When I arrived in Toronto in November 2020, it wasn't love at first sight. Moving to a new city during a global pandemic isn’t ideal, but I had no choice. I was actually very lucky as I reunited with my boyfriend after a year apart!
Calling Toronto ‘home’ wasn't easy, and I think that’s the reason why, now, I proudly say that I belong to Toronto: because it wasn’t an immediate connection but a process. There is no right formula to find yourself at home, but I would like to share with you 5 personal tips from my experience that will hopefully help you too:
Find your people
“Home” is where you have your family and friends. But I understood it’s possible to have more than one. Making friends as a young adult is not simple, we all know that, but social interaction is the key to call your new city, “casa” (i.e. home in Italian, my language). If it doesn’t happen casually, try first to connect with people online (LinkedIn, Facebook groups and other social media). You will be amazed by how many people share your same story and journey. And they can become your friends; This is how I met my first people here!
Be active, be involved
When I arrived in Toronto, I didn't have a job for a long time, so I started volunteering in my neighbourhood as a meal delivery person. To be involved in the community is the best way to feel a part of it. I learned a lot about the city where I live, by meeting some of the elderly people in town. But that’s not all: I recently joined a Zumba and Yoga class held at Queen’s Park. There are many outdoor activities in Toronto, some are even free! Go for it, give it a try!
I can’t lie: homemade food is irreplaceable. But Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, and you will get the chance to find any kind of taste here. With a little bit of research, you will be able to find Indian masalas (my boyfriend is from Mumbai) and Italian products perfect for your traditional recipes. Maybe it won’t be as good as your mother’s homemade recipes, but while cooking your own food, you will give your new home that familiar taste you were missing.
Keep yourself informed
As a new immigrant, you might go through a lot of different processes and bureaucracy, that changes frequently, trust me. Don’t panic! My suggestion is to keep an eye on Twitter! Canadian politics is very reactive on that social media platform and announces many new updates there. Do follow local news and Canadian journalists as well. You will get to know an insider perspective!
Find your home…and make it yours!
Our home is our love nest: It’s our first home together, our first home in Canada, and the place where our family started. We are so grateful to Hazelview Properties Apartments for Rent in Canada in 6 Provinces and 25 Cities – Hazelview Properties | Hazelview Properties to be part of our journey. From signing the contract to showing up immediately in case of any problem, we know we are not alone. We are part of a community, and just when you feel safe and welcomed…you can finally say “I’m home”.
Enjoy your own journey, and if you would like to read more about me, visit my blog at http://www.themasalainthestory.com/en