Moving To Canada: Toronto vs Vancouver

Moving to Vancouver vs Toronto cover image
Vancouver (left) vs Toronto (right)

Canada, home of the maple leaf, is praised by many as a beautiful country. With a super-friendly reputation and low crime rates, it’s known as a warm and welcoming place to make a home. The only difficulty is deciding which part of Canada to live in!

Toronto and Vancouver are two of the country’s major cities, and both offer compelling reasons to make an international move to Canada. We’ve put together this guide for people stuck wondering ‘which is better Toronto or Vancouver?’ to help you find the home of your dreams.

Differences In Size

Toronto is Canada’s capital and the largest city at a whipping 636 square kilometres. Consisting of several different districts and hundreds of neighbourhoods, each separate area has its own personality. Old Toronto boasts a wealth of residential space, with a large community of artists and professionals with a range of different ethnicities. Heading over to the suburbs of York and East York, it’s booming with life day and night. You’re surrounded by large parks anywhere you go, opportunities for sport, and breathtaking waterfronts. Named Canada’s third most walkable city, you’ll find your commute to work seamless with the connected underground.

For a quieter but still vibrant experience, Vancouver is named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life. At 115 square kilometres, you’ll find a large number of neighbourhoods each with its own character and ethnic mix. If you’re a lover of nature and a coastal breeze, this area in British Columbia is only a short distance from the sea and lakes.  The vast array of bars, restaurants and clubs is also perfect if you are a fan of bustling nightlife. As the most walkable city, you can use the strong paths and routes to get anywhere without a car too. 

Cultural Diversity

Toronto is a  multicultural melting pot with a population of around 2.95 million residents, 250 different ethnicities and 170 languages. The largest city in the country and often referred to as ‘The World Within a City’ due to the variation of inhabitants. So people looking for a big city experience will find enticing cuisines from countries such as China, Greek, and India on your doorstep. If you’ve always dreamed of travelling the world, you’ll get the satisfaction of doing it when living in Toronto.

Although Toronto is more diverse than Vancouver due to its smaller population of about 631,000 people, there’s still a fantastic mix of different religions, ethnicities, and cultural groups from all over the world. A mixture of European, Chinese, South Asian and many other people with different ethnic origins will surround you. In fact, 52 per cent of the population are not native English speakers. You can immerse yourself in multiculturalism and possibly even pick up a new language along the way.

Comparing The Weather

If the weather is your main deciding factor in finding somewhere new to live, you’ll definitely want to examine the Toronto vs Vancouver lifestyle. Toronto is perfect for those who like warm summers and cold winters. With a semi-continental climate, you’ll find yourself basking in the sun during the hotter months and enjoying snowy walks over Christmas. You’ll get a good amount of warm temperatures starting at 18 degrees in May and staying at 21 degrees through September. But don’t get too comfortable, as the climate drops to minus degrees in January.

If you’d prefer to pass on Toronto’s average 65 days of snowfall, Vancouver has milder winters, and it snows for around ten days each year. The colder months aren’t as frosty due to the rocky mountains blocking the cold air from the Arctic sweeping over the city. This also leads to a less windy environment compared to Toronto. You’ll still get a warm summer, but they aren’t as long or hot as Toronto with an average of 16 degrees in May and then 19 in September. But don’t worry, because it never hits minus degrees with the lowest average temperature being 6 degrees in January. 

Variations in Cost of Living: Toronto vs Vancouver

Canada may be regarded as one of the most expensive countries to live in, but when you find the right city, it can end up cheaper than some cities in the UK. If you look at pricing for housing, you’ll find a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre of Toronto for around £1,069 a month. Vancouver comes in a bit cheaper at an average of £932 for the same sized apartment.

For other costs, Vancouver tends to come in at lower prices. For example, utilities are roughly £45 a month, but in Toronto, they’re almost double at £73. You can get a monthly transport pass for £70 in Toronto and £50 in Vancouver. If you fancy treating yourself and a partner to a three-course meal, it’ll set you back £38 in Toronto and only a pound less in Vancouver. Although there are some significant differences in most of the pricing, you should consider that it could be affected due to the sizing of the cities.

Choosing Where To Live

Toronto and Vancouver each have fantastic qualities, and you’d be lucky to live in either city. If you prefer the big city vibes and like getting lost in a maze of different cities, you may prefer Toronto. But if you like a milder climate with direct access to picturesque views of British Columbia, try Vancouver. Either way, you’ll be living your best life and regret not having moved to Canada sooner.

Move Your Things With Ease

Taking your entire life abroad can be difficult, but 1st Move International can make it easy for you. Canada is far away, so you can’t just put your belongings in your car and head down the road. We can help you transport all the things you need and love to your new home safely and efficiently. You can get your free quote today or contact us if you have any questions about international removals to Canada.

If you have any more questions on moving to Canada, check out our newly updated guide on moving to Canada in 2021.

Avatar for Mike Harvey
As the Managing Director of 1st Move International, Mike Harvey brings more than two decades of logistics expertise and three years of specialised experience in international relocations to his role. His comprehensive knowledge spans the intricacies of overseas shipping, secondary yet crucial areas such as visa application processes and immigration requirements, and the wider topic of moving abroad including topics such as comparative analyses of cost of living, healthcare and educational systems worldwide. This expertise allows 1st Move International to equip people with the information they need to not just move overseas, but to make informed decisions about whether, and where, to relocate.