Dear incoming students,

For those who might be new to the City of Toronto or moving closer to OCAD University, we’ve put together a list of resources that may help you navigate your way around finding a place to stay and for getting around town.

Please note that we are not affiliated with, nor officially endorse, any of the services or websites suggested below. We are simply sharing them based on collective experiences, using them in the past.

Finding a place:

Toronto is a big city with many different neighbourhoods. Depending on your interests, you may wish to be closes to some amenities and services over others.

A helpful resource to understand some of the city’s neighbourhoods is the Toronto Life – Guide to the city. While the guide is mostly intended for people wanting to buy property, it does give a good description of each area, and might help you get a sense of a particular area looks and feels like.

The majority of time will be spent in the building that house graduate studies classes and study spaces, at 205 Richmond Street West. The building is located close to the University Avenue and Queen Street West intersection. It is very close to the Osgoode Subway Station and the Queen St. Streetcar Line. If you are planning on commuting from other parts of the Greater Toronto Area, Union Station, the major regional rail transit hub, is located within walking distance of 205 Richmond. While spring, summer and fall is quite lovely for walking and biking, most find it challenging to keep such ways of commuting during the winter months. Consider this when selecting a place.

Finding places in a neighbourhood you are interested in can be challenging, Toronto is known for its competitive real estate, if you see a place you like, act quickly on it.

Some common websites to check include:

View it

Kijiji

Craigslist

Some students have also used Airbnb successfully during extended periods of time.

If you would like assistance selecting a place or are interested in residency type of arrangements we recommend the University of Toronto housing portal (you want the St. George campus area).

If you are interested in shared accommodation, you might want to check roomster.

If possible, always visit the place before committing to it.

Transportation:

The most common way to move around the city is by the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission). It is a network of busses, streetcars and subways that is pretty efficient. As a student you can get a discounted metropass.  Less frequent users might prefer to buy tokens. Both the TTC website and Google maps provide detailed direction and time estimates for trips.

Many prefer to ride bikes either year round or through the warmer months. Toronto’s bike infrastructure is constantly growing and the city has seen the emergence of separated lanes over the last couple of years. The city also has a bike sharing program that might be of interest depending on the zones you are planning to cover. An interactive Bicycle map and other resources are available for free online and as apps. If you are planning on buying a bike Urbane cycle has a special at the beginning of the academic year; you might also want to check bike pirates (a community driven bike shop that sells used bikes) or craigslist.

Toronto has a number of car sharing services including Autoshare, ZipCar (student discount through link) and Car2Go.

Other services:

University Settlement, a multi-service community-based social service centre close to OCAD University, offers a number of services at discounted prices for students, this include gym facilities.

Our website also provides a list of Student Discounts that are available after obtaining your student card.

We hope this list of information might helpful to you.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.