Founder at The Professional Hobo.
Canadians are friendly, outgoing people and Toronto is no exception. While it’s not a popular digital nomad hub, it attracts nomads and remote workers that want to stay for longer. The cost of living here is much higher compared to smaller nomad hubs around Asia, but the city still has a big expat community. The high quality of life and incredible nature of Canada makes for a perfect home base. It's very easy to meet people here - just follow your interests and hobbies! If you like salsa dancing, then head to a salsa club. If you want to meet more remote workers and nomads, join a coworking space. When you meet people who share your interests, it's easier to build meaningful friendships.
Coworking spaces and work-friendly cafes are very popular. I often see cafes full of people working on laptops in the afternoon, with cappuccinos in hand. If you’re a remote worker, you will easily find your community here. Wifi in most cafes is strong enough for emails and calls. Newly built coworking spaces are popping up all over Canada. Many startups and remote companies originated here, especially in the tech sector, that offer remote work opportunities. The city also has a great support system for startups, like accelerators, events and incubators.
There really is something for everyone here. Especially during summer, when the city truly comes alive. Events, festivals, parades and community gatherings happen every week. If you enjoy art, we have world-class museums and galleries. For foodies, there’s always a new brunch restaurant to explore. For family trips, I recommend Ripley’s Aquarium, it’s one of the best I visited! And nature buffs have miles of nature trails to take on, right in the heart of the city.
Parks and public spaces are everywhere. Toronto stands out among megacities around the world for the sheer amount of public outdoor space. In summer, I like to take the ferry to the Toronto Islands on Lake Ontario. It boasts amazing views of the Toronto skyline, hiking trails, an amusement park and beaches. After you’ve explored the islands, you can return to the city and try one of the many international restaurants available.
Toronto is a foodie’s heaven. The city is known for its multiculturalism, and this is reflected in the diverse range of food options available. I’m based in Greektown but can easily find Mexican, Japanese, Jamaican, Ethiopian, Persian, Vietnamese and many more cuisines from around the world, not far from my home. And it’s all authentic - cooked by people who are originally from those countries. It’s a gastronomic feast.
Toronto is welcoming to expats! After all, it’s a multicultural city. However, a significant downside is that there is no digital nomad visa available and, if you want to set up a home base here, there are very few visas that will allow you to do so without being employed by a Canadian company. This makes things difficult for self-employed remote workers looking for permanent residency. Hopefully, a digital nomad visa that allows nomads and freelancers to stay and work in Canada for longer will be available in the near future. Meanwhile, a tourist visa is your best option.
For solo travelers - you can feel safe here. As a female traveler, I might think twice about where I’m walking around. But in Toronto, that’s not an issue. Always exercise a certain amount of street sense, of course, but for the most part, you'll be very safe. People are kind and welcoming - remember, Toronto is a friendly city!