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Moving eligibility

Eligible employees are defined as newly hired full-time faculty members, professional librarians, visiting faculty, Postdoctoral Fellows and senior managerial staff in the Confidential, Professional, Managerial classification, who as a consequence of their new employment with the University, move their primary place of residence at least 100 kilometers closer to York University.

Moving allowance

The category of appointment under which you fall determines your eligibility for relocation assistance and the level of financial assistance provided as referenced in the Relocation Expenses Policy and Procedure.

The specific terms of relocation assistance are negotiated between your hiring unit and you and is based on your circumstances, guidelines, and established budget, and should be included in your appointment contract.

For questions about the allowance and process, please contact your hiring unit.

Moving company selection and procedures

As a member of the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO), the University has contractual agreements with two preferred corporate international moving companies that offer substantial discounts and guaranteed services. For more information on the University's preferred movers, please visit the  CAUBO website.

Generally, upon acceptance of your offer at York University and unless otherwise agreed to by the hiring unit, your hiring unit will suggest or use one of the two  CAUBO  preferred corporate movers to conduct the movement of household goods. 

The use of other Canadian-based international moving company will require a minimum of three quotes, one of which must be one of the CAUBO preferred corporate movers.

Quotes must be approved by your hiring unit before committing to a moving contract. 

If you do not have access to CAUBO, please contact our office.

NOTE: The actual move should occur within three months of the appointment start date, and not later than six months after the start date.

Importing a vehicle 

If you are planning to import a vehicle into Canada, the vehicle must comply with all Canadian import laws. The vehicle must meet the requirements of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Transport Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency before it can be imported. There are additional requirements that must be met if you are bringing a leased vehicle across the border. 

You must register your vehicles and obtain Ontario License plates and vehicle permits within 30 days of arrival.

If bringing a vehicle in from the USA, you may find it cheaper to drive it across the border yourself rather than having it shipped. 

Bringing a Canadian make vehicle across the border into Canada is a relatively simple process. 

For non-Canadian vehicles, please consider the following: 

  1. Please check that your vehicle is importable at the Registrar of Imported Vehicles website
  1. A clear title is required to remove the vehicle from the US. Please submit your title to the US Customs office at the point where you intend to leave the US, 72 hours in advance. 
  1. Completed recall notices are required, so please visit the dealer to obtain the recall notice(s) for your vehicle(s). 
  1. The vehicle(s) will be taken to an inspection station in Canada after they are brought to Canadian standards. Newer vehicles typically need Daylight Running Lights and perhaps a sticker for the speedometer. Some older models may need child car seat anchor bolts installed. 
  1. The vehicle must be included on your goods to follow list. If declared as part of settler's effects, duty and taxes are not payable. 

For more details regarding the process of importing your vehicle, we recommend visiting the following websites: 

The Greater Toronto Area is home to over 9 million people, with more than half of them born outside of Canada.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit index of Global Liveability, Toronto is among the top ten most livable cities in the world.

There are options for both short-term and long-term housing, depending on your appointment contract and individual needs.

Short-term accommodations


York Suites:

York Suites provides temporary furnished accommodation at the Keele campus (bachelor, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments). They are intended for a short term (1-8 months). To be granted temporary housing, you will require a letter from your hiring unit confirming your appointment and your department’s budget number (in situations where the Faculty will cover these costs).

For more information and booking, please refer to the Accommodation & Conference Services website.

If you have questions, contact them at

Schulich School of Business-Executive Learning Centre:

The Schulich School of Business at the Keele Campus has an Executive Learning Centre (ELC).  The ELC facilities include 60 overnight executive-style guest suites, with queen size beds in all suites.

For more information on guest accommodation at Schulich, please refer to the Executive Learning Centre website.

You may also email for guest room bookings.


Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) - Canadian University Hotel Rates

University rates are offered to faculty and staff of member universities and colleges throughout Canada.  These rates can be used for personal travel where it is indicated by the hotel.  Please note that the hotels may offer a promotional or special rate (such as a weekend rate) that may be lower than the `University’ rate. For a list of all participating hotels, please refer to the CAUBO website

If you do not have access to CAUBO, please contact our office.

NOTE: Hotels may require university identification upon arrival.

Rental accommodations

The Toronto rental market is competitive, with vacancy rates dropping!

There are a variety of resources that you can use to locate rental housing:

For information on landlords, tenant rights and responsibilities, please visit here.

NOTE: York University does not inspect the above rental sites or make inquiries about the listings, and cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of information provided in the listings. The University does not assume no responsibility for any loss or damage incurred by any individual or entity arising in any way out of the resources on this site.

