Vancouver vs Toronto: Which city is better to live in 2024

Vancouver vs Toronto: Which city is better to live in 2024

It depends largely on your field of work. The most beautiful place on earth is miserable if you can’t get meaningful employment. Beyond that, Vancouver is far prettier and has a nicer lifestyle; while it is wet and grey in the winter, it is also far warmer.

The biggest downside to Vancouver is that it is more expensive than Toronto (and Toronto’s rather expensive).

Housing prices in both cities are quite high, but it is becoming almost impossible for most of society to own a detached home in Vancouver.

Edit: As of April 2021, Toronto’s housing prices have surged ridiculously (while Vancouver’s high prices have plateaued). Toronto housing is now near or equal to Vancouver’s levels, with no end to the price increases.

Each city has so many great things going for them that it is hard to say which is better.

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Toronto has a much wider cultural diversity, representing cultures from many parts of the world. Driving through the Brazilian community many years ago after their country won a soccer cup was fun.

Vancouver has beauty going for it – nestled in the mountains, next to many islands, and near the Ocean. The weather is temperate, and I have enjoyed playing soccer outside in the winter, something impossible in Toronto.

Toronto has a vibrant bookbinding community (much bigger than Vancouver). Of course, this is a narrow field, but as a hobby bookbinder, I’ve taken courses there and enjoyed that large-for-bookbinding community.

Vancouver is very progressive, socially, and sustainable. There are surprisingly large numbers of companies that are for-profit and non-profit that mix social/environmental values.

Which city is better to live in, Vancouver vs. Toronto 2024

Vancouver is considered the “greenest” city in Canada, the birthplace (for mostly good, some evil) of Greenpeace, the birth of safe injection sites, various city halls banning oil pipelines and storage facilities in the face of (hopefully former) Federal Government pushing.

Toronto has cheaper and better flight access to the world. I’m always jealous of the prices to visit exotic places that Toronto has compared to Vancouver.

Vancouver has great access to world-class skiing. Toronto has access to that snow right in the city!

Both are great cities! My family had to decide between these two cities in the 90s when they decided to immigrate to Canada. Here are some points about both cities.

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Vancouver

  • The weather is steady all year round. You can feel the effect of all four seasons (fall, winter, spring, and summer), but the winters are nowhere as cold as they would be if you were living in Toronto. Vancouver also gets a lot less snow than Toronto, so you don’t have to worry about driving in terrible weather or shoveling the snow if you live in a house.
  • The pace of life is more relaxed. A colleague who moved from Vancouver to Toronto said that life is much more hectic in Toronto. This is because, in general, Vancouver has fewer businesses operating out of there than Toronto. I also know some young people who found Vancouver a bit boring because the pace of life is much slower.
  • It’s beautiful. There are mountains and parks, and you are just living off the coast of the Pacific Ocean. If you like the outdoors, you can easily go somewhere close to surf in the summer or ski/snowboard in the winter. Many people say that Vancouver is the most beautiful among the large cities in Canada.
  • Vancouver is the closest distance if you want to travel to Asia or Australia. If you live in Toronto and want to go to Japan, it takes 13 hours; however, if you want to go to Japan from Vancouver, it only takes 9 hours or so.
  • The cost of living there is the highest among all Canadian cities. You are looking at at least 1M+ for any property on the west coast.

Toronto

  • Busiest and most populated city in Canada. If you are in downtown Toronto during rush hour, you will see hundreds and thousands of people walking on the sidewalks at any time of the year. Some even say that Toronto is a city that doesn’t fully sleep. Office building lights downtown are sometimes still turned on at 2 or 3 in the morning.
  • This is the city that has the most jobs available out of all major Canadian cities right now as of 2018. So, if you want to come to Canada to work, Toronto is the city you want to move to. Some studies say that Toronto’s salaries are the highest in the country.
  • The city is full of diversity. I have met people in Toronto from all different backgrounds, which has been amazing!
  • The cost of living is still high, but Vancouver still needs to be higher. You can get a condo for around 500k+.
  • Close to major business hubs in the US, such as NYC, Boston, and Chicago. It only takes at most 1.5 hours to get there by flying.
  • It can get quite cold in the winter. You will see a lot of snow. Most people like it when they first see snow when they move to Canada, but then they get sick of it.

Vancouver vs Toronto

Which city is better? For me, because I am a working professional, Toronto is my choice. However, for someone like my father, who is retired, he prefers the relaxed lifestyle of Vancouver much better.

