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A Complete Guide to Relocating to Toronto and the West GTA

Sep 15, 2023 | Buyers

Are you feeling the call to adventure and to explore the unlimited potential for your life? The Greater Toronto Area just might be the answer you’re looking for. Clean, safe, and culturally diverse, this is one of the most desirable areas in Canada, where you’ll find endless possibilities for education and employment, not to mention a world of nature and activity! 

All of these things and more are why so many people are relocating to Toronto and other cities in the GTA. Few other places can offer such a high quality of living in terms of convenience, natural beauty, and access to fantastic culture, entertainment, and dining. In this post, we’ll look at the top GTA destinations and review some practical tips for a successful relocation.


Few things can compare with life in Toronto proper, which has made this city a premier choice for those relocating from within Canada and abroad. Toronto offers an enviable lifestyle, where you’ll find a truly world-class city with a thriving economy and nearly unlimited career opportunities. Toronto is innovative and constantly evolving and growing. With a fantastic talent pool and one of the largest technology sectors in North America, you may even consider launching a start-up company of your own. 

Opportunity and advancement might bring you to Toronto, but the excitement and joy of the vibrant communities will keep you here! You’ll find world-class entertainment venues where you can experience your favourite performers and stars, up close and personal. And if you’re looking for culture and a dynamic art scene, Toronto delivers the best of the best. 

The job market is outstanding, and Toronto’s education quality is nothing less than extraordinary. From preschool to postsecondary education, you and your family will have access to some of the most respected educational facilities available. For example, the University of Toronto is rated in the top two universities in all of North America! 

For school-aged children, Rosedale Public School, Ursula Franklin Academy, and Runnymede Junior and Senior Public School are among the best public options in the province. Toronto also provides access to exemplary private alternatives, such as Upper Canada College, Branksome Hall, St. Michael’s College School, and Fieldstone School.

This is the place to see and experience it all while creating a lifetime of memories, where culture, opportunity, and the excitement of bustling activity all come together in a perfect balance. It is hard to find a better place to set down roots! 

Want to learn more about the exciting and diverse communities within Toronto? You’ll find all of our neighbourhood guides right here.


On the western border of Toronto, you’ll discover Mississauga, the second-largest city in the GTA. Not to be outdone, Mississauga also boasts one of the nation’s hottest job markets as the home to Canadian headquarters of many large companies, including Microsoft, Abbott Laboratories, Hewlett Packard, FedEx, WalMart and more.

Anyone relocating for work will enjoy the high quality of life that Mississauga offers, a robust entertainment and arts scene, and some of the most incredible dining in the province. When it comes to education, Mississauga is one of the best places to be for students in elementary school right through to college and university. The University of Toronto and Sheridan College have campuses here, and Square One Shopping Centre, the largest mall in Ontario, is also the site of the new satellite campus for Mohawk College. 

Unlike Toronto, which is subject to two Land Transfer Taxes (municipal and provincial) which is double that of Mississauga or elsewhere outside of Toronto as they are subject only to the provincial land transfer tax, making real estate more affordable.  Every dollar goes further and allows for a high standard of living with no sacrifice in convenience. With access to major highways and a robust public transit system that connects to the TTC, commuting into the city is relatively fast and convenient. For those who want the benefits of Toronto life without paying Toronto prices, Mississauga is a highly attractive destination.

This is also a premium choice for outdoor lovers, with three conservation areas, Meadowvale Conservation Area, Credit Valley, and Rattray Marsh, that allow you to escape to nature at a moment’s notice. The hiking and cycling trails are beautiful any time of year, particularly in the fall when the colours begin to change. If you visit Mississauga, be sure to put Port Credit Lighthouse, Celebration Square, and Jack Darling Beach on your list of must-visit landmarks.

A culturally diverse city like Mississauga means everyone in your family enjoys plenty of chances to expand their horizons. The Art Gallery of Mississauga is just one way to spend an educational and exciting afternoon. It offers a curated collection of contemporary pieces from regional, national and international artists in addition to hosting several fascinating exhibitions and workshops throughout the year. 