Buying a home

Real estate agents

Agents and their networks can be useful to find out about neighbourhoods, schools, resale properties, recent sales price history, mortgage brokers to assist with mortgages, home inspectors, etc. Agents can be especially helpful when buying older homes, such as those with knob and tube wiring, where their advice on securing insurance can give peace of mind.

The Real Estate Council of Ontario can be used to check that an agent is registered and in good standing with their regulatory body. 

Other useful resources:  

NOTE: The University cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information provided in the above resources.

Real estate financing 

As a newcomer, an immediate barrier to purchasing a home may be the ability to qualify for a mortgage. Being new in Canada, you may not have had the opportunity to establish a credit history here, which is the primary qualification criterion used by most banks and lending institutions to establish the risk level of a borrower. You might want to consider using the services of a mortgage specialist/broker (whose fees are usually paid by the lending institution that ultimately advances you the borrowed funds). They have access to lending programs catering specifically to recent foreign nationals that may help you qualify for a mortgage at competitive rates, even without a credit history.   

York University has a Housing Loan Guarantee Program. It offers a benefit to faculty and senior Confidential, Professional and Managerial (CPM) employees. For more information about this program visit their website.

You will require a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work in Canada or to receive government benefits such as tax credit(s).

You will need to apply for a SIN as soon as you obtain a work permit.

A SIN is required for payroll, benefits, and health insurance.

It is unique to you and should not be shared with unauthorized personnel. Failure to obtain a SIN will result in non-payment of salary, including benefits.    

NOTE: Temporary residents who are not Canadian Citizens or permanent residents are given SINs that start with the number 9. A SIN will be valid until the end of your authorized stay in Canada, as determined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Applying for a SIN

You will need to apply for a SIN online or through Service Canada. You will need to complete an application form, which can be accessed here. There is no fee for new applications or to change the expiry date on a temporary SIN. When applying you will need to provide documentation proving your identity, status in Canada (e.g., work permit or confirmation of permanent residence letter). 

All documents submitted must be originals written in English or French. Please visit the apply section to find out what documents you need to apply, based on your personal situation.  

Please provide your hiring unit with a copy of the SIN letter and the expiry date (if applicable) within your first day or two at York.  

For more information on obtaining a SIN, please visit here.  

Postdoctoral Fellows

For more information, please follow the instructions on the Incoming Postdoctoral Fellows checklist.

NOTE: When renewing your work permit, please remember to also renew your SIN card. If you have a work permit and then gain permanent residence status, you must apply for a permanent SIN.   

Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

OHIP provides Ontario residents with primary healthcare. To access your Ontario Health Insurance Plan, you will require an Ontario health card.

Everyone needs a personal health insurance card, including children. 


With certain exceptions, to qualify for OHIP, you must meet all of the minimum qualifications listed below plus at least one of the additional requirements.

To meet the minimum qualifications you must:

  • be physically in Ontario for 153 days in any 12‑month period
  • be physically in Ontario for at least 153 days of the first 183 days immediately after you began living in the province
  • make Ontario your primary residence

You must also meet at least one of the following additional requirements:

  • are a permanent resident (formerly called a “landed immigrant”)
  • are applying for permanent residence in Canada and:
    • have submitted an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and;
    • IRCC has confirmed they have reviewed the application and that you meet the eligibility requirements to apply (see document requirements); and
    • you have not yet been denied
  • are in Ontario on a valid work permit and are working full-time in Ontario, for an Ontario employer, for at least six months
    • if you meet this requirement, your spouse and dependants may also qualify for OHIP

Your dependant (e.g., spouse, partner, children) may also be qualified for OHIP and should be on your work permit.

OHIP regulations require that you present your health card at every visit to a medical practitioner. 

Visitors (e.g., Visiting Scholars) are not eligible for OHIP.

NOTE: Your health card has an expiry date that corresponds to your date of birth or work permit expiration date.

How to apply

Complete the “Registration for Ontario Health Coverage” application form before going to a Service Canada office. To find a Service Ontario office near you, please follow this link.  

Along with a completed "Registration for Ontario Health Coverage" application form, you will need to take three separate documents from the List of qualifying identification documents (photocopies not accepted):

  • one original document that proves your Canadian citizenship or OHIP-eligible immigration status
  • one document (original, printed or digital/electronic document as noted on the list) that proves your residency in Ontario
  • one original document that proves your identity

You may also be asked to produce additional documents, for example, a marriage certificate.  


