It has an enormous population by Canadian standards.
In 2018, 2,956,024 people lived in the City of Toronto.
The GTA (Greater Toronto Area) has a whopping 6,341,935 residents.
Clearly, lots of people love living in Toronto, and for good reason.
Of course, like any other city, Toronto also has its drawbacks.
25 Pros Of Living In Toronto
Let’s start by exploring 25 amazing advantages of living in Toronto.
1. Arts And Cultural Scene
Toronto is an amazing place for artists and people who love the arts.
There is a plethora of art galleries and cultural centers for you to see.
When it comes to culture, there are lots of festivals and museums.
The Art Gallery of Ontario is located in Toronto.
This is the largest art gallery in the province.
The City of Toronto owns and operates 10 history museums, which are full of artifacts and displays to teach you about different cultures and civilizations.
2. Lots Of Family Fun
Kids and adults alike love Canada’s Wonderland.
This amusement park has a full range of exciting rides and other diversions.
There is a water park and a kids’ area, and there are special kids’ rides, family rides, roller coasters, and other kinds of rides.
If you love the water, check out the splash rides, including the Pumphouse, Spraygrounds, Whirlwinds, The Plunge, and Riptide Riders.
If rides aren’t your thing, check out all the other kinds of entertainment Canada’s Wonderland has in store.
There are a huge number of themed structures, as well as the Playhouse Theater, the Canterbury Theater, and a skate park.
3. Safer Than Other Big Cities
Maybe you’re thinking, “Wait, I thought I’d heard Toronto’s crime rate had increased?”
Well, it’s still nothing compared to what you find in many other North American cities, especially in the United States.
In general, Toronto is an extremely safe city, and steps are being taken to reduce the already relatively low crime rate.
If you’re going to move to Toronto, just do your research on the different areas and find the one that is best for you.
4. An Airport In The Middle Of The City
Pearson Airport might not be right in downtown Toronto, but it’s certainly within the city.
In fact, you could say it’s in the middle of the city.
Toronto has lots of international travelers, and Pearson has been located to accommodate the demand.
Pearson Airport is a major Canadian airport, and it’s easy to access from downtown.
5. Relatively Mild Winters
Well, whether you agree with this depends on what you’re used to.
It’s the fact that Toronto is on the shores of Lake Ontario that makes its weather so distinctive.
In particular, it means that Toronto has relatively mild winters.
If you’ve spent any time further north than Toronto, you will find this city’s winters a welcome respite.
6. Incredibly Multicultural
Multiculturalism is an integral part of life in Toronto.
You can see and enjoy it everywhere, including in art, festivals, food, and other businesses.
Toronto and the GTA (Greater Toronto) are home to a wide variety of cultures all over the world.
That’s because it’s such a popular destination for newcomers to the country.
You may find even more multiculturalism in cities and towns of the GTA outside the City of Toronto.
Since the city itself became so expensive, more newcomers to Canada have chosen to live in other areas of the