Best movers in long distance

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

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Architecture and harbor - Toronto vs Montreal

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Architecture and harbor - Toronto vs Montreal

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

Suppose you’re considering relocating to a cosmopolitan city on the eastern side of Canada. In that case, only one question must have popped into your mind. Living in Montreal vs. Toronto: Where Should You Live? The brief answer is that, when it comes to making money, Toronto is the finest city with a population of 2,731,571. Montreal, on the other hand, has a population of 1,704,694. The largest francophone metropolis in North America is more laid-back and relaxing, with a distinctly European feel thanks to the tremendous cultural influence in the city. 

Moving to a new city can be one of the hardest decisions of your life. Our comparison guide will help you make the right choice for you between living in Montreal vs. Toronto.

Montreal vs. Toronto

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Public Transit in Montreal vs. Toronto

The public transit in Montreal is known as Société de transport de Montréal (STM). Whereas public transit in Toronto is known as Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). If you heavily rely on public transit for your daily commute, it’s important that you know the cost of public transit in Montreal vs. the cost of public transit in Toronto.

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

STM Fare Prices

The Société de transport de Montréal is a government-owned corporation that runs transit bus and rapid transit services in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The subway has been expanded to include four lines with 68 stations, more than 186 bus routes, and 23-night services. It is the most critical urban mass transit system in Canada and one of the largest rapid transit networks in North America.

Here are all the essential fares that you can consider while traveling within Montreal. 

BUS AND METRO FARES IN MONTREAL

TRANSIT-FARES

REGULAR FARE

6-11 YEARS OLD

12-17 YEARS OLD

STUDENTS

18 YEARS OLD AND OVER

65 YEARS OLD AND OVER

1 trip

$3.50

$2.50

$1

1-day pass

$10

Weekly pass

$28

$16.75

$8.50

Monthly pass

$90.50

$54

$54

$27

(*STM)

What Are the Subway Opening Hours in Montreal?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The metro operates daily between 5:30 am to 1 am. On Saturdays, the metro operates until 1:30 am. The exact times vary by station.

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.

BUS AND METRO

TRANSIT-FARES

REGULAR FARE

6-11 YEARS OLD

12-17 YEARS OLD

STUDENTS

18 YEARS OLD AND OVER

65 YEARS OLD AND OVER

1 trip

$ 3.25

Free

1-day pass

$ 13.50

Free

Monthly pass

$156

Free

$128.15

$128.15

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

(*TTC)

What Are the Subway 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.

We can see that public transit is cheaper in Montreal compared to Toronto. If you pick Montreal, traveling from one place to another won’t be an issue. The STM has a solid network efficiency. However, Toronto does provide an added advantage of making traveling free of cost for children under 12. So, if you decide to move to Toronto and have kids, you can save money through this. TTC is trying to catch up gradually but for now, STM is more organized and has longer rapid transit system lengths.

Cost of Groceries in Montreal vs. Toronto

Groceries include items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, and others. Here is the average cost of groceries in Montreal and the average cost of groceries in Toronto for a few items. 

Average Cost Of Groceries In Montreal

Average Cost Of Groceries In Toronto

Items (1 kg)

Prices

Items (1 kg)

Prices

Milk (1 Liter)

$2.51

Milk (1 Liter)

$3.90

Loaf of bread

$3.49

Loaf of bread

$2.84

Rice

$2.98

Rice

$3.57

Dozen Eggs

$3.35

Dozen Eggs

$3.40

Local Cheese

$16.29

Local Cheese

$13.64

Chicken

$14.40

Chicken

$13.58

Beef round

$19.43

Beef round

$16.41

Apple

$3.94

Apple

$4.14

Banana

$1.92

Banana

$1.60

Orange

$4.35

Orange

$3.65

Tomatoes

$2.39

Tomatoes

$3.66

Potatoes

$2.39

Potatoes

$2.92

Onions

$2.66

Onions

$2.50

Head of Lettuce

$2.55

Head of Lettuce

$2.46

Water Bottle 1.5L

$1.95

Water Bottle 1.5L

$2.23

    

Grocery for 1 person

$350 per month.

Grocery for 1 person

$283.60 per month.

 

As a result, the cost of groceries for one person living in Montreal is more expensive than the cost of groceries for one person living in Toronto.