Want to know more about Mississauga? Review all of our neighbourhood guides right here.


Our journey west continues with the stunning Town of Oakville. Smaller than Mississauga, Oakville is one of the most affluent areas to live in the GTA, with some of the highest real estate values and most breathtaking homes in the province. Those searching for a peaceful, small-town feel in one of Canada’s safest cities will be proud to call Oakville home.

The charming streets of downtown and the Lakeshore provide a shopping and dining experience that is thoroughly unique, where you can peruse and browse at your leisure without large crowds to contend with.

Oakville is highly desirable for families thanks to its safe, scenic streets and excellent schools. The majority of municipally funded schools rank high, with superb private options in Oakville.

Joshua Creek Public School, Forest Trail Public School, E.J James Public School, and St. Luke Catholic Elementary School are some of the highest-rated options you’ll find anywhere in the GTA.

With Oakville’s incredible education system, you simply cannot go wrong when it comes to giving your child a head start in life. Those who prefer a private option have access to excellent schools such as Appleby College and St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School along with many more. In fact, Oakville has the most private schools in the GTA per capita.

What is there to do for fun and leisure in the lovely Town of Oakville? It may be smaller in size than Toronto and Mississauga, but it is big on fun. Bronte Creek Provincial Park is a massive draw for anyone who loves to explore the great outdoors, featuring a series of scenic hiking and biking trails, cross-country skiing, and even a play barn for youngsters to enjoy. Bronte Village offers some of the best dining and shopping experiences this side of the GTA. Of course, if all else fails, you can never go wrong strolling along the fabulous waterfront. 

With ready access to the QEW and several GO stations, commuting in and out of the city is easy. Oakville isn’t just beautiful, safe, and full of historic charm and character; it is also highly convenient.

Curious about Oakville? Read all of our neighbourhood guides right here.


Community is the name of the game in Burlington, which has been rated by multiple publications as one of the top places in Canada to live and raise a family. With the Niagara Escarpment on one side of the city and the shores of Lake Ontario on the other, it’s hard to beat the abundance of natural beauty that awaits you in nearly every neighbourhood.

With Toronto minutes away to the east and Hamilton to the west, you can experience the best of all possible worlds in Burlington. Whether you’re seeking a thriving nightlife, a diverse and delectable dining scene, upscale shopping opportunities, endless outdoor recreation, or all of the above, you will find it here and more.  In many ways, Burlington is an extension of Oakville, with the same benefits and amenities, with real estate at a more affordable price point.

Like Oakville, Burlington is extremely family-friendly, with access to excellent education at all levels, from preschool to postsecondary. McMaster University and Mohawk College both have campuses within city limits, making furthering your career goals and pursuing higher education easy and convenient.

The downtown core of Burlington is irresistible, with a beautiful waterfront pier, boardwalk, numerous parks and unique shops and independent restaurants. Popular local attractions include the Art Gallery of Burlington, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and, of course, Spencer Smith Park along the waterfront. Summer or winter, rain or shine, you will never run out of adventures for your whole family to cherish.

Want more details about the City of Burlington? You’ll find our collection of neighbourhood guides right here.

Creating a Successful Relocation Plan

Deciding where you want to go when relocating is half the battle. From there, you can begin to iron out the details. Many aspects of your relocation may seem hazy at first, but they will come into clearer focus as you go. The first step is to create a logical plan that is straightforward and flexible. For example:

  • Think of everything you want your new house and new neighbourhood to have. 
  • Now determine which of these are must-haves, and what you’re willing to be flexible about. 
  • Is living close to work a consideration, or do you prefer lifestyle with more land, a larger home and a further commute?
  • Are good schools and being near amenities important?
  • Is the search price point or lifestyle driven?
  • Are there family or friends that you would like to be nearby?

When you start to think about what you want and what you don’t, your vision will become clearer. You’ll also understand how much of a budget you will need and approximately how long it will take. If you’re selling your existing home first, maximizing the results of your sale will open up your options when relocating to the GTA. 