Weather

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and is home to approximately 6 million people, whereas Vancouver only has about 2.5 million. Toronto is busy and fast-paced – it’s often considered a smaller, more friendly version of New York.

With approximately 3300 kilometers between them, Vancouver and Toronto experience dramatically different weather.

Toronto

Toronto is a city of extremes. In the winter, it can get quite cold and snowy (around -5C), and the sharp wind tunnels created by the large buildings make it even more bitter. The snow typically disappears around April.

In the summer, Toronto is hot, hot, hot – with temperatures averaging around 27C, plus humidity. The city is essentially a slab of concrete that bakes in the sun, so if you like the heat, this is a good place for you.

Winter in Toronto can be tougher than in Vancouver because of the big amounts of snow and the sub-zero temperature they reach during winter, compared to the mild and rainy weather in Vancouver. … But in Vancouver, we experience a really dry, hot summer, whereas Toronto’s summer is more humid and hot.

Because the prevailing winds are westerly and the Ocean tends to be about 10 degrees Celcius throughout the year, Vancouver has a far more moderate climate than Toronto

Friends, Vancouver is warmer in the winter BUT cooler in the summer. Vancouver is NOT warmer than Toronto in the summer!

Vancouver

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Friends, Vancouver, on the other hand, is much less extreme. The city of Vancouver rarely sees snow (typically one or two snowfalls per season) – although powder-chasers will have no problem finding it in the surrounding mountains. 

Instead, Vancouver gets lots and lots of RAIN. 

The city is lovingly referred to as “Raincouver” by its residents, as approximately 165 days of the year are considered “rainfall days.” If you live in Vancouver, you must be okay with potentially not seeing the sun for weeks. 

But you will not be disappointed when the sun finally makes its debut around April or May. Due to its coastal location, the weather is warm but not too hot (around 22C), and the heat is far drier than in Toronto. Having waited through months of seemingly endless rain, Vancouverites tend to have a “waste no second of sunshine” mentality during the summer, and the city re-lives.

Pros of Toronto:

Toronto is a fun city with many opportunities (more jobs, higher pay, and more people). It’s vibrant, diverse, and fun. Although it’s cold, there is a way to get around without ever stepping outside due to the subway.

There are way more restaurants, bars, cool little areas, and activities in general. If you’re an extrovert and like to keep yourself entertained, it’s a great city. It’s close to NYC, Montreal, and some of the best parts of Mexico!

Cons of Toronto:

It’s either way too cold or way too hot. There’s rarely any in-between. Because of all the activities, you spend a lot more money. You don’t generally stay in, as there’s always something going on.

Toronto is also very dirty in comparison to Vancouver. The alleys are filled with garbage. The cab drivers are so awful (sorry, but it’s true)!

Pros of Vancouver:

There’s great cuisine here, just not as many options as in Toronto. It’s a great place to live if you like outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and boating. We have some amazing beaches that you can enjoy all year round.

The weather is amazing. I know many people say it rains a lot, but it’s not that bad. We have a lot of sunshine as well! Especially in Downtown. North Vancouver may be a different story.

Cons of Vancouver:

It’s extremely small, so you tend to run into familiar faces all over (which can be good and bad!). There’s not much nightlife either (a few main spots, and that’s it).

I also find it’s not as diverse as in Toronto; the people are all very similar and lead the same lifestyle. Which isn’t a bad thing; it’s just different. Think LA vs. NYC lifestyles.

Another negative is that you need help to buy a decent place for under 1 million. The housing prices here are INSANE.

So I would say overall, it depends on the person you are and at what stage in life you’re in. I personally loved Toronto at the age of 18–24.

As soon as I finished university, I knew I had to leave Toronto. I missed the greenery, the slower pace, the beautiful skyline, the cleanliness, and most of all, the Ocean and the mountains!

You can go skiing for one hour and the boat next. You can go to Victoria, Sechelt, Osoyoos, and Vegas, California, in under 2 hours.

It’s been rated as one of the best and most beautiful cities in the world time and time again. If you can afford it, I’d vote Vancouver 100 over.

What is the best city to live in Canada? Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver?

The ‘Great White North’ has some metropolises with America’s best quality of life. The country’s cities offer magnificent job opportunities, professional and personal life balance, attractive salaries, multiculturalism, and much more. If you are considering emigrating, at Q’PASA, we will tell you which is the best city to live in in Canada. Will it be Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver?

Both the cities of Ontario Que, Bec, and British Columbia have a great demand for new residents since their attractive job and student offers have managed to conquer more than one expatriate. 