What to Do in Montreal vs. Toronto

When it comes to entertainment in Montreal vs. Toronto, each has its fair share of amusements for its inhabitants. So, let’s review it one by one:

Entertainment in Montreal

Montreal is filled with history. Walking through the Old Port of Montreal, you’ll get to see cobbled streets and historical monuments. French cafés are also scattered throughout the town providing a lovely way to spend an afternoon. There are also multiple street fairs throughout the year that offer music, food and drink to take in. 

Montreal takes the lead when it comes to sightseeing. If you are looking to be in nature outside of the town, there are several hiking trails and nature parks just beyond it. With Mount-Royal in the middle of the city, it is much easier to take a hike during the middle of the day compared to Toronto. Moreover, if you are a nature lover, Montreal Biodome is one of the most beautiful indoor zoos and aquariums you’ll ever visit. You can experience the greenery and humidity of its tropical rainforest in the depths of winter.

Entertainment in Toronto

Toronto is famous for its high-rise buildings and skyscrapers. Numerous walking tours will take you through the city at eye level from several hundred meters up. The breathtaking sights and sounds of the towering structures, like the CN Tower, don’t stop once the sun sets. 

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. 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 Montreal vs. Toronto

Cost Of Entertainment In Montreal 

Cost Of Entertainment In Toronto 


The cost of keeping yourself amused in Montreal is not all that expensive. When you narrow down your search to only the essentials, the average expense of entertainment throughout the city of Montreal is as follows:

  • You can eat at any low-cost restaurant for $15.
  • Restaurant, lunch for two people, three-course (no alcohol): $70
  • Domestic Beer: $2.99
  • 2 tickets to the cinema: $28
  • A taxi trip of 8 kilometers in standard travel time, with one intermediate stop: $36
  • Cocktail drink in a bar: $13

Now let’s consider the average cost. Suppose you purchase 4 beers, 1 restaurant visit with friends, visit the cinema twice, and consume 4 regular restaurant meals each month. In that case, it will cost you $170.


Entertainment is what makes living in Toronto a joy! The cost of entertainment throughout Toronto is as follows:

  • $20 for a meal at a cheap restaurant
  • $90 for a three-course, mid-range dinner for two people
  • Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught): $7
  • $31 for two movie tickets
  • On a regular workday, a taxi cab ride costs $23. (5 miles)
  • Cocktail drink in the pub: $15

Now let’s consider the average cost. For example, you may spend $230 on yourself if you have had 4 beers, a restaurant trip with friends, seen the cinema twice, and eaten four regular restaurant meals every month.

Consequently, you will get to do more at less cost in Montreal, whereas entertainment in Toronto is a little expensive.

Montreal vs Toronto

Housing in Montreal vs. Toronto

At the time when cities were denser, walkable places, Montreal was Canada’s largest city. It has hundreds of thousands of prewar triplex and walk-up apartment buildings with stunning and affordable housing. All these provide an attractive and affordable experience for almost a century.

As for Toronto, when you stroll about much of the city, you’ll notice a suburban streetscape with two- and three-story detached homes divided into tiny apartments. Pockmarked by gray concrete high-rises and glass luxury condo towers that most people cannot afford to live in.

Cost of Housing in Montreal

In the table below, you’ll find a chart that displays the average cost of housing in Montreal, including various apartment types, as well as their rents and expenditures in three critical zones of Montreal.

City District

Studio

1 Bedroom

2 Bedroom

3 + Bedroom

Montreal CMA

$1038

$1360

$1665

$2095

Cotes-des-Neiges

$1045

$1210

$1650

$1700

Notre-Dame-De-Grace

$1050

$1297

$1525

$1900

Verdun/Lasalle

$850

$1125

$1750

$1892

Plateau-Mont-Royal

$1098

$1254

$1851

$2953

Rosemont/La Petite-Patrie

$1046

$1109

$1615

$2272

Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

$1053

$1325

$1220

$1550

Villeray/Parc-Extension

$1052

$1600

$1925

$2087

How Much Is a House in Montreal?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The average price of a house in Montreal is $506,800.

(*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

Studio

1 Bedroom

2 Bedroom

3 + Bedroom

Liberty Village

$1400

$1850

$2500

$4700

Kensington

$1525

$2350

$2400

Parkdale

$1295

$1563

$2099

$2897

Yorkville

$1525

$2069

$3600

$7800

Runnymede

$1498

$2200

$3525

Riverdale

$1550

$1915

$2450

$4025

The Beaches

$1288

$1695

$2450

$3850

East Danforth

$1295

$1550

$1860

$3250

Even if rent prices have risen in Montreal over the last decade, they are still only two-thirds of what they are in Toronto. Housing in Montreal is still cheaper compared to the housing in Toronto.

