Cities Journal

Top 21 Reasons Toronto Is Better Than Montreal

Warm Weather
Photo credit: elPadawan / Flickr

Toronto and Montreal are rival cities. Their rivalry is about more than just hockey (though that is a large part of it). It is also about quality of life, city offerings, food, environmentalism, and just plain how much better in every way one city is over the other. It is true that Toronto and Montreal are both very different places.

Montreal has a more European vibe going, while Toronto is thoroughly North American. Though both cities like to boast about being the best of the two, which one really is the best in every way? If we’re doing a comparison, Toronto has to take the prize. Here are the top 21 reasons why Toronto is better than Montreal.

1. Warm Weather

Montreal is farther north, so it gets much colder in the winter than Toronto. Toronto’s winter weather is seasonable and quite similar to that of the New England area in the United States. It doesn’t become a land of frozen tundra when the cold months come like Montreal.

Winters in Canada can be rough for those who are not used to the climate. So if you are coming from a warmer region in the world, you should definitely go for Toronto instead of Montreal. Montreal can be really, really cold. People even sometimes use the word “severely” to describe how cold it is.

If you ask Montreal residents about it, they will say it’s no big deal and you’ll get used to it. But it’s not a question of getting used to the cold weather, it’s about the facts and the statistics, which are clear when it comes to comparing the average winter temperatures in the two cities. Toronto is definitely warmer than Montreal. Sometimes, the difference is only slight but even that can be a big thing during long winter months.

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  • Jordan

    This comparison is written by someone that obviously does not know much about Montreal or Toronto. For goodness sakes, the author has a very limited view of these cities. I can only assume the author is a young person without much life experience. First of all, there is no such thing as a better city. Each has its pros and cons. To make corrections to this article: Toronto is one of the most unaffordable cities to live in all of North America. To call housing more affordable in Toronto than Montreal is, well, ignorant. Prices in Montreal for similar housing are atleast 30-40% less expensive. There is no such thing as a 3000sq.ft house with 4 bedrooms in the middle of Toronto for $700k. In Montreal you can find that type of home with that price point or lower in many places IN THE CITY, and not just in the suburbs. Traffic: are you kidding, Toronto again has one of the worst documented traffic issues in all of North America. Beer? The Liquor board of Quebec and the one in Ontario are extremely similar and provide an enormous diversity of wine, beer from around the world. Food/Restaurants: There are more restaurants in Montreal than in Toronto (documented) The difference is that Montreal restaurants are more affordable. In Toronto there are more high end places. By far, the worst offense in this article is the statement about Festivals. My goodness, Montreal, again, is documented to have the most festivals, especially large ones, than most cities in North America. The International Jazz Festival is the world’s largest and brings in over 1 million people, the Just for Laughs Festival is the world’s largest comedy festival and also brings in about 1 million people, The Grand Prix in Montreal, enough said. Hockey??? Listen, Both Montreal and Toronto have incredible fans, Montreal also has 24 Stanley Cups, Toronto..well…The Montreal’s Canadiens record has far surpassed that of Toronto for years. University/Academics: Both cities have exceptional schools, Montreal has more graduates second only to the Boston area. Culture/People: Montrealers have a more european flavour.. they focus on fun, entertainment and a relaxed lifestyle first. They also speak French.. which is a good thing.. knowing a second language in this world is crucial. They also work to LIVE and have a comfortable life. Torontonians live to they can pay for their life. There is a massive culture difference between the two cities in terms of how people live their life..this also has to do with the affordability of living in Montreal. On the other hand, Toronto is the place to be for Theatre and certainly for business. Montreal cannot compare to Toronto’s business power. Toronto also has more things to do for Families, more activities, more entertainment centers. Montreal has more outdoor activities especially in the winter where there are dozens of Ski Hills within 45 minutes of the city…Toronto, not so much. Montreal has old world charm, Old Montreal and a history that is over 450 years old, dating back before Canada was ever founded. Toronto is a relatively new city only about 200 years old. Both cities are great and have their differences. I have lived in both and depending on what you want or need, each is better than the other. And lets not forget Vancouver. We are lucky to live in a Country with these 3 world class cities.

    • Laine Jaune

      If you are fluently bilingual or wish to become bilingual, which is an asset and not a liability, then Montréal is the place to be.
      It is beyond stupid to say that limiting yourself to the English language is a good thing and that having to learn French is a liability. Like you, I love both cities and its people, and wholeheartedly agree with your comments. But this commentator is really trying hard to make me hate Toronto, but I will still like this city despite him/her. But Montréal is where the action is.
      Where I had the best chuckle was comparing the storied Canadiens de Montréal,s hockey team to the pitiable Toronto Maple Leafs, the butt of the hockey jokes!

