Before you leave
Visa and work authorization [any Canadian Embassy (Visa Section),
the nearest one is in Buffalo in the US - 2 hours]: The basic choice is
to apply for temporary or permanent. The temporary visa is easier to get,
but you cannot stay indefinitely, and you normally need to go back to Embassy
where you applied for the interview that is part of the permanent application
process. The permanent application process is more involved (very detailled
forms, many documents needed, larger fees, medical exam, interview) and
may take longer than a year in total! If you are tenure-track faculty I
recommend that once you got the necessary "Confirmation of Offer of Employment"
from Human Resources Canada to contact the embassy and ask if you should
apply for temporary or permanent. If you are tenure-track then it may prove
helpful to mention that your appointment is for at least 6 years and that
you had an interview for the job.
Submit your Estimate of Relocation Allowance Form to the office
of the Dean.
When to move: The fall term at York runs from the beginning of September
to December, the winter term runs from the beginning of January to April
(there is also a summer term). You should be here at least
2 weeks before the start of your class.
Ask for your account to be created and utilize e-mail and WWW forwarding
[tech support, email@example.com]. Also ask that an office is ready for
you and at least an X-Terminal is in it when you arrive [dept. chair].
If you intend to teach graduate courses apply for graduate faculty status
Housing: If needed, check if temporary housing on campus is available
and ask the department to reserve in your name. Note that if you do not
show up for 3 days, the reservation is cancelled [York Hospitality].
If you take a Car from the US to Canada see the information at the
of Imported Vehicles and at the Ministry
of Transportation. I recommend strongly that you get all recall
work done before you arrive and have the dealer document that. Some modifications
(e.g. day time running lights) are also required to bring it up to Canadian
standards - see the web site. Once you are in Canada you need to have it
inspected by an RIV inspection center. You need also Canadian/Ontario insurance
for your car. Furthermore, you need a provincial safety inspection. I strongly
recommend that you do the safety inspection AFTER you get insurance, because
the inspection document is only valid for a limited time (36 days) and
getting adequate documentation for previous experience can take a lot of
time. With all this done you can license the car at the Ministry of Transportation
[nearest office: NW corner of Keele & 401]
If you teach a course soon after arriving arrange time(s) and classroom(s)
At the border crossing: Ask about an information package for new
residents. It contains a lot of very useful information about Social Security,
Health Insurance, Taxes, Life in Ontario, etc.
Average weather information for Toronto can be found
The current weather for Toronto is available
When you arrive
Plan for a minimum of 2 weeks to get the most important things done before
teaching starts. General advice: take all documents (passport, documentation
of legal status - you get that when you enter the country, offer letter,
etc.) to all offices. Below I have listed only "special" documents.
Talk to the administrative assistant: keys, set-up of start-up funds
Social Insurance Number (SIN) [Human Resources Development Canada:
3737 Chesswood Dr. (at the intersection with Sheppard)]: To get the number
immediately you need a letter from the department stating that you need
it now to get on the payroll. Otherwise it takes 3 weeks :-(.
Get a bank account..
Contact Human Resources at the university [East Office Building]
about enrollment in: payroll, extra health insurance (including dental
& vision), pension plan, etc. Moreover, if your previous insurance
does not cover your first 3 months in Ontario enroll in the university
health insurance plan (UHIP), which covers you and your dependants until
Ontario health insurance plan (OHIP) [4400 Dufferin Street, halfway
between Finch & Sheppard, 1-800-268-1154]: takes 3+ months to start.
You need documentation to show where you live (rent agreement, letter from
York Hospitality, etc.).
If you are not from the US, Canada or Japan or you have been driving less
than 2 years your Driver's License is valid only for 60 days! For
the current regulations see the
of Transportation [nearest office: NW corner of Keele & 401]. You
will need to take a written test. The material can be studied from a booklet
available at the Ministry or e.g. at all "Canadian Tire" shops.
passing the written test you have to take a driving test. If you are new
to driving you have to take the "G1" test first. If you have been driving
before in another country you can most probably directly take the 45-minute
"G2" road test. Warning: the "G2" test is usually booked full for
some time ahead (several months)!. Call the booking system often to check
for slots becoming free. Also consider taking the road test outside of
Parking on campus [in East Office Building]: For faculty parking
in the Ice Garden lot you need an "unreserved lot" parking pass (approx.
$170 for 4 months in 2000) and you need to ask for an "6A Identifier Pass
for the Ice Garden Parking Lot".
Library Card [Main Library south of Central Square]: you need your
employment offer and your employee number.
To obtain a York ID Card you go to York Card office in the West
Office Building (736-5674). The only things you have to take are one piece
of ID and a payroll stub.
Attend the New Faculty Day and all related sessions, you meet many
interesting & important people.
Talk to undergrad and grad secretaries about procedures for enrollment,
drop dates, etc.
Teaching: Advice for new instructors can be found
(by Johnny Amanatides).
Graduate faculty: Prepare a 5-10 min presentation of your research program
and the courses you teach for grad orientation day in the first
week of the term.
Information assembled by Wolfgang Stuerzlinger, 1998-2000.
Thanks to the rest of the department for corrections / additions.
Legal (dis-)claimer: Absolutely no guarantee on completeness and/or