How Much Is a House in Toronto?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The average price of a house in Toronto is $1,128,600.

(*Canada Immigrants)

Job Opportunities in Montreal vs. Toronto

Montreal and Toronto offer the same number of opportunities. Both cities are home to high-tech (particularly cybersecurity and AI), financial services/fintech, live sciences/healthcare technologies, and fashion/retail businesses.

In the field of artificial intelligence, Montreal is comparable to Toronto. A large number of software and fintech firms can be found in both cities. For example, Facebook AI Research (FAIR) has a lab in Montreal, as do Google Brain, Microsoft Research, and DeepMind.

Salary Comparison Montreal vs. Toronto

Here is a list of all the top professions and their average salary. 

Average salary

Montreal

Toronto

Physician

$92,585

$89,224

Teacher

$37,889

$40,439

Software Engineer

$52,127

$57,673

Hardware Engineer

$62,004

$62,548

Lawyer

$57,629

$72,036

Sales Manager

$54,183

$59,519

Architect

$52,066

$47,727

Accountant

$40,054

$44,617

Fashion Designer

$32,528

$39,376

Chef

$28,620

$31,969

(*Teleport Toronto & * Montreal)

Cost of Living in Montreal vs. Toronto

Looking at the table below, you see that the cost of living in Toronto is more expensive, being the biggest city. Housing, insurance, transportation, entertainment, and communication costs are higher in Toronto. However, Montreal imposes higher provincial taxes because of additional services offered by the provincial government to the residents. Even so, in the end, the cost of living in Montreal is cheaper than Toronto. 

Category

Montreal

Toronto

Housing

$1285 / Month

for a 1-bedroom apartment

$1708 / Month 

For a 1-bedroom apartment

Housing Utilities and Insurance

$160 / Month

$215 / Month

Transportation

$88.50 / Month  (STM)

$156 / Month (TCC Pass)

Car Insurance 

$717 / Year

$1528

Entertainment

$170 / Month

$230

Grocery Cost for 1 Person

$350 / Month

$283.60

Communication (Phone and Internet)

$65

Unlimited talk, text, and data included

$80

Unlimited talk, text, and data included

Health and Fitness

$35 for the membership

$55 for the membership

Provincial Taxes

About 14.975%

About 13%

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Montreal and Toronto

What Is the Biggest Difference Between Montreal and Toronto?

In people’s minds, the biggest difference between the two metropolises is that they evoke very different images. While Toronto is modern, tall, and appeals to Americans, Montreal is considered more traditional, cultural, and European in nature. Moreover, the first language spoken in Montreal and in the province of Quebec is French. However, they are two cosmopolitan and dynamic cities to live in.

Where to Live in Montreal?

Lifestyle

Neighborhood

Young Professionals and Singles 

Ville-Marie, Old Montreal, Outremont and Rosemont 

Families

Griffintown, Villeray & NDG

Students

Plateau Mont-Royal and Milton Park

Where to Live in Toronto?

Lifestyle

Neighborhood

Young Professionals 

Yonge-Eglinton, Liberty Village and King West. 

Families

Leslieville, Allenby and Deer Park.

Students

Harbourfront, Cabbagetown and Church-Wellesley. 

Is Tax Cheaper in Montreal vs. Toronto?

Income tax rates in Montreal (Quebec)

Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 15% on the first $45,105 of taxable income.
  • 20% on the next $45,105 and over.
  • 24% on the next $90,200 and over.
  • 25.75% on the amount over $109,755.

 

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 Montreal 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 Montreal

There are three types of sales taxes in Canada. In the province of Quebec, they have GST as well as PST which are set at about 9.975% and 5% respectively, coming to a total of 14.975%. 

 

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%. 

Taxes are higher in Montreal compared to Toronto. However, keep in mind that the cost of living is cheaper in Montreal and services such as the educational system is cheaper in the province of Quebec.

Conclusion

Toronto is all about skyscrapers and the busy life of a big metropolitan city, while Montreal is on a slower pace. Being the biggest city in Canada, Toronto is also more expensive compared to Montreal. It all depends on what your preferences are, as both the cities offer tremendous opportunities to grow and make a living for yourself. Both cities have similarities, and both provide a wealth of exciting things to do and experiences you may have there. But there is a significant gap in living costs and the way of life. If you are planning to move soon, check out the 5 best moving companies in Toronto and the 5 best moving companies in Montreal.

