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

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

Toronto, the heart of Canada’s economy, is a city full of life. It is the largest multicultural city in Canada and hosts people from different ethnic backgrounds. The CN Tower, the world’s highest free-standing structure, is one of Toronto’s famous skyscrapers and high-rise structures. There’s never a dull moment in Toronto with numerous fun activities, a clean environment, and a well-developed commute system.

Edmonton, Alberta’s capital city, is often known as the “Festival City,” famous for hosting art and history festivals almost every summer weekend. It has the vibe of a smaller city but with all the facilities of a larger one. Food, arts, and theatre are always vibrant in Edmonton.

If you’re planning to move to Edmonton or to Toronto, but are still undecided, this article compares the pros and cons of moving to Edmonton and Toronto, highlighting the costs of public transit, housing, groceries, entertainment, and job opportunities. 

Without further ado, here’s our guide on Living in Toronto vs. Edmonton:

Toronto vs. Edmonton

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Public transit in Toronto vs Edmonton

Public transit in Toronto

The regional transit company for the city is Toronto Transit Commission, the third-largest transportation system in North America. TTC provides service to the Greater Toronto Area, which consists of Toronto and the nearby municipalities (GTA).

Buses frequently arrive and have accessible entrances for wheelchairs and strollers. As soon as you get on the bus, you pay your fare at the machine next to the driver. 

The TTC oversees four subway lines in Toronto, with two main lines: Line 1 running north/south and Line 2 running east/west. Additionally, two shorter lines cover Scarborough and Don Mills. Toronto’s streetcars are powered by electricity from overhead lines. Commuters can take the GO train from Union Station, Toronto’s main transit hub, to other municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Public transit fares in Toronto

Type of fare

Rate

Single ticket (PRESTO one-ride ticket)

$3.35

Daily pass

(PRESTO day pass ticket)

$13.50

Fair pass Transit Discount

$2.10

Monthly Pass

$156.00

Toronto Transit Commission (Sept 2023)

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) oversees Toronto’s public transportation, including subways, buses, and streetcars serving the city and nearby areas.

To travel, you have to purchase tokens or tickets at subway stations, Shoppers Drug Mart locations, or online at prestocard.ca. Bus and streetcar operators don’t sell fares, so don’t forget that you need to have the payment ready before boarding.

For the subway, there are three lines in operation. Trains run every 2 to 3 minutes during rush hours and every 4 to 5 minutes outside of rush hours:

  • Line 1 (yellow line): Yonge-University to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station.
  • Line 2 (green line): Bloor-Danforth to Kennedy Station.
  • Line 4 (purple line): Sheppard to Don Mills Station.
How much is a monthly pass in Toronto?
The TTC cost of a monthly pass in Toronto is $156.

 

Public transit in Edmonton

Over 80 million passengers use the ETS (Edmonton Transit Service), a fully integrated, convenient, and innovative public transportation system in Edmonton. The ETS plays a crucial role in city development and offers seamless connections inside Edmonton and the surrounding area by focusing on three pillars: service, infrastructure, and technology.

Light rail transit, buses, and streetcars are available as modes of public transportation. Fare vending machines are available in stations for light rail transportation. Any authorized retail store can also provide ETS passes. Edmonton’s public transportation is affordable and is always improving to be more effective.

Public transit fares in Edmonton

Type of fare

Rate

Single ticket

(90 minutes)

$2.75

10 Ticket pack

$27.75

Daily pass

$10.25

Monthly pass

$100

Family Pass (Up to 5 people)

$10.25

ETS Edmonton Transit Service (Sept 2023)

How much is a monthly pass in Edmonton?
The ETS public transit cost of a monthly pass in Edmonton is $100.

 

Cost of groceries in Toronto vs Edmonton

The cost of groceries in Toronto is higher than Edmonton. The comparison of the cost of groceries in Toronto and Edmonton is illustrated in the table below:

 

Groceries costs

Toronto

Edmonton

Milk (regular), (1 gallon)

$14.39

$8.99

Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb)

$3.25

$2.88

Rice (white) (1 lb)

$2.07

$1.91

Eggs (regular) (12)

$4.55

$4.15

Local Cheese (1 lb)

$7.33

$6.69

Chicken Fillets (1 lb)

$7.75

$6.95

Beef Round (1 lb)

$9.14

$9.00

Apples (1 lb)

$2.53

$2.58

Banana (1 lb)

$0.75

$0.83

Oranges (1 lb)

$2.57

$2.28

Tomato (1 lb)

$2.38

$2.43

Potato (1 lb)

$1.75

$1.35

Onion (1 lb)

$1.80

$1.26

Lettuce (1 head)

$3.44

$3.61

Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)

$18.00

$16.00

Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)

$3.26

$4.13

Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle)

$3.63

$4.80

Average monthly cost of groceries for 1 person 

$354.36 per month.

