We’ve just kicked off our New To Canada Fall 2015 Orientation and we’re thrilled to meet all of you! Activities will continue today and tomorrow, so be sure to review your orientation schedule in detail.

In the meantime, here’s some additional information to help you get settled in:

Map of York:

Click here to access to digital maps of York.


Visit this York International page for a listing of grocery stores near York University.


While there are many banks and credit unions in Canada, most people choose to bank with one of the ‘big 5′ as there are more branches and ATMs for these banks. However, there are a number of smaller banks you may decide to bank with. Please click on the bank name to link to their website.

The ‘Big 5′:

Bank of Montreal (BMO)– closest bank as its on-campus
CIBC– The remaining four all have branches within a block of Keele and Finch
Royal Bank
TD Canada Trust

In order to open a bank account you will need to bring: 1) Your passport 2) Your study permit 3) Your acceptance letter. They may also ask for additional identification (ID), so if you have a second photo identification card you should bring this. If they ask for Canadian ID, explain that as an international student who has just arrived that you do not have this.

Cell phones:

The cell phone market in Canada is not as competitive as many other countries so you may notice that it is more expensive than in other places you’ve lived or travelled. Since cell phone deals change frequently, it is difficult to recommend one company over another. However, you will notice that you will have the option to do pay-as-you-go or monthly billing (either with a contract or without). You will need a credit card in order to sign up for your service. Please note that pay-as-you-go can be expensive and is not the best long-term option.

Look for features that might be beneficial to you such as unlimited incoming calling, data plans etc. You may find that buying long-distance phone cards or Skype may be a more affordable way to call home (over cell phone company international rates). We recommend visiting several websites, mall kiosks, or calling companies to compare rates before selecting a company. I am listing a number of companies to get you started. Please click on the name to link to their website.

Bell                Rogers
Fido                Telus
Koodo             Virgin Mobile
Moblicity      Wind Mobile
Public Mobile 

Transit basics:

If you live on campus, the easiest way to get downtown is to take either the 196 A or B to Downsview Station and then take the TTC Subway southbound downtown. There is a stop at Pond Road and Sentinel or you can take it from the York University Commons. This can take anywhere from 45-75 mins.

If you pay cash, it is $3.00 per one way ride. If you ride on the weekend, you can have two people use a “day pass” and ride as much as they want for $10.50.

If you would like to go Walmart or Ikea take the YRT Number 20 for $3.50 cash for a one way ride.

You may also go to “Ink blots” in York Lanes (cash only) or any subway station (for TTC) and buy tokens in bulk which brings down the cost to $2.75.

Visit www.ttc.ca, or www.yrt.ca for more information. Learn more about additional transit providers at Go Transit and Zum


We will assist you with getting your card for UHIP at your New to Canada Orientation on September 3 and 4. In the meantime, if you need to visit a doctor or hospital for emergency purposes, please keep your receipts and you able to submit for reimbursement once we’ve completed your online registration.

Your UHIP will be billed to your student account. Click here to visit the UHIP website.

Looking forward to seeing you at the New to Canada session!

Canada flag waving against blue sky

For any additional questions reach out to the International Relations Team at  intlrelations@schulich.yorku.ca.