Moving South for the Winter: What to Do Before Leaving Toronto

  • A senior couple walks along the beach at dusk.
Toronto has been ranked the best place to live in the world by The Economist—and for good reason.

Called the New York City of Canada, Toronto is the capital of Ontario and the fifth biggest city in North America. It offers an exciting urban lifestyle on the shores of Lake Ontario, including world class dining, shopping, museums, and more.

But there is one thing you won’t find in Toronto, at least not in the winter—and that’s warmth.

Snowbirds can get the best of both worlds by staying up north until winter hits and then heading south. But there are a few things to remember before you take flight.

Snowbird Packing List

It’s tempting to throw some shorts and t-shirts in a bag and take off, but there are a few things you’ll want to make sure you have with you, in addition to shoes and clothing.

• Copies of important documents, including insurance policies, your passport, medical history, prescription refill information, and credit card information in case yours are lost or stolen.
• Chargers. It used to be that all you needed were extra batteries for your camera, but those days are long gone—and the last thing anyone wants is to spend $30 buying a new charger. Make sure to bring yours for your phone, tablet, computer, reading device, and any other electronics you may have. Do yourself a favor and label all of your chargers with masking or wasabi tape.
• Don’t forget your reading glasses. Ditto for sunglasses.
• Any medications you may be taking, as well as a basic first aid kit.
• Linens, towels, etc. If you’re renting a house, make sure to check your agreement and see what items are provided and what you have to bring. Even if everything is covered, you may still want to bring your favorite pillow or a couple of fluffy towels.

Checklist for Closing House for Winter

Make sure to make time for the following before you leave:

• Call or email the post office to have your mail stopped. Same goes for your newspaper.
• Shut off your water, open the faucets, and let all of the water drain out of your pipes. Flush your toilets to empty water from the tanks.
• Set your thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit or about 13 degrees Celsius.
• Empty your fridge and your cabinets of perishable food.
• Find a friend or a caretaker to check on your home occasionally.
• Find someone to watch your houseplants.
• Unplug all appliances.
• Let your bank and credit card companies know that you’ll be making purchases from another location, so that they don’t suspect fraud and freeze your account.
• Notify your neighbors and your security company that you’ll be gone.
• Put timers on a few interior lights, so that your house appears to be occupied.
• Make sure valuables that you are not taking with you are in a secure location.

About StorageMart

If you’re thinking about downsizing as part of your new snowbird lifestyle, you may find yourself running low on storage. Happily, that’s an easy problem to fix. At StorageMart, you can rent a unit as small as 25 square feet or so—or up to the size of a garage. We offer affordable self storage units that can be rented on a month-by-month basis and are always clean and well lit. Need more info? Start the easy online rental process today.

About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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