      • Laine Jaune

        This authors is the butt of all the jokes and brings the laughable Toronto Maple Leaf team to shame, I might add.

        • Laine Jaune

          The author makes the pitiable Toronto Maple Leafs look good I should have stated.

      • Rob Quinn

        Visiting Toronto does not prevent bilingualism, nor does visiting Montreal encourage it…and it’s very easy to get by in Montreal without speaking French btw.

        You sound like the author’s evil twin or something, haha.. :p

        This article is just ridiculous click-bait, and I’d bet that the vast majority of clickers are overly proud residents of Toronto or Montreal…as intended, haha..

        Regardless, I’d highly recommend visiting both cities.

        • Laine Jaune

          I never said that you couldn’t get by in Montréal without being bilingual.
          And I am NOT from either city, nor Québec or Ontario.

          • Rob Quinn

            I said, “vast majority”. That doesn’t necessarily include you.

            That said, you’ve posted 8 comments stating, in one way or another, that Montreal is better, several of which are just ridiculous, so it sounds as though you have an emotional stake in this debate.

            You may not be from either city, but if you haven’t lived in or near Montreal at some point, your strong opinions and apparent dedication to the city are rather odd.

          • Laine Jaune

            Nothing close as ridiculous as this asinine author!

    • Borderlined

      Thank you for writing this so I wouldn’t have to. This guy’s article is so full of misinformation and untruths it’s ridiculous.

  • TroubleBoy

    Have to agree with Jordan on this one. I’ve spent equal time in both cities and Montreal is by far and away the hospitable city overall, COL, diversity, culture…

  • Jason Brathwaite

    This is probably the worst thing i have ever read, Hopefully the writer doesnt have a Job anymore.

  • Philippe Couture

    1976 referendum ??? 1980 or 1995 but not 1976. lol
    Just because people in Quebec want to live in a french society does not mean they are anglophobe lol.
    They are the most bilingual group in Canada. Many ethnics group in Montreal speak more then 2 langages. French, english and their mother tongue, to me speaking more then 1 langage is an asset not a penality.

    Separatism is no more a threat for Canada by the way. The main threat to Canada is to be more like USA.I have traveled a lot in America and Toronto look like a US democrate city with Canadian flag. If you want to see a real america city go to New-York or Boston. If you want to feel the european influence you got to go to Montreal.

    • Laine Jaune

      You are bang on, my friend!

    • James Spero

      What about American Anglophones that want to relocate to Montreal and are interested in assimilating to the French culture and learning the French language? Will the city and Quebecois be kind and welcoming to them? We are in process of relocating for work and its sites like this I read that make me nervous 🙁 But from what I am researching as of late , I think I prefer Montreal.

      • Philippe Couture

        Seriously, if you go to montreal to learn french its going to be difficult because most of quebecois are too much kind. They will detect you are an anglophone and start to speak english to accomodate you. I have a friend that finally learn french but he has to say “speak to me in french” lots of time because peeps here start to speak english with him. If you are willing to learn, people will help you. Many of us (like me) see an ooportunity to speak english when we meet anglophone but the best way to be assimilate into a culture is to work with the people of that culture. You will learn fast if you have minimum of will. I work in a French environment with few anglophone and I think only one of them ( on 400 employee) cannot speak french after many years. He can understand very well french because we do meeting in french and he understand. He answer in english and no one are insult.

        As you can see, people here will accomodate you. Dont worry. Of course there are radical persons but its a minority like in any other culture and I personnally don’t know this kind of person. I know lots of Quebecois nationalist and most of them speak english very well.

        By the way, Montreal is a very open minded place to leave. If you are en open minded person you will love Montreal.

        Best Regards

        • Ya’akovah Bourges

          Correction Philippe (last sentence) “Montreal is a very open minded place to live” and not leave LOL

  • Philippe Couture

    Wow the #21 about safety is totally false and wrong !!!!

    Index Toronto MontrealCrime Index: 32.83 37.57Safety Scale: 67.17 62.43
    The crime rate in Montreal is about the same as Toronto. No big deal !!!

    Just for your information in 2015 there was 75 murder on Quebec territory. In 1985, it was 215 murders. Montreal and Quebec has never been safer then today.

