So giving it back to the community by sharing my experience.
Indian Citizen doing first H-1B stamping in Toronto, CA
Oct 1: Change of Status becomes effective and status changes to H-1B
A lot of people advised me to go to my home country for first stamping but I decided to take a chance.
Oct 30: Filled in DS-160 and picked the latest available date of Feb-6 in Toronto US consulate
Oct 30: Applied for Canada tourist visa (used a family member in Canada as inviter)
Canada visa approved in a couple of weeks.
Feb 5: Landed in Toronto with all documents. Stayed with a friend. Did a recce of the consulate location.
Appointment was at 8:15. Reached by 7:45. NO cell phones or electronics. Just have a folder with all your documents. Wallet is okay.
Airport style security check
(Hopefully my memory is correct here)
First counter: Provide your PASSPORT_SIZE_PHOTO. They will scan it and put your passport and I-797 receipt notice in a blue folder and give you the folder.
Second counter: Biometrics
Third counter: Visa officer
VO asks 3 or 4 questions like:
* What do you do at your job?
* Where did you go to school?
* What was your research field?
He kept typing a lot and a lot and a lot.
Then he hands back the I-797, keeps the passport with himself and tells me "Everything looks ok. You should get the passport back in a few days. You can track the status online". I exit the consulate.
Total time in consulate: 15 mins
You would be checking the status here: https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx
Feb 7: Says "Administrative processing" followed by some standard legal terminology like "can take several weeks or longer"
Feb 10: Status changed to "Issued", and says I will get a tracking info in 5 days
Feb 11: Email with tracking number from US embassy
Feb 12: Email from Canada Post says "ready to pickup from location X". I had given 26 Hale Rd, Brampton as a pickup location since I heard people in forums say that it's the fastest. I don't have info to corroborate or contradict this. At a few places I had received communication that I had to pick up from a "Loomis" location, but mine ended up in the Canada Post office. I didn't bother to dig deeper
Feb 12: Picked up passport from Brampton Canada Post Office.
After a few days, back in the US.
There's a pre-clearance facility in Toronto Pearson Airport. So immigration was seamless as well. Hit me up with any questions you may have