Vancouver vs Toronto: where should you live

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Living in Vancouver vs. Toronto: Where Should You Live?

Toronto is the most populated city in Canada while Vancouver is the third most populated city in Canada. Both are big cities seeing exponential growth due to their vibrant economies, exciting activities, and gorgeous scenery. However, it may be challenging to choose between these two cities since they are so different. For example, Toronto has a cosmopolitan air that many people associate with New York City. On the other hand, Vancouver has a distinctively Western vibe about it, which reminds people more of San Francisco or Seattle. 

Let’s see how these two cities compare and which one you should choose as your new home. Since there are many aspects that you need to think about before you make a decision, our comparison guide will help you choose between living in Vancouver vs. Toronto.

Vancouver vs. Toronto

Public Transit in Vancouver vs. Toronto

The first and most crucial point to consider is transporting within the cities. In Vancouver it’s TransLink, whereas in Toronto, it’s Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

Keep scrolling to see all you need to know about these transits and their fares.

Translink Fare Prices

TransLink is the regional authority for transportation in Metro Vancouver. It runs a public transit system including buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express commuter train service. 

Checkout the table below to find out the average cost of public transportation in Vancouver.




Compass card


Day pass

Monthly pass

1 zone




$ 10.75


2 zones




$ 10.75


3 zones




$ 10.75



What Are the Public Transit Opening Hours in Vancouver?


The sky train operates between 5 am to 1 am on weekdays. On Saturdays between 6 am and 1 am and on Sundays between 7 am to 1 am. The exact time varies by train.

TTC Fare Prices

TTC or Toronto Transit Commission runs three modes; subway, streetcars, and buses. The subway is served by two major lines. The Yellow Line (from northern Yonge Street to Union Station, back north once again) and Green Line (beginning in the Etobicoke neighborhood and running through Central Toronto to the Scarborough district).

Checkout the table below to find out the average cost of public transportation in Toronto.







1 trip



1-day pass


Monthly pass




Note: There is no fee for children between the ages of 12 and under.


What Are the Public Transit Opening Hours in Toronto?


The metro operates daily between 6 am to 2 am Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, the metro operates between 8 am to 2 am. The exact time varies by station.

So we can say that one significant difference between the two is that TransLink operates zone-wise and offers a compass card along with concessions. Thus making it cheaper than TTC.


Cost of Groceries in Vancouver vs. Toronto

Next comes another important point to consider – the cost of groceries. 

Average Cost of Groceries in Vancouver

Average Cost of Groceries in Toronto

Items (1 kg)


Items (1 kg)


Milk (1 Liter)


Milk (1 Liter)


Loaf of bread


Loaf of bread






Dozen Eggs


Dozen Eggs


Local Cheese


Local Cheese






Beef round


Beef round


























Head of Lettuce


Head of Lettuce


Water Bottle 1.5L


Water Bottle 1.5L



Grocery for 1 person

$227.35 per month. 

Grocery for 1 person

$283.60 per month.

(*Cost of Living Vancouver & Toronto )

In the grocery department, Vancouver is taking the lead with its affordable pricing.

What to Do in Vancouver vs. Toronto

Are you looking for something fun to do in both cities? We have got you covered. 

Entertainment in Vancouver

Do you want to work in a metropolis and go outdoors every night or weekend? For you, Vancouver is the place. Outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, running, skiing, paddling, and diving, are available near the city center. You can also drive up to the Sea-to-Sky Highway, hike the Grouse Grind, cycle around Stanley Park, and go kayaking in Deep Cove. So there are plenty of activities for you to experience nature first hand. However, there are also plenty of activities in the city, such as excellent restaurants, exciting festivals, and art galleries.

Entertainment in Toronto

Comparatively, Toronto is for people who enjoy living in cities. It has everything a city dweller could desire and more. If you are a nature lover, Toronto might not be the ideal city for you. However, there is a beautiful Toronto Music Garden for nature lovers that will let you experience nature in its truest form.  Excursions up the Humber River and fine dining on the picturesque Humber River are also some of the favorite activities of people living in Toronto.

