A few questions upon the eve of an imminent move to Toronto.
August 24, 2009 8:12 AM   Subscribe

TorontoFilter: We're moving next week from the US and have a few questions. Can you help us hit the ground running?

After spending all of our lives so far in New England, we're moving to Toronto - she's going to school, and I'm going to be working, hopefully, among a few other things. These are just a few vaguely "miscellaneous" questions that have been bouncing around in our heads for the past few weeks as we wrap up our lives here - any help pointing us towards any answers would be really appreciated, as I don't really have the time right now to wade through Yelp, etc... and trust you guys way more anyway.

1. What bank? Are there any big national banks that are a big "nuh-uh" for you that live there? Are there any new, smaller banks in the area that are the way to go over TD, Scotia, etc. or would we be better off going with someone big and established?

2. Zipcar, Autoshare, other or none of the above? We'd love to be able to head out to the land of Ikea and big-boxes every so often for things we might need, and I'd love to be able to drive out into the country (Prince Edward county, Bruce Peninsula) but we're not bringing our car.

3. We like good beer. We've been spoiled where we live now by one of the best places to drink crazy, awesome beer in the country. I know not a lot of the stuff we love here gets exported (Dogfish, Stone, etc..) but also that there is a lot of great beer from Canada that I have yet to discover. So, this is a two-part question: what Canadian-brewed beer is most similar to my favorite, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA? Second, what's the best place to go drink great beer in Toronto where there's a rotating tap and maybe some crazy stuff on cask every so often and people are really into trying lots of new things?

4. We're going to be living out west near Dovercourt. What's the best farmers market in the area, and what's the best place (market/shop) to go to get really awesome locally-farmed meats and produce?

5. Finally, if we plan on making a fair amount of calls to the US, what is our best option? Are there cell plans with fair calling rates to the US, or would we be better off just using our mobiles in Canada and some sort of Skype/Gchat/VOIP solution for our calls home?
posted by setanor to Grab Bag (45 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
0. Welcome!

1. The biggies are RBC (Royal Bank), TD, ScotiaBank, CIBC -- not much to pick between them; I'd just see which one has more ATMs near where you will be working/living, as there are fees for using other-branch ATMs.

2. Both Zipcar and Autoshare operate in Toronto. Again, in my experience not much to pick between them.

3. My apologies in advance for the Beer Store and the LBCO -- but I've purchased Dogfish in the LCBO. Great bars with rotating taps include: Beer Bistro, Bier Markt, Sin & Redemption, C'est What, Rebel House (the latter two have a heavy focus on Ontario/Canadian beers, so that will help you learn a few things).

4. Not sure, sorry.

5. Yeah, cell phones suck in Canada. I use Skype for all my international calls.

Memail if you have more questions or need a friendly face when you arrive.
posted by modernnomad at 8:26 AM on August 24, 2009

4. Dovercourt and where?

5. Any home phone service you get will have a reasonably priced package ($20 or so?) for unlimited calls to the US and Canada. (I use Primus, but others are probably fine). If you get a Canadian cell phone, your best bet is probably to use a third party for Long Distance - I use YAK, whick works pretty well. Using your US phone in Canada is likely to incur hefty roaming fees. (Similar or worse if you use your new Canadian cell phones in the US)
posted by ManInSuit at 8:27 AM on August 24, 2009

Caveat: I've never lived in TO - lived in 4 different provinces, including Kingston, Ontario (about 300km from TO) and have many many friends living there.

1: I currently use Royal Bank (RBC now, I think) and have had nothing but good experiences with them. Also do my visa & tenant's insurance through them. You may want to look at President's Choice (PC financial) - an online-ish bank, you can use CIBC's atms. They were fine when I used them, especially for shared accounts between parents & children. My former boss swore by credit unions (I have no info on them one way or another)

3.2: Whenever I'm in town I try to hit up Smokeless Joe's. You should too. As a side note, make sure you try Steam Whistle. Local Toronto beer.