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How Much Does It Cost to Live in Montreal – 2021

Montreal was founded in the year 1642 and was named “Ville-Marie” but got renamed again in the honor of a hill ‘Mount Royal’, situated in the center of the city; thus Montreal. The city has an area of about 431.5 Km2 and a population of 4,221,000. The city harbors a number of beautiful locations and neighborhoods such as the Old Port, le Plateau Mont-Royal and Saint-Henri just to name a few.

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Moving to Calgary: Our Guide for Newcomers

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Moving to Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Moving to Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Moving to Calgary: Our Guide for Newcomers!

Calgary, the heart of the new west, is located in the western province of Alberta, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, with its center nestled at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers. People living in Calgary enjoy lovely weather, with more days of sunshine per year than any other large Canadian city. The city of Calgary offers the excitement of a large metropolitan area combined with the warmth and welcoming atmosphere of a small town. From 2009 to 2019, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Calgary as the 5th most livable city globally and the most livable city in North America. If you plan on relocating soon, this “Moving to Calgary: Our Guide for Newcomers” will tell you all the basics to make your move easier.

Living in Calgary: What to Expect

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Living in Calgary is great if you’re outdoorsy.

Calgary is one of the best cities in Canada to live in due to its proximity to some of the most beautiful national parks of the country and other outdoor activities. Among the parks are Banff National Park, Kananaskis Country, and Jasper National Park. Additionally, the city is located within reasonable driving distance of five world-class ski resorts, numerous lakes, the United States border, and more. Furthermore, Calgary has the most extensive network of urban pathways and bicycle lanes in North America. There are approximately 1000 km of regional paths throughout the City, along with 96 km of trails. The Calgary Zoo is ranked third in North America. It’s safe to say that living in Calgary is excellent if you’re outdoorsy.

(*Calgary)

What are some outdoor things to do in Calgary?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Calgary is a great place to explore and feed your sense of adventure. If you are looking to prioritize going outside when living in Calgary, here are some outdoor things you can do.

  • Go hiking! Calgary offers numerous paths where you can explore alone or with family and friends. Check out the Glenmore Reservoir, Douglas Fir, Weaselhead Flats, Nose Hill, Mile Coulee, and many more.
  • Experience arts and culture during culture days. Throughout the year, you get to participate and engage in Calgary and Canada’s arts and cultural life at large. From unique art exhibits to exciting scavenger hunts, there are fun activities to experience.
  • Enjoy a cozy picnic at Carburn Park. This large park is located along the Bow River. The park features man-made ponds suitable for canoeing and fishing and a walking trail, and picnic benches. Ensure your picnic baskets contain wholesome snacks, and you will have a wonderful time admiring the wildlife, waterfowl, and wildflowers in the great outdoors.
  • Ride a diesel or steam locomotive across trestle bridges, over hills, and through tunnels along a track that stretches 1.6 km. The Iron Horse Park provides a pleasant setting for picnicking as you witness or ride the passing trains. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop to choose your very own engineer’s hat and train whistle.

(*All Trails & Calgary)

People are known to be friendly in Calgary.

Calgary, aka ‘Cowtown,’ is the fifth most welcoming place in Canada, according to an online survey by Big 7 Travel. Many of the participants of the online poll state that they love the city’s sense of community. Despite its large metropolitan area, people living in Calgary have been able to keep the warmth and welcoming atmosphere of a small town. 

(*CTV News)

Living in Calgary

It’s recommended that you secure a job before moving to Calgary.

If you want to live in Calgary, it’s usually necessary to have a job lined up as the job market is a bit competitive. There are several job search sites where you can find vacancies in Calgary specifically or in Alberta in general. Before working in Calgary, you may also need to get an educational assessment depending on your field of work and situation.

Is it hard to get a job in Calgary?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Calgary ranked as the third best city globally and the best city in Canada to find a job. With its significant sectors being energy, technology, manufacturing, aerospace, financial services, retail, film and television, health and wellness, transportation and logistics, and tourism, the city offers numerous worthy job opportunities to those living and moving to Calgary. It is not hard to get a job in Calgary, but it may take a bit of time as the market is competitive.

(*Narcity)

The nightlife isn’t the best in Calgary.

