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Old 01-21-2013, 02:01 AM
 
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Hi,

Due to my job, I'm considering a move from the US to Toronto with my wife and son. I've been looking over the board and trying to do research on what to expect for cost of living, and what other costs and benefits may be to life in Toronto.

-Our household income would be around 100k (US $), before taxes (including double taxes for US, which could reduce income down to the low 70k/upper 60k range)
-We're planning on bringing our car
-We would prefer to be in the city, commutable to universities in the city
-We would prefer to rent a detachable house (at least 2BR), in a neighborhood with low crime, good schools, etc., that is accessible to grocery stores, restaurants, music venues, etc.

Any advice on whether this income is sustainable to achieve the dimensions listed above would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:51 AM
 
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House rent will be around $2500 - 3000 a month (visit mls.ca) if you want to live in the city proper near reasonable ttc (toronto transit corporation) access.

Taxes are expensive in Canada as you know, and so are non-utility "utilities" like cable tv, internet, cell phones. Car insurance is too.

I think you can still do it, but $100K in Canada doesn't go as far as it does in the US (if you have health coverage through your employer). You may have to be flexible on commuting distance, that tends to be the driving factor behind cost of living.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:22 AM
 
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My understanding is that Toronto is more expensive than any American city other than NYC. That's a general conclusion, which means it is pricier than cities like LA, Boston, DC, San Fran, Chicago etc.

That being said, you income seems to be sufficient for your expected lifestyle, especially when you intend to rent. Buying a detached house with your income in the city would be tough as median detached house price is somewhere in the $800k.

Considering you will have almost 6k to spend every month, I think you will have a comfortable life despite the high living costs.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:11 AM
 
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100K for a two adults and a child. I'd say that is tight for Toronto as this is not a cheap city. You can survive but I don't want to paint a rosy picture for you. Lets say thats 68K after taxes or 5.7K a month to provide shelter, food, entertainment, transportation and savings for three people. And if you planning on buying a house here one day, you'll want to put a 100K+ downpayment so you'll need to save for that too plus we cannot deduct mortgage interest here. To rent for 2.5k/month + utilities will come out to close to half your take home pay and is too much. You can and will survive just fine but IMO it is more prudent to find something in the suburbs with lower rent as opposed to the core city.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:01 PM
 
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One other cost that may or may not apply: Daycare can be a killer. For a child <18mos budget $1800 (yes, that's right) and for between 18 - 36 mos budget $1000 and for >36 months budget $800. This for childcare centres, you may be able to find cheaper but it will be 20% cheaper, not 50%. Also daycare in Toronto can be hard to find for 18 - 36 mo olds.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlsoNotMe View Post
House rent will be around $2500 - 3000 a month (visit mls.ca) if you want to live in the city proper near reasonable ttc (toronto transit corporation) access.
I think the OP can get a 2 bedroom house for less, I don't think he said it had to be near TTC.

OP, a detached house might be hard to do but if you look in East York (north of O'Connor between Pape and donlands is a not bad area (it's right at the south end of the Leaside Bridge) I think you will find a small 2 bedroom detached for less. This area is a very short distance to downtown, depending on where you will be working. An intersection of where you'll be working would help.

The area above is close to shopping (Leaside, Danforth, The Beach etc.), close to music venues (some on Danforth) etc.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:10 PM
 
325 posts, read 988,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregurl View Post
I think the OP can get a 2 bedroom house for less, I don't think he said it had to be near TTC.

OP, a detached house might be hard to do but if you look in East York (north of O'Connor between Pape and donlands is a not bad area (it's right at the south end of the Leaside Bridge) I think you will find a small 2 bedroom detached for less. This area is a very short distance to downtown, depending on where you will be working. An intersection of where you'll be working would help.

The area above is close to shopping (Leaside, Danforth, The Beach etc.), close to music venues (some on Danforth) etc.
He asked for it to commutable easily to local universities. I interpreted that to be ttc, as driving and parking may be excessive, but you're right.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:22 PM
 
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What do you mean by "double taxes for the US"?

You don't get double taxed if you're a U.S. citizen living in Canada. You can take a foreign earned income exclusion of up to $95,100 of income as of 2012, or a foreign tax credit (I forget how that one works). Either way, you should end up owing the U.S. almost zero unless you earn income from U.S. sources simultaneously, in which case you'd have to file in the U.S. states where you earn that income and pay them first, then take a credit on your Canadian income taxes.

Note: I am not a CPA or CA and this is just anecdotal.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
5,801 posts, read 6,024,430 times
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US citizens get taxed on their income anywhere in the world; we've had a trade deficit since 1976 when President Ford signed a bill mandating that US business owners living in Europe and elsewhere must file a US tax return and pay taxes (if owed) both to the US as well as to the country where they live.

I'll do some more digging, but many collegiate athletes, and basketball players in particular, have stated explicitly that they don't want Canadian teams drafting them and either won't report or will demand an immediate trade to a US team minimize getting obliterated by being double-taxed.

According to the WSJ, no other country besides the USA taxes their citizens on overseas revenue; the only option AFAIK is to renounce your US citizenship, while is a very long, laborious and very costly process.

I don't know if Canadian pop stars such as Bryan Adams or Anne Murray, or Canadian-American citizens such as Alex Trebek have found a way around that ludicrous tax policy of ours, but I'm sure it's not cheap nor simple.

Insofar as the cost-of-living discussion goes, I've lived here in Los Angeles for six decades, and can certainly attest to the fact that both NYC & SF have a much higher cost of living than LA does, but I have no idea why Toronto is so expensive, including your taxes on airline tickets and everything else.

Our pathetically weak dollar has made hotels in Toronto substantially pricier than the US counterparts; it was definitely the other way around when I visited your exhilirating city for the first time in 1975.

Last edited by Marv101; 01-22-2013 at 06:25 PM..
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:38 PM
 
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In response to tarp, you're right, as it turns out there's a foreign income tax deduction for US citizens living abroad, whereas of 2012 you can arrange that up to $95,000 of your income isn't subject to US taxes. The only caveat is that you have to meet certain qualifications, such as having lived in the new country of residence for 12 months consecutively. So double taxes will apply for my first year of arrival (I would arrive in summer).

In response to other comments, I would like to have access to TTC and not drive in. What are some ideal suburbs for commuting in to the Bay St Corridor area for work? Are there aspects of the commute (time, price) that I should be aware of depending on where I'm commuting from?

I'm also planning on pursuing daycare, which may have some subsidization through where I would be working.

A related question: my household income would increase should my wife be able to secure employment (she has an advanced degree that would qualify for her many fields of work). Generally speaking, how difficult is it for non-Canadians to acquire jobs in Canada? I've heard people mention that for many jobs, non-Canadian candidates have to demonstrate that they are more qualified than any possible Canadian candidate before they can land a job; and along with that, some have said that there might be additional work visa regulations that would lead an American applicant to be viewed as a liability. Can anybody speak to these concerns? Thanks!
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