Art lovers can also be pleased in Toronto by  taking a stroll down the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Moreover, the biggest city in Canada is never devoid of activity throughout the year, owing to a variety of festivals held in the city like the Toronto International Film Festival, Ashkenaz Festival of Yiddish Culture, Toronto Caribbean Carnival, etc. 

Cost of Entertainment in Vancouver vs. Toronto

Cost of Entertainment in Vancouver

Cost of Entertainment in Toronto

While Vancouver is a relatively inexpensive city compared to other Canadian cities, it does not imply that it is inexpensive throughout the board. 

When you look at all of the necessities, Vancouver’s average cost of entertainment is $244 per capita.

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant is for $18.00 
  • A 3-course meal for 2 People at a mid-range restaurant costs $80.00 
  • Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught) is available for $7.
  • 2 tickets for the cinema costs $31.
  • Taxi trip on a business day (8 km) costs $15.

Assuming you drink four beers, have a meal at a restaurant with friends, go to the cinema twice, and have four regular restaurant meals throughout the month, your monthly expenditure would be around $211.

When it comes to entertainment, Toronto is a city that never sleeps.

The following are the average costs of fun in Toronto:

  • For around $20, you can get a delicious dinner at an inexpensive restaurant.
  • The average cost of a three-course dinner for two people at a mid-range restaurant is $90.
  • $7 for a 0.5-liter draught of domestic beer
  • Two movie tickets cost $31. 
  • A taxi cab ride costs $23 on a typical workday. (8 km)
  • Cocktail drink in the pub: $15

Suppose you have four beers, a restaurant trip with friends, two movie visits, and four typical restaurant meals every month. In that case, the average cost is $230.

The cost of entertainment in Vancouver and Toronto is approximately the same. However, it is a little bit less expensive in Vancouver. 

Toronto - Junk removal services

Housing in Vancouver vs. Toronto

Compared to the national average, Toronto and Vancouver are both expensive places to live, with housing prices and day-to-day expenses considered. What is it like to live in Vancouver and Toronto in terms of housing is a question asked by many.

Cost of Housing in Vancouver

In the table below, you’ll find a chart that compares the average cost of living in Vancouver, including various apartment types, their rents, and expenses in three critical regions of Vancouver.

City District


1 Bedroom

2 Bedroom

3 + Bedroom

Downtown Vancouver





West End





South Granville




Kitsilano/Point Grey















Mount Pleasant/Renfrew Heights





East Hastings





North Vancouver





(*Cost of Living Vancouver)

How Much Is a House in Vancouver?


The average price of a house in Vancouver is $1,211,200.

(*Canada Immigrants)

Cost of Housing in Toronto

The following is a table summarizing the cost of housing in Toronto, including various apartment types and pricing.

City District


1 Bedroom

2 Bedroom

3 + Bedroom

Liberty Village




























The Beaches





East Danforth





(*Cost of Living Toronto )

As mentioned earlier, the cost of housing is expensive in both Vancouver and Toronto. However,  if you want to pick a cheaper option between the two, Vancouver should be your pick. Housing in Vancouver is on average a little bit more affordable. 

How Much Is a House in Toronto?


The average price of a house in Toronto is $1,172,900.

(*Canada Immigrants)

Job Opportunities in Vancouver vs. Toronto

With Canada’s current lowest unemployment rate, the British Columbia economy is typically diversified and robust. People work as software developers, accountants, marketers, advertisers, and across various occupations in a variety of businesses in Vancouver. Outside of the city, there are several outdoor employment options for people of all skill levels. Within Canada, the province has one of the most robust and most diversified economies.

Toronto’s economy, like Vancouver’s, is also vital. This is due in no small part to diversification. For example, in Toronto, banks and financial organizations have a significant presence. Toronto is located within the city center. While this implies that Toronto has a healthy banking sector, it also suggests that Toronto’s primary industries are heavily influenced by finance. This is excellent news if you work in the financial industry. However, if you wish to work in other sectors, Vancouver is typically a better option.

Salary Comparison Vancouver vs. Toronto

Here is a quick look at the most common professions and their salaries in both cities.

