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The Greenhouse
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Toronto vs. Montreal: Where Should You Live?

Each city, with its unique blend of culture, cost of living, employment opportunities, and lifestyle, presents a distinctive Canadian narrative.

Choosing your Canadian home: Montreal or Toronto?

Montreal's Charm:

  • Nestled in the heart of Quebec, Montreal embodies a blend of old-world charm and modern elegance. As one of Canada's largest cities, it's a hub of culture, art, and gastronomy. The city's Old Town is a historical treasure where cobbled streets lead to quaint cafes and centuries-old architecture, making a visit to Montreal feel like a step back in time. The sophisticated French influence is palpable, especially in its gourmet dining scene. Montreal's vibrant festivals and rich artistic community make it a haven for creatives. Moreover, its ranking as one of the world's most livable cities reflects its high quality of life.

Toronto's Buzz:

  • Toronto, on the other hand, is a bustling metropolis known for its towering skyline, including the iconic CN Tower which stands as a testament to Canada's modern architectural prowess. As the largest city in Canada, Toronto is a melting pot of cultures with 46.6% of its population being immigrants. This diversity is mirrored in its eclectic dining scene, vibrant neighborhoods, and a plethora of languages spoken on the streets. The city's robust job market and high standard of living attract professionals from around the globe. Its proximity to natural beauty like the Toronto Islands provides a respite from city life, making it a balanced choice for many. The excitement of living in Toronto is exemplified by its sports scene, especially the friendly hockey rivalry when it comes to Toronto vs Montreal, adding a spirited flavor to Canadian cities' comparison.

Entertainment Excursions - Montreal vs. Toronto

Montreal’s Cultural Carousel

  • Montreal, with its old-world charm, offers a plethora of entertainment excursions. From the historic old Montreal to the serene Montreal Botanical Garden, the city is a haven for those who appreciate a blend of nature and culture. The Notre Dame Basilica is a testament to Montreal's rich architectural heritage, while the downtown core buzzes with modern art galleries and theaters.

Toronto’s Festive Tapestry

Safety Score - Montreal vs. Toronto

Montreal's Safety Data

  • Level of crime: 29.61 (Low)
  • Crime increase over the past 3 years: 55.64 (Moderate)
  • Worries of home burglary: 28.21 (Low)
  • Drug abuse issue: 46.44 (Moderate)

Toronto's Safety Data

  • Level of crime: 47.33 (Moderate)
  • Crime increase over the past 3 years: 67.96 (High)
  • Worries of home burglary: 36.15 (Low)
  • Drug abuse issue: 55.58 (Moderate)

These figures indicate a safer environment in Montreal, particularly regarding daily activities and personal security concerns. In contrast, Toronto, while still maintaining a moderate safety profile, shows higher crime levels and increased concerns in specific areas, especially over the past three years.

Transit Tales - Montreal vs. Toronto

Montreal's Metro Magic

  • Montreal's transit system is a blend of efficiency and aesthetics, with 68 metro stations connecting various corners of the city. The average fare cost is $3.5, making it an affordable choice for daily commuting in this North American city.

Toronto's Transit Triumphs

  • Toronto's extensive transit network, managed by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), offers subway, streetcar, and bus services. The average fare cost is $3.30, similar to Montreal, yet the breadth of coverage is wider, reflecting Toronto's status as Canada's largest city.

Job Jungle - Montreal vs. Toronto

Montreal’s Career Canvas

  • Montreal, the hub of French-speaking Canada, offers a diverse job market especially strong in the aerospace, engineering, and healthcare sectors. With a lower cost of living compared to Toronto, it's a welcoming arena for budding professionals. The downtown Montreal area, with its blend of modernity and history, provides a captivating backdrop for growing a career.

Toronto’s Occupational Oasis

  • Being Canada's largest city and a key North American city, Toronto stands as a powerhouse of finance, technology, and media industries. As Canada's financial capital, Toronto is a magnet for professionals seeking to make their mark in various sectors, including its renowned financial services, and home insurance, which employ over 3,855,500 individuals. A visit to Toronto’s thriving downtown showcases a realm of career opportunities awaiting exploration.

