Are you thinking of Moving from Montreal to Toronto? In this blog, we will talk about the differences between these two cities and what you should consider when choosing the right town to settle down.
In this blog, I will compare Montreal and Toronto based on my relocating clients’ feedback and also, my personal and professional experience.
Choosing Between Montreal and Toronto
Choosing between Toronto and Montreal is not like choosing any city in North America to settle down. It means much more – it means choosing a lifestyle. The reason for this is that these two cities are completely different in many many ways. To make my video more structured I will discuss the most essential things about Toronto and Montreal. It will be a lifestyle, culture, cost of living, and school and career opportunities.
How is Toronto’s Lifestyle Different than Montreal’s?
Toronto has been a financial hub of Canada for decades. In my mind, it is Canada’s New York City. It is a place that has so much energy when you walk down the streets. Weekdays are very intense in Toronto with lots of traffic, transportation, rushing people, and constant construction going on practically everywhere.
Now, Montreal is a big city as well. It is the second largest city in Canada. And it also has areas where you get that dense urban feel. For example, if you walk down Ranee Levesque boulevard you are going to feel that you are in a huge city too. It looks like Toronto and Montreal downtowns are similar. However, Toronto downtown is not only a place where people work and shop. It is a place where a lot of people live.
On contrary, in Montreal, downtown is a place where people mostly work, shop, and entertain. Montreal is often called a quieter city than Toronto with a laid-back lifestyle. That is a very common misconception, to my mind, based on the tourists’ experience who don’t go anywhere except downtown when visiting Toronto.
While Toronto downtown is very busy indeed, there are over 240 neighborhoods in the city and most of them are quiet, very private, residential, safe, and family-friendly. For example, Midtown Toronto, and Toronto West Side are big areas with many quiet pockets where residents feel like the countryside. I am not saying that these areas have a laid-back lifestyle, as most of the residents are working professionals. However, these areas are peaceful and tranquil, featuring highly ranked private and public schools, small local infrastructure, and high walkable scores.
You may contact me for more information if you need guidance when choosing a neighborhood to settle down. I also suggest reading these blogs for more information on Toronto neighbourhoods:
- How to Choose a Good Toronto Neighbourhood Whether You Are Moving Alone or with Family
- The Most Walkable Neighbourhoods in Toronto
- Pros and Cons of Living in the Top 5 Most Prestigious Neighbourhoods in Toronto
For a laidback lifestyle, you may check the East side of Toronto, the neighborhoods like Leslieville, and especially The Beaches. These are not only family-friendly but also have wonderful lakefront scenery where people walk and jog and where it feels like a resort city, especially during the warmer seasons. So you don’t have to worry about Toronto being busy and noisy. People in this city always find a place that meets their expectations. What we lack in Toronto though, to my opinion, is a bit of architecture. The beauty of Montreal is in its 3-4 story buildings which give a European look and vibe. When my family was choosing between two cities, we agreed that Montreal was more aesthetically appealing, while Toronto was simpler and more pragmatic. It is, of course, your call what you would like to have in your life more – beauty or practicality.
Interested in comparing Toronto east vs. Toronto west? Read this post right here.
Culture in Toronto Vs. Montreal
I mentioned before that Toronto and Montreal have different vibes. Toronto feels like a melting pot with numerous cultural and background communities and neighborhoods, while Montreal is more like one very consistent community with dominating traditions and habits. Toronto’s diversity and variety of lifestyles are big welcoming factors for newcomers.
The city is very accepting and tolerant. I am not saying that there are no issues in Toronto’s society. However, people welcome newcomers regardless of their level of English or French, education, or background as it is very common to be new to the city. In many videos and blogs, people share that the biggest issue in Montreal is language.
With limited or no French at all your social, personal, and professional opportunities will be very limited. When you relocate to Toronto, you will feel that not speaking English limits your growth very much too. So people who don’t have English, are trying to find their homes and jobs within the community which speaks their mother language.
