Living in Toronto is a wonderful opportunity for many international students, while for domestic students, this city has always been home. The city is home to many commuter universities and colleges, such as Toronto Metropolitan University, University of Toronto, York University and Humber College, among others. It’s important for everyone to stay up to date on all issues taking place in Toronto today.
- TTC violence
In the past couple of months, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has experienced an increase in violence. The TTC is a very common form of transportation in the city, especially for students commuting to their schools. Not only this, but it is also cost-efficient, which is why it may be difficult to stop using it.
On Jan. 26, Toronto announced they were going to add 80 officers to patrol TTC stations to ensure increased safety. However, on March 13, they officially ended the patrol. TTC violence is still an ongoing issue, with continuous reports of incidents taking place. In 2022, TTC violence increased by 46%.
For those riding the TTC, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and travel with others, if possible.
- Toronto stabbings
On April 1, a 14-year-old boy was charged with attempted murder after a stabbing in East York. On April 6, a 19-year-old man was rushed to the hospital after a stabbing between Yonge Street and O’Keefe Lane, right on Toronto Metropolitan University’s campus. A 16-year-old has now been arrested in connection with the stabbing.
- Increased rent in Toronto
The city of Toronto has always been known for having ridiculously high rent prices. The average cost for a one-bedroom apartment is $2,300 per month, which is about $27,600 per year. The rent is simply too expensive for an average student, and moreover, this does not include food, tuition and other expenses.
Rental unit prices are not only increasing in Ontario but all across Canada. According to Rentals.ca, the average rent for all properties in Canada jumped by almost 11% from last January. Not only this, but they also report it is the ninth consecutive month of a two-digit increase.
Living alone as a student may be really difficult to afford this current year and may only increase in the next few years. If you have yet to make plans for your living situation in Toronto, it is recommended to find a roommate that can make the living costs more affordable.
- Scams in Ontario
Fraud has become a very common issue. It’s always important to know exactly who you are sharing your information with, as you never know who may be behind that phone or computer. According to CBC, here are some things to keep in mind to avoid getting scammed.
“Be suspicious of unsolicited text messages, calls and emails”
“If there’s a time crunch/sense of urgency to pay the money, be wary”
“Don’t share information over the phone, text or email with people you don’t know”
“Don’t send money to someone you don’t know (especially cryptocurrency)”
In 2022, the most reported scams in Ontario were 2,713 in phishing, 2,343 in personal information and 2,167 in extortion, among others. CBC also reported that Canadians lost about $416 million last year to fraud, which was a 55% increase from $269 million in 2021.
Make sure to keep all your information private, and don’t share anything with anyone you don’t know.
- Fewer outdoor patios in Toronto
The city has introduced new fees and regulations for outdoor dining, and only 501 applications have been sent out this year, in comparison to 837 in 2022. Applications are sent under CaféTO, and approved patios begin in mid-May until October.
CaféTo was created in 2020 to help keep bars and restaurants operational through the pandemic. However, this year the city implemented application fees and requirements for outdoor patios, which has decreased the number of applications. Businesses may also be asked to send in patio designs which may not be accepted.
Although businesses are happy with the help the program provided during the pandemic, many establishments didn’t send applications in for this year. If you notice fewer patios this summer, this may be why.