Average salary









Software Engineer



Hardware Engineer






Sales Manager









Fashion Designer






(*Teleport Vancouver & Toronto)

Cost of Living in Vancouver vs. Toronto

While you can think of what the environment feels like when you move, it is vital to consider how much you will need to spend to live comfortably in a new place. Looking at the table above, you see that the cost of living in Toronto is more expensive. Being a bigger city, it has a more expensive average living cost in terms of utilities, transportation, grocery cost, and entertainment. However, if you plan to buy a car, Vancouver has a higher insurance cost compared to Toronto. This is primarily because the province of British Columbia, where Vancouver belongs, has the most expensive car insurance costs. The cost of living in Vancouver is pretty comparable to Toronto.






for a 1-bedroom apartment


For a 1-bedroom apartment

Housing Utilities and Insurance




$100.25 (Translink)

$156 (TCC Pass)

Car Insurance 






Grocery Cost for 1 Person



Communication (Phone and Internet)


Unlimited talk, text, and data included


Unlimited talk, text, and data included

Health and Fitness

$55 for the membership

$55 for the membership

Provincial Taxes

About 12%

About 13%

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Vancouver and Toronto

What Is the Biggest Difference Between Vancouver and Toronto?

Here are the significant differences between the two: 

  • Toronto is in Ontario, while Vancouver is in British Columbia.
  • Toronto is located on Lake Ontario, while Vancouver is an island city.
  • Toronto is Canada’s financial capital and one of the world’s major financial centers. Vancouver relies on forestry and tourism for revenue.
  • The climates are incredibly different from one another.
  • People, entertainment, cuisine, languages, cultures, and lifestyles are diverse.

Where to Live in Vancouver?



Young Professionals and Singles 

Gastown, Yaletown and Kitsilano


Main Street, Olympic Village and Mount Pleasant


West End

Where to Live in Toronto?



Young Professionals 

Yonge-Eglinton, Liberty Village and King West. 


Leslieville, Allenby and Deer Park.


Harbourfront, Cabbagetown and Church-Wellesley. 

Is Tax Cheaper in Vancouver vs. Toronto?

  • Income tax rates in Vancouver (British Columbia)

Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 5.06% on the first $42,184 of taxable income.
  • 7.7% on the next $42,185 and over.
  • 10.5% on the next $12,497 and over.
  • 12.29% on the next $20,757 and over.
  • 14.7% on the next $41,860 and over.
  • 16.8% on the next $62,937 and over.
  • 20.5% on the amount over $222,420.


  • Income tax rates in Toronto (Ontario)

Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 5.05% on the first $45,142 of taxable income.
  • 9.15% on the next $45,145 and over.
  • 11.16% on the next $59,713 and over.
  • 12.16% on the next $70,000 and over.
  • 13.16 % on the amount over $220,000.


  • Federal tax rates

The federal tax rate is the same in Vancouver and in Toronto. Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 15% on the first $49,020 of taxable income, plus
  • 20.5% on the next $49,020 of the taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 49,020 up to $98,040), plus
  • 26% on the next $53,939 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $98,040 up to $151,978), plus
  • 29% on the next $64,533 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 151,978 up to $216,511), plus 
  • 33% of taxable income over $216,511

  • Sales tax rates in Vancouver

There are three types of sales taxes in Canada. In the province of British Columbia, they have PST and GST that are set at about 7% and 5% respectively, coming to a total of 12%.  


  • Sales tax rates in Toronto

There are three types of sales taxes in Canada. In Ontario, they have HST which is set at about 13%. 

Taxable income is a little bit higher in Vancouver but the sales tax rate is a little bit lower compared to Toronto.


Both are major cities in Canada and therefore the two cities offer plenty of opportunities and activities. Even if the two cities are expensive, the cost of living in Vancouver is a little bit lower compared to the cost of living in Toronto.  However, Vancouver might be a better choice for you if you are a nature lover. It all depends on your preferences. If you are planning to move soon, check out the 5 best moving companies in Vancouver and 5 best moving companies in Toronto.

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