Understanding the work environment in Toronto

The work environment in Toronto
Updated 2019-04-30 14:32

When you go join a company in Toronto, the people already working there expect you to not behave too differently from how they do. They expect you to dress and behave in a certain way, greet your colleagues in a particular way, arrive at work at a specific time. Here are some of the things you expect to meet in most of Toronto's work environment. This is merely to guide you. However, you should ask questions about how things are done before joining your new workplace. Once you have started, you should study your coworkers' behaviour so you will not be the odd one out.

Working hours

In general, the work environment in Toronto is clean and conducive. In most companies, you will start at 8 am, or 9 am. While different work environments have different rules, there are specific rules that are also universal in Toronto's workplaces. Some of these laws include the standard working hours which is usually eight hours in a 24-hour period amounting to 40 hours in a week. You also have overtime regulations which stipulate that any work done outside the standard working hours by company employees, excluding managers and professionals such as lawyers, engineers, architects, doctors and dentists, should be paid at a rate of 1.5 times the standard hourly wage. Employees in workplaces which are directly under the federal government's regulations are entitled to one full day of rest each week, customarily Sundays.

Labour Code

Some laws define how workers should be treated and how they should, in turn, behave at their workplace. The Canadian Labour Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. L-2) established such labour laws in all provinces of Canada. These laws include guidance on termination and temporary layoff, leave of absence and unjustified dismissal. You can access the Canada Labour laws here.

Dress code

Most blue-chip and financial companies such as banks, insurance companies and stock exchanges require that staff dress in corporate wear, that is suit and tie for men and high-waist trousers or skirt, gowns, laconic silhouettes, high necklines, pencil-style skirts for women. Technology companies, on the other hand, do not have dress codes and allow both casual and corporate attires. Modesty in dressing is encouraged but not mandated in technology firms. Today, the dressing down culture is sipping from the technology and engineering field to broader fields.


Every worker is by law protected from sexual harassment, and every harassment complaint is well investigated. Racism is frowned upon at, and many companies try to maintain gender equality.
You're expected to maintain a positive attitude in your workplace. You should not quarrel or hold grudges for instance.

Team spirit is imbibed and respected by most of Toronto's working population. For many, achieving the team's goal is more important than who achieved it. Yet, hard work is rewarded with promotions and pecks. While this encourages competition, unhealthy competition is unacceptable. You should not bicker, gossip or engage in office politics. Appearing to be over-ambitious is likely going to earn you more enemies than win you any friends. There's no need to try to scream to the whole world that you are the best or make people think you are more important than them. Do your work and let your results speak for you.

Useful link:

Canada Labour Laws

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