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Off to Toronto!

8 December 2012

TFFP is relocating to Toronto next month!  Finally!  Posting will be even lighter than usual (if that’s possible) until things settle down and, hopefully, I’m able to find a job.

I have to admit, I’m not terribly informed about actually living in Canada.  I try to be on top of things before I move to another country, but for various insufficient reasons, I haven’t done a good job of it this time around.  So, Toronto residents and other folks who know things, I’d appreciate some suggestions.

What local and national news sources should I check out?  I prefer to use a feed reader for that sort of thing, but if any good ones come in hard copy at shops or TTC stations, that’s okay too.  Obviously ‘good’ means ‘acceptably far left in analysis and scope.’

Grocery shopping and eating veg–I want to know from personal experience.  We’ll be in North York until I’m working and we can afford to move south, but I’ll pretty much go anywhere along a transit line for a good vegan restaurant.

I’ve heard about community groups for new immigrants that help with various aspects of settlement.  For anyone who’s tried them out, are they worth it?  Are there other good resources for finding work, preferably in academic or non-profit settings?

Quiet parks?  Little-known awesome spots?  Shitholes to be avoided?  Any other tips or information you’d like to share?

Thanks in advance and whatnot!


4 Comments leave one →
  1. 18 December 2012 01:54

    You’re moving to Toronto?!! You really need to look me up when you get here so that: a) I can show you around; b) I can try to convince you to plug into the Toronto attempt to build a PCR-RCP front in this city.

    Most news sources are garbage; you’ll have to use the same methods as you used in the US… As for bourgeois media, the CBC is the best of that rat pack and more “left” than any US equivalent, but that’s about it.

    For affordable shopping you should use No Frills, especially one of the bigger ones. They have enough selection to permit the basics of cheap vegan shopping, though you’ll have to supplement it with more expensive trips to “speciality” food stores. “Noahs” is probably one of the cheaper “health food store” micro-chains, though its only cheaper in comparison. Best to find an independent organic food store in your neighbourhood or, when you get the chance (since it is far from North York – in fact, you should try to move from North York and more south to where there is much more subway access as soon as you can), check out Kensington Market. The best vegan restaurant Toronto chain is “Fresh”. Again, North York is generally not a place where you can find this sort of thing.

    I can give you a better understanding of Toronto when you get here so please make sure to drop me a line ASAP.

    • 18 December 2012 10:43

      It’s the same plan to get up there that’s been in the works for like, a year and a half, it’s just gone forward now. So barring any unforeseen bullshit, yeah, I’ll be there late next month. Genuinely looking forward to that continental climate winter.

      North York was definitely not my first choice, especially since I don’t have a car, but it’s not really up to me as I can’t pay rent yet. Once I’m working and the lease is up, we can get out of there. Hopefully I can find work. (I’m thinking of putting in an application at York University for something entry-level, which at least wouldn’t be too far away.) I don’t know exactly where I want to end up living, having never been to Toronto before, so hopefully I can afford to do some subway-hopping. Anyway, I can bore you with the details over a strong drink or whatever you’d like.

      Thanks for all the tips! I didn’t know about Noahs or Fresh. So cool that there’s actually a vegan chain. A friend sent me this:, so that’s helpful too.

      • 18 December 2012 23:19

        Well you should think of Fresh as more of a “principally vegan” chain: it has “vegetarian options” (would you like cheese with that for an extra dollar?) but the recipes were primarily designed as vegan. There’s also a vegan chinese restaurant in Kensington, the name of which I’ve forgotten, that is still a heart-attack because of all the deep fried oil they throw everything into. It has vegan “duck”, lol!

        York University is going to be difficult to get into when it comes to contract work, speaking as a contract employee there, due to the seniority system and the fact that unionized contract workers have doing the lion’s-share of work there for years and years and years. The only reason I can still grab work there is because I did my entire PhD there, and was thus incorporated automatically into the union pool, so I built up enough seniority in those years to shift into casualized employment after finishing. The trick for newcomers is to find specific classes in specific departments where they specialize and direct their applications to that. You should go to the CUPE 3903 website immediately, download the “Unit 2 blanket application” and make sure that is submitted by the end of January. Then keep your eyes open for courses that fit your qualifications.

        You do have access to my email, don’t you? I really do expect you to send me a line.

        • 19 December 2012 02:14

          Principally vegan is still better than anything we have down here. At least it’ll be clear what’s what. The hidden animal products are the hardest part in most places.

          I wondered if it was York you were with. Just poking around their site gets me thinking about a PhD again, but… probably not in the cards for me anymore. I’ve been on the part of the site for external applicants and looked through what was currently posted. Everything last time I looked seemed to have a start date before I would arrive, so with the move preparations and trying to get a feel for other places to apply, I haven’t stayed terribly on top of things. If you’re specifically talking about how to get in-classroom work, that’s probably not what I’m looking for. I’ll look into what you said, though, when I haven’t been drinking beer because my orange juice went off. Not recommended at this time of night, even if beer does go with curry.

          If it’s the email that’s linked to the account you’re posting here with, I have it. Thanks again for wanting to help. I don’t know where to begin with some of this stuff, and we’re not even done leaving yet.

          [Edit: WordPress comment nesting is terrible and no one should have to look at it.]

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