that's mostly due to the school population (a school with a poorer and high ESL student population is gonna receive lower test scores etc) but the level of education is pretty standard. If your from the States school funding is completely different. The poorer schools actually get alot more funding and resources than most schools in posh neighbourhoods. Tons of things to do in Toronto as a single or family, especially in the summer! http://cityparent.com/events?city=2 

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Hi all!

I have just been offered a spot in the PhD program in classics at UofT, and have a question for Torontonians:  how much sunlight does the city get in the winter?  My wife and I have lived in Michigan (renowned for its dismal, sunless winters) for the entirety of our lives.  Besides the general lack of vitamin D and the absence of joy, this tends to bode ill for the multitude of house plants that my wife cherishes.  It would be great to hear that we would not run into this problem should we accept the offer...

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On 1/27/2017 at 11:36 AM, the gadfly said:

Hi all!

I have just been offered a spot in the PhD program in classics at UofT, and have a question for Torontonians:  how much sunlight does the city get in the winter?  My wife and I have lived in Michigan (renowned for its dismal, sunless winters) for the entirety of our lives.  Besides the general lack of vitamin D and the absence of joy, this tends to bode ill for the multitude of house plants that my wife cherishes.  It would be great to hear that we would not run into this problem should we accept the offer...

Hi gadfly,

I ran a quick comparison between http://www.toronto.climatemps.com/sunlight.php and http://www.detroit.climatemps.com/sunlight.php and turns out you definitely have more sunlight in Ann Arbor :/ Now I have the blues and want to move...

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On 1/27/2017 at 11:36 AM, the gadfly said:

Hi all!

I have just been offered a spot in the PhD program in classics at UofT, and have a question for Torontonians:  how much sunlight does the city get in the winter?  My wife and I have lived in Michigan (renowned for its dismal, sunless winters) for the entirety of our lives.  Besides the general lack of vitamin D and the absence of joy, this tends to bode ill for the multitude of house plants that my wife cherishes.  It would be great to hear that we would not run into this problem should we accept the offer...

This should tell you something! haha

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/01/30/less-than-50-hours-of-sunlight-in-toronto-for-january.html

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How much do I need to survive in Toronto? I was offered a place for a one year masters at York uni along with scholarship big enough to cover my rent. I will still have to get a part time job, probably for no more than 10 hours pw. Is this going to be enough to live on? The course is very intense, or so I heard, so I won't be spending much on hobbies and luxuries I guess. What do you think? 

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On 4/18/2017 at 4:17 PM, steve3020 said:

How much do I need to survive in Toronto? I was offered a place for a one year masters at York uni along with scholarship big enough to cover my rent. I will still have to get a part time job, probably for no more than 10 hours pw. Is this going to be enough to live on? The course is very intense, or so I heard, so I won't be spending much on hobbies and luxuries I guess. What do you think? 

Depends on where in Toronto you'd like to live!

Usually, rents (for rooms) in the downtown core are in excess of $750+ (will ofc necessitate transit expenses) whereas you'd be able to find a room in the Village (near York U) for around $550+. As a single person, I usually budget $300 for food per month and am able to stick to it by cooking at home, snagging deals, buying in bulk etc. If you have specific questions, let me know! 

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1 hour ago, torontonian27 said:

Depends on where in Toronto you'd like to live!

Usually, rents (for rooms) in the downtown core are in excess of $750+ (will ofc necessitate transit expenses) whereas you'd be able to find a room in the Village (near York U) for around $550+. As a single person, I usually budget $300 for food per month and am able to stick to it by cooking at home, snagging deals, buying in bulk etc. If you have specific questions, let me know! 

Cheers! I'm not sure where I'll be living - UoT will tell me today if I am accepted, and this comes with much more $$ than York so I haven't fully decided where to live. But it's good to know that it costs you about that for food, and I think I could manage that with a part time job. Thanks for sharing!

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On 4/18/2017 at 7:17 AM, steve3020 said:

How much do I need to survive in Toronto? I was offered a place for a one year masters at York uni along with scholarship big enough to cover my rent. I will still have to get a part time job, probably for no more than 10 hours pw. Is this going to be enough to live on? The course is very intense, or so I heard, so I won't be spending much on hobbies and luxuries I guess. What do you think? 

Hi there! I'd like to extend a pre-emptive welcome to Toronto!