5. Are there cell plans with fair calling rates? No. I would strongly suggest getting SkypeOut or similar if you want to call home to actual phones. It's like $35/year ($3/month) and you've got unlimited Canada/U.S. calling. I've used it for 2 years or so, had good quality.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:27 AM on August 24, 2009

i'm typing with one hand and would love to answer more, but shortly: Keith's is the standard IPA, Creemore is a great beer, Dovercourt is great!, cellphone plans in Canada are universally terrible (you have been warned!), you could go for one of the local credit unions, but otherwise i have been happy with RBC (although they give terrible currency exhcange rates), stick to Skype for LD, and there is a farmer's market in dufferin grove. enjoy it!
posted by molecicco at 8:28 AM on August 24, 2009

2. Zipcars are cool for trips to ikea. For trips to the cottage, renting from a regular car rental place is usually a fair bit cheaper (if also a bit less convenient).
posted by ManInSuit at 8:29 AM on August 24, 2009

On non-preview, seconding C'est What (I always forget the name of it when I go there...) and YAK (my folks use it religiously). Yak depends on if you're getting a landline, though.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:29 AM on August 24, 2009

4. Dovercourt and where?

Sorry! I forget how long the streets are! Dovercourt and Dundas.
posted by setanor at 8:30 AM on August 24, 2009

also, smokeless joe has a fantastic selection of beers but is in a terrible daneclub/hooters area
posted by molecicco at 8:31 AM on August 24, 2009

I will come back to this post when I'm not at work, and have a little more time. But very briefly, my responses as a moved-to-Canada-from-the-US guy are

1) we didn't find any huge consensus here, and ended up going with BMO because they had a branch next to our apartment. we've been reasonably happy with them. Most banks here charge for lots of stuff that's included for free in the US -- e.g., just having our kind of account with BMO costs, in principle, something like $10/month. I say "in principle" because you can avoid these fees by having a minimum balance (in our case something like $1500). There is at least one online-only bank with zero or minimal fees (president's choice), but our friends' experiences with them have suggested they are fine only if you have pretty minimal/uncomplicated banking requirements. (E.g., an anecdote from the past week: one friend's President's Choice ATM card didn't work in any bank machine we could find in Brazil. Ours, from BMO, worked fine.)

2) we brought a car (bad idea), so I can't really help you here. but there are certainly plenty of zipcar locations all over toronto.

3) You poor, poor man/woman. You can get very good beer here, but a) it is generally way more expensive than what I was used to paying in the US and b) somewhat inexplicably, good beer from the US specifically is pretty tough to find. I mean that the selection of Belgian beers (and Belgian-style beers made here) is good (albeit sometimes expensive), the selection of super-hoppy IPAs a bit less so. You do see Dogfish Head (60 minute) in the LCBO from time to time, though. There's nothing local that I like as much as Dogfish 90 minute, but a few hoppy local-ish beers that come to mind are Durham's Hop Addict, Sgt. Major IPA, and (a notch down, hop-wise) Mill St. Tankhouse or Mike Duggan's no. 9. Great places to drink some or all of these: Bar Volo, C'est What, Smokeless Joe's, Beer Bistro.

4) sorry, can't help you here.

5) when I signed up for Rogers, they didn't have any particularly great plan for calls to the US, so I just started using Skype and haven't looked back. If you get a landline, I've heard that there are some fairly reasonable plans that do include US calls, but I have no direct experience with those.

Congratulations on your move! Toronto's great.
posted by chalkbored at 8:32 AM on August 24, 2009

US ex-pat, SW Ontario (kitchener) --

1) The few real "banks" are all functionally identical, being heavily regulated. Offerings rotate based on marketing schemes rather than any real differences. Choose based on location. Don't get the President's choice account as your primary account.

2) If you're in range of the TTC, skip the car. Get transit passes. See if you can make do without the wheels; stack up your big purchases for a rental.

3) The beer here is very tasty, but expensive everywhere. Find a local bottling brewery or two and cultivate its acquaintance. Often there are sales that can get get you down to a buck a bottle for lager and a dollar fifty for something with flavour, but it will never be cheaper. If you must have tasty beer, and lots of it, consider You Brew It shops that offer real ingredients instead of dextrose.

5) Cellular service in Canada sucks ass for price, and all the carriers are horrid. If you must carry phones, get the cheapest plans you can tolerate and do as much of your calling as possible with VOIP or land-lines.

posted by seanmpuckett at 8:51 AM on August 24, 2009

Banks - when we moved up everyone said that there was no difference between the big 5 and that's proved to be the case. We use CIBC and TD. The latter has good opening hours and I have found their customer service to be excellent. Personally I like having a brick and mortar bank but if you don't care Canadian Tire and PC Financial (I think) offer the no fee thing and I know people who are happy there. You can check out sites like redflagdeals and Canadian Capitalist for comparisons based on different situations. Questrade is a decent if no-frills low cost broker and in terms of high (ha!) interest savings ING have given us no problems at all.

