Living in Toronto

Toronto is a glorious city! It is a thriving metropolis with diverse cultures, languages and ethnicity. While the city itself is an Canada’s busiest commercial hub, Canada’s wilderness in only a drive away! Take the opportunity to enjoy your experience to the fullest!

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    Winter in Canada

Living in Toronto


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Schulich provides assistance to international students with on-campus housing.

If you choose to live off-campus or do not receive on-campus housing, it is your responsibility to secure accommodation in Toronto. Prior to your arrival, you should consider the type of accommodation that works best for you factoring in costs, locations etc.

On-Campus Housing On-Campus Housing


There are eight undergraduate residences on the Keele campus. Residences are available in both traditional style and suite style. For more information, please visit the Student Housing Website for undergraduate students.


York University apartments cater to graduate students and their families. Occupancy is by lease for a specific period of time. The apartments are furnished; however, students are responsible for their own bedding, linens, small kitchen appliances, and other items. For more information, please visit the York University Apartments Website.

Off-campus Housing Off-campus Housing

If you choose to live off campus, it is your responsibility to source housing alternatives. As a convenience, we have compiled a number of websites that you may use as a resource to understand the elements of living off-campus, and also help find a place to live off-campus.

Please note: York University does not endorse any off-campus housing providers. Students are advised to exercise due diligence in confirming amenities, contracts, deposits, etc. and assume full responsibility for their housing decisions.

Click here for information about the QUAD off-campus student housing facility which is a five minute walk from the Schulich School of Business.


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Taxes in Canada

In Canada, the federal, provincial and municipal governments collect money from individuals and companies to help pay for government programs and services, such as roads, public utilities, schools, health care, economic development and cultural activities.

Common types of taxes are:

  • Income taxes
  • Property taxes
  • Business taxes (if you own a business)
  • Sales taxes

To learn more, follow the below link:

Taxation Information


Sales Taxes in Ontario

In Ontario, there is a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) of 13%. Usually, HST is added at the cash register so the amount on the price tag may not be the final price.
8% of the HST goes to the provincial government and 5% goes to the federal government.
You pay HST on many goods and services but there are a few exceptions, such as basic food products, child care services, and prescription drugs.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers tax laws for the Government of Canada and for most provinces and territories, and administers various social and economic benefit and incentive programs delivered through the tax system.

To learn more, follow the below link:

Newcomers to Canada


Public Transportation

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Here’s what you need to know to get around the city.

Ride the TTC Ride the TTC
  • The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is the primary source of public transportation in Toronto with subway, streetcar, and bus routes to take you to virtually every corner of the city.
  • Use the TTC Trip Planner tool or the rocketman smartphone app to find the most direct TTC route between two Toronto addresses.
  • There are two TTC subway stations on campus: Pioneer Village Station & York University Station. All TTC buses that service the school can be found at Pioneer Village Station.
  • The TTC connects with other municipal transit systems such as GO Transit, MiWay, YRT, Brampton Transit, and Durham Region Transit. These other transportation systems can be found at or near various TTC subway stations.
  • It takes roughly 45 minutes, in favorable conditions, to go downtown from York University.

Click here to visit the TTC website for more information.

Pay with PRESTO Pay with PRESTO
  • PRESTO is a reloadable travel card used to pay for public transportation services. $10 is the minimum amount you can load onto the card. The card itself costs $6 and it does not come pre-loaded with funds.
  • Students are strongly advised to get a PRESTO card as the TTC is gradually phasing out all other fare options. Additionally, the subway stations on campus do not sell other fare types.
  • Each one-way ride costs $3.00
  • You do not need a paper transfer when using PRESTO because an electronic transfer is automatically applied to your card once you tap a card reader. The e-transfer is valid for up to two hours from the first time you tapped your card. If your one-way trip involves multiple routes, a transfer allows you to board different vehicles, for free, to reach your destination. If transferring to another vehicle, simply tap your card on the reader and it will determine whether your transfer is valid.

Click here to visit the PRESTO card website for more information


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Need money now? The York University campus houses ATMs from Canada’s major banks.

Need to go in person? The Bank of Montreal is conveniently located in York Lanes or you can access other bank branches in a short walk from campus.

ATM locations:

  • TD Canada Trust – Location: Central Square
  • Royal Bank (RBC) – Location: Schulich School of Business & 340 Assiniboine
  • Scotia Bank – Location: Student Centre
  • Bank of Montreal – Location: York Lanes
Things to Remember…
  • Carry your passport, proof of immigration status and Schulich acceptance letter to open a bank account
  • You can have money wired into your account
  • Make sure you get a debit card which you can use at any bank or store
  • ATMs often charge additional fees

Managing Weather

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In Canada, there are four different seasons:

  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn (fall)


Winter is very cold in most places with temperatures often below zero degrees Celsius. Snow covers the ground from around December to March or April.
Depending on where you’re immigrating from, you may be quite surprised by the cold and snow during your first Canadian winter. With the right clothing, you’ll be prepared to enjoy the unique beauty of a Canadian winter. Be sure to buy:

  • a hat
  • boots
  • gloves
  • a winter coat

To learn more, follow the below links:

Canadian Weather
Staying Warm in Winter



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All exchange students residing in Ontario during their period of study are required to have the appropriate health insurance coverage. Health care costs in Canada are quite expensive and, at Schulich, we want to be sure incoming exchange students do not have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for visits to the doctor or hospital if the need arises. There are two types of insurance for exchange students.

University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) - Mandatory University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) - Mandatory

It is compulsory for all exchange students and dependents to purchase health coverage under the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP). UHIP covers services such as doctor’s visits and hospital ward accommodation in Ontario. The approximate cost is $216 per term*. This fee is automatically charged to your York Student Account. Coverage begins on the 10th day of the month prior to the month of the first day of classes (i.e. Aug. 10th or Dec. 10th).

For more information, visit the UHIP website or the York University UHIP website. Additional travel health insurance should be purchased for travel outside of Ontario.

*Fees are subject to change.

Supplemental Health Insurance - Optional Supplemental Health Insurance - Optional

This optional insurance plan covers some health care costs like dental care, prescriptions and wellness. The type of insurance available and the amount you will pay depends on your level of study.

York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA) Health Plan York Federation of Students (YFS) Health & Dental Plan

The following table summarizes the Health Insurance requirements depending on the number of terms on exchange and credits taken.

Criterion Graduate Undergraduate
1 term full-time UHIP only UHIP only
2 terms or more and 15 credits or more UHIP and Supplemental (Provided by the Graduate Students’ Association) UHIP and Supplemental (Provided by the York Federation of Students)
Resources and Information Resources and Information

Support for Families

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Support of Spouses Support of Spouses

The Significant Others of Schulich Association (SOSA) invites current students and their significant others (spouses/partners) to join us for an annual meet and greet reception. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet your colleagues and their significant others, discuss your expectations for the upcoming years at Schulich, and share thoughts about the graduate school experience.
Take the opportunity to introduce your spouses and partners to your Schulich life, campus and colleagues!

SOSA offers support and resources to students and their significant others, providing a community of partners and families in which to share experiences, socialize, and network.

York U Co-op Daycare Centre York U Co-op Daycare Centre

This organization provides a caring, educational, and multicultural daycare environment on York University’s Keele campus. Many of the parents using their services are students, graduate students, staff and faculty of York University. We also accept children from outside the York community, although preference is given to York students.

Room 201, Student Centre Building
4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3
Telephone: (416)736-5959
Fax: (416) 736-5884