I did my MA at York and am currently doing my PhD at U of T, so I'm familiar with living on those funding packages! I didn't get into any debt at either (though I'm domestic, so my situation is a bit different).

I've always lived with room-mates and my partner, which has cut my costs regarding rent and food quite a bit (my partner and I spend about $100-$150/week on groceries). I usually recommend that people coming from outside the city to grad studies here try to get into designated grad housing at either institution, because it totally sucks to try and secure a place if you're not already here - the vacancy rate is like, 1.5%, so competition is fierce and it's risky to rent a place sight unseen. If grad housing is a no-go, I would recommend getting acquainted with whatever social media groups you can find that are comprised of fellow grad students at your institution and put a call out there for someone to room with or to recommend a place (the grad students in my program, for example, have their own Facebook group) - it would be easier to secure a sublet or move into an empty room of a place on someone else's lease, rather than trying to secure your own. You could also join the Facebook group "Bunz Home Zone", there are lots of opportunities there.

Also, I note that you're an international student, so you'll have to add a monthly UHIP cost to your budget, just FYI.

I have two other pieces of advice:

-First, take a good look at your offers to see if there are Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant opportunities associated with either. You get paid $20-$40/hour for those posts and they are generally designed to be about 10 hours/week (though you'll work some long weeks around 'crunch' periods like exams). This hourly wage is quite good and you'll get a lot more bang for your buck than picking up a part-time job somewhere that pays like, $12-$15 an hour (and again, as an international student, you might be restricted regarding what/how much work you take, and the RA/TA stuff is more likely to be above board).

-Second, you should get familiar with the bursary/grant opportunities offered by the School of Grad Studies for each university, they offer quite a few. Also, if you DO TA at either, as I recommended above, you will be a part of the CUPE locals at either of those institutions, and the unions at both York and U of T are quite strong and offer multiple bursaries and funds, in addition to strong hourly wages and labour protections (CUPE 3902 at U of T, for example, offers a fund to international students to offset the UHIP costs).

Good luck and, once again, welcome!

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22 minutes ago, surefire said:

-Second, you should get familiar with the bursary/grant opportunities offered by the School of Grad Studies for each university, they offer quite a few. Also, if you DO TA at either, as I recommended above, you will be a part of the CUPE locals at either of those institutions, and the unions at both York and U of T are quite strong and offer multiple bursaries and funds, in addition to strong hourly wages and labour protections (CUPE 3902 at U of T, for example, offers a fund to international students to offset the UHIP costs).

Thanks so much for your advice, especially about housing! Which programme did you attend in York? I'm going to social and political thought. (edit: Haha just realised that I've actually messaged you a while ago asking you if you know about the spt.)

If you don't mind can I ask a follow up question about the bursary thing? (Sorry I don't know much about how things work over there!) I've spoken to a couple of current Phd students there and they said the amount given through it is quite arbitrary so I shouldn't be relying on it too much for budgeting. But how much do you usually get on average as an MA student, from the bursaries? Thanks!

 

 

 

Edited by steve3020

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On 4/21/2017 at 9:48 AM, steve3020 said:

Thanks so much for your advice, especially about housing! Which programme did you attend in York? I'm going to social and political thought. (edit: Haha just realised that I've actually messaged you a while ago asking you if you know about the spt.)

If you don't mind can I ask a follow up question about the bursary thing? (Sorry I don't know much about how things work over there!) I've spoken to a couple of current Phd students there and they said the amount given through it is quite arbitrary so I shouldn't be relying on it too much for budgeting. But how much do you usually get on average as an MA student, from the bursaries? Thanks!

 

 

 

Oh right! The SPT conversation! I remember that now! Congrats on your admit, lol! I was in Socio-Legal Studies at York.

The bursaries don't amount to oodles of money in the MA, maybe a couple hundred bucks, but I don't think that's 'arbitrary'. It's not really enough to count on as part of your budget, but it's enough to provide opportunities that you wouldn't have otherwise (I went to some conferences in my MA thanks to some bursary money, and there's no way I would've been able to afford that otherwise). The bursaries are easy money, once you figure them out. The bursaries in my PhD have been quite a bit bigger (like, I'm eligible for one that takes care of half my tuition this year, which is several thousand dollars), so it's worth it to figure out the granting bodies and their bureaucratic process now.

Anyway, good luck and let me know if I can be of further help!

