New to Toronto?

​If you're new to the city, you'll likely have many questions and concerns. Below are a few pointers to help you get settled in the Toronto area.

Obtaining a Temporary Social Insurance Number

To work in Canada, even temporarily, a social insurance number (SIN) is required. To apply, visit a Service Canada office to submit an application form. Further contact information can be found on the HRDC website.

Opening a Bank Account in Toronto

You should consider opening a bank account in Toronto. To open an account, visit your local bank and present two pieces of identification such as a passport, driver’s license, or social insurance number. One piece of identification must have a photo.

Enrolling Children in School

If you have school-aged children—whether you are new to Canada, to Ontario, or just to Toronto—​you may need some assistance in registering them in local schools. The Family Care Office has excellent resources to guide you through the registration process.

Connecting Utilities

When renting an apartment or house, utilities will need to be connected. The major utilities are phone, hydro (electricity), and gas (heating). There are many companies that provide these services. You can search for companies for electricity and heating at Energy Shop. Search for telephone providers in the Yellow Pages.

The company may require proof of identification, and information/verification of your employment status before it agrees to connect services. Engagement letters can be used as verification. Please contact the company to get more information.

Finding a Doctor

To secure a family physician in Toronto, you must first find a doctor who is accepting new patients. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario offers a useful web tool called Doctor Search.

Finding a Dentist

The Ontario Dental Association offers a search tool called Find a Dentist to help patients find one in their local area who is accepting new patients. The Faculty of Dentistry at U of T also has patient clinics offering full-service dental care, at reduced rates.

Driving in Ontario & Registering a Vehicle

A valid Ontario driver’s licence gives you permission to drive in the province of Ontario. It can also be used for identification purposes. To change your current licence to an Ontario licence and to find out about driving in this province, visit your local Ministry of Transportation of Ontario office.

To register a vehicle in Ontario, the vehicle must have current insurance, be safe, and be emissions-clear. Securing insurance should be the first step in the registration process. All vehicles must be inspected for safety and for emissions under the Ontario Drive Clean program. Once a safety certificate has been issued, the vehicle can be registered with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO). Insurance papers, current registration, safety certificate, car title, and customs forms must be presented to the MTO where a licence plate will be issued.

Community Resources

There are many community organizations and agencies that provide services and information to newcomers.

If you are new to Ontario, Settlement.Org is for you. Find answers to common questions about moving to Ontario and settling into your new home.

211Toronto.ca provides comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date information on services provided by non-profit, community-based organizations for the public sector.​