I think the biggest loss for both Toronto and Montreal is that they teach French and English as a second language in their schools, which means only one or two lessons per week. So as a result, kids in Toronto don’t speak French after their school years, and kids in Montreal lack English.
To summarize the cultural component, I will say that you don’t have to worry about how you fit in Toronto and if you are going to be accepted. In most cases, it is not an issue at all. You will most certainly find your place and will be accepted by the city if you do your research and connect to the resourceful people here. I offer my services to relocating clients who would like to make a knowledgeable and informed move. Please feel free to reach out.
Cost of Living in Montreal Vs. Toronto
If you google this topic you will find out that the cost of living in Toronto is much higher than in Montreal. You should base your own calculations on the following factors:
- Cost of buying and owning or renting your Toronto home.
- Cost of utilities, phone, internet, TV
- Transportation costs whether you own a car or use public transit.
- Your own minimum comfort level of earnings in Toronto
If you wish to learn more about the cost of living in Toronto, you can watch my video about it right here.
We shall start with The Cost Of Housing and compare Toronto and Montreal based on the numbers from November 2022.
The average selling price of a detached home in Toronto is $1,609,000
In Montreal – $510,000
The average selling price of a condo in Toronto is $740,374
In Montreal, it is $350,00
And you can rent a 2bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood in Toronto starting at $2,800
While in Montreal the price will be around $2400.
The numbers from Montreal were provided by my colleague, a real estate broker in Montreal Juan P. Saad. Please don’t hesitate to give him a call if you have any real estate questions or needs. Juan P. SAAD
Montreal Real Estate Broker
Direct: (514) 562-2832
The Cost Of Utilities is approximately 60% higher in Toronto than in Montreal.
Internet is 12-13% more expensive, Phone is about the same cost.
Transportation: a monthly pass in Toronto will cost you $156 while in Montreal it is $94. Car insurance in Montreal is approximately twice lower as in Toronto.
Groceries on average are the same cost in both cities.
A sales tax in Toronto stores is 13% whereas in Montreal it is 15%. The minimum wage in Montreal is $14.25 and in Toronto is $15.50. To live in Montreal you must make approximately $5000 while you will need $8000 to afford Toronto. A
s you can see the earnings are almost the same but the cost of living is much higher in Toronto. If you consider moving to Toronto, please make sure you create your own cost of living list. It may include your kids’ tuition, buying or renting a property in a premium location or with premium features, and maintaining a desirable lifestyle. I always point out to my relocating clients that even though any change will require some sacrifice, relocation mustn’t downgrade the comfort and lifestyle you got used to.
Schooling and Career Opportunities in Montreal Vs. Toronto
When you compare schools in Toronto and Montreal, take a look at the data provided by Fraser’s Institute. I compared the number of elementary schools with a score of 8 or higher in both cities. This number included public, catholic, and private schools available on Fraser’s institute website. In Toronto, there are 50 highly-ranked schools while in Montreal there are 23 of them.
Discover my top tips for finding an excellent private school in Toronto right here.
Let me remind you that the population in Toronto is almost 2.9 million residents and the population in Montreal is almost 2 million people. As for the universities, I think both cities are very comparable featuring the University of Toronto and McGill University among the best Canadian and well-recognized schools in the world. My advice to the parents who are choosing a city where their kids are going to study whether it is at school or the university is to choose very carefully, as you are selecting not only a city or a school but the environment where your kids will get habits, learn a lifestyle, create connections, and most likely will stay for the rest of their lives. If you need assistance with choosing a neighborhood with great public or private schools, please reach out. I am here to help.
I hope this blog is helpful for those who plan to relocate to Toronto. If you feel that my team and I can help you with choosing the right place to settle down in Toronto, please contact us by calling, texting, emailing, or even commenting down below. We are actively using WhatsApp, Viber, and WeChat for your convenience.