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Moving to Canada from USA.....

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My husband and I have to children 10 and 7.....he was offered a relocation with his company and wee are looking into Moving to the Toronto area. Some advise on child friendly neighborhoods would be much appreciated. Schooling, athletics anything that would help in our decision making would be great.
My daughters main concern is Cheerleading and gymnastic. My son hasn't really found his passion yet but I am sure he will if we move. Me I am a designer and an artist. I have a degree in Fashion design and would need to start a career. Please help in anyway that you can. Merci Beaucoup. P.S. that is one of my 5 phrases I remember in French. smile.gif
post #2 of 11

Welcome.gif to Mothering!  There are lots of Canadian folks in our forums with whom you can connect.  You may also want to find your Tribal Area here.

post #3 of 11

Welcome! I'm from Toronto so if you have any questions, let me know smile.gif

Pretty much all of Toronto is child friendly but some areas are nicer than others and Toronto is really diverse so it's hard to suggest a neighborhood because there are so many... and a lot of it depends on how much you're willing to spend. Toronto is not an inexpensive city to live in... a lot of the suburbs are quite a bit cheaper but you really pay for it with commute time. Our commute times were rated one of the worst in North America so my only suggestion is if you're both working downtown, don't get sucked in to the 3,000sq ft $500,000 homes outside of the city lol

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your input. i found several homes in Vaughan that we absolutely love. My main concern is school. I have not been able to look into Catholic School since I am not familar with Parish information nor are we sure if wwe prefer to remain in Catholic School or have the children go to public. As they will need to make their Sacraments. Also the children will need to maintain their after school activities. Any other addvise would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much for all of yur help.
post #5 of 11

I am from Toronto and live here.

 

Where will your husband be working? In the city? What part of the city?

Where do you hope to be working?

Are you looking to rent or buy a house?

What is important to you in homes? Size? Big yard? Parking?

Are you going to be a car family or hope to take a lot of public transit to commute?

 

There are good catholic and public schools all over the city.

Here is a website that can get you started with school ratings in Ontario. http://ontario.compareschoolrankings.org/elementary/SchoolsByRankLocationName.aspx

 

Edited to ask whether you were hoping to live in the city or suburbs.

post #6 of 11

colsxjack asked some good questions...

Vaughan is a really nice city, a lot of higher end, newer homes and the standard issue big box stores (and Canada's Wonderland! energy.gif). It's 30 mins-1 hour by GO Train (our commuter trains) to downtown Toronto or you can catch the subway from Yorkdale Mall to downtown. I won't lie, Toronto is not exactly famous for great public transit... it works, but it won't save you loads of time and money like it would in other cities. 

I could be wrong but I've never known Canada to be big on cheerleading. I have some friends whose kids do it (I see pics on facebook) but it isn't really part of our culture up here the way it is in the US... so you may have to look for clubs or other leads if that's important for your daughter. I'm not sure if it's available at every school. Gymnastics is available all over though. 

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Everyone thank you so much for all of your help.
@Colsxjack I am not sure where his company is located yet we are waiting for all the details to arrive at his office here. He works for a company that does Restoration to companies and residential properties. Stuart Dean Inc. I am a Freelance Fashion Designer by Trade and a Administration Officer as my source for income.

@Escaping Thank you for the information regarding cheer and gymnastics. As we are a car family I am very interested in an area that isn't so congested like Downtown Toronto and would prefer the rural setting. Fenced in yard, finished basement 4/5 bedrooms and my main home concern is the kitchen. We live in the kitchen from cooking doing homework and just catching up on our day. It all happens in the kitchen. Must be an Italian thing. lol

Ladies Thank you all so much
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoannMarie View Post

@Escaping Thank you for the information regarding cheer and gymnastics. As we are a car family I am very interested in an area that isn't so congested like Downtown Toronto and would prefer the rural setting. Fenced in yard, finished basement 4/5 bedrooms and my main home concern is the kitchen. We live in the kitchen from cooking doing homework and just catching up on our day. It all happens in the kitchen. Must be an Italian thing. lol

Ladies Thank you all so much

Well in that case... I don't mean to stereotype, but that many Italians in the Woodbridge/Vaughan/Maple area can't be wrong! lol ...but seriously, you'll probably find everything you're looking for in that area. Very large houses with decent sized yards and not nearly as congested as Downtown Toronto. 

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks again Escaping.
post #10 of 11

You may not realize it, but Catholic elementary and high schools are fully funded and part of the public school system in Ontario. They are managed somewhat separately, with their own school boards and trustees, but they are subject to all of the government oversight of a public school system. Also, because they are supported by taxpayers, enrollment may be open to non-Catholics. The local Catholic high school probably has as many non-Catholics as Catholics attending. The non-Catholics agree to attend religious classes. 

 

The publicly funded school system is set up as follows: 

 

  • Public School - non-religious elementary and high school education, open to any student within the district boundaries served by the school 
  • Public French Immersion Schools - for students who wish to learn in French but are not necessarily from French-speaking families. Often housed in the same building as the public school program, sharing facilities and teachers between the 2 programs
  • Public French Language - for students from families with at least one parent who speaks French 
  • Catholic School - separate school board but publicly funded elementary and high schools. Non-Catholic students may be enrolled.  
  • Catholic French Immersion
  • Catholic French Language  

 

French Immersion is often a very good option, if you are interested in it. You don't have to be fluent in French for your children to attend. Most parents are not. Most programs start in Kindergarten or Grade 1 (not "1st Grade" smile.gif), known as Early French Immersion ("EFI"). Some school boards offer middle immersion starting in Grade 4 and late immersion in Grade 7. so it may be an option even though your children are older than kindergarten age.

 

I don't think you will have trouble finding gymnastics programs. They are pretty popular at various levels from recreational to competitive. 

 

Many years ago, the University of Western Ontario in London had an excellent, competitive cheerleading team. They placed well at competitions in the U.S. I don't know if that's still the case. If you wanted to research competitive Canadian cheer teams at the junior school level, it might be a place to start. If the UWO team is still competitive, you could see where they are recruiting for their team members. 

 

Vaughan is a comfortable commuter town. I don't think I would describe it as rural. For that you would have to go further north or east or west. I could be wrong though, since I've only driven through it. From the car, it seems to be pretty urban/surburban. The houses are larger than many in the core area but I don't think they are much bigger than houses in North York or Etobicoke etc, that is the suburban areas of Toronto proper. I think Vaughan had quite a bit of political upheaval in the past couple of years but that probably doesn't concern you. On a day-to-day basis, probably the biggest drawback is the drive into Toronto if you have to commute anywhere downtown. I looked up Stuart Dean and found an address for 1 Yonge St. If that's his office, then he is looking at a long commute every day from Vaughan all the way down to Lake Ontario. 

 

In case you are interested, the older, original Little Italy is located along College St. in downtown Toronto and is still a thriving area, and there is also the Corso Italia near St. Clair and Dufferin. 

 

One of Toronto's most attractive qualities, IMO, is that it continues to have thriving residential communities in the inner city core as well as the outer suburbs. Depending on your price level, you may find a 4 bedroom home with a fenced-in yard much closer than Vaughan. 

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
All I can say is wow! Thank you so much for all of this information. I am very greatful.
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