Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jan 19, 2013 4:01 PM Last Post By: AverageJoes
Jan 15, 2013 11:08 AM
I'm looking to head to Canada with a holiday working visa next year. I want to find an apartment and find a bar job of some sort, but I don't know which city to head too.
I've narrowed it down to either Toronto or Vancouver (I know these are the most expensive) I just wanted to know what the best areas are in these cities and where I should avoid trying to find accommodation. Prices aren't really much of an issue as long as I can get a job to keep me going. Which city would be the easiest place to get a small job such as bartender, waiter, etc (I don't really mind what, I'd give anything a go!)
Also if anyone has any useful info on either of the cities, it would be much appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
Jan 15, 2013 3:23 PM
1Well, you've just opened the door to the flood of anti-Toronto responses that are sure to pour in. I can't comment on where it might be easier to find a job. However, Toronto is much larger - more restaurants, more bars, more of everything. So, on probability alone, Toronto might be the better bet. However, I'm not sure the difference would be so much that it should override other factors because they are two very different cities. As I said, Toronto is larger and is the economic and cultural centre of Canada. You will find something from every culture in the world and the city is amazing at celebrating it's multiculturalism. If you are here in the summer, then there will be a festival every weekend. With size comes some disadvantages; it's more polluted (mainly just during July and August), busier, and it'll take you longer to get around.
Vancouver is completely different. It is set within a spectacular landscape of mountains and water. The city is best enjoyed by those who love leaving the city to go hiking, skiing, kayaking, rock climbing, etc, etc. At the same time, it's still very multicultural and diverse...but it takes a more laid back approach to celebrating urban culture. I love both cities, the excitement of what surrounds Vancouver vs. the excitement of what goes on in Toronto. There are some nice natural areas in Ontario but a) it takes a long time through a lot of traffic to get out of Toronto and b) nothing compares to the immensity of the mountains and forests of the west coast.
It also depends on when you are coming. Vancouver is warmer from about October to April; it's ocean regulated climate means it never gets that hot in the summer (25 is hot, hot). Through the winter it rains, rains, rains but there is a lot of snow just a bit outside the city as you go into the mountains. Snow in Toronto has been hit or miss in recent years, though there are still weeks where it will be -25. Summer shoulder months are very pleasant but it can be hot, hazy, and humid (35C) for a few weeks in July.
For a sense of Toronto neighbourhoods, see blogto. There are many great areas of Toronto that mix residential with cafés, bars, restaurants, shops, and galleries. In Vancouver, you're looking at the west side (Point Grey, Kitsilano) for quieter areas with beaches, west end/downtown/Yaletown if you want to be in the thick of the action, or Main St (E. 7th - E. 30th) or Commercial Drive for a more hipster and alternative scene. Of course those are generalizations and some other areas are coming into their own mostly because those I've mentioned are becoming increasingly expensive. Since Vancouver is a newer city, it is designed more around the automobile; there are large swaths of purely residential areas and commercial development only occurs on some of the major avenues.
Jan 16, 2013 12:55 AM
2ref-traveller, that is a pretty darn good response!
I've never lived in either city, but I used to live sort of close to Toronto (and visit fairly often) and now I live sort of near Vancouver, and prefer to not visit often, only when necessary. But people who live in Vancouver seem to love it.
In both places rents are going to be pretty steep, unless you go far out in the burbs. My university student niece took a summer job in Vancouver and the two of them paid $1600 month for a 2 bedroom illegal basement suite--her bedroom didn't even have a window. But she loved her 4 months there, as she is outdoorsy and into hiking.
Waiters are typically paid minimum wage in Canada, plus your tips. Minimum wage in BC currently is $10.25 hour. Ontario is the same, I believe. Good luck!
Jan 17, 2013 2:22 AM
3Like the last person said, you should definitely check your budget -- a minimum wage job may well not cover your rent, plus like you said Vancouver and Toronto are two of the most expensive places to live. I hate to be a pessimist, but there are a ton of other really beautiful places in Canada where you could live a lot cheaper and make the same money, and still be able to travel whenever you want to Toronto or Vancouver.
Jan 17, 2013 4:58 AM
4Wow that's great, thanks guys!
@kmcleann I've got enough saved up at the minute to cover rent and spending money, so I'd only really need a job to top it up. The only thing I'd be worried about not living in vancouver or Toronto is I'd be less likely to get a job...surely?
Jan 17, 2013 7:56 AM
5Depending on what country you are coming from, you may not be aware that bar and restaurant staff in Canada depend on tips to make a living. In some places the minimum wage for liquor servers is below the general minimum. Those can vary from province to province.
Jan 17, 2013 9:19 AM
Jan 17, 2013 3:48 PM
7Since you just need the money for extras the cities might be the way to go... I'm not exactly sure what it's like getting a job outside the big centres, but there are a lot of smaller "cities" that would still have a lot to offer. Depending on what you're like, though, you may get bored very quickly in rural Canada.
Jan 19, 2013 4:01 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$217.26 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$260.91 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$326.39 per night