Moving from Toronto to Chicago

There are many reasons why people move to the USA. Some are looking for better work opportunities since the job market is very diverse. Others might be looking for education so studying there is their option. Also, some people just want to live in a warmer place or they look for a place to retire. Living in some of the US cities can be expensive but annual income is higher as well. For those who are thinking about moving from Toronto to Chicago, it seems like a viable option, so let’s discuss it a bit.

Moving from Toronto to Chicago

Moving internationally is not an easy task. It’s not the same thing as the long-distance moving since you will have to pay more attention to laws and regulations. Also, it is much more difficult to find affordable movers. You will have to organize everything, your family and kids, your pets, and all your belongings. However, after dealing with all the paperwork, what people find most interesting are conditions, lifestyle, and various opportunities in your new city.

Chicago neighborhoods

The first thing you should know about Chicago is which neighborhood to choose because Chicago is very well known for its diversity. It is a city where you will find Chinatown, Greektown, Little Italy, the Polish Triangle, and many other ethnic societies, all in one place. Besides that, the city is divided into four main areas:

  • The North Side
  • The West Side
  • The South Side
  • The Loop (downtown)

The weather in Chicago

People often discuss harsh winters in Chicago. But, since you are coming from Toronto it would not be anything new to you. Canadians know what a real winter is like, so they won’t have any problems with adaptation to Chicago winter conditions. If you are moving to the city in Illinois, for example, you will experience hot summer seasons, and yet still have the opportunity to remind yourself of the home in winter. Everything comes alive in summer. From events that can be found at almost every corner of the city, to the beaches and parks where you can enjoy all your outdoor activities. It’s a beautiful place with something for everyone.

A Chicago park in summer.
Nature itself wakes up in the summer.

The food mania you will witness after moving from Toronto to Chicago

It wouldn’t be a story about Chicago without mentioning it’s amazing food. Chicago’s’ deep-dish pizza baked in a deep, round pan and covered with layers of tomato cheese, sauce, and other toppings is something you won’t forget. Besides that, Italian beef and Chicago-style hot dog are also unique for this city. You can’t have such a diverse city without a vast palette of ethnic cuisines. In fact, in every part of the city, you will find food stands serving you cheap and delightful food. Not to mention a lot of high-rated restaurants which are among the best in the world. Anything from Asian delights to Indian favorites can be found in Chicago. Doesn’t moving from Toronto to Chicago sound appealing?

Art and music in the Windy City

In Chicago, you will find art everywhere, from world-famous museums to shows in over 200 theaters. You will find a lot of street festivals and various musical events all over the city, especially in summer. Many consider Chicago as cradle to jazz and blues, and you will always hear music in some of many of the city’s music venues, whether it is night or day. Also, for those from Toronto interested in nightlife, Division Street and Clark Street offer many bars and nightclubs. Some of the major events are the Taste of Chicago, the Crosstown Classic, Lollapalooza, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Chicago Air & Water Show. For those that are not much into nightlife, there is a lot of opportunity for outdoor activity in parks like Millennium Park and Grant Park.

An opera show you will be able to enjoy after moving from Toronto to Chicago
Opera lovers will most definitely enjoy the show scene in Chicago.

Public transportation and CTA

Having a car in Chicago can be convenient but it’s not necessary since the public transportation system is very good and efficient. Chicagoans are proud of their “L” train because it’s affordable and you can get around to almost every part of the city. It’s one of the best urban communities considering public transportation. Bus, metro, taxi, and bike are all advantageous methods you can use in Chicago. Although, a taxi can be a bit expensive way for everyday use. It’s a great biking city due to a lot of biking lanes. Sometimes this way of traveling can prove to be more efficient than driving a car. For getting to know the city you are more than welcome to use one of the guided tours available there. Also, the Water Taxi can be a great opportunity to enjoy the view from the river.

The view from the Water taxi.
The unique view on the city from the river.

Housing and renting in Chicago

Finding a home in Chicago can be a pretty overwhelming process if you don’t get familiar with the area. The rental and housing prices will definitely depend on the area you choose to live in. There is about 77 various neighborhoods and areas with the fairly competitive rental market you can choose from. That includes suburbs as well. Comparing the housing cost, Toronto is 31% cheaper than Chicago.
Approximate monthly rental prices in Chicago are:

  • $1,200+ for 1 bedroom apartment in the Center
  • $900+ for 1 bedroom apartment out of the Center
  • $2,500+ for 3 bedroom apartment in the Center
  • $1,300+ for 3 bedroom apartment outside the Center

Approximate home prices:

  • $3,300+ per square meter in the Center
  • $1,850+ per square meter outside of the Center

Final words on moving from Toronto to Chicago

Chicago, with its tradition and diversity, can be a lot more than just a warmer version of Toronto. It’s the unique opportunity to get to know some other cultures, other lifestyles, and other people, considering diversity. Even the suburban part of the area is more alive than you might expect, which is important should you decide that moving from Toronto to Chicago is your next important step. Raising kids in rural parts of the city, and working in downtown is a rewarding option to consider. And, don’t you forget that after all the trouble with moving and surviving the culture shock, you can always grab a bike and go to the beach to enjoy the sun.