Toronto vs Vancouver: Which Canadian City is the Best Place to Live?

Deciding between Toronto and Vancouver for your next home? Both cities are vibrant, diverse, and offer high living standards, but each has its unique charms and challenges. This post will delve into various aspects such as cost of living, job opportunities, homelessness, drug-related issues, transportation, culture, amenities, safety, climate, education, and starting/raising a family. Hopefully, this detailed comparison will help you decide which city is the best place to call home.

Cost of Living:

Toronto and Vancouver are known for their high living standards and steep housing prices. Traditionally, Vancouver's real estate market has been pricier, but recent trends show Toronto giving it a run for its money. The cost of groceries and taxes are also comparable in both cities, making this category a close race.

Homelessness and Drug-Related Issues:

Unfortunately, both cities face challenges with homelessness. Toronto has experienced a significant increase recently, which is something to be mindful of when considering neighbourhoods. Vancouver has a smaller, but still significant homeless population. Furthermore, both cities grapple with drug-related issues, particularly opioid use. It's difficult to say definitively which city has a "worse" drug problem as it varies based on several factors, though Vancouver might just edge out Toronto in this regard.

Job Opportunities:

When it comes to job opportunities, Toronto generally offers a broader job market and higher salaries. However, Vancouver holds strong in industries like film, tech, and tourism, offering competitive opportunities for individuals in these fields.


Both cities boast robust public transit systems. However, Vancouver goes the extra mile with its scenic bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly streets, making it a great place for those who prefer an active commute.

Culture and Amenities:

Toronto and Vancouver are cultural hubs boasting world-class museums, lively theatres, diverse culinary scenes, and lush parks. However, if you're an outdoor enthusiast, Vancouver's natural beauty and plethora of outdoor activities stand out. When it comes to amenities, both cities have top-notch schools, libraries, and hospitals. Yet, Toronto takes the lead with more shopping malls and entertainment venues, while Vancouver offers easy access to ski resorts, hiking trails, and beaches.

Safety and Climate:

Vancouver is often recognized for its lower crime rates and overall safety. In terms of climate, Toronto offers hot summers and cold winters, whereas Vancouver has mild winters and warm summers, allowing for year-round outdoor activities.

Education and Family Life:

Both cities offer excellent education systems. However, Vancouver often boasts smaller class sizes and a high student-teacher ratio. Whether you're starting or raising a family, both Toronto's multicultural richness and Vancouver's outdoorsy appeal make them unique choices.


English is predominantly spoken in both cities. However, given its diversity, Toronto may have a larger multilingual population.

Ultimately, the best place to live is where your heart feels most at home. Whether that's the multicultural, bustling city of Toronto or the nature-loving, laid-back city of Vancouver, the choice is yours to make. I hope this comparison helps you in making your decision.

Whether you choose Toronto or Vancouver, I'm here to help with all your real estate needs.