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A Complete Guide to Moving to a New Home in Toronto

A Guide To Moving Homes in Toronto

A Complete Guide to Moving to a New Home in Toronto

Moving to a new home is always an exciting endeavor, but it’s also a challenge. If you’re having trouble with this new phase in your life, we’re here to help out!

In this guide, we’ll cover important steps to do before your moving day and once you’ve moved in. 

Towards the end of this guide, you’ll also find a quick resource guide to services you need to contact once your address has changed.

Important Things to Do Before the Moving Day

The busiest period of your relocation is right about two months prior to your moving day. Within this timeframe, it’s important that you accomplish the following to ensure a smooth transition to your new home:

Make a list of people to notify

List down all your friends, family members, company networks, and essential parties that you must notify. 

In general, you must update the following individuals and services before updating your address:

  • Your close friends and family members
  • Post-office setup with Canada Post
  • The HR department of your employer
  • Educational institutions (you or your kids’)
  • Insurance companies (auto, personal, business, etc.)
  • Utility companies (gas, water, electricity, WiFi)
  • Paychecks and tax form
  • Key individuals to contact (your lawyer, dentist, babysitter, etc)
  • Your pets’ official veterinarian
  • Subscription services (online shopping, streaming, mapping services, etc.)

Update your address and transfer home utilities 

Once you have your complete list, the next move is to update your address. Make sure to fill out all the forms necessary for a change of address. 

The most important part is to start with your utilities since switching utilities is usually the most challenging part. Make sure that you’ve arranged your accounts so you can move into your home with water, gas, and electricity already.

For your kids (or yourself), don’t forget to contact the previous school to process their transfer records. However, in cases when you decide to still have them attend the same school, then this may not be necessary.

Organize your items and start packing

This is the stage of the moving process where you have to do a lot of leg work. It’s typically harder if you’re alone, but if you have a family member to help you, it’s advisable to get them in the loop too.

To sum up the core of your packing day, focus on the following activities to save on time and energy:

  • Understand the dimensions of your new home so you know which pieces of furniture to leave behind.
  • Create an inventory list of items you’ve decided to bring with you.
  • See if there are any items in your home that would require extra insurance coverage due to high moving risk.
  • Keep a binder or documents folder to store all necessary documents required for your move.
  • Have separate document storage for your personal documents such as legal paperwork or identification papers.
  • Get a safe box for valuable items that you have to move including pieces of jewelry and accessories.
  • For not-so-important items, consider donating them to charity or reselling them for extra cash.
  • Pack a bag where you can store items that you must use right away once you’ve moved to the new home.
  • Send your rugs or carpets to a cleaner so you can have them clean and wrapped –  perfect for moving.
  • Don’t forget to buy cushion wrappers, labels for boxes, and a “fragile” marking tape for all the items you’re moving. 
  • Pack a suitcase for you and your family for all your personal belongings such as clothes and personal hygiene products.

Arrange an appointment with a mover

Now, if you have arrangements with a mover, then you can expect them to do most of the packing, disassembly, and loading. This will of course cost you money, but it can ultimately save your time and energy.

As a general rule, it’s best to meet with the movers face-to-face to get a better estimate of the costs. Other than that, do consider the following before choosing a mover:

  • Inquire about their range of services
  • Find out their experience in the business
  • Check out the moving equipment they have
  • Ask about their licenses and insurance coverage

Clean Previous Home for Inspection

As an act of courtesy, getting cleaning services for your previous home is a wonderful choice. This ensures that the place is in wonderful condition before you leave it to a property manager or to the next homeowner.

If you’re planning to sell your previous home, it’s also best to get in contact with a real estate lawyer to arrange the legalities of the sale.

Of course, you also need to hire a property inspector to check your home for any type of damage that might need repairs or upgrades and repairs.

Keep a Keen Eye During Moving Day

As much as possible, your moving day should have your full attention. Reserve the entire day to make sure the process is stress-free for everyone involved.

Keep in mind the following things to do during the move:

  • Check each room if everything has been packed and removed. If you have a full-service mover, you can explore each room after them to make sure that everything that needs to be taken out is taken out.
  • Switch off all the appliances in the previous home that you can’t bring with you for various reasons (e.g. you’re renting an apartment and you don’t own the appliances). It’s best to keep them off the plug to avoid any risks of electric failure.
  • Do a last-minute check of all the locks in the home. Make sure the doors and windows are closed and safe from any sort of threats.

Major Things to Do in Your New Home

Now that you’ve moved into your new home, it’s time to make arrangements to settle in smoothly. Here are some of the major tasks to do once you’re all set in your new humble abode.

Major Things to Do in Your New Home

Change the locks 

Security should be among your top-most priority once you move in. Most homeowners don’t realize this, but it’s vital to change the locks in your new house to minimize security threats.

Contact a locksmith to have your locks changed in every door of your home. If the change is too costly for you, you can focus on your main entrances instead.