Compared to other major cities like Toronto and Vancouver, Calgary falls short; the nightlife isn’t the best in Calgary. Despite this, Calgary still offers many ways to enjoy a fun and exciting night out. The best way to enjoy Calgary’s nightlife is to visit various bars and clubs. There are many bars, pubs, restaurants, and nightclubs throughout the city, so locating one will not be challenging.

Most things are affordable in Calgary.

Calgary offers an extremely low cost of living despite its status as a mega and prominent city. Most things are affordable in Calgary. Calgary has the second-lowest cost of living among Canadian cities and is more affordable than several large North American cities. Furthermore, the city has the least expensive housing market in North America. Taxes on provincial income, personal income, and inheritance are among the lowest in Canada. Additionally, Alberta is the only province without a sales tax. Below is what the average cost of living in Calgary looks like.

Cost of living in Calgary 

Type of Charge

Monthly Cost

Housing

1-bed apartment

$1200

Utility

Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage and Internet

$193

Transportation

Monthly Pass – Regular fare

$109

Entertainment

Restaurant, movie & gym

$161

Groceries

Fresh produce & refrigerated items X2

$192

Total

CAD $1855

(*Life In Calgary & Numbeo)

What is the cost of living in Calgary?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The average cost of living in Calgary is $1855 per month.

Calgary Transit is convenient but could be better.

The Calgary Transit and Access Calgary systems allow Calgarians to travel by train, bus, and special services to all four quadrants of the city. Calgary’s public transportation system consists of a light rail transit system (referred to as the CTrain), 169 bus routes, community shuttle buses, a shared-ride service, and Access Calgary, which provides door-to-door transport for people living with disabilities in the city. 

Calgary’s light rail transit system, the CTrain, has about 118 kilometers of double tracks and 46 stations. Many CTrain stations offer park and ride services, and several bus terminals are located throughout the city. Despite the promising potential of CTrain, many residents find it underperforming. Several riders complain of routine lateness to stops, routes getting cut short, cramped up spaces, and increased fares with the underperformance. Here’s an overview of the current CTrain fares.

How much does Calgary Transit cost?

Fares/Passes

Cost

Adult (18 and above)

Cash Fares, One time use

$3.50

Youth (6-17)

Cash Fares, One time use

$2.40

Children (5 and under)

Cash Fares, One time use

Free

Adult

Day Pass

$11.00

Youth

Day Pass

$8.00

When living in Calgary, you’ll experience sunshine year long.

Calgary has more days of sunshine than any other major Canadian city.  It is often called the Sunshine Capital of Canada. Each year, there are approximately 333 sunny days and 2,396 hours of sunshine. Although winters may be extended, those living in Calgary can take advantage of the sunny weather by experiencing warmer winters than is typical in some other parts of the country like Victoria, Vancouver, and Toronto. During the cold season, the average high temperature is just below 38°F. January is the coldest month, with an average low of 13°F and a high of 31°F.

How many days of sun does Calgary get per year?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

On average, Calgary gets 333 days of sun per year.

Weather in Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is a great place to have a dog.

There’s no doubt that Calgary is a great place to have a dog. Calgary is home to over 150 designated off-leash spaces to get some exercise for you and your dog. Some of the best areas to explore include Nose Hill Park, Rotary Park, Sue Higgins Park, and Bowmont Off-Leash Area. You can also take your dogs to dog-friendly restaurants, so you don’t have to leave them at home alone. These restaurants include Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall, Bon-A-Pet-Treat, The Garage Sports Bar, and more. However, for you to be able to take your dog with you around town, you must abide by the city’s policies. Some of which are 

  • As soon as they reach the age of three months, all dogs must possess a City of Calgary license.
  • Dog owners must ensure that they have a suitable means of picking up feces.
  • Dogs must be controlled when off-leash. In other words, they must be visible to their owners and responsive to sight or sound commands.
  • While on a path, it is prohibited to cycle, skateboard, or inline skate with a dog on a leash.

(*Calgary)

Conclusion

Calgary is one of the best and most affordable cities to move to in Canada. Living in Calgary presents you with the perfect experience of a large metropolitan area with the atmosphere of a small town. As seen in this guide, Calgary also offers excellent job opportunities in diverse fields. Moving to Calgary also presents you with the great outdoors.

So, if you want to introduce outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, picnicking, skiing, and more to your routine activities, then Calgary is for you. You can also see that the City of Calgary cares so much about your furry family member. You, your family, and your dog will love the city.  If you plan to move to Calgary soon, ensure to use one of the best movers in Calgary to make your move stress-free and protect and store your properties.