$319.36 per month.

Numbeo-Toronto (Sept 2023) & Numbeo-Edmonton (Sept 2023)

 

What to do in Toronto vs Edmonton

The cost of entertainment is relatively less expensive in Edmonton.

Entertainment in Toronto

In winters, you may enjoy ice skating at any of Toronto’s many rinks, including Willow Park and Nathan Philips. Most rinks allow you to rent skates and have modest eateries where you can warm up. You can grab a bike and tour the trails over the summer to explore High Park and the Don Valley, where you might even see some of nature’s intriguing creatures. 

Toronto is renowned for its wide selection of distinctive malls and shopping centers. Malls like Yorkdale Mall, Eatons Centre, and Scarborough Town Centre are full of shops.Some good selections of food are found in Toronto. Because of the diversity of Eastern-themed cuisine options, Kensington Market and Little India are amazing places to visit — perfect for gatherings with family and friends and special occasions. 

Toronto also has a vibrant cultural scene with many live theaters, museums, galleries and other types of city-based activities. It’s also close to Lake Ontario and Niagara Falls if you want to get out of the city and explore the province.

Entertainment in Edmonton

Due to its attractions, culture, history, and natural beauty, Edmonton attracts diverse people. It also hosts Canada’s largest historical park: Wood Buffalo and other beautiful parks that will surely be enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts. The city is one of the most well-liked in Canada as it offers a variety of activities for its citizens, including skiing, skating, hiking, shopping, dining, and even skiing. 

If you want to escape the cold winter days and be transported to a lush, green area that smells like heaven, the Muttart Conservatory is a perfect choice. The city is also close to the national parks of Banff and Jasper. Other great places for activities include the provincial museum and planetarium, the Space and Science Center, the Muttart conservatory greenhouses, and Fort Edmonton.

It also hosts the biggest live theater event in North America, the biggest blues festival in Western Canada, and the substantial folk music festival FolkFest.

Cost of Entertainment in Toronto vs. Edmonton

In Toronto, a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant costs only $55, compared to Edmonton where it is about $50. In Edmonton, an adult must pay $63.01 a month for a fitness club, whereas in Toronto, that cost is $72.73. The price of a movie ticket for an international release in both cities is the same.

The cost of entertainment is relatively less expensive in Edmonton. 

Entertainment costs

Toronto

Edmonton

Mid-range restaurant meal

$55.00

$50.00

Taxi 1h

$33.00

$30.00

1 cinema ticket

$16.00

$16.00

Total

$104.00

$96.00

Numbeo-Toronto (Sept 2023) & Numbeo-Edmonton (Sept 2023)

 

Cost of housing in Toronto vs Edmonton

The average house sale price for the Greater Toronto Area in August 2023 was $1,141,400, while in Edmonton it was $374,100. The average cost of a property in Edmonton is cheaper. Despite the increases in housing prices, Edmonton’s real estate market remains competitively priced compared to other big Canadian cities like Toronto.

Cost of Housing in Toronto vs. Edmonton

In the tables below, you’ll find two charts that display the average cost of renting an apartment, including two apartment types, and the average home price in Toronto vs. Edmonton.

Cost of rent in Calgary vs. Edmonton

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Toronto (Outside of Center)

$2,280.60

$3,434.43

Edmonton (Outside of Center)

$1,125.04

$1,694.15

Numbeo-Toronto (Sept 2023) & Numbeo-Edmonton (Sept 2023)

Cost of buying a property in Toronto vs. Edmonton

Area/Neighborhood

Average home price 

Toronto

$1,141,400

Edmonton

$374,100

CREA (Aug 2023)

How much is a house in Toronto and Edmonton?
The average price of a house in Toronto is $1,141,400, while in Edmonton it is $374,100.

 

Job opportunities in Toronto vs Edmonton

Toronto’s job market is robust, with growth in technology, healthcare, and finance industries. The city’s diverse economy, particularly in biotechnology, offers high-paying jobs. Edmonton residents have the highest average household income in Canada.

According to Alberta Occupational Outlook, several professions will experience a labor shortage by 2030, including teachers, petroleum engineers, information systems analysts, and consultants. 