Good News- there is no longer a waiting period for OHIP coverage. If you are eligible, you will have immediate health insurance coverage. Find out what services you can get through OHIP here.   

University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

You must apply for health and medical insurance while working at York University- such as the University Health Insurance -if you are not eligible for OHIP. UHIP provides coverage for you and your family at comparable levels to OHIP.

How to apply

To enrol in UHIP:

  • If you are an employee, please contact the Pension and Benefits office
  • If you are a Postdoctoral Visitor or Postdoctoral Fellow, please contact the Pension and Benefits office
  • If a visiting academic (e.g., Visiting Scholar), please complete the form here 
  • If you are an IVRT, please complete the form here with document attachments. 

NOTE: To add new dependent(s) under your UHIP or renew your existing dependent(s)’ coverage, please complete the form here

If you are a York University employee, premiums are paid on your behalf by the University. Coverage will usually begin at the same time as your ‘start date’ at York University, subject to the completion of your registration documents. Ensure you enrol in UHIP no more than 30 days after arriving in Canada, or you will face additional charges. You are not entitled to OHIP when your UHIP coverage ends.  

For further assistance or information, please contact the UHIP Administrator.


Find out what services you can get through UHIP here. You can also find the UHIP coverage booklet here

NOTE: UHIP is not accepted everywhere, but Appletree Medical Group (Keele Campus) will allow it. 

Alternatively, you may be eligible to get free treatment at a community health centre. Before seeking medical attention, you should contact the medical provider to confirm their payment policies. If you are not eligible for OHIP or UHIP, you may wish to contact the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) to find other insurance options. 

Postdoctoral Fellows

For more information, please follow the instructions on the incoming Postdoctoral Fellows checklist.

Employee and Family Assistance Program

The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is a confidential and voluntary support service to help you with solving issues related to personal life and or workplace related issues. Whether the problem is personal such as child/elder care, adjusting to job responsibilities or other issues connected to the workplace, EFAP can be a helpful service to address these challenges through a full range of support services.

Accessing your EFAP

You and your immediate family members (as defined in the employee benefit plan) can receive support over the telephone, in person, online as soon as you join the York U community.

You can call EFAP toll-free 24 hours a day, seven days a week for immediate, confidential help.

Phone: 1-844-880-9142 (English) 1-844-880-9143 (French)


For more information on EFAP, please visit here.

NOTE: Neither HR nor supervisors are privy to information regarding who has accessed the program.

Child Care

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services is responsible for the legislation and regulations under the Day Nurseries Act. The Ministry issues licences to operators of day nurseries and private-home daycare agencies.

It is illegal to leave children under twelve years of age alone in a home or daycare. 

The regulations of the Day Nurseries Act requires that premises be licensed if they have more than five children who are under the age of ten years, of different parents, receiving temporary care and supervision. The Act is designed to ensure standards for the children’s health, safety, development, and learning. 

For more information on child care, please visit here.  

On-campus child care 
  Off-campus child care 

The City of Toronto website  provides information on child care centres, home child care agencies, and francophone child care programs. 

Child care in schools 

Many schools have licensed daycare for children who are preschoolers and school age. There may be full day programs for preschoolers and before and after school programs for the school-aged child.

Search and filter for a licensed child care or a before-after school program in Toronto.


Ontario has two publicly funded school systems:  

  • Public (non-denominational)  
  • Separate (Roman Catholic) 

They are available at both the elementary and secondary school levels.

All permanent residents between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school as outlined in the Ontario Education Act.

Academic year 

For most Ontario schools, the school year begins in September and ends in June. Generally, the grade a child enters is based on where the child’s birthday falls within the January to December calendar year.

There is a vacation period of approximately two weeks around the end of December, and a break in March that is approximately one week long. Schools are closed for the summer months of July and August (unless your child is registered for an optional summer school program). Please check with the school for details. 

All school boards offer teachers professional development days (PD Days) during the school year. Students do not attend school on these days.

  • English is the language of instruction in most Ontario schools; however, there is also a French-language school offered to students. 
  • French immersion programs are offered at some schools in the public and separate school systems, which can provide all or most subjects instruction in French. 
School boards in Toronto & surrounding areas

Find contact information for a school board (public and Catholic) or school authority here.

For information on private school options throughout Canada, including Toronto and the surrounding area, please refer to the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools website.

For more information on homeschooling in Ontario, please visit here.

Higher education

After Grade 12, students wishing to pursue higher education can apply to attend college or university. Please refer to the Ontario Universities information website for more information regarding Canadian universities and the application process.


Find a school near you and learn about it, including information on the school board for specific registration information.

