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Toronto vs Montreal: Which is the Best City for Immigrants?

April 27, 2021BY Anik Chowdhury

From the perspective of immigrating, We will compare Toronto vs Montreal and know the benefits and consequences of living in Canada. Canada is known for opening its door wide and being extremely welcoming to immigrants. It is stated that the Canadian government wants to welcome more than one million immigrants by 2022.

That is a significant number, and there is a good reason why Canada needs more immigrants. To simply put, Canada needs more immigrants in order to sustain itself as a country. Without further due, let’s start our discussion.

Toronto vs Montreal: The Ultimate Comparison

Canadian economy will survive and thrive under the shadow of immigrants as its national birth rate is low and the number of aged people is high. For Canada’s economy to prosper, they need an increase in the birth rate.

This is possible through immigrants as they will help with an increase in birth rate and eventually increase Canada’s population. Thus, immigrants play an essential role in Canada’s growth in the economy and in general.

However, as an immigrant going to a new country and adjusting to the new culture can be daunting. The cultural difference, as well as the lifestyle, can become overwhelming in itself. The entire process of packing up your life and moving to a new place is a hassle too. For many immigrants, one of the hardest decisions they have to make in the first step of moving is to decide the city they will move to.

While every city and province in Canada have their doors open for immigrants, it is crucial to choose a place that will benefit you as an immigrant. Unsurprisingly, two of the top options most immigrants opt for are: Toronto and Montreal. They always end up choosing out of the two and with good reasons.

However, if you face the dilemma of which one of these two would be the better option for you as an immigrant, keep reading.

Cost of Living: Montreal vs Toronto

One of the downsides of living in Canada is the high cost of living. It is believed that the rate of living there is more expensive than University tuition fees. Toronto is said to be the most expensive city to live in Canada. The living cost there is around 40% more than that in Montreal.

Starting from rent, food, things-to-do around the city, income tax, and every other expense you can imagine is higher in Toronto than in Montreal. If you want an idea about how much you might earn in both the cities, let me give you a little breakdown.

In Toronto, the average salary is calculated to be approximately $59,399. It might not seem bad initially. Suppose you pay for a one-bedroom apartment costing around $1600 to $2300, minus daily and monthly expenses, including bills, income tax, and other expenses you cannot avoid. In that case, a comfortable life might become hard.

A house might cost you around $800, 000 and that might be a little too expensive initially and immediately after you move. Hence, living in a house on the outskirts of the city might seem a better option.

In Montreal, on the other hand, the average salary is calculated to be approximately $56 438. Despite all the essential and necessary expenses, you might have a little more to save and enjoy a comfortable life as the housing expense is lower. You can easily rent a lovely one-bedroom apartment with rent ranging from $1400 to $1500.

A house will cost around $421 000, which is way more affordable than it might be in Toronto. Of course, like in Toronto, housing will be cheaper on the outskirts of the city. Overall, as a single person, living costs in Toronto every year will be around $30 000 (this only includes: Rent, Food, and Transportation expenses). Similarly, in Montreal, it will cost around $1800.

If you are on a budget and wonder, “Is Montreal a good place to live?” then the above discussion will give you a good idea.

Read Also: Victoria vs Vancouver

The Difference in Rent between Toronto and Montreal

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto is approximately $1600. In contrast, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Montreal is $1403.

However, if you opt to live in a hotel before finding a place to live in, Toronto is definitely cheaper than Montreal. If you opt for standard hotels, then on average, in Toronto, you will have to pay around $122 per night, and in Montreal, you will have to pay $229 per night.

Employment Rate Differences

The employment rate in Montreal is better than in Toronto. That is not to say Toronto has a poor employment rate overall. To give you an idea, Montreal’s unemployment rate is around 4.7%, while in Toronto, it is around 6.2%.

