Moving to the City – 10 Things They Don’t Tell You Before Moving There

I always dreamt of moving to the city. When I was younger, I would put on my best outfit when making a trip downtown Toronto for the day because it was always one of the most exciting days ever. When I accepted my offer to go to University downtown Toronto, I couldn’t believe that dream would be coming true! It was so surreal to be walking the streets, knowing that I would be one of those people I used to dream about who were living that Toronto lifestyle. 

After living down here for 4 years now, I have realized there are some things people definitely don’t tell you before moving to the city, good and bad! I get a lot of questions from you guys asking what it is like, how to be successful in a city like Toronto, and the pros and cons of living in the city. So, here are the 10 things they don’t tell you before moving to the city!


1. Getting around the city is a lot easier than you think.

Oh, the dreaded subway and streetcar system! Before moving to the city, I thought the subway
was some impossible puzzle that everyone knew the answer to except me. But, honestly, it really
isn’t that hard! It takes some practice, but one day you will have that moment where you just go
“ohhhh, so that’s how it works lol”.

2. You will probably be yelled at (at lease once) for walking too slow/taking up the sidewalk.

 Don’t take it personal because with time, you will realize you are going to be one of those people
literally speed walking to get somewhere, moving around people like Mario Kart & DREADING the
people that are leisurely walking through Dundas Square on a Monday morning. But, maybe be a
little nicer to that person than they were to you.

3. You will become a bit of a coffee snob.

I never even drank coffee before moving downtown. University is probably one of the main reasons
I started drinking it though (late night study crams). But also, in a downtown city, there is an
UNLIMITED number of coffee shops. You will start going to the local cafe’s with perfect instagram
worthy aesthetic’s and high quality beans, & you will start to appreciate this way more than your
average cup of joe.

4. It actually smells really bad.

The amount of times I will be walking down the street and BAM, a smell unlike no other will hit you
and you just have to keep pushing through it. I really notice this whenever I go up north and
the fresh air feels like I literally haven’t breathed in 4 years (pretty much true) and it feels
so good to take it in!

5. It is a lot safer than you think.

I feel like the city has a perception of being super unsafe. I can only speak for Toronto,
but it is actually really safe here. Of course you have to have your street smarts like any
where, but don’t get too frightened if someone yells “BELIEVE” at you on the street
(Toronto people know exactly who does this).

6. Cooking at home becomes a struggle.

There has been so many times through the year I tell myself, “okay Natalie I am turning a new leaf
and am going to COOK more!”. This is so difficult in the city and here are the reasons why:
1. There are TOO many food options right at your doorstep.
2. Grocery Shopping is a bitch (especially in the winter).
Having to carry all of your groceries home to  your condo which is probably a couple blocks away, is
quite the struggle (#firstworldproblems).

7. Finding a condo downtown is a bit like the Hunger Games.

I swear, when you are looking for a condo down here and you find something you like,
1,456 other people also like it and have already put their offers in. If you go to look
for a condo, be prepared to “volunteer as tribute” and sign an agreement THAT DAY. 

8. You will find things you never knew you had an interest in.

But seriously, the city is so diverse with different people, things to do, and places to see. You
will start to be drawn to things you never knew you really liked. The city brings out your
passions and things you love. It is truly where I found fashion and social media 🙂

Suggested Read
: Who & What Inspired Me to Become A Blogger

9. But that being said, you have to put yourself out there to find them.

Whether you are going to school down here, working, or just simply moving to the city for a new
experience, you have to put yourself out there & not sit in bed eating chocolate or else it really can
get lonely. Although it is a big city, everyone is doing their own thing, so finding activities you like
where you can meet people is super key to getting the most out of the city.

10. And one day, the city won’t feel all that big.

Once you are doing you and know your way around the city like the back of your hand,
you will sit there and realize how small it really is. You will start to appreciate it in a whole
new set of ways. 

Comment below if you guys have any more things to add to this list! I would love to hear your perspective about moving to the city 🙂



  1. Afnan khalifa
    August 10, 2017 / 3:19 am

    Believe hahaha live you and this article❤️

    • nataliealysa
      August 10, 2017 / 3:20 am

      Haha 😂 Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it 💕

  2. Sloane
    August 10, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    Love this and love Toronto!! Thinking of transferring to university there!! Xx blondedamsel

    • nataliealysa
      August 11, 2017 / 3:36 am

      So glad you enjoyed it!! You definitely should, I highly recommend it 👏 Such an amazing experience!

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