Getting started; Toronto, SIN, Bank accounts, Jetlag

We left the UK on the 24th January 2017 to start a new life in Canada on our IEC working holiday visa’s. We had a week planned in Toronto to get our Canadian life in order; bank accounts, Social Insurance Number (SIN) and getting over jetlag.

We landed, tired and excited in Toronto Pearson’s International Airport ready for our adventure. We joined the long immigration line and waited for a while to speak to an immigration officer, who wrote some stuff on our declaration card before telling us we had to join another line to get our visas. We must have spent a good 40mins to 1 hour waiting before getting to an immigration officer. We both spent around 5-10mins getting our POE’s checked and then waiting for the visa to print. Then off we went… our new life had started in Toronto, Canada.

Next stop, Planet Traveller

We had planned our trip through BUNAC, and through the package we bought from them – the essential pack – we had a 2 night stay at planet traveller. It was a bit of a challenge to get to the hostel, as we had out first experience on the street car, where you can only pay with exact cash or using a presto card. Luckily, some friendly locals helped us after we found out we didn’t have enough change or a presto card…
The hostel was your basic, nice, friendly hostel. We were in a mixed dorm, which has 6 beds. We grabbed some dinner and went to sleep, and tried not to wake up at 4:30am!
The next day we popped into the SWAP offices, another perk of using BUNAC; their sister company who are there to help us out. We popped into find out information about banking and SINs, and we lucky enough to find out there was a induction the next day. FYI – I 100% recommend you attend this!
Setting up bank accounts was so easy, again a super friendly banker helped us open credit and debit cards. We had to wait a week for the credit card to be delivered…thankfully we’d still be in Toronto, just!
SIN’s again, super easy. Went into a service Canada building and spoke with a friendly lady and within 10 minutes we could both get paid in Canada – woo!
Planet Traveller

Next stop, Airbnb

We stayed in an Airbnb appartment in downtown, it was small and comfortable although the reviews we read didn’t quite meet our expectations. No toilet paper, mouldy food in the fridge, collecting keys from a random apartment a 15 minute walk away (not easy with big backpacks!)
Once we were settled, we began exploring; china town (pho hung, is yummy and cheap!), distillery district for the light festival, Toronto power plant art gallery, Cat cafe and just walking around the city.
Airbnb in downtown Toronto


Toronto Light Festival, Distillery District


Pho Hung dinner, Chinatown ~$7


Wandering around, the Distillery District


Toronto Power Plant Gallery

Next stop, Brantford

By the end of our stay in Toronto, we were really keen to start out first work away experience in Brantford, Ontario. It’s known for being a very quiet town where Wayne Gretzky came from, and we were going to volunteer in a Vegan and Vegetarian Cafe.

Follow us on instagram for daily updates of our time in Canada 🙂

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