Edmonton’s unemployment rate in May 2022 was 6.2%, a reduction of 0.7% from the previous month. Popular job markets include agriculture, utilities, construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation, science, healthcare, information & culture, and food services.

Canada Wiz (Jan 2024)

Salary comparison in Toronto vs Edmonton

The table below presents the comparison of average job salaries in both cities:

Professions

Average salary in

Edmonton

Average salary in

Toronto

Registered Nurse

$95,992

$79,040

Software Developers

$81,244.80

$95,992

Electricians

$76,960

$70,720

Welders

$76,960

$54,080

Heavy Equipment Operator

$81,120

$72,800

Government of Canada Job Bank (Nov 2023)

 

 

Cost of living in Toronto vs Edmonton

Edmonton is ranked 2355th, while Toronto is 253rd on the list of most expensive cities worldwide. 

The cost of moving to Toronto and Edmonton is compared in the table, considering accommodation, groceries, traveling, and utility costs:

Category

Monthly cost in Toronto

Monthly cost in Edmonton

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$2,280.60

$1,125.04

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list

 $354.36

$319.36

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

 $208.67

$294.97

Internet with 60 Mbps

$76.09

$86.41

Transit pass

$156.00

$100.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$104.00

$96.00

Gym membership 

$72.73

$63.01

Total

$3,252.45

$2,084.79

Numbeo-Toronto (Sept 2023) & Numbeo-Edmonton (Sept 2023)

 

FAQ – The most frequently asked questions about Toronto and Edmonton

What is the biggest difference between Toronto and Edmonton?

Obviously there is a significant difference in the cost of living between the two cities but there are other factors that make them different! Toronto has a colder winter than Edmonton. Alberta’s capital can be considered much quieter than Toronto where there is a constant buzz of traffic and other public constructions.

Where to live in Toronto?

If safety is at the top of your list when choosing a neighborhood, you should learn more about Toronto safest neighborhoods. Below are areas of the city to consider based on different lifestyles:

Lifestyle

Neighborhood

Outdoor recreation

High Park – Swansea, Oshwa, Whitby

Families

Steeles, Kingsway South

Accessible

Humber Heights- Westmount

Urban Lifestyle

Yonge & St. Clair

Where to live in Edmonton ?

Lifestyle

Neighborhood

Outdoor recreation 

Capilano

Families and Students

Parkallen, Secord, Lymburn

Accessible

Avonmore, Cameron Heights

Is tax cheaper in Toronto vs. Edmonton?

Income tax rates in Toronto (Ontario)

Applicable tax on the taxable income includes

  • 5.05% from $0.00 to $51,446 of annual taxable income.
  • 9.15% on the next $51,446 up to $102,894.
  • 11.16% on the next $102,894 up to $150,000.
  • 12.16% on the next $150,000 up to $220,000.
  • 13.16 % on the amount over $220,000.

Canada Revenue Agency (Feb 2024)

Income tax rates in Alberta

Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 10% from $0.00 to $142,292 of annual taxable income.
  • 12% on the next $142,292.01 up to $170,751.
  • 13% on the next $170,751.01 up to $227,668.
  • 14% on the next $227,668.01 up to $341,502.
  • 15% on the amount over $341,502.01.

Personal Income Tax (Dec 2023)

Federal tax rates

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

  • 15% on annual taxable income from $0.00 to $55,867.
  • 20.5% on the annual taxable income from $55,867 up to $111,733.
  • 26% on the annual taxable income from $111,733 up to $173,205.
  • 29% on the annual taxable income from $173,205 up to $246,752. 
  • 33% on the annual taxable income over $246,752.

Canada Revenue Agency (Jan 2024)

Sales tax in Toronto vs. Edmonton

In Canada, there are three types of sales taxes: the federal GST (5%), the provincial sales taxes PST (varies depending on the province), and the HST, which is a combination of the two. In Ontario, the HST is applied at a rate of 13% to purchases of goods and services.Meanwhile, in Alberta, there’s the GST only, set at about 5%, which applies to purchases of goods and services.

 Government of Canada (Sept 2023)

Conclusion

Toronto has a much higher cost of living than Edmonton but can definitely offer a greater variety of opportunities when it comes to employment and city-related outings. Toronto is also known for its diversity and being the most populated city in Canada, whereas Edmonton is distinctly less densely populated. Both cities can still meet your needs!

If you are planning to move soon, check out the best moving companies in Toronto and the best moving companies in Edmonton.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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