Setting up Services and Utilities in Toronto

Relocating to a new city means you’ll be keeping busy setting up your affairs and getting to know your exciting new surroundings for quite a while. Well, there’s no way you’ll be able to accomplish all that without the the water flowing, your power buzzing, and the Internet running like clockwork. Setting up your services and utilities in Toronto should be a top priority on your relocation list.

Here’s what you need to know to get Utilities in Toronto up and running:

Municipal Utilities:

It’s easy to connect a house or apartment to to municipal utilities in Toronto like water.  In the city, a utility bill is mailed to residents by their municipality, which includes water billing and solid waste management fees. Solid waste is charged by bin size and pickup frequency. For example, one small bin picked up biweekly costs $237.64 a year. There is also an annual rebate that is the same for everyone.  For more information, click here.  The water rate is $3.1945 per cubic meter, if paid on time.

Electricity:

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In Toronto, using electricity to power lights, outlets, and other power is common. Some residents even use electricity for heating and air condition, although it’s more expensive than using gas. The city has many electricity generators, but the most commonly used is  Ontario Power Generation, which takes care of about 50 percent of residents.

Energy is produced through various means including nuclear, hydroelectric, fossil fuels, wind and solar. Transmission companies more the electricity from generators to homes, and Toronto Hydro is the biggest municipal electricity distribution company in the City of Toronto.

Most likely, you’re home or apartment will already be connected to the electricity grid, so you’ll just need to open an account with the company and provide it with a meter reading.

The rates for electricity vary depending on the time of use.  For a complete list of energy distribution companies serving ontario, click here.

Electricity companies may ask customers for a non-mandatory security deposit, which is returned after one year of good payment history. Utility companies are also required to offer customers equal monthly payment plans, which divide up the total bill for a 12-month period and distribute it evenly over the months. It can be helpful if you would like the security of knowing exactly how much you will owe each month. Otherwise, keep in mind that you’ll likely pay more money on electricity in the winter than in the summer. Visit the Ontario Energy Board for more information.

Natural Gas:

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In Ontario, natural gas is a popular energy source for heating and cooling apartments and houses. Lucky for us, the Ontario Energy Board regulates the rates that utilities are allowedto charge customers. Enbridge Gas Distribution  is the most commonly used company that distributes natural gas to the City of Toronto. The rate in July 2015 was 11.1676 cents per square metre, and rates are adjusted four times a year. For more information, contact Enbridge Gas at 1-877-362-7434.

In order to get natural gas, check to see if your street has a natal gas line, and make sure you have your gas appliances hooked up correctly. You’ll need to open a new account with a natural gas distribution company. If you choose Enbridge, this involved submitting an Open New Account form is gas service is already installed, or calling Customer Connections Contact Centre at 1-888-427-8888 is natal gas services need to be properly installed.

To save on costs, and help the environment, it’s a good idea to look for high efficiency energy consumption products, which can cut gas use by as much as 20 percent.  And don’t forget that electricity and heating must always be on in winter, even in an empty house, to prevent freezing water pipes! Think about setting the heating at 15°C when you leave for the weekend.

Communication Services:

Combined communication utilities in Toronto including a telephone landline, Internet, and cable TV, is commonly referred to as a bundle. Rogers and Bell are the two big companies. Prices become less expensive the more services you sign up for, but a basic bundle generally ranges from $100 to $120 per month. Smaller, cheaper internet providers  include Teksavvy, Start, Acanac, Distributel, and Cogecoand many Ontarians find them to provide more reliable service than larger companies.  

There are also all sorts of mobile phone providers including Fido, Rogers, Telus, Virgin Mobile , Bell, and other smaller, more local companies. Basic packages start at about $30 per month. Voicemail and caller ID cost extra, and 3G Internet charges are based on you data usage on your smartphone. An unlimited voice and texting plan covering all of Canada, plus ab acceptable data package costs around $65 per month. Smartphones cost from $0 to $200. 

From all of us at Settle-in.com, good luck setting up services and utilities on Toronto!

 

Want to learn more about housing and utilities in Toronto? Sign up for Settle-in.com and get full access to “The Guide.” Read the “Housing ” chapter for more information on this topic.

 

Read more about Toronto: 

 

(Photos: Chris Potter via Flickr, Shannonpatrick17 via Flickr, Nayu Kim via Flickr)

 

Catherine

About Catherine

It’s always been easy for me to have lots of love for Canada. As a native Canadian, I enjoy a both the vibrant cities full of excitement for young people, and the many opportunities to explore more remote parts of the country too. In my day-to-day life, it’s important for me to live an eco-friendly and health-conscious lifestyle. I like to take my kids on outings to the apple orchard in fall, a sugar shack in the spring, and to the many city parks during winter for ice skating, cross country skiing and snowman building. What better way for me to show my thanks to Canada then to help others with their journies of relocating to the country? I hope that I, and the rest of the Settle-in.com team, can help ease your mind during your transition. Il n’a jamais été difficile pour moi d’aimer le Canada. En tant que Canadien d’origine, je profite d’une ville dynamique, riche en activités pour les jeunes mais aussi de possibilités pour explorer d’autres endroits du pays. Dans ma vie quotidienne, il est important pour moi de vivre en respectant l’environnement et la santé. J’aime amener mes enfants dans les pommeraies l’automne, dans une cabane à sucre au printemps et dans les nombreux parcs de la ville pour patiner en hiver, faire du ski de fond et des bonhommes de neige. Aider les autres dans leur relocalisation dans ce pays est une des meilleures façon de remercier le Canada. J’espère que l’équipe de Settle-in.com et moi pourrons vous soulager dans votre période de transition. //