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Canada, Tronto life (Mar – Nov, 2008)

I want to live somewhere abroad.
I want to learn how to make music at school.

Those were my dreams as of 2008 but I never could consider to do them cause I firmly believed that those things could only be possible for students or before age 22 or something like that. After graduating university, I was working like the others were. I must admit that I had so closed mind at that time. But when I quitted my job and in the interview process for new job, I realized that I was totally free to do anything I wanted. Came to know about working holiday program and found a music school in Toronto, I flied to Canada in March 2008 after getting working holiday visa and lived in Toronto for 8 months. I will share my little story in Canada here.


Landscape of Tronto

When I was in line for a bus from airport to downtown, I didn’t have any coins and asked a woman in the line for change. But she just gave me money and even found a cheap hotel for me and took me to there. So kind woman and I was really blessed to meet her. She said that she has been to Japan and people there helped her a lot so that’s why she wanted to help me.

After taking rest at the hotel, I called a real estate agency and singed up for this apartment on the first day and checked out the hotel in next morning. Much snow was left on the streets and I dragged my suitcase to go to my apartment. After walking 200 meters, I suddenly noticed that I didn’t have my wallet and to make matters worse, nearly $2,000 was in it. Tuned pale, I run run run the all way back to my hotel and asked the front woman if she has my wallet. I just remembered that I put it on the front counter’s mini shelf where a bit hard to look over for front staff. Fully fortunately she kept my wallet! And all the money was in it. It was a shocking accident but I was really lucky to survive the situation. How nice and sincere Canadian people are.


First apartment I lived at $550 in Dundas, it was located in city center.


After picking up my wallet, I headed to my apartment and opened my room on 11th floor but unfortunately cleaning wasn’t completed and bed mattress was not ready. Oh my god.. I didn’t have enough money so that didn’t want to spend for hotel any more. Shocked that I couldn’t move in, I hopped in an elevator and pressed 1st floor button then the door closed. Descending to 10F, 9F, 8F…. and the door opened on 6F if my memory is certain. One Canadian guy talked to me and knowing that I’m a Japanese, he invited me to his room to show some pictures of Japan. He has been to Japan and he was a university student. Explaining the situation, he allowed me to stay his room one night and cared for me after that while I was in Canada.

He helped me to sign contract for this mobile phone the next day. Getting a local mobile phone was somewhat exciting moment for me to start living in a foreign country.


Simple interior, this minimum setup was enough for me

View from the window, chilling and in peace

Dundas subway station which was located near my apartment. There was a big shopping mall and other shops and restaurants. Very convenient area in city center.

After two months. I moved to a second apartment. The rent was $370/mth, and it was only 50 meters away from the first apartment. I liked its convenient location much. The room size was maybe under 10 sqm (100 sqft) but it was good to save money at this tiny room.

Doors were so close for such a small room apartment house, haha.


Shared kitchen

Shared fridge

Local watermelon

Huge 4L bottled milk, I could only see 1L package in Japan.

Blueberry tofu, never seen in Japan

Carrot grown up by my laziness

Parsley by the window, good to feel its green but mainly for cooking..

Huge cabbage, I saved money by eating cabbage pasta with this.


You know how it’s really huge? Its size was the same as a chair’s seat. Amazing..



Strip club

Second hand road bike, its handle fell off on one rainy day on the road, dangerous to have a second hand without maintenance!

Broken macbook, screen broke but I brought it to a local PC repair shop and their tech replaced the screen for me. It recovered as it was. How nice ๐Ÿ™‚

As I got working holiday visa, I worked at a hotdog stand for 3-4 months and at a dance studio for 1 month. Besides, I worked at a dental school and ceremony hall in distance as a cleaning staff for the hot dog stand owner. He owned several businesses. Somebody came to my apartment to pick me up and we drove to the destinations. The hot dog stand was located near Ontario lake and I worked 12 hours night shift 5 days a week. Wake up at 15:00, go out with friends 16:00-19:30, work 20:00-08:00 my schedule went on like this.

I enrolled music school but dropped out in 1 month cause it was not for me. As I planned to learn music for 3 months at that school, 2 months fee was left at my hand. Spending the money, I bought my first macbook and a music composing software, started learning by myself and it worked good for me. I still enjoy making music with the same software with macbook. Those two made my life pretty happy.

I joined a tennis club, experienced living and working abroad, learned music, traveled to Montreal and Quebec, 8 months passed like that and I came back to Japan. It was really a good choice to live in Canada and had exceptional experience there, plus, leaving a home country was much meaningful to me to broaden my mind. Something usual is something unusual in other cultures. When I came back to Japan, I flied directly to Osaka where I had never lived in and enjoyed new life and experience there.