The Pros and Cons of Living in Calgary

Pros

  • Affordable cost of living
  • Low tax rates
  • Dog-friendly city
  • Outdoor activities and entertainment

Cons

  • Vehicle traffic problems
  • Human congestion in public places
  • ‘Not-so-great’ transit system
  • Long winters

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Moving to Toronto: Our Guide for Newcomers

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Moving to Toronto, ON, Canada - Nathan Phillips Square next to Toronto City Hall

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Moving to Toronto, ON, Canada - Nathan Phillips Square next to Toronto City Hall

Moving to Toronto: Our Guide for Newcomers!

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and a world leader in various fields like technology, business, finance, entertainment, and culture. As a result of its large population of immigrants worldwide, Toronto is also one of the most multicultural cities globally. Indeed, Toronto is known for its multiculturalism, sports, and unique landmarks like the CN Tower. In this bustling city, you will find a wide variety of cuisines, an array of architectural styles, as well as a rich history. This guide titled ‘Moving to Toronto: Our Guide for Newcomers’ goes in-depth in the essential information newcomers need.

Living in Toronto: What to Expect

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You won’t need a car when living in Toronto.

Traffic can be heavy and frustrating to drive in Toronto. There are also very few and costly parking spaces around Toronto.

Therefore, there are many professionals who live in Toronto who do not own a car, even those with families. Some people choose to walk to their destinations, especially to achieve smaller tasks in their vicinity. Toronto has a walkability score of 61, making it the 3rd most walkable large city in Canada.

The subway and bus systems operated by Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) are adequate to travel anywhere they need to without a car. The day and week passes permit unlimited use of all three types of public transportation. Here’s a chart of TTC fares.

TTC Fares

Fares/Passes

Cost

PRESTO One-ride ticket

CAD $3.25

PRESTO Day pass ticket

CAD $13.50

12-Month Pass

CAD $143.00

Regular route

Adult: CAD $3.25

Senior: CAD $2.30

Children

0-12 years

Free

(*Walkscore & TTC)

Housing is ridiculously expensive in Toronto.

If you are moving to Toronto, it’s essential to know that Toronto and Vancouver are constantly competing for the title of the most expensive real estate market in Canada. Realistically, to buy a home in Toronto, you need to have a high salary. As of January 2020, the average GTA home was priced at CAD $839,363. Renting an apartment in Toronto is also expensive. The average cost of a 1-bedroom apartment is CAD $1,850, while a 2-bedroom goes for CAD $2,350. Besides the obvious factors like being a world-class city, a hub for many industries, and being one of the best cities to live in Canada, there are two other reasons housing is ridiculously expensive in Toronto. They are:

  • Costly developer charges, which have increased by as much as 878% since 2004.
  • Increased immigration. A rapidly growing population causes increased competition for limited housing in the city.

(*Zumper & Remax)

Living in Toronto - 19th century house in Toronto Beach neighbourhood

You’ll never get bored living in Toronto, there’s always something to do

There are plenty of great activities and fun things you can do in Toronto. Living in Toronto is so fun because there are always fantastic new spots opening up or exciting new festivals happening around the city. You’ll never get bored living in Toronto, there’s always something to do. So whether you’re looking for adventurous activities or more simple things to do in Toronto, here are some of the best and most fun activities and things to do in Toronto.

What’s there to do in Toronto? 

  • Explore the ancient Casa Loma. The Casa Loma Castle in Toronto is one of the most impressive structures. The Gothic Revival architecture and rich history of Casa Loma continue to make it one of Toronto’s best spots. Initially built in 1914 as a residence, Casa Loma became a museum in 1937.
  • Climb up the CN Tower. Not only is the CN Tower a symbol of Canada, but North America as well. Views of the city from the top of the CN Tower are unparalleled. CN Tower is more than 1,800 feet high, so it can certainly be a thrill to experience.
  • Visit Niagara Falls. If you’ve already been to Niagara Falls from the U.S. side, it’s still a lot of fun to experience it from Toronto. Experience the beautiful sounds, sights, and sensations of the falls. Canada is home to a significant portion of Horseshoe Falls, the biggest of the three falls along the Niagara River. Niagara Falls is only a 1h15 minute drive from Toronto.
  • Take a walk in the Toronto Botanical Garden. Established more than 60 years ago, it offers a variety of plants and flowers. The gardens are divided into 17 different sections, and there are many kinds of plants.
  • Visit the Royal Ontario Museum. For those interested in history, science, or art, this is an excellent activity in Toronto. The Royal Ontario Museum offers millions of artefacts in more than 30 galleries, which is why it is such a beloved institution.
  • Visit Toronto’s islands. Though you might not think of Toronto as an island city, it boasts 13 islands. If you are looking for a worthwhile island experience, you should visit Center island. The island is an excellent place for a beach day, a picnic, or exploring the gardens, such as Franklin’s Children’s Garden.

