Top 5 Things to Know Before Moving to a New City

Moving can be full of uncertainty but it can also be full of excitement and new adventures, new friends, new jobs and more. However, there are requirements to be met during a big move other than packing and cleaning; here the top five things to know before packing:

Find out the Cost of Living

Certain cities have a higher cost of living than others. It’s no secret that small towns, on average, are less expensive in terms of real estate and amenities. There are also places, such as Toronto, Ontario or Vancouver, B.C., which offer up breathtaking views and a plethora of things to see and do, however, they come with a substantially higher price tag. Generally, areas tend to fall somewhere in the middle. For example, St. Catherines, Ontario is surrounded by beautiful scenery, is filled with lush parks and greenspace and is close enough to drive to Toronto, however, real estate is a fraction of the cost. 

With a diverse cost of living, it is important to research your new location to compare your current cost and future. A great tool for comparisons can be found here.

It’s important to remember your age, family size, and style of living when considering how much it will cost to live in a new city. Are you the type of person who dreads cooking and often ends up ordering in or eating out? Will you be renting or buying a property? Find out the price of everything that applies to you and your lifestyle and create a budget that will allow you to enjoy the way of life you’ve become accustomed to. 

Related Post: The Ultimate Guide To Living In Maple Ridge, BC [2021]

Transportation Options

If you rely on public transportation, knowing the options that will be available to you is crucial. Being a resident who commutes to work by transit, you will want to know where your closest pick-up location will be and operating times, be sure to find out the cost as well; many forms of public transportation will often have weekly or monthly passes available

Being an avid transportation user, you can check out the city’s transit website to find out critical information such as will it be easy for you to get to the grocery store or run your errands or do the buses run on the same schedule every day. 

If you own a vehicle and use this as your main transportation it is equally as important for you to do research on travel routes you may be driving frequently. Which way will get you to work quickly during rush hour? Are there any free parking options available or will you be required to pay for parking? These are all questions you will want to find the answers to help you guide your decision making when looking to move.


There are several different reasons a person may choose to move, one of them being a job transfer. If this doesn’t pertain to you, it is important you know the different job opportunities that may be available in your new place of residence. You can look at job banks, or job boards such as Indeed, or making a LinkedIn profile. Other things to consider: It may take longer than you plan to find a job, so it’s vital to remember to make a budget that will carry you through until a job opportunity presents itself. This may mean tightening the purse strings until you find employment.

The best thing to do is to start looking for and applying to jobs before you move. If you start looking early, you have a better chance of lining up a job that is ready for when you get there. When you do find the perfect job for you, it’s good to know whether the aforementioned bus route will take you to your destination reliably, or if you’re driving yourself, whether or not there will be parking available close by. 

Learn the Lay of the Land

It’s important to know what kind of neighbourhood you’ll be living in. The convenience of the internet allows for quick and thorough research to find out vital information. Knowing if the neighbourhood is safe, where the closest grocery store if any would be. If you’re an artsy type of person, it might serve you well to look into where art museums and other types of art venues are in proximity to where you’ll be living. If you have a dog that needs to go for long walks every day, then it will be well worth it to research where the closest parks and trails will be. There are well trusted Google Maps and other website resources but taking advantage of social media to research might be beneficial. You can usually find local Facebook groups for the city you will be living in, if you are a parent, you have a 99% chance of finding a Facebook group geared towards this. Join these groups and ask all the questions you have; the people will be happy to help you. Another added bonus to Facebook groups: a great way to meet new people!

One option to explore the new location you’ll be living in is to take a weekend trip. Book yourself a hotel or find a cute little AirBnB for a weekend trip.

Rid of Unused Items

This is an easy way to lighten the load when moving. Do you have a box of VHS tapes in your closet that haven’t been used in over 2 decades? How about a closet full of clothes you haven’t worn in years? By getting rid of items, you can not only reduce the amount of packing you’ll need to do, but also start your new adventure with a clean and fresh palette. 

It's not too hard these days to pawn off your possessions, as many online shops exist that will give you a place to sell your old objects, as well as the option of having a good, old-fashioned yard sale. Additionally, you can always consider giving away the stuff you can’t sell. By donating unneeded possessions to thrift stores and charities, you’ll be helping someone out that may need those items more than you.

Moving to a new city can be stressful, but with the right research, your stress levels can be drastically reduced.  Remember, have fun!