    If the author get paid for this, you should add 22th reason why Toronto is better than Montreal

    #22 In Toronto you get paid saying bullshit about Montreal

    Safety comparisons Toronto vs MontrealTorontoMontrealImprove DataImprove DataSafety walking alone during daylightVery High 86.39Very High 86.74Safety walking alone during nightHigh 63.61High 66.60

  • Philippe Couture

    If the author get paid for this, you should add 22th reason why Toronto is better than Montreal

    #22 In Toronto you get paid saying bullshit about Montreal

  • EDem

    This can’t be a serious article. Cheap click-bait at best. 1/10 for making me comment.

  • Laine Jaune

    Try moving into congested traffic on the 401 in peak hours and then come back and tell me how you like transiting in Toronto! – What a biased dufus!

    • Borderlined

      Have you driven in Montreal? It’s bad.

      • Ya’akovah Bourges

        When you know the “short cuts” it’s not that bad.

  • Laine Jaune

    Everyone is making jokes about how unsuccessful the Toronto professional sports team are compared to Montréal’s. What was he/she smoking?

  • Laine Jaune

    If you want to be restricted to only English; then yes, go to Toronto and North America. Don’t go to Europe; they resent those that will not even try to learn their language, and there are many. – How narrow-minded can you be!

  • Laine Jaune

    It’s the French tongue sticking out that takes the case! – Can you get more ignorant and bigoted than this beyond stupid author?

  • Borderlined

    No one actually from Toronto would write this, because this rivalry is all in Montreal’s head. Toronto isn’t even participating.

    Besides, most of these points aren’t even factually correct. I’ll give you the bad roads, lack of street food and general pain in the ass medical and government systems, but that’s it. Montreal has great food, music, festivals, booze. Oh and about the booze…it’s Quebecois. Not French. French comes from another country. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

    Toronto is my home and I love it, but this list is just stupid and makes us look like assholes.

    We love you Montreal! Don’t listen to this guy.

  • Al Beau

    Probably the worst article ever on Toronto vs. Montreal.

  • Olivier L’Ecuyer

    Words that come to mind going through that list : Subjective, false, lopsided, bias, partisan, predisposed, misconception and I could go on and on. Cities journal is one of those sites that litter the web with unuseful and bogus polls / info(mercials). Who paid for that one, Toronto Chamber of Commerce ?

    • Chemz Swal

      And anglophone.

  • Isha Haar


  • Chemz Swal

    To be honest Toronto is a success story while Montreal is going thru some very hard times. I dont mind strong opinions provided they are based on facts not fiction. Here we have the typical fricking anglo supremacist who view the french as garbabe OMG they speak French there horrible. The article is loaded with false assumptions. Let’s look at just a few:
    1- the city is bankcrupt. No. The city is going thru some very difficutl times but the city administration with its high taxes is far from bankrupt.
    2-they got separatism.. a valid political choice according to Canada’s supreme court the separatist are not running the city but a former candidate for the job of PM of Canada
    3-Montreal only has french events.. bs.. Montreal is fully totally open to American culture, English Canadian culture and culture from France.
    4-Montreal is not multicultural while Toronto is .. strange since like Toronto 50% of Montrealers were not born or had parents not born in Canada… Arabic NOT English is now the second language in most areas of Montreal.
    5-You earn 75,000 and pay much less taxes in Ontario.. maybe but Montreal is poor and 75,000 $ is a lot of money in Quebec… now lets just compare a family of 4 in Quebec how much taxes they pay compared to an Ontarian one.. wanna bet???
    Once again the typical supremacist anglo Canadian who worships the USA… and vomits on French Canadians…. come to our city visit Plateau Mont Royal, Botanical garden, Old Montreal, Petite Italy you will see it is not a city of bigoted French Canadians

  • RightsaidFred2

    I didn’t grow up in Toronto but have lived there now for about ten years. I have visited Montreal countless times when I was younger. I love visiting Montreal because it’s just not quite like the rest of English Canada. That’s a good thing. Ok I do find some of the people there have this “complex” about their city and act like dicks but most of the citizens are very nice. The service is usually pretty good and the food I think is better than TO. Toronto roads are just as bad who are we kidding. Toronto to me is far bigger however and defintley more cosmopolitan than Montreal. Traffic is 100X worse in Toronto.

  • Fake News

    “Housing and property taxes are notoriously affordable in Toronto”

    Really makes you think

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