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The Differences Between Living in
Vancouver vs Toronto

Vancouver vs Toronto

Trying to decide between buying one of the Vancouver homes for sale or moving further east to Toronto? While they're both big cities, there are quite a few differences that can help you make your decision.

The Jobs

There are plenty of job opportunities in both Vancouver and Toronto, but the province of British Columbia typically has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada with a diverse and robust economy. While the COVID-19 pandemic has skewed the numbers, B.C. still beats out Ontario with a current unemployment rate of 6.6 percent as compared to Ontario's 8.4 percent. In Vancouver, there are a wide range of jobs in various industries from software development and accounting to many outdoor jobs for people of all skill sets. It even boasts the third-largest film hub in North America, behind only New York City and Los Angeles.

Toronto's economy is good but not quite as impressive as Vancouver's. It has a strong banking center, with lots of finance-related jobs. If you're in banking, Ontario's largest city is a great choice, for work in other sectors, Vancouver is the better bet.

The Weather

While Vancouver gets rain, it has a rather mild climate, especially compared to the rest of the country. Summers are beautiful, not too hot or humid. And despite its rainy reputation, there's more sun here than there is in cities like London. While there can be some snow here, it usually doesn't last long, just enough time to build a snowman. By contrast, Toronto winters can be brutal with temperatures often well-below freezing, and summers are often hot and muggy.

The Great Outdoors

If you're into outdoor activities, it's hard to beat Vancouver. The scenery is epic, with the city surrounded by mountains and water in every direction. You can leave your office downtown and be sailing or hiking a scenic trail in a matter of minutes. In the winter, skiing is just a short drive away at Grouse Mountain too. Toronto doesn't have the same mountainous terrain, which means the hiking opportunities just aren't as impressive.


If you're looking for a Canadian version of New York City, with countless restaurants, bars, theater options, nightclubs, sporting events and the like, Toronto is the best to be. Thanks to its diversity, you can dine your way around the world without ever having to leave. That said, Vancouver does have plenty of nightlife and great restaurants, but when the best chefs decide to open new establishments, Toronto is usually their first pick.

Cost of Living

Vancouver and Toronto are both pricey places to live, when considering housing cost and average wages, but Toronto slightly beats out its west coast sibling on this one with a cost of living that's 13 percent higher. At the same time, salaries in Vancouver are slightly lower on average while demand for affordable rental properties is high, so this one is really difficult to call.


Toronto is also the winner when it comes to diversity. It's often named the world's most multicultural with more than 200 different nationalities represented here. As mentioned, that results in restaurants serving a wide range of cuisine from across the globe along with many ethnic neighborhoods like Little India, Little Italy, and Koreatown.

There is diversity in Vancouver - more than half the local population speaks something other than English as their first language. It tends to have more of an East Asian influence as compared to Toronto, with First Nation culture more prevalent.

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