Toronto is a very bike-friendly city

For new residents moving to Toronto, the idea of cycling around Toronto’s busy streets can be scary.  There are sometimes questions about where you can safely ride your bike and how to avoid accidents. Well, Toronto has unique cycling trails that vary in safety and comfort for cyclists. These trails are separated from roads, so cyclists typically feel the most comfortable riding through these lanes. This makes Toronto a very bike-friendly city.

Toronto also offers a bike-share program that allows residents 24/7 convenient access to 6,850 bikes and 625 stations across 200 km. The bike share is a fun and affordable way to commute and explore the city with friends and family. With CAD $99, you can get the Annual 30 Membership.

Toronto is known for its very dense traffic

Toronto is the most populous city in Canada. Its central location and a host of trade-friendly policies make it one of the most economical and influential cities in the United States. Like every economic center of every nation, Toronto is known for its very dense traffic. Toronto’s rush hours (8 am – 9 am, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm, and 5 pm – 6 pm) bring out the worst traffic. If you are living in Toronto, it’s essential to know some of its busiest routes. They are Highway 401 between Highway 427 & Yonge St, the Don Valley Parkway between Don Mills Road and Finch, Gardiner Expressway between South Kingsway & Bay St.

Toronto has a strong economy and great job opportunities

At 20% of national GDP, Toronto’s economy is the most significant contributor to Canada’s economy and an important economic hub. Toronto is also Canada’s business and financial capital, a growing financial hub in North America, and a top ten global financial centre. Toronto has a strong economy and therefore offers great job opportunities. 

From technology and life sciences to renewable energy, fashion and design to food and beverages, film and television production, to music and digital media, Toronto is competitive in almost every other major sector. Moving to Toronto presents you with an excellent opportunity to land a high paying job. On average, some of the highest paying jobs in Toronto include Senior Software Engineer (earns CAD $ 93,000 per year), Investment Manager (earns CAD $95,000), Lawyer (earns CAD $102,000), Beginner Surgeon (earns CAD $196,000).

(*GRABJOBS)

The art scene is fabulous in Toronto

Being a multicultural city, Toronto is deep in rich history, culture and art. In addition, Toronto holds many other major museums and galleries, such as the Gardiner Museum, CBC Museum, Bata Shoe Museum, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Design Exchange, Museum of Inuit Art, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Fort York, Canadian Air and Space Museum, and many more. Undoubtedly, the art scene is fabulous in Toronto. As well, some of the world’s most extraordinary musical talents come from Toronto. They include Drake, The Weeknd, and Glenn Gould. In addition, living in Toronto will give you easy access to attend one of the world’s largest film festivals, the Toronto International Film Festival.

Power Plant Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada

If you love parks, living in Toronto is right for you

Toronto’s parks come in a variety of sizes and shapes. There are amazing waterfront parks with sand shorelines and boardwalks competing for the top spot with parks that have historical significance, while others have attractions such as zoos and gardens. If you love parks, living in Toronto is right for you. There are comfort stations, playgrounds, walking trails, concession stands or food trucks selling snacks and ice cream nearby in most parks. Some of the most popular parks include High Park, Toronto Islands Park, Bluffer’s Park, Kew Park, Rouge National Urban Park.

In Toronto, you'll find delicious food at every corner

Toronto seems to have a new insane food item every day. No matter what you’re craving – something dripping in cheese, an epic sweet and savoury combination, or a dish that includes every color of the rainbow – Toronto has it all. Of course, Toronto is famous for its sandwiches. This includes the Veal Sandwich, which is a tenderized scallopini cutlet that’s lightly breaded, then baked until it’s tender and topped with a special tomato sauce. Other must-try foods after moving to Toronto include Peameal bacon on a bun, Churros, Margherita pizza, Salmon Rosti, Bagel and Lox.

What food is Toronto famous for?