Beer - here's a (contentious!) post about best beer selections in Toronto that you might like. I'd suggest you subscribe to Blog TO and Torontoist if you don't already, their posts and events listings and suggestions helped us settle in (we moved from NYC).

Phones - We use Primus for our home phone and internet - we also have a lot of friends and family in the US, and they have an "unlimited calls to the US and Canada" dealio that's worked out pretty well for us, but it's not going to beat skype. In general telecom choice, pricing and customer service is about a zillion times worse here than that we experienced in the States.

posted by jamesonandwater at 8:53 AM on August 24, 2009

Having moved back to Toronto from the US, I can say that you won't find the selection of craft brews that you are used to. However, there are a number of excellent micro-brews from Ontario, many of which will be available in your local bar as well. Wellington, Great Lakes, Muskoka, Steam Whistle, Stratford, Mill Street and Black Oak are all excellent. Local breweries tend to focus on German or English styles, so there are fewer Belgian-type beers available. For those you'll either want to go with actual Trappist/Abbey or Unibroue beers from Quebec. Also, for some reason, not many people make the really hoppy IPAs that people like in the US.

The Local (on Roncesvalles) and The Victory Cafe (on Markham) will have a good rotating selection of these on tap, and the Beer Store will carry many as well. The LCBO will have some, although it is better for European imports (and has almost no selection of US craft brews). Price is something we all have to live with.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:55 AM on August 24, 2009

modernnomad, thank you! I just checked the LCBO site and you can indeed get 60m at the local shop for, well, it's more expensive - but I can manage it. I'll shoot you a MeMail when we get into town!

ManInSuit, thanks for the YAK recommendation - looks like they're partnering with Fido for mobile long distance, which could work well for us.

chalkbored - I had a feeling I was going to have a hard time! I do love Tankhouse, though, so there's hope, and I'll trust your list and give the rest of those a try. Plus, Hop Addict sounds vaguely similar to Hop Wallop, another of my favorites. Since you moved from the US, did you find it was smart to keep a bank account in the US? I'm going to have to have some payments I'll need to keep making in the US for a while.

Thanks to everyone! I want to mark these all as best answer.
posted by setanor at 8:58 AM on August 24, 2009

Oh, and get a bike. Toronto's a good city for cycling, but watch out for the streetcar tracks and asshole drivers.

There's a good Farmer's market on Monday evenings in Sorauren park (a little north and west of you), but the best is the St. Lawrence market on Saturday: produce in the north building, meats, cheeses and prepared foods in the south.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:59 AM on August 24, 2009

1) You can also bank with a Credit Union, which has the advantage of being able to use any bank machine on the Exchange Network, which includes HSBC machines (found are all over the world) and credit unions in the US, without incurring any "convenience fees". That helps to cut down on fees a lot, as there are many credit unions all over the continent that are on the Exchange Network. Their service is usually better and they are typically more reasonable when it comes to loans and such. I bank with a BC Credit Union (and am newly moved to Ottawa), so I can't recommend one in Toronto specifically, but the only thing that I will recommend against is getting an account at the main Quebec credit union (they call them Caisses Populaires), Desjardins, as they are not on the previously mentioned Exchange Network and are annoying to find branches of.
posted by urbanlenny at 9:00 AM on August 24, 2009

For banking, I keep a US dollar checking account here for any payments I need to make in the US. Most of the majors will have them.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:01 AM on August 24, 2009

I bank with RBC (though I concede that the big banks are almost exactly the same in most material ways), am an AutoShare member, I'd suggest C'est What (to start), and have heard good things about Yak.
posted by onshi at 9:04 AM on August 24, 2009

Since you moved from the US, did you find it was smart to keep a bank account in the US? I'm going to have to have some payments I'll need to keep making in the US for a while.

Yes, keep a US account. Banks here offer USD-denominated accounts, but they do not (at least in my experience) have an ABA number, and so are fairly useless for paying your US bills online. YMMV, but my strategy has just been to write myself a check every six months or so (from my Canadian accounts) and deposit it in my US account, which I then use to pay any US bills. You may also find it useful to have a US credit card, for all kinds of random little things (like, say, if you want your iTunes account to be a US account for a while -- so you can download Skype for the iPhone, which at least originally wasn't offered in the Canadian store), and for the occasional big purchase that is much cheaper in USD.
posted by chalkbored at 9:06 AM on August 24, 2009

seanmpuckett, thanks for the PC warning. Seems in line with other things I've been hearing - it's good, but not always comprehensive enough to be a primary account. Wish I would have been in town for the 10 meetup! Will definitely be at the next one.

jamesonandwater - I read Torontoist but haven't spent too much time with BlogTO. I like how contentious that beer thread is, though, so that's a good sign. Passion is great!

