Once you have found a new home in Toronto, all that’s left is the process of moving in. Here are a few tips to help you settle in to your brand new home in your new home city.
Home insurance in Toronto is not compulsory…but it is highly recommended for protection against fire, theft, and liability against accidents and damages. There are three types of insurance that you may want to consider for your new home in Toronto:
1) Fire Insurance
Fire insurance for your home should be purchased for the full guaranteed replacement value of your property. It is important to note that, if you live in a condominium, the building you reside in is covered by the condominium company, but not necessarily your particular unit, its contents, or your liability. Be sure to check with your condominium complex or company to see how much coverage you receive upon purchasing, and how much you should buy for your personal space and items.
Some insurance companies will also provide insurance against theft of personal belongings, up to a certain amount (starting at $15,000). It is difficult to obtain this insurance, however, if you share your home with a boarder or roommate, and you may be required to provide proof of locking doors or separate entrances to your home.
2) Life Insurance Covering the Mortgage
It’s always a good idea to take out a life insurance policy if you are the one who is responsible for paying the mortgage fees. That way, in case of death or disability, the policy can cover the payments that you will be unable to make yourself.
3) Title Insurance
Title insurance protects the user against any losses or damages accrued as a result of problems with the transfer of title or ownership of the property. This includes things like defects that would have come to light in an up-to-date survey, defects or sudden un-marketability of the title, liens or encroachments through municipal by-aways, fraud or forgery, solicitor’s errors, or unpaid payments by the prior owner of the title.
Home insurance policies generally run from as low as $250 to as high as $500 per month for homeowners in Toronto, depending on the type and reach of the policy they choose. There are many reputable companies in Toronto that provide home insurance. Here are two to get you started:
Home insurance for rental properties is also available and recommended, but it is important to make sure your insurance agent knows you are renting the property, so that you are only paying for insurance on the contents of your apartment, and possible liability against fire and injury. Most personal insurance policies require an upfront fee of $200 to $300, followed by a monthly payment plan starting at around $40, and increasing according to the depth of your coverage and the value of the possessions you are insuring. Be sure to inform your agent whether you are sharing your living space with a roommate or partner, as the policy outlines and payment options may be subject to change.
Nothing comes for free in the big city, including water, electricity, and heating. Once you have settled into your new home, you will need to alert the proper agencies to make sure you have all the comforts of modern living.
Electricity in Toronto is handled by Toronto Hydro. It is relatively straightforward to set up an account with Toronto Hydro, to get the power flowing. They do not, however, open new accounts online. You must phone them at (416) 542 – 8000. Business hours are between 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday to Friday. Once you contact Toronto Hydro, you will be required to pay a set-up fee of $30. You may also be required to pay a security deposit, which usually amounts to 2.5 times the amount of your monthly bill. This deposit can be waived, provided the customer can prove they have a good credit history.
This can be done by either providing a letter from a Canadian gas or electric utility, or allowing Toronto Hydro to do a personal credit check at the customer’s expense. Customers may also waive the deposit if they agree to use Toronto Hydro’s direct deposit payment program, which will take the cost of the bill directly from your bank account at the same time each month. Most accounts can be started remotely from Toronto Hydro headquarters, but a technician may need to be scheduled to come to your home for an initial metre reading. Customers who do not utilize the direct deposit option will receive a bill in the mail each month, which can either be paid online, by phone, through the mail, or at your local bank branch.
Water bills in the city are paid to Toronto Water. The general rate for water and sewage disposal in Toronto is about $2 per cubic metre of water used in your home. To sign up for a Toronto Water account for your new home, contact them at:
Telephone: 416 – 338 – 4829
TTY: 416 – 392 – 0719
Fax: 416 – 696 – 3605
All water payments can be made in person, in the mail, online, or over the phone. Most accounts can be started remotely. Customers who do not utilize the direct deposit option will receive a bill in the mail each month, which can either be paid online, by phone, through the mail, or at your local bank branch.
Toronto Water also maintains an excellent FAQ for any information not covered here.
Gas heating in Toronto is handled primarily by Enbridge Services. The average rate for heating in the winter months is about $60 to $70 per month. To contact Enbridge, click the above link, or call them at 1–877–362–7434.
All gas payments can be made in person, in the mail, online, or over the phone. Most accounts can be started remotely. Customers who do not utilize the direct deposit option will receive a bill in the mail each month, which can either be paid online, by phone, through the mail, or at your local bank branch.
For those who are renting an apartment in Toronto, hydro and water are sometimes included with rent charges, but not always. It’s important to talk to your landlord or go over your rental agreement to see just what your rent covers, and what it doesn’t.
Everybody likes to receive mail, and those utility companies will want to have an address to which to send your bills. That’s why it’s important to get in touch with Canada Post to inform them of your address change, or new address, if your moving to Canada. The Canada Post website is very comprehensive, and even allows you to register/change your address online.
Shipping rates vary according to the the size and number of containers you are having shipped, where they are being shipped from, and the priority level chosen.
- Canada Post Priority Shipping Service
Canada Post offers reasonable rates for packages up to 30 kg.
- Movers Canada
No job is too big for this national shipping company.
- Toronto International Shipping Inc.
A company that ships anything from envelopes to used cars anywhere in the world.
- UPS Canada
Personal and industrial shipping to and from anywhere on Earth.
- Fedex Canada
The Canadian arm of this multinational shipping conglomerate.