If you prefer, you can also get in touch with a security company to have surveillance systems installed. It’s not necessary but it’s a nice touch, especially if security is your main concern.

Arrange your furniture and fixtures

Getting a new home means starting from square one when it comes to the furniture layout. Unless your new house is actually similar to your old one, then its interior arrangement is essential.

If you have the budget for it, you can hire an interior designer to help you organize your stuff in your new home. 

Alternatively, you can just have your entire family do the design process – just make sure that the style is both functional and visually pleasing.

Have your appliances installed

Next, it’s time to think about where to place your appliances in a way that works for everyone. You may not realize it, but you have to carefully think this through to ensure that each item is safely plugged-in.

For instance, you don’t want to keep a TV too close to a fridge in the kitchen. Make sure to also check if the outlets in your new home match the plugs of your appliances and other electronics.

Stock up on necessities

In case you actually have to let go of some of the items you have in your previous home, it’s time to invest in new ones. 

On top of that, you must also stock up on household necessities to basically “kickstart” your new life.

Here are some of the basics to focus on:

  • Kitchen necessities 
  • Beddings and linen
  • Cleaning materials
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Other small appliances
  • Storage solutions
  • Laundry essentials
  • Food items and beverages
  • Small repair tools

Get around the neighborhood

Finally, once you’ve gotten around all the moving and organizing, take the time to meet your neighbors. Prepare something nice like a small gift to introduce yourself and hopefully build a good relationship in the neighborhood!

A Homeowner’s Quick List of Resources

This section contains a list of resources you must update once you change your address. Refer to each table for addresses and hotlines for easy contact:

Government Agencies and Public Services in Toronto

Driver’s License

(Update within 6 days from the time you changed your address)

At a ServiceOntario closest to you*Tel: 416-326-1234

Toll-free: 1-800-267-8097

TTY: 416-325-3408

Toll-free TTY: 1-800-268-7095

Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)- Health Card

(Update within 30 days from the time you changed your address)

At a ServiceOntario closest to youTel: 416-326-1234

Toll-free: 1-800-267-8097

TTY: 416-325-3408

Toll-free TTY: 1-800-268-7095

CRA InformationUse CRA's My Account service to update your address online1-800-959-8281
Elections Ontario

Use e-Registration services to update address or;

Mail an Application to the Voters List (Permanent Register of Electors) form to 51 Rolark Drive Toronto, ON M1R 3B1 or;

Email form to [email protected]

Tel: 1-888-668-8683

TTY: 1-888-292-2312

Employment InsuranceUse My Service Canada Account (MSCA) on the government’s website to change address1-800-206-7218
Outdoors Card

(For hunting and fishing)

Use Hunt and Fish Ontario website to update online or;

Visit a ServiceOntario closest to you

Ontario Photo Card

(For Ontarians who do not have a driver’s license)

At a ServiceOntario closest to you or;

Mail request to

P.O. Box 9200

Kingston, ON

K7L 5K4


*Here are some of the ServiceOntario locations you can find across Toronto. You can also find a location at the Service Ontario website:

  • 846 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1V5
  • 839 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W 2H2
  • 777 Bay Street Lower Level, Toronto, ON M7A 2J3
  • 1871 O’Connor Drive Units 3 & 4, Toronto, ON M4A 1X1,
  • 2129 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6N 5B4
  • 747 Don Mills Rd., North York, ON M3C 1T2
  • 1025 Lake Shore Blvd E, Toronto, ON M4M 1B4
  • 3495 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1H 1B3
  • 100 Steeles Ave W, Thornhill, ON L4J 7Y1
  • 250 Wincott Dr, Etobicoke, ON M9R 2R5,
  • 4800 Sheppard Ave E Unit 112, Scarborough, ON M1S 4N5

Home Services and Utilities

Finance and Insurance

  • Banks
  • Credit unions
  • Loan insurers
  • Investments
  • Credit cards
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Home insurance 
  • Auto insurance

Online Subscription Services Requiring Address

  • Online shopping websites
  • Streaming services
  • Geo-mapping services
  • Subscription boxes
  • Any professional associations
  • Membership cards
  • Retail Clubs

Emergency Hotlines in Toronto

The table below shows a list of emergency hotline numbers to contact within the city:

Police, fire, or medical emergencies911
Toronto Police Non-emergency416-808-2222
Toronto Fire Services (General Inquiries)416-338-9050
Toronto Distress Centre416-408-HELP (4357)
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)1-888-310-1122
Alcoholics Anonymous Helpline416-487-5591
Crime Stoppers1-800-222-TIPS (8477)
Telehealth Ontario1-866-797-0000
Kid’s Helpline1-800-668-6868
Victim Services Toronto416-808-7066
Assaulted Women's Helpline Toronto416-863-0511
Ontario Poison Information Centre1-800-268-9017
Mental Health Crisis Line1-888-893-8333
Aids Hotline1-800-668-2437

A house isn’t a home until you’ve built memories in it. Start yours by moving into your new home with a positive attitude and great hopes for the future ahead!