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On 5/22/2016 at 11:34 AM, telkanuru said:

So I'm in Toronto for 6 weeks this summer, and I'm staying at the Graduate House. I bike a lot, and have a fairly expensive road bike I would like to bring with me, but the Graduate House forbids in-room storage, there's a limited amount of indoor storage, and they won't guarantee me an indoor spot before I get there. Does anyone have any advice on where I can keep the bike?

So... I took up road biking as well. I've applied for Grad House residence, and was wondering what option (if any) you ended up going with to store your road bike? My back up is to leave it at my friend's apartment near campus, but I would obviously prefer not to both him every morning at 5:30am. Any word of mouth stories about how safe the Grad House bike room is (from your time there)? 

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On 09/03/2018 at 4:27 AM, kylexy61 said:

Hello guys,  please how long does the journey from York University's new subway to downtown Toronto last?

Anywhere between 25-40 minutes, depending on where you are getting off. For example, 25-30 minutes usually to get to St. George station (which I would consider the first 'downtown' station if traveling southbound) and 35-40 to get to Union station (south most station). Travel time is also impacted by rush hour etc., but I think that's quite a universal phenomenon!

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Hi! I just got offered a phd position at the University of Toronto, with a stipend of 17k CAD. Is it enough to live in the city? I have no idea about the cost of living there, and 17k seems a little low. 

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On 3/24/2018 at 11:34 AM, thevphone said:

Hi! I just got offered a phd position at the University of Toronto, with a stipend of 17k CAD. Is it enough to live in the city? I have no idea about the cost of living there, and 17k seems a little low. 

Hi, I've gone to UofT for the past four years for my undergrad. Yes, the stipend is unfortunately pretty low relative to the cost of living in Toronto. However, many students supplement that stipend with additional summer TAships, NSERC/SSHRC/CIHR funding, etc. They all report that it is livable. Living in Toronto, the biggest expense is definitely housing. The caveat of that, though, is that you will certainly need to have a roommate or two, and you will probably need to consider housing outside of the downtown core. There are plenty of places on the subway line that would connect you to the campus area. 

My experience is limited to living in the downtown core within walking distance to campus. I can give you some concrete estimates of cost for that radius: If you are living with 1-3 roommates, you can find a decent place for 800-1000 CAD a month, including utilities. It is possible to find cheaper places if you're fine with basement apartments. A studio is more like 1300-1500, which would presumably be out of your budget range on the grad stipend. Daily cost of living is not so bad; there are cheap food options to be found (try groceries in Chinatown/Kensington!). The main challenge will just be finding a place to live that doesn't eat up the whole stipend.

*Note that the info provided above is under the assumption that you are referring to the St. George campus of UofT. If you're looking at the Scarborough or Missaussaga campuses, housing is cheaper and you'd probably live closer to campus.

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3 hours ago, brainlass said:

Hi, I've gone to UofT for the past four years for my undergrad. Yes, the stipend is unfortunately pretty low relative to the cost of living in Toronto. However, many students supplement that stipend with additional summer TAships, NSERC/SSHRC/CIHR funding, etc. They all report that it is livable. Living in Toronto, the biggest expense is definitely housing. The caveat of that, though, is that you will certainly need to have a roommate or two, and you will probably need to consider housing outside of the downtown core. There are plenty of places on the subway line that would connect you to the campus area. 

My experience is limited to living in the downtown core within walking distance to campus. I can give you some concrete estimates of cost for that radius: If you are living with 1-3 roommates, you can find a decent place for 800-1000 CAD a month, including utilities. It is possible to find cheaper places if you're fine with basement apartments. A studio is more like 1300-1500, which would presumably be out of your budget range on the grad stipend. Daily cost of living is not so bad; there are cheap food options to be found (try groceries in Chinatown/Kensington!). The main challenge will just be finding a place to live that doesn't eat up the whole stipend.

*Note that the info provided above is under the assumption that you are referring to the St. George campus of UofT. If you're looking at the Scarborough or Missaussaga campuses, housing is cheaper and you'd probably live closer to campus.

Thanks for the info! I will see whether they can increase my stipend or something :)

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9 minutes ago, thevphone said:

Thanks for the info! I will see whether they can increase my stipend or something :)

I know it depends on the department, but I've heard that they can be willing to match competing funding offers, if that applies to you!

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16 hours ago, brainlass said:

I know it depends on the department, but I've heard that they can be willing to match competing funding offers, if that applies to you!

Yes that's exactly my situation, so it should work! Thanks! 

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