Dublin: 7 °C Monday 28 November, 2022

17 things you'll know if you did your J1 in Toronto

Go for the low legal drinking age, stay for the baking humidity.

1. You’re well aware that it wasn’t technically a J1 because it was in Canada

spain Source: 123meridianwest

A full on “working holiday Visa” just doesn’t sound like good craic but it’s the exact same as a J1 if you’re there for the summer.

2. The real reason you picked Canada was that the legal drinking age is only 19

7sRW1Tf Source: Imgur

You always heard tales of daring drink escapades from your under-21 friends in the States while you could just stroll into any LCBO with your legit ID without a care in the world.


3. Before you even went you had many, many meetings with your friends about USIT, insurance and manic online searches for gaffs

craig Source: Craigslist

You knew nothing about Toronto so you just had to guess where the best place to live was.

“Near a University? Has to be grand.”

4. And everyone congregated around the computer at the *exact* moment the visas were issued and it was the most stressful thing of all time

tumblr_m8bl64lyUi1r6g7k5o1_500 Source: Tumblr

5. On arrival, you had a sudden and inexplicable urge to get a picture with the CN Tower in the background

6. And then within your first few days you went up it and became an absolute tourist

7. The gaff you rented was probably a vast, barren wasteland bereft of furniture

Upstairs front Source: ndanger

Sleeping on towels for a while and going to great lengths to get a couch.

8. Everyone seemed to live in the same area around the Annex, so you started seeing county jerseys and Ireland tops all the time

bloor Source: Google Maps

From Bloor to Dupont to the U of T – it’s the home of the Irish J1ers taking Toronto students’ gaffs for the summer.

9. Walking the streets with a pile of “resumes” in a panic while cash ran out was a standard Toronto experience

“Sorry, we’re not hiring…”

giphy Source: Giphy

10. You were highly aware that other cities had relatable Irish songs written about them, but Toronto had NOTHING

sandiegosong Source: Irishmusicdb

Except maybe Drake at a push, but then his songs aren’t directly targeted to J1s so you’re left singing about San Diego.

11. Niagara Falls was the quintessential Toronto J1 holiday

12. Because you could get a bus there on the cheap and it had the waterfalls and casinos

Like a really shit version of Vegas.

New York was a bit of a stretch on limited funds and Niagara had a world-famous attraction you could tell your parents about.

13. It took ages to get used to tax getting added on at the till for every single thing you bought

tinypic photo Source: TinyPic


14. And tipping on nights out in Toronto was a crushing blow to your limited finances

Another $ lost there, great.

15. You were an expert on the difference between The Beer Store and the LCBO within a couple of weeks

The Beer Store Source: Joseph.Morris

Where, how, when. They were unnecessarily complicated, but you got there in the end.

16. And you were well used to the baking humidity of Toronto and how to get to the beach as quick as possible

17. And finally, when your summer came to an end, just one more shot of the CN Tower seemed like a great idea

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About the author:

David Elkin

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