As Toronto is the central attraction hub of Canada, many people – both immigrants and citizens – tend to move to Toronto for better jobs and living opportunities. Due to such inflation of demands in jobs, the chances are you will struggle to find a job in Toronto.

Mainly, it will be harder to find a job in the field you really want to pursue. On the other hand, Montreal has a better handle in their employment rate because they do not struggle with higher-jobs-demand-than-unavailable-jobs ratio. The chances of you finding a job in Montreal is drastically higher.

However, keep in mind that if you do not speak French – either fluent or even basic conversational level – the chances of you getting a job in Montreal will become harder. This is because most residents in Montreal are native Canadian-French.

Immigrants Difference

Statistics show around a 284. Thirty-nine thousand immigrants live in Toronto as of 2020. In comparison, around 80 000 immigrants live in Montreal as of 2020. The number of immigrants in Toronto is higher, which means the chances of meeting people of your kin are higher.

However, as the number of immigrants in Montreal is lower, this might present more opportunities for you.

Differences in Crime Rate

The crime rate in Montreal and Toronto falls under the same ratio, which is relatively low. It has been recorded that both violent and petty crimes in both cities have gone relatively low over the past two decades.

Furthermore, as of 2017, Toronto is declared the safest city in North America. It should be noted that Montreal residents claim they feel safe walking alone at night in the city. The residents of Toronto claim they do not feel safe walking alone at night in the city.

Weather Differences

One of the things Canada is well known for is its weather – specifically its colder season. It is a well-known fact that winter in Canada lasts longer than any other season.

Thus, if you are wondering, “Is Montreal colder than Toronto?” or vice-versa, then let me inform you that the weather in both Cities is pretty much the same. Montreal’s yearly weather account would be that during winter, the temperature falls on the scale of low 20s, and during summer, the temperature rises on the scale of high 70s.

It is the same for Toronto, too, as both the cities are pretty close by – only about a six-hour drive.

Differences in Tourism

In both Toronto and Montreal, the tourist rates are pretty high. This is because both the cities are beautiful and attract year-round tourists from both in and out of the country. They are also two of the oldest established cities of the country, thus, quite an attraction.

In summer, tourists tend to flood Toronto and Montreal’s flocks, resulting in more crowds and higher accommodation rates.

Montreal also has quite a high rate of tourists during winter too. Montreal arranges festivals and other spectacles during winter that attract attention from all around the country and foreigners.

However, Toronto attracts more tourists than Montreal. Statistics show that around 28 million tourists visit Toronto annually. On the other hand, Montreal attracts around 22 million tourists yearly.

Best Places to Live in Montreal

If you decided you live in Montreal after your Montreal vs Toronto living dilemma, then here is a list of some of the best places to live in Montreal.

  • Old Montreal
  • Ville-Marie
  • Rosemont La Petite-Patrie
  • Outremont
  • Villeray
  • Griffintown
  • Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
  • Milton Park
  • Plateau Mont-Royal
  • The Village

Best Places to Live in Toronto

If you decided you live in Toronto after your Montreal vs Toronto living dilemma, here is a list of some of the best places to live in Toronto.

  • Davisville Village/St. Clair
  • Kensington Market
  • East Chinatown
  • West Queen West
  • The Junction
  • Roncesvalles
  • Scarborough

Moving Cost

If you choose to settle in Toronto initially but then decide to move to Montreal and wonder about the cost of moving from Montreal to Toronto, it will cost around $1103 to $ 3150. If you decide to move from Montreal to Toronto, on the other hand, then it will cost you around $10 000.

Final Words: Toronto vs Montreal

To sum it up, if you are a new immigrant and are on a budget, Montreal is a better option.

However, if you want more diversity and hoping for a busier city, then Toronto should be up your alley. Both the cities are great more new and existing residing immigrants. Toronto and Montreal both will give you a comfortable and exciting experience and new opportunities.

Life in Canada will be drastically different from the one you are used to in your homeland. Still, a new life in a foreign land is always an adventure that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.



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