If you are looking to move to Canada from another country or you are looking to move within Canada, you've undoubtedly looked at two of the most popular destinations, Vancouver and Toronto. They're both big cities that are continuing to experience sizable growth due to their expansive economy, fun activities, and fantastic scenery.
It is often a hard choice to pick between these two cities, mostly because they are different. Toronto has an east coast feel, and many people think of it as a Canadian New York. Vancouver, on the other hand, has a distinctive west coast feel. It feels more like San Francisco or Seattle (which is only three hours south).
Let's take a look at how these two cities stack up and which one you should make your new home within the country!
Since there are so many topics we can compare about Vancouver vs Toronto. This video will focus on the economy, weather, nightlife, outdoors activity and finally housing.
Economy: A Pro For Vancouver And, To A Lesser Extent, Toronto
If you are looking for employment, British Columbia is the place to be. With Canada's current lowest unemployment rate, the BC economy is generally diverse and robust. In Vancouver, people work as software developers, accountants, marketers, advertisers, and across a wide variety of jobs in various industries. Outside the city limits, there are many outdoor jobs for people of all skill sets. This trend is not new. BC generally has one of the most robust and diverse economies within the country.
Toronto's economy is also good, but not quite as excellent as Vancouver's. A lot of this is due to diversification. Banks and financial institutions have a strong presence in Toronto. The Toronto Stock Exchange is within the downtown area. While this means that Toronto has a strong banking sector, it also means that Toronto's primary industries tend to be related to finance. If you are in banking, this is fantastic. However, if you want to work in other sectors, then Vancouver is often the better choice.
Weather: Pro For Vancouver, Con For Toronto
The Pacific Northwest gets a bad reputation for raining steadily. Because of this reputation, people all over North America tend to question why people want to move here. The reality is that, while it does rain in Vancouver, the overall climate is excellent - especially when compared with the rest of Canada. Winters are mild, and summers are warm and sunny. There isn't anywhere near the level of humidity that exists on the east coast. Vancouver also doesn't get much snow, although we do frequently get a week or two of it, which is just enough time for the kids to have fun!
Usually, people who move out to BC from Toronto find that much of the doom-and-gloom stories of weather are greatly exaggerated. Vancouver is milder than most places and still gets more sunlight than other world-class cities, like London, UK, for example!
By contrast, Toronto summers are frequently muggy, and the temperatures reach well-below freezing in the winter. While Toronto might get less snow than some other big cities like Montreal, it still gets hit pretty hard. The Toronto climate is not as envious as Vancouver's and typically is a con for most people.
Nightlife: A Pro For Toronto, And To A Lesser Extent, Vancouver
If you're looking for fun and vibrant nightlife, then Toronto is the place to be. Downtown Toronto has numerous restaurants, bars, sporting events, theatre options, and clubs. You can see top-rated shows, have fantastic drinks, and eat great food in Toronto.
Vancouver does have a fun nightlife scene as well, but it is not quite as epic as Toronto. You can go to clubs, bars, and restaurants, but when top chefs and the like choose to open new establishments, they often choose Toronto as their first destination. A large part of that is population, however. The Greater Toronto Area has just under 6 million people, whereas the Greater Vancouver Area has around 2.5 million.
Outdoors Activities: An Amazing Pro For Vancouver, A Con For Toronto
If you are into outdoor activities, Vancouver is the spot for you. Vancouver has epic scenery. Mountains, trees, beautiful rivers, and streams, all make Vancouver stunningly gorgeous. If you take the ferry to Vancouver Island, you'll witness splendour along the journey. There are many places to hike in Vancouver. Driving up to Whistler will provide you with lots of fun outdoor activities, like skiing, in the winter. Vancouver is a great place to be outdoors.
Toronto doesn't have this. There aren't the same level of hiking opportunities in Toronto. Toronto also doesn't have the same mountainous terrain. Therefore, while you can go skiing outside of the city, it's not quite as impressive as Vancouver. If you love the outdoors, Toronto probably won't cut it for you.
Housing: A Con For Both Toronto And Vancouver
There's no denying it - housing costs in both Toronto and Vancouver are high. The difference between the two regions is what the governments are doing to address housing affordability.
Vancouver and British Columbia are actively working to keep costs within reason. BC has implemented both a vacancy tax and measures to tax foreign ownership. These moves have started to keep Vancouver property prices somewhat in check. If you're willing to commute, homes out in Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, and Langley are all comparatively reasonably priced, given the square footage.
The Toronto and Ontario governments, however, have taken a more hands-off approach. As a result, 90% of earners make too little in Toronto to even afford a mortgage. If you are looking for a place to live and buy a home, Toronto may not be doable.
More Pros For Vancouver, But Both Are World-Class Cities
Vancouver is the second most livable city in North America and the sixth-ranked city in the world. Toronto comes in close at seventh place.
Both of these cities are world-class places to be. They offer robust economies, fun activities, and both cities are fantastic places for both families and single people. However, on the whole, Vancouver does have the edge. The natural beauty, economy, and weather make Vancouver a better destination, on average.
Thank you for watching the first part of this series on Pros and Cons of Vancouver & Toronto… stay tuned for the next one…..and if you are looking at moving to Vancouver, get in touch with me today. I can help you find the right home for your needs!