TheWhiteSkull, I've noticed that about the hoppy beers. It's weird! I can probably manage though, and I'm looking forward to all the new stuff. I love Unibroue! Tried to visit the brewery in Chambly, turns out it's just an office in a residential neighborhood. Anyway, I'll live with price to live in TO. Oh, that US dollar account idea sounds perfect, too, better to keep everything in one place!
posted by setanor at 9:08 AM on August 24, 2009


Do you have no problems paying US bills with a Canadian-bank US-dollar account?

Because I've had tremendous problems trying to deposit checks in USD from Canadian banks. As in, they redo it as a wire transfer, charge $25-50, and it takes a month. Didn't matter that it was in USD, didn't matter that it was payable through some US bank, and that was trying at two different US banks.

I was going to suggest getting an account with one of the banks with a strong presence in western New York that's used to dealing with deposits from Canadian banks or in CAD. We use HSBC for that reason (and also I *think* I can use their Canadian ATMs w/o a fee).

Beer: Keith's is a pretty decent IPA. I wouldn't sweat it though -- anything you're jonesing for, odds are you can pick up in Buffalo. You'll probably know somebody who pops down to B'lo for shopping fairly regularly.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:14 AM on August 24, 2009

Random stuff:

TD has the best hours, other than that the banks are identical. Metro Credit Union is one you might want to check out.

Healthy Butcher is at Queen and Spadina-ish. Super-expensive but great meat.

nthing St. Lawrence Market.

You're in a good location for streetcars and biking, so you might not need a car as much as you think. If you're looking for a gym, the West End Y at Dovercourt and College just had a substantial reno. I mention the gym as you'll be very close to at least three reeeeallly good Brazilian or Portuguese bakeries.
posted by sixswitch at 9:15 AM on August 24, 2009


I only really use it for Sallie Mae payments, and I haven't heard anything from them yet.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:24 AM on August 24, 2009

If you do want to get out to Ikea, you can take the subway to Kipling and Ikea often has a bus that goes back and forth to the subway station (check their website for more info). You probably don't need a car in the city and you could always rent a car for the weekend if you want to head out to the country (or the burbs).

As for cell phones, yeah, they all suck. If you do want to only get a cell phone rather than a landline, you can use YAK on a cell phone for long distance. They have a Yak Cell plan and the price to call LD in Canada is the same as in the U.S. and it's pretty decent. If you're planning on getting a landline, go with Rogers instead of Bell. Skype, I think, is probably your best and cheapest option though.
posted by pised at 9:33 AM on August 24, 2009

I think everyone's covered most of your questions really well, but here is my two cents.

If you plan to go to Prince Edward County a lot, either don't bank with RBC or get the money you plan to spend out beforehand. PEC does not have an RBC branch, but does have each of the other major banks (TD, CIBC, Scotia, BMO and possibly a few others I'm not thinking of). I hate paying fees to withdraw funds out of another bank's ATM, so this would be an issue if I was in your situation. (I live in Toronto now, but I grew up in Prince Edward County, so I'm back regularly to visit family.) I've banked with BMO and TD, and while BMO was okay, I've definitely had better service at TD, and the extended hours are a nice bonus.

As for phones, I agree that most cell phone plan prices suck, but if you are interested in a landline, Vonage has some good options with US/Canada long distance calling.

A former colleague uses Autoshare and she likes it. Depending on how often you drive, rentals may be a more economical option once you factor in the membership fees and stuff. I don't think you can take Autoshare cars for extended, overnight trips.

Welcome to Toronto!
posted by melissa at 10:12 AM on August 24, 2009

1. Bank: The big ones are all more or less the same. Banks are federally regulated and you don't get little banks like you do in the states. The only alternative which I would check out is Alterna Credit Union (formerly Metro Credit Union).

2. Autoshare gets my vote for being Canadian-owned (which may not matter to you) and because it was originally conceived of because of the environmental effects of reducing car ownership -- they later changed their marketing to aim more at money-saving.

3. Beer: I'd recommend Mill Street Tankhouse and Mike Duggens No 9 IPA. Some westend spots to try out that have local and craftbrew selections are: The Rhino, Magpie, and The Victory.

