Try to make a point of meeting your neighbours. Wave and say hello when you see them and stop to say a few words. Offers to help will score big time: perhaps rake leaves or clean the snow now and then from a neighbour's sidewalk.
Parking can be a real problem. Plan on having only as many vehicles as you have proper parking spaces. Parking is not allowed on sidewalks, lawns, within 3 metres of fire hydrants, or 9 metres from a crosswalk or intersection - all are illegal and subject to fines by the City of Toronto. Play it safe – slow down in residential areas.
If your landlord doesn't tell you what day garbage pick-up is on, you can ask your neighbours or call the City. Only put out your garbage on the specified days. For more information about garbage and recycling pick-up in Toronto, see http://www.toronto.ca/garbage/
Be clear on whose responsibility it is to shovel snow and cut the lawn - yours or your landlord’s? If it is your responsibility to do the work, ask your landlord to provide you with the necessary tools to do so (eg. Lawn mower and shovel). Do the work in a timely fashion to avoid complaints from neighbours, or even a notice from the by-law office. Toronto by-law requires that snow and ice be cleared from sidewalks within 12 hours of a snowfall, and that grass be no longer that 20 centimeters in height.
Your neighbours may be offended by casual swearing, drinking alcohol, or too much physical closeness, on your porch or front lawn or in a public area. So, consideration is recommended – please move indoors. A friendly warning: Liquor License Act prohibitions mean that you can be charged for having open alcohol in your possession while on your front lawn or in the stairwell of an apartment.
It’s always important to be mindful of your noise levels, and the impact that loud noises may have on your neighbors. Avoid loud singing, chanting, yelling, slamming doors, honking your car horn, and playing loud music in the yard, especially at night.
If you’re having a party, let your neighbours know. They may be more understanding if you don’t surprise them. Limit the number of guests and keep the party inside after 11 p.m. Plan parking for your friends, and clean up afterwards. It is illegal for you to exchange alcohol for money in any way, so avoid this if you don’t want a permanent criminal record.
If you’re a good neighbour, it’s not likely that you’ll meet an unfriendly reaction. But if you do, it probably means your neighbours have had a problem in the past, so just be polite and make sure their experience with you will help change their minds. If your neighbours have a complaint about you, listen, try to see it from their perspective, and change whatever you can.
To protect your house from a break-in, make sure that there are working locks on all the doors and windows and always lock the house when you leave. If you're going home for holidays or away for Reading Week (thieves know the school calendar) you may want to invest in a timer for your lights. Have a trusted neighbour or friend keep an eye on the house for you. If they have a second car, they may be willing to park it in your driveway just to make the house look lived in. You might also leave a key with a trusted neighbour and ask them to check in on the house daily – maybe even turn lights on and off, etc.
If your house has been broken into, go to a neighbour's house to call the police (911) in case the thief is still in the house. Don't touch anything. Then call a friend to wait with you until the police arrive.
Your landlord is required by law to ensure that the house is safe, and that there is a working smoke detector on each floor as well as a fire extinguisher. If you have serious concerns about the fire safety of your accommodation, contact Toronto's Fire Prevention Division at 416-338-9050 for information on fire safety standards, prevention and inspections.
If you've noticed evidence of pests or vermin (e.g. mouse droppings) in your accommodation, call your landlord first. If your landlord is not able or willing to call an exterminator or solve the problem in some other way, then call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600.
UofT Scarborough Community Police Service offers a number of programs to help promote security and safety. Programs to be aware of include:
With the exeption of statutory holidays and University days of closure, this service is operating during non business hours. This service employs patrollers to escort community members to or from any campus location or nearby public transit stops during evenings. Contact the patrol service at 416-287-7022
This office offers consultation and training workshops on safety and related issues on a variety of topics such as: dealing with difficult behaviour, online safety, criminal harassment, and creating a respectful workplace. The office will offer self-defense training courses as well. Contact the Community Safety Office at 416-978-1485
UofT Scarborough Community Police work in partnership with the University community and encourage students to anonymously report information regarding criminal activity on campus. This program is designed to bring students, the community and police together to create a harmonious and safe learning environment. Contact Student Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477)
UofT Scarborough Community Police monitor and respond to calls placed from the emergency telephones on campus. Please refer to the UofT Scarborough Community Police website for emergency phone locations. Free emergency calls may also be made from any pay telephone on campus. Follow the instructions on the pay phone's digital display to call. Contact the Emergency Line at 416-978-2222
UofT Scarborough Community Police keep the community informed about campus incidents, news and educational information using various methods including the UofT Scarborough Community Police website, emails, an annual handbook, bulletin boards, electronic message boards and campus media.
EMRG is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week campus emergency response team that provides first aid and emergency assistance to the students, staff, faculty and visitors during the Fall & Winter semesters. This service is not available during holidays and University closures. In an emergency, call 911, and then UofT Scarborough Community police at 416-978-2222, or from any emergency phone on campus. To contact EMRG call 416-978-2222 and ask for EMRG
UofT Scarborough Community Police maintain a number of battery packs for sign-out to assist persons with dead car batteries. To access car-battery boosters, call 416-287-7398