So after a few unexpected changes in my life, I moved to the big city of Toronto, Ontario from my smaller hometown of Barrie, Ontario. I have a clear view of the CN tower from my balcony, which I think is really cool. My hometown is really just an hour away from where I am now, but I am in an entirely new environment and have some adjustments to make and challenges to face.
For starters, I'm currently unemployed. I was laid off in June and am unable to find work that isn't 100% commission or pays roughly the same as what I make on employment insurance. Im still pounding the pavement and searching for work and I'm confident that I'll find something. I don't want to turn this into a thread on finding a job, so my main concern is on my second challenge.
Being new to the city, I don't really know anyone here. My girlfriend lives in a different part of the city and its going well, but I'm looking to make new friends. As mentioned before, I'm searching for work, so I don't have a lot of free money to spend on joining new groups that would charge for membership. So my main question is how did you meet new people, or how would you meet new friends if you moved into a new city where you didn't know anyone?
Start with you're neighbors. Sounds like you live in an apartment, so you should have a lot of them. Most of them are probably incompatible, but you might just find you share a wall with a great pub-buddy. If you're unemployed, then you probably have a long of spare time. Maybe do some local volunteer work with the kind of organization that would attract people with your same interests. (For example, if you like hiking, join a trail-maintenance crew.) Join a free group of people that have a common interest or find one online. Look for fellow members of this forum that are in Toronto. Hang out at a local bar that matches your personality and shoot the breeze with the regulars over a pint (during happy hour, to save money).
Making new friends is hard. Starting from scratch is even worse. Depending on your personality, this could come easily or it might be very uncomfortable. Just know that there are many more like yourself that are new and in need of friends.
There are sure to be some free public events on things that interest you. That is a good place to start, it's free, and you will be around people with a like interest. Shakespeare In The Park, Boardwalk events at the beach, and the local historic sites are a few things in my area that spring to mind. I'm sure your local coffee shop will have information about local activities, it's a good place to start.
Hey Peter! I just moved from my home in CA to Kansas City for work. A bit different situation, but I can tell you that getting out there and ACTING on an idea of what to do is 1000x better than noodling about what to do for awhile. When I got here, I joined a Toastmasters speaking group, I'm about to join an Aikido school and also, the guys at work are pretty awesome to hang out with. I know the first two require minimal money and the last requires work, but joining groups is the easiest way.
Try meetup.com or something similar to find groups. Churches are easy to get active in if you're of a religious persuasion. Social clubs exist as well. Just try and find some like minded folks in pursuing similar passions and you'll click very fast.
I'm in the same boat (wife reloacted us to Louisville, KY 2 months ago), so I'm interested in the advice being guven, but I'll throw in my 2 cents...
I'll have to second (or third, fourth, or whatever we're on) interest groups. Usually the fees are nominal (I pay $15/year for my local aquarium club, although the Sports Car Club of America is a bit steeper at about $70/year). The plus is that by meeting people at interest groups, you automatically have a starting point for conversation.
Another tip is that whatever you do, make it a routine. If you get out and run, run on a regular schedule. Be friendly and smile/wave at people you see. Eventually, people will start to recognize you, and you can start striking up conversations.
What ever you do, fight the urge to cocoon. It's been a constant battle for me, but it's starting to pay off. Since I don't know anybody and my wife works all the time, the easy solution is just stay home and play with my pets, play games, read, etc., but I know I'll never meet anyone by doing that. So I force myself to take my dog for long walks around the neighborhood, or hang out a a local fish shop, or something similar, just to be out and exposed to people.
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