Housing Costs - Montreal vs. Toronto

Montreal vs Toronto Housing Saga

Embarking on the Montreal vs Toronto real estate journey unveils a distinctive panorama. According to the CMHC, the average home price in Montreal stands around $543,000, showcasing its relative afordability. Conversely, Toronto, with its bustling economic scene, sees average home values soaring at $1,043,000.

Urban Rentals

The narrative of renting in Montreal and Toronto unveils a tale of two cities. In Montreal, renters can find a two-bedroom apartment in the city center for around $1,120 per month, while in Toronto, the same would cost about $1,900.

Investor's Arena

Peering through the investment lens, the Montreal vs Toronto debate gets even more intriguing. Montreal's real estate market witnessed a steady growth of around 5%, while Toronto's market resilience shone with a growth of 7%, indicating a robust investment environment.

Cost of Living Comparison - Montreal vs. Toronto

Housing Affordability

  • Montreal: In Montreal, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $1,120. For those looking to buy, property prices are more affordable compared to Toronto, with the average cost of a home standing at $543,000.
  • Toronto: In contrast, Toronto's housing market is pricier with a similar apartment renting for about $1,900, while the average home price is $1,043,000.

Groceries and Eating Out

  • Montreal: Montreal offers a cheaper grocery bill compared to Toronto. Dining out is also more affordable, based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Montreal should cost around CA$20 per person.
  • Toronto: Groceries can be a bit pricier in Toronto, and a similar dining experience would cost about $90.


  • Montreal: Montreal's public transport system is managed by STM, with a single journey costing around $3.50. The city's bike-friendly routes also encourage cycling as a mode of transportation.
  • Toronto: The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) runs the public transport, with a single fare priced at $3.30. Despite being walkable, downtown Toronto often sees residents relying on public transport or cars for longer distances.

Lifestyle and Entertainment:

  • Montreal: Known for its vibrant arts scene, Montreal offers a plethora of cultural experiences. From exploring old Montreal to enjoying the city’s outdoor spaces, entertainment expenses average around $200 monthly.
  • Toronto: With a more pulsating lifestyle, entertainment expenses in Toronto are slightly higher, averaging around $230 monthly.

Utilities and Miscellaneous:

  • Montreal: Monthly utilities and internet costs average around $150, with slight variations based on usage and service providers.
  • Toronto: Similar to Montreal, monthly utilities and internet costs hover around the same range, reflecting a small aspect of cost of living where both cities align.

Tax Talk- Montreal vs. Toronto

Income Tax

Sales Tax

Property Tax

  • Toronto: The property tax rate in Toronto is about 0.666274% of the assessed value of the property. This relatively low rate can be an attractive factor for potential homeowners, contributing to the real estate market's dynamism.
  • Montreal: For homeowners in Montreal, the property tax rate stands at 0.804700%. A higher property tax rate could potentially affect the affordability of homeownership, especially for first-time buyers.

Tax Benefits and Credits

Both cities offer various tax credits and benefits aimed at alleviating the financial burden on residents. There are broader provincial and federal initiatives in place to further aid residents, especially those venturing into homeownership for the first time.

Retirement Savings:

Preparing for retirement is a crucial aspect of financial planning in both cities. Residents have access to Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), where contributions are tax-deductible, aiding in long-term financial security.

Navigating Your Urban Dream

The debate between living in Montreal or Toronto unveils a rich tapestry of urban experiences. Each city, with its unique blend of culture, cost of living, employment opportunities, and lifestyle, presents a distinctive Canadian narrative. As you navigate the decision of which city to call home, financial considerations such as mortgage rates and home financing play a pivotal role. 

At Pine, we streamline this aspect of your journey. Our direct mortgage solutions are designed to ease your transition, whether you're drawn to the historic charm of Montreal or the vibrant pace of Toronto. With Pine, stepping into your urban dream, in either of these remarkable cities, is simplified.

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