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Going to Canada


Going to Canada

This page is meant as a collection of information and useful links for all the Italians interested in traveling or moving to Toronto or to Canada.

Toronto, with more than 2,500,000 inhabitants, is the fifth most populated city in North America and one of the most livable in the world; it is home to about 480,000 inhabitants of Italian descent.
It is the capital of the Province of Ontario, which hosts around 850,000 people of Italian heritage, and it is the seat of the Provincial Government and its Parliament. The Provincial Parliament has several MPs of Italian origin and Italo-Canadians are also present at the federal level as Ministers and under-secretaries.
In the Province of Manitoba, the population is concentrated mostly in Winnipeg, with about 15,000 people of Italian heritage.

General information

Toronto, just as other important cities of the eastern part of North America, is in the Eastern Time Zone (UTC-5), 6 hours behind the Italian time zone.

The Canadian currency is the Canadian dollar (CAD): click here to watch the recent trend of the exchange rate between the Euro and the Canadian dollar.

Mains electricity in Canada uses a 120 V tension and a 60 Hz frequency; the most common household sockets are the NEMA 1-15 (2 flat pins) and the NEMA 5-15 (2 flat pins and 1 round pin).

The Canadian telephone prefix for incoming international calls is +1, while the prefixes currently in use in Toronto are 416 and 647 (in the future 437 and 387, too) for the city, 905 and 289 (in the future 365, too) for the Greater Toronto Area. The emergency telephone number is 911.

The climate in Toronto is of the humid continental type, with warm summers and cold winters, while springs and falls are generally milder.
The lowest temperatures are reached in January and February, with minimum means around -7° C and snowfalls. July is the hottest month, with a mean of about 26° C and temperatures which can exceed 30° C. Most rainfalls are concentrated in the months of May, August and September. Click here to look up the weather forecast for Toronto.


For any information related to visas for Italian citizens, we invite you to refer to the appropriate section of the website of the Embassy of Canada in Rome..

Transit and temporary residence visas (visitors - tourism)
To enter Canada as a tourist, Italian citizens do not require a visa. All you need is a valid passport and sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents during your stay in Canada. Travellers to Canada do not require machine-readable passports.

Work permits
In general, a foreign national wishing to work temporarily in Canada, even as a volunteer, must obtain a work permit before going to Canada. Normally a work permit can only be issued once it has been determined that qualified Canadians or resident would not be adversely affected by the employment of a foreign worker.
In order to obtain a work permit, you must first have employment arranged in Canada.

Study permits
Canadian scholastic and academic institutes offer many opportunities to foreign students. If you are interested in gathering the information about enrolling in a scholastic or academic institute, you can use the appropriate page prepared by the Canadian Government.

Permanent residence
Every year, Canada welcomes thousands of new residents to Canada, through several specific reception programs and channels for skilled workers, businesspeople, family members, adoptive children, provincial nominees, refugees and Québec-selected immigrants.
We encourage you to broaden your knowledge of the different programs on the websites of the Embassy of Canada in Rome and of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.

International Experience Canada for citizens of Italy – Travel and work in Canada:

International Experience Canada facilitates Italian citizens between the ages of 18 and 35 to stay in Canada for up to one year and legally work in Canada during the first six months of their stay.
There is a limit of 1000 places for 2012, assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

Settling in Toronto

Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada as a Visitor (information for temporary residents who wish to extend or change the conditions of their stay)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Embassy of Canada to Italy
Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials

Welcome Centre Immigrants Services
COSTI Immigrants Services (information for newcomers)

Free English classes

The center offering free classes is LSC (Language Studies Canada). For information about the free classes (timetable: Mon-Fri h3:15-5:15), please visit this page, call the 416-488-2200 or e-mail

Flying from Italy

Direct flights between Rome and Toronto are available with Alitalia and Air Canada. During certain times of the year the low cost carrier Air Transat also flies to Toronto from Italian airports. Flights between Rome and Toronto usually take about 9 hours.
The Toronto Pearson international airport is linked to the city through several bus lines: details can be consulted on the TTC website.


Local transport in Toronto is operated by the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission), who manages a 4-line subway network, an 11-line streetcar network and numerous bus lines. Day, weekly and monthly passes are available.

For what concerns suburban transportGO Transit operates a bus and train commuter service from Union Station.

Trains are operated by VIA Rail Canada, linking Toronto to many national destinations, among which are Montréal, Ottawa and Niagara Falls. Amtrak operates a direct rail link (named "Maple Leaf") between Toronto and New York. Toronto's main rail terminal is Union Station (65 Front Street).

If you want to travel by coachGreyhound, Coach Canada, Megabus and other companies link Toronto to many Canadian and US destinations. The main coach station is the Toronto Coach Terminal (610 Bay Street).

Finding accommodation

Bed & Breakfasts
Apartments/rooms for rent: Craigslist, Kijiji, PadMapper
Real estate for sale: Realtor

Health care

The health situation is generally excellent for what regards medical services; however, foreign citizens and immigrants without a permanent residence must subscribe a private health insurance before entering Canada.
In fact, health care in Canada is public and free only for permanent residents, within the limits of "medically necessary services".

