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Old 07-06-2013, 12:34 PM
 
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I'm thinking of moving to Toronto after college but I'm worried about the cultural differences and culture shock I would face as an American living there. I was born in Dallas but I've lived in Minneapolis since I was seven. I've even stayed in Minneapolis to go to college. So this city has been my hometown. I been to New York and Chicago as well as Dallas. What I ultimately want to know is what part of the world is Toronto most similar to, the USA or Europe and how hard would it be for an American to adjust to life there.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Stasis
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No culture shock if you're familiar with NYC & Chicago. The question is whether you meet the qualifications & requirements to move to Canada. From your other posts you are a Liberal Arts major with no work experience.

Home - Citizenship and Immigration Canada - Canada
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Canada
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NYC and Chicago are the most similar cities to it, and I think that large international/globalized cities everywhere in the world are in some ways pretty similar to each other, in some ways more so then to areas within the same country. Toronto's built form and accent are North American, and its institutions and attitudes are more like the UK. Worth noting, however, that with 50% of the people being born outside of Canada culture is in some ways quite variable from Torontonian to Torontonian. I'd say Toronto demographically and culturally is most similar to London, but with North American architecture and accents. It's all Anglo culture though so it shouldn't be bad, I don't think culture shock would be too much to cope with anywhere in the Anglosphere to be honest, at least not in big cities.

Last edited by BIMBAM; 07-06-2013 at 06:37 PM..
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:45 PM
 
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Toronto is an awesome place to live. No culture shock, we are very similar to large american cities here (although don't ever say that in public). I would say that it is similar to chicago rather than new york as new yorkers range SO MUCH depending on which area of new york they're from. IME we're also a lot more tolerant of cultures than any american city, and its probably the best aspect of the city.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
NYC and Chicago are the most similar cities to it, and I think that large international/globalized cities everywhere in the world are in some ways pretty similar to each other, in some ways more so then to areas within the same country. Toronto's built form and accent are North American, and its institutions and attitudes are more like the UK. Worth noting, however, that with 50% of the people being born outside of Canada culture is in some ways quite variable from Torontonian to Torontonian. I'd say Toronto demographically and culturally is most similar to London, but with North American architecture and accents. It's all Anglo culture though so it shouldn't be bad, I don't think culture shock would be too much to cope with anywhere in the Anglosphere to be honest, at least not in big cities.
Toronto similar to London? Interesting, what aspects of culture? As someone born and raised in Toronto and who has lived in a couple of US cities, life in Toronto seems pretty much the same as any big US city to me. From a global perspective, the US and Canada are among the most similar pair of countries in the world. Although there are historic elements of the UK in institutions and attitude, it still leans much closer to the US or being North American IMO. Of course there are differences but they are more subtle in the grand scheme of things. So I agree with other posters, there will be minimal culture shock living in Toronto. It pretty much has all the amenities you'd find in any major US city.

Now there are the usual Canada-US differences: higher taxes, higher cost of real estate/goods, less crime, more social services, weather depending on where you are from, more relaxed and reserved attitude, but lower salaries and less opportunities to get rich. Overall, both are great countries to live and like I said, the differences are not that dramatic from a global perspective. For most middle class people, life is similar. As for Toronto specifically, it is most similar to Chicago in form/structure/lifestyle but has a more relaxed but liberal attitude like a Seattle. It has a diversity of people that you will find in LA/NYC/SF (but with a different composition as Asian, indian, Carribbean are huge) but it is also polite/reserved like a Minneapolis and has a NY attitude with respect to the rest of the country.

Last edited by johnathanc; 07-09-2013 at 11:25 AM..
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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Originally Posted by johnathanc View Post
Toronto similar to London? Interesting, what aspects of culture? As someone born and raised in Toronto and who has lived in a couple of US cities, life in Toronto seems pretty much the same as any big US city to me. From a global perspective, the US and Canada are among the most similar pair of countries in the world. Although there are historic elements of the UK in institutions and attitude, it still leans much closer to the US or being North American IMO. Of course there are differences but they are more subtle in the grand scheme of things. So I agree with other posters, there will be minimal culture shock living in Toronto. It pretty much has all the amenities you'd find in any major US city.
I would definitely call Toronto similar to London. I think it's something that might be harder to see if you've lived there for a long time, but I can see a bunch of similarities. The way the suburbs look and feel, for starters, is much more British than American. All those highrises scattered around, and some real urban density in many of them. Actually I would say generally the way the city is laid out is pretty reminiscent of London. And the diversity is ingrained in local culture more like it is in London than in New York or Chicago. It's what London would be like if it were in North America. Wandering around Toronto, it struck me that many of the neighborhoods feel like more English versions of parts of American cities.

OP, since you're from Minneapolis, if you get homesick in Toronto, walk around Casa Loma or the Annex for a while. Feels a lot like Grand Ave or St. Anthony Park in St. Paul.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:47 PM
 
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Toronto isn't like London at all. London isn't even on a grid pattern. London's suburbs are built around the underground and the trains. Brampton or Mississauga look nothing like a London suburb would. What London suburb has 6-lane arterial roads and drive-thru fast food? Sure, it's more like the U.K. than American cities, and they have narrow lot sizes and because it's in Canada, there's more British influence from more recent immigration from the British Isles, but it's still way more similar to Minneapolis than it is to London.

A question for the OP: why are you considering Toronto?
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:55 AM
 
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I've heard of Toronto being compared to London many times, so that's not exactly an unknown concept.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:40 PM
 
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Sure, they are both large cities where English is primarily spoken. But otherwise they are quite different.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Atticman View Post
I've heard of Toronto being compared to London many times, so that's not exactly an unknown concept.
So how in your opinion is Toronto similar to London? I'm curious to understand. It's design/structure is typical of any North American city. Downtown Toronto and the suburbs just don't look anything like London to me. Boston seems more similar in structure to London than Toronto is. Even the pub-centric nightlife and some aspects of New England culture remind me a little bit of London. Day-to-day lifestyle in Toronto very similar to many other large US cities.

The similarities to me lie in some of our institutions (e.g. metric system & parliament) which were inherited from the British, whereas the Americans developed their own institutions after fighting for independence. Heck, we even have a Governor General so of course there are more traces of British influence on our society. I suppose there are some aspects of attitude that may have originated from the Brits like our reservedness and trust in government, both of which are less evident in the US (who also evolved from the Brits remember). But I would never call the Canadian personality the same as a British personality to begin with. I would also agree that London seems to be more of a mosaic versus melting pot like Canadians cities but the reality is that mosiac is also evident in some large US cities with lots of immigration like NY (go out of Manhattan into Queens, NJ, etc.), LA, SF, etc.

So while I do agree there are some historical traces of British influence in TO, it doesn't seem like enough to view Toronto as "British" or to be more "London-like" than "North American-like" in modern times. Its been quite some time since we were a colony and the media, buildings, roads, food, sports, clothes, music, cars, lifestyle, social norms and other cultural elements all seem to have evolved to be much more North American.

Last edited by johnathanc; 07-14-2013 at 09:46 PM..
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