4. Markets: Definitely check out the local farmer's market in Dufferin Grove park, which was a pioneer of farmer's markets in Toronto and the park itself is innovative and has lots of cool stuff going on (pizza ovens!). For grocery stores, try Fiesta Farms, which carries a lot of local organic dairy products, etc. Bikeable from Dovercourt.
posted by girlpublisher at 10:19 AM on August 24, 2009

I've never lived in Toronto but have spent a lot of time there.

ZipCar - look into how long you can book a car. Some car co-ops limit you to 4 hours. It seems like a long time, but I would feel rushed trying to go to Ikea if you include transportation and unloading the car. If you aren't going to use it very often, you may enjoy the flexibility of a rental. To be honest, you don't need a car in Toronto, the transit (TTC) is amazing.

Beer - The Mill St brewery is in the Distillery district. Other local brews include: Amsterdam, Wellington, St. Ambriose/McAuslins (my favorite!) You can get all of these in the Liquor store (LCBO) or Beer Store.

Market - St Lawrence market is a big covered market and there is a farmers market at the old Brick Works. Neither is close to you (walking distance) but they are both worth visiting at least once. You are actually close enough to walk to Kensington Market. I don't know about local food but there is a great selection of fresh food and cheese shops, etc.
posted by Gor-ella at 10:26 AM on August 24, 2009

As a new resident, you're unlikely to qualify for a PC Financial account anyway. They nixed us when we were new because of lack of credit history.

Two other beer locations: The Granite Brewery (Mount Pleasant & Eglinton) and The Bow & Arrow (Yonge, north of Davisville). I'm partial to the latter as it does British-style cask ales from local micros.

posted by scruss at 10:44 AM on August 24, 2009

sixswitch will be the one responsible for my rapid post-move weight gain, but that's alright. Newly renovated gym sounds ideal, is there a pool?

pised, thanks for the Ikea shuttle recommendation! The Stoughton, MA Ikea had a shuttle when they opened but have since discontinued it, so I kind of forgot about that idea.

Thanks for the welcome, melissa! Seems like TD is looking like the way to go. Since you're from PEC and all, do you have any recommendations for moderately awesome stuff to do there? Like, say, cool farms or cheese shops? I love that there's a Buddha Dog in Picton, but the rest of the town seems a bit touristy.

girlpublisher, Fiesta Farms looks pretty spot-on, thanks! Also, that's two recommendations for No. 9, so that'll probably top my list to try first.
posted by setanor at 10:59 AM on August 24, 2009

Regarding bank accounts, you might want to investigate HSBC. I have a U.S. HSBC account, but was able to get money from BMO ATM's in Toronto without paying any fees, and it's been convenient when traveling to other countries, because of HSBC's global presence.
posted by needled at 11:37 AM on August 24, 2009

I moved to Toronto from the US a year ago, welcome! Everyone already answered all of your questions, but I just wanted to throw in that if you need to transfer money from Canada to the US or vice versa, XETrade is very useful. They offer good rates and it usually doesn't take more than a week to get money from one place to the other.
posted by pravit at 12:30 PM on August 24, 2009

Also, if you plan on driving here, you can exchange US licenses from most states for a full Ontario G license if you have sufficient driving experience (I think more than 3 years). You can only do it at the DriveTest centres, which are extremely inconveniently located for somebody without a car. You may also need a copy of your driving record (I think only if the license is expired).
posted by pravit at 12:36 PM on August 24, 2009

TD Canada Trust have a shit load of ATMs all over the city. If that's something important to you. I don't think any other bank has the same coverage.


Dufferin Grove Park has a farmers market on Wednesday or Thursday night. There is also Foodshare near by. I get an organic box via them, but they aren't always locally sourced food.

Make calls via Skype. The telecom industry in Canada exists to scam customers.
posted by chunking express at 2:00 PM on August 24, 2009

You didn't ask about this, but finding a family doctor accepting new patients can be a bit tricky. The Albany Clinic isn't exactly near you, but it is very easy to get to on the subway (Broadview station). They are always accepting new patients. My husband and I both see the same GP there and we think he's great. The facility also has ECG, lab, and x-ray capacity, among other things - they are moving to a new building later in the year which should be even better.
posted by purlgurly at 2:22 PM on August 24, 2009

Seconding Albany Clinic for quality, but that is a big hike to make if you're sick.