Our experienced real estate team will support you throughout all aspects of your transaction, from setting a competitive price point and preparing your home to negotiating with potential buyers. 

If you want to get the most value possible when selling your home, check out these resources below:

What You Need to Know About Buying Remotely 

Depending on where you are located, it may not be possible to visit available homes in person. Luckily, new technology makes it easier to evaluate with 3D floor plans and Matterport Tours. Most importantly, a concierge real estate service like the Tanya Crepulja Team can ensure you find the right home for your needs.

We can open doors that may not have been available, especially in a high-demand market. We will provide you with valuable insight and honest advice that is always in your best interests, work hard to determine what type of home will suit you best, and then work with our network to uncover potential homes and unadvertised listings while negotiating from afar.

Buying a house is a celebrated milestone, but it can also be a challenging decision to make. The posts below will help you enjoy a successful purchase:

Valuable Checklists to Guide Your Journey

Relocating from one city to another can be a daunting process. However, your transition becomes more manageable and less overwhelming with a step-by-step approach. There may be a lot to do, but not everything needs to be done today.

The following checklist will help you stay on track and ensure you don’t miss any critical steps.

Selling Checklist

  • Contact an experienced Realtor® such as the Tanya Crepulja Team ahead of time so we can begin creating a comprehensive plan to earn the best results from your sale.
  • Decide whether you will sell or buy first. Much of this will depend on your situation and the current market, but we will consider all factors to determine the best path for you at the time.
  • Clean and declutter your home thoroughly.
  • We will perform a detailed CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) to determine an effective listing price.
  • Make a list of repairs or updates that will increase the value of your home, such as painting, minor kitchen and bathroom upgrades, as well as new hardware and lighting fixtures.
  • Work with reputable contractors to perform these selected upgrades. As a well-established real estate team, we can provide you with referrals.
  • Consider staging your home for maximum effect. 
  • Create a daily cleaning schedule to keep your home ready for potential buyers.
  • Plan to be out of your house while the real estate agent conducts showings.
  • After accepting an offer, work with a real estate lawyer to ensure a seamless close.
  • Keep your home in the same condition as when the buyer made the purchase.

Buying Checklist

  • Choose a local GTA Realtor® like us who knows the area you are buying in.
  • Obtain a mortgage pre-approval from a trusted mortgage professional. This will save you valuable time when placing offers and gives you a competitive advantage when negotiating with sellers.
  • Make a list of your desired features and begin curating listings. You can begin by searching the MLS® and Realtor.ca. 
  • Determine your maximum budget before searching for homes. This will help you stay grounded and avoid overpaying during emotional bidding wars.
  • Set aside your down payment and deposit so you will be in a position to act quickly.
  • We can arrange for you to view homes through Zoom or Facetime if you can’t visit in person.
  • Decide whether you will place a conditional or unconditional offer.
  • Once a seller accepts your offer, be ready to place a deposit of 5% of the purchase price within 24 hours.
  • Retain a lawyer to conduct a title search and to search for any liens or other encumbrances.
  • Finalize your mortgage with your lender as your transaction closes. 

Moving Checklist

  • Begin packing and sorting your belongings early so you don’t get overwhelmed early.
  • Start searching for out-of-province movers to transport your belongings.
  • Calculate your moving costs, factoring gas, overnight accommodation, and other incidentals that will arise.
  • Make arrangements for utility hookups early.
  • Update your address for all correspondence.
  • Register for health care within three months of your arrival in Ontario.
  • Update your driver’s license and insurance within 60 days of relocating.

As you begin the step-by-step process of relocating, you may feel a range of emotions, from wistfulness about leaving your old life behind to excitement and anticipation for the future that lies before you. At every point, however, remember that you are never alone. Our team is always a phone call or text away to help with anything you need throughout your journey.

Are you ready to begin the exciting process of relocating to the GTA? Our full-service team is happy to guide and support you every step of the way. Reach out to the Tanya Crepulja Team at 647-293-3785 or tanya@tcteam.ca for a complimentary Buyer consultation.