Is Toronto the best city to live in Canada?

According to the world database Numbeo, Toronto’s quality of life is “very high,” reaching a score of 151.72. Similarly, safety, medical care, climate, and pollution indices are rated positively.

Recently, the capital of Ontario became one of the ” best cities for young people in the world, “according to the most recent ranking of the online real estate portal, Point2. Likewise, the ‘ Urban Job Index 2021 ‘ by Youthful Cities and RBC Future Launch positioned Toronto as “one of the best metropolises for young people to work in” in Canada.

In addition, Toronto has also managed to conquer the rankings of the most powerful cities because, according to Forbes, this metropolis attracts investors from all over the world thanks to its economy, projected future prosperity, and quality of life. The city has been described as “the economic heart” of one of the world’s richest countries.

Toronto has not only been recognized for its job offers, technology market, and multiculturalism but also for its high housing prices. Oxford Economics published that Toronto is one of the most expensive cities in North America regarding housing affordability. Such are the prices of real estate in the capital of Ontario, which have managed to exceed the prices of the most expensive cities in the United States: Los Angeles and New York.

According to data recorded by Expatistan, Toronto is the most expensive city in Canada and is much more expensive than 75% of North American metropolises.  

Is Montreal the best city to live in Canada?

Montreal has become one of the favorite cities to immigrate. Quebec City attracts many immigrants annually, and it is not for less. The metropolis has one of Canada’s most favorable levels of quality of life. Numbeo has rated this index “very high,” even beating Toronto with a score of 156.14.

Montreal has been named as one of the least expensive cities in Canada regarding child care, as it is known that the North American country is extremely expensive in this area. If you migrate with children and want to save money, consider living there.

Also, you are looking for a place with a thriving job market and excellent educational opportunities. In that case, you should know that Montreal has been named one of the best cities in North America for employees and students on several occasions. 

Regarding housing prices, compared to Toronto and Vancouver, Montreal is much more affordable. According to the Professional Association of Quebec Real Estate Brokers, in 2019, the city maintained a median price for condominiums (in the metropolitan area) of C$267,900, multi-family homes had a median price of C$500,000, and single-family properties of C$340,000. 

According to Expatistan, Montreal has the third lowest cost of living in Canada and is cheaper than 68% of North American cities.

If you want to live in a French-speaking city, you should know that Montreal is the second largest French-speaking metropolis in the world, after Paris. In addition, the city has become one of the favorite destinations to learn the language. So, if you dream of starting a new life in Quebec, start your immigration process!

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Is Vancouver the best city to live in Canada?

The capital of British Columbia surpasses the quality of life index of Toronto and Montreal. In Numbeo, they have qualified this category as “very high” since it has a score of 173.32. In turn, it maintains better scores in safety, medical care, climate, and pollution indices.

Vancouver has everything, from varied landscapes with mountains, beaches, and buildings to a multicultural environment. The city is among Canada’s most dense and ethnically diverse cities and, therefore, has a rich culture and history.

If you want to migrate as a student, you can find some of Canada’s best higher education centers. Also, if you want to bet on your artistic side, you can enroll at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design or the Vancouver Institute of Art.

Unfortunately, like Toronto, Vancouver has been ranked as one of the most expensive cities to buy a home. Point2 Homes state property prices range from C$249,000 to C$88,000,000. Likewise, Expatistan shared that this city is the second most expensive in Canada and more expensive than 73% of North American metropolises. 

Conclusion

Vancouver is undoubtedly a bustling place, too, but it doesn’t quite have the global city vibe of Toronto. The nightlife, shopping, and eating options are generally better than in Vancouver. If you want to live in a Canadian New York City, Toronto is the place for you.

Vancouver is Canada’s most expensive city, with the average cost of living approximately 10% higher than in Toronto. Safety-wise, statistically, Toronto is safer than Vancouver.

The sea constrains Vancouver on three sides, and you can’t simply make more land (easily). That’s one of the main reasons the downtown core is densely populated, and land is very expensive.

If you have decided to move to Vancouver from Toronto, you should know that Vancouver is as great as Toronto. … By moving to Vancouver, you won’t miss anything much because these two cities are somewhat very similar in looks and the lifestyle that people are living there.

Vancouver vs. Toronto: Which city is better to live in 2024

According to Travelzoo, the route from Vancouver to Toronto via the Trans-Canada Highway #1 is 2841 miles and takes 51 hours and 42 minutes of driving. Add stops for meals, bathroom breaks, to stretch your legs, etc.

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