Children are generally required to attend the school in the area/neighbourhood in which they reside. 

NOTE: Your child must be registered with the correct documentation (proof of immigration status, birth certificate/passport, proof of address and immunization records).

To drive on Ontario roads, you need to: 

  • carry a valid driver’s licence, at all times 
  • have a valid owner’s permit, licence plate and insurance 
  • obey traffic laws and drive safely. 

Obtaining a driver’s licence 

Ontario has 15 types of licences. Each licence certifies you to drive a specific type of vehicle. To drive a car, van, or small truck, you will need a G class licence. 

You can obtain it via one of two options:  

  • Apply as a licenced, experienced driver; or 
  • Apply as a new driver if you have never held a licence before.  

See full list of licence classes and conditions here

New driver 

If you don’t have experience driving, you can apply for an Ontario driver's licence as a new driver. You will have to follow the process for new drivers, including the graduated licensing system.  

Experienced driver 

If you have experience driving, you can use a valid licence from another province, state, or country for 60 days. After 60 days, you need to exchange to an Ontario driver’s licence. 

To get a full licence, you need to meet certain requirements. The process depends on: 

  • how long you have been driving; and 
  • where you were licensed before. 

Exchange a driver’s licence 

You can exchange an out-of-province licence for an Ontario licence, if you are re-locating from: 

When you can’t exchange 

 You cannot exchange: 

  • a driver’s licence from a country that does not have an exchange agreement in place with Ontario (it is not listed in the section above) 
  • a learner’s permit or novice-class driver’s licence from another province, state, or country. 

You might still be able to fast-track and get credit for previous driving experience.  

Learn more about foreign licence applications.   

In almost all cases, you will need to visit a  DriveTest Centre to apply. You will have to show proof of your: 

  • Legal name 
  • Date of birth 
  • Signature 

Acceptable identification for temporary residents includes: 

  • Passport (Canadian or foreign) 
  • Canadian Citizenship Card with photo 
  • Permanent immigration documents 
    • Permanent Resident Card (PRC) 
    • Record of Landing (Form 1000) 
    • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (Form IMM 5292) 
  • Temporary immigration documents 
    • Student Authorization (Form IMM 1442) 
    • Employment Authorization (Form IMM 1442) 
    • Visitor Record (Form IMM 1442) 
    • Temporary Resident’s Permit (Form IMM 1442) 
    • Report Pursuant to the Immigration Act (Form IMM 1442 with photo) 

NOTE: Documents must be original and valid. 

NOTE to visitors: If you visit Ontario for less than 3 months and want to drive while here, you may use your valid driver’s licence from your own province, state, or country.  You do not need to visit a DriveTest Centre, but you must have appropriate vehicle insurance coverage and carry an original copy of the vehicle ownership permit.  

If you are visiting Ontario from another country for more than 3 months, you should consider an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). Obtaining an International Driver’s Licence before you leave your home country will enable you to drive in Canada for one year – but you must also carry your valid home license with you.    

Driving your vehicle 

Please educate yourself on road safety topics such as Ontario’s Drive Clean Program, car seats, emergency vehicles, cell phones, transporting alcohol, and reporting collisions by reading the Official MTO Driver’s Handbook

The Ministry of Transportation has produced many information sheets. Examples are below, but for the full selection please visit their web site.  

Rules to remember

For more information on safe and responsible driving, please visit here.

NOTE: Ontario operates a Demerit Point System for driving related offences. You begin with zero demerit points and accumulate demerit points for driving-related convictions. The points are recorded on your records. Demerit points stay on your record for two years from the offence date. If you collect enough points, you could lose your driver's licence  

 Automobile insurance 

Ontario law requires that all motorists have automobile insurance, it is compulsory. You can purchase auto insurance from insurance companies, which in Ontario are private (not regulated). Rates vary, so it pays to shop around. Consider getting quotes from the University’s preferred insurer (TD Meloche-Monnex).   

Before you can attach license plates to a vehicle, renew your registration, or buy a temporary (trip) permit, the vehicle must be insured. All vehicles must be insured for third party liability of at least $200,000. When driving your own or someone else's vehicle, you must carry the pink liability insurance slip for that vehicle. Failure to do so, can results in a fine if you are pulled over by a police officer.   

TIP: Generally speaking, you will receive better insurance discounts if you use the same company to insure both your home and vehicle(s). 


Heat and hydro


NOTE: If you settle outside of Toronto, please contact the equivalent utility company for that city, e.g., if moving to Brampton, contact Hydro One Brampton.