More information is available on the website of the Italian Ministero della Salute or at your own Azienda Sanitaria Locale in Italy.

Working in Canada

The possibility of working in Canada is subject to specific terms, which were already described in the paragraph related to work permits.
Not having such a permit could make it more difficult for you to find employment, as your prospective employer will have to obtain the permit for you.
Please remember that some groups can resort to facilitated programs, such as the Working Holiday for people between the ages of 18 and 35.

Once you have obtained a permit, the following resources will assist you in your employment research.

Institutional webpages

Human Resources and Skills Development (federal body responsible for the labour market in Canada)
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (Ontario): Labour Market Information
Service Canada: Labour Market Information
Working in Canada
Job Bank

Job search (generic)

  1. Toronto Jobs
  2. Toronto Job Classifieds
  3. Toronto Job Centre
  4. Workopolis
  6. Jobboom
  7. Canada Jobs

Job search (skilled)

eFinancialCareers (finance)
Work in Culture (culture)
Media Job Search (media)
Hcareers (hospitality)
Career Edge Organization (internships)

Studying in Canada

Studying in Canada during secondary school is made possible by exchange programs offered by specialized organizations (such as AFS/Intercultura) or individual initiatives between schools; it is recommendable to pay much attention to the acknowledgement of the study period abroad.
For what regards higher education, Canadian universities are open to foreign students, even though fees are markedly higher for international students; all the information is available on the websites of the individual universities.
The Canadian government and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Embassy of Canada to Italy, offer many scholarship and grant opportunities.

Ministry of Education
Study in
List of universities, colleges and high schools in Toronto
Toronto Catholic District School Board

Tourism (official website for the City of Toronto)
Tourism Toronto (tourism portal run by the Government of Ontario)
Toronto Life

Art Gallery of Ontario
Royal Ontario Museum
Bata Shoe Museum

Validity of Italian driving licenses

The Italian driving license is valid for driving in Ontario for periods up to three months from the entry into Canada. Please note that some car rentals might ask you for a translation of the document into English, especially if you have the old paper license or if it is hardly readable. On the other hand, the international driving license, which can be obtained only in your country of residence, will allow you to drive in Ontario for one year.

Traveling to the USA without a visa (Visa Waiver Program)

Since 2008 citizens and eligible nationals of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries have online access to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and can request in advance an authorization to visit the United States of America.
ESTA screening became mandatory for VWP travelers on January 12, 2009. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel to the United States, and VWP travelers are encouraged to apply for authorization as soon as they begin to plan a trip to the United States.

In order to know the requirements for taking advantage of the program, please visit the page set up by the Italian Polizia di Stato, which is related to air and ship travel, but also applies to land travel from Canada.
Further detailed information can be obtained on the website of the US Diplomatic Mission to Italy, on the website of the US Customs and Border Protection and on the ESTA website.


Toronto's cultural life, rich in opportunities all year round, gets particularly lively during the summer, when some of the major festivals are held: among them, the Luminato Festival (performing arts), the Toronto Jazz Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

Toronto Entertainment
Luminato Festival
Toronto Jazz
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Toronto Theatre
Cinema: CinemaClock, TIFF, The Royal, Rainbow Cinema


Teams from Toronto compete in the world-famous American major leagues against many renowned teams from the US.
The city of Toronto is also currently in the process of organizing a great sport event of continental importance: the Pan American Games of 2015.

Toronto Argonauts (Canadian football)
Toronto Blue Jays (baseball)
Toronto FC (soccer)
Toronto Maple Leafs (hockey)
Toronto Raptors (basketball)
Toronto 2015 (Pan American Games)


The Globe and Mail (national newspaper)
Toronto Star (national newspaper)
National Post (national newspaper)
Toronto Sun (tabloid)
Metro Toronto (free press)
24 Hours Toronto (free press)

CBC Toronto
CTV Toronto

Italian lifestyle in Toronto


The neighborhoods which are historically linked to the Italian presence are Little Italy, along College Street between the intersections with Bathurst Street and Dufferin Street, and Corso Italia, further north-west, on St. Clair Avenue West, between the intersections with Westmount Avenue and Lansdowne Avenue.


Corriere Canadese (daily newspaper in Italian)
Lo Specchio (weekly newspaper in Italian)
Chin Radio (radio station with an Italian-language schedule)
Telelatino (television channel with an Italian-language schedule)
OMNI News (television channel with a daily newscast in Italian)


List of associations drafted by the Consulate


Italian Cultural Institute
Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario
Italian Trade Commission
ENIT - Italian National Tourism Agency

Italian groceries

A wide range of Italian groceries is easily available around Toronto in several stores and supermarkets; the only exception are wines and cheeses, whose distribution is regulated by stricter norms.

Galati Market Fresh
Cataldi Supermarket
Lady York Foods
Highland Farms
Pusateri's Fine Foods

Churches with masses in Italian

On the website of the Archdiocese of Toronto you can find the masses timetable, along with the languages in which they are celebrated.

Blogs and other resources

Emigrare in Canada
Due italiani a Toronto