Yes, the West End Y has a nice pool. Plus you can go to the downtown one (bigger, more everything) with the same membership — if you work downtown, that's a big bonus.
posted by sixswitch at 2:27 PM on August 24, 2009

Also, if you plan on driving here, you can exchange US licenses from most states for a full Ontario G license if you have sufficient driving experience (I think more than 3 years)

Oh yeah -- on that note, you might want to go ahead and get a certified copy of your driving record from your home-state DMV before you leave. Although Ontario in principle has "reciprocity" with most US states, they do not share records electronically with all of them. My SO and I both had licenses from states that qualified us for an Ontario license -- with mine (California) I was basically able to just walk in and exchange it (with vision test), but SO had to go through a fairly drawn-out process that involved writing to the Colorado DMV for her driving record (they wouldn't accept a request over the phone, by fax, or by email), taking that back to the Ontario DMV-equivalent, etc. We never did find a webpage that would've warned us this would be the case with a Colorado license.

(FWIW, we did all our license-exchanging at the ServiceOntario center downtown, which is relatively convenient but had long lines.)
posted by chalkbored at 2:56 PM on August 24, 2009

Oh yeah -- on that note, you might want to go ahead and get a certified copy of your driving record from your home-state DMV before you leave.

Yes, this! I had a similar experience to chalkbored's SO in needing a copy of my certified driving record and it took many requests and several months before the New Mexico DMV would finally send me one. A faxed copy isn't OK.
posted by pravit at 3:20 PM on August 24, 2009

Yay Dovercourt! I live in Bloorcourt and love love it. If you are at Bloor St. (and not, say, Queen and Dovercourt), there is a little produce market, family-owned, right next to the Shoppers Drug Mart. They were originally a block over and got outpriced by a mean landlord (their old store was turned into a Rexall). So they were going to pack it in and go but everyone loved them so much that they begged them to stay. And they did! And they are nice. It's a smaller place and not everything is the cheapest, but they are great. If you want farmers market produce you can go to the market in Dufferin Grove (by the Dufferin Mall where Walmart, No Frills Grocery, etc are). You can also participate in the Good Food Box, it's a nonprofit org that delivers mixed boxes of organic foods at really fair prices. There's a lady on Dovercourt who has a drop-off point, MeMail me and I can get you in touch with her.

Long distance - I too, am from the States and make eight billion hours of calls. Cell phones here are ridiculous no matter who you use - you will not have such luxuries as Nationwide Long Distance etc. Your options will likely boil down to paying an exorbitant amount per call, or an equally exorbitant amount for an "unlimited long distance" plan. Combine Skype with the very cheaply priced phone cards they sell in convenience stores and in Chinatown. You will figure out something that works for you.

Zipcar is great. It is usually pretty hassle-free and they have cars all over the place.

As for banks, I would add that TD has branches in New England (TD North) which may make it easier if you go home to visit. I am not sure how that works. The bank people seem to complain about finding ATMs for the most is BMO. Everything else seems pretty even.

Beers - this is always going to be totally subjective. Just go to a pub like The Rhino that has a million choices, or go to The Beer Store and get the sample pack. Beerhunter.ca is a really great resource for figuring out where you can get beer/booze and what their hours are.

Finally, once you get here please do call a meetup and get to know some of us Torontonian Mefites. I wish I had done that when I first moved here - it's always nice to have people you can ask silly things like, "where's the best Thai?" Good luck!
posted by SassHat at 5:52 PM on August 24, 2009

4. Dufferin Grove Park for sure.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:59 PM on August 24, 2009

SassHat, you beat me to it. Beerhunter.ca is vital!
posted by molecicco at 1:12 AM on August 25, 2009

Also - nthing those who say "get a bike". Toronto's a really good city for cycling. Learning to bike in traffic here can be a bit daunting if you haven't done it before, but it's great once you get the hang of it and it *really* opens up the city in great ways. I lived here for several years before I started biking, and I wish I started earlier. Dovercourt and Dundas is bike-convenient to many many great places...
posted by ManInSuit at 12:47 PM on August 25, 2009

All the other questions are largely answered, but we're planning a meetup sometime in September. YOU WILL ATTEND AND GET DRUNK.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:53 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've started already.
posted by setanor at 1:23 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Can't recommend HSBC at all. They hit you with charges for everything, even if you're carrying a respectable balance.
posted by scruss at 5:00 AM on August 26, 2009

Coming in late: if you're looking for a doctor, you can try Health Care Connect. The College of Physicians and Surgeons still has their Doctor Search, which I used to find a doctor very quickly and easily a couple of years ago, but it no longer indicates whether a doctor is accepting new patients.
posted by maudlin at 7:45 PM on September 1, 2009

Bow and Arrow is closed. Beer fail.
posted by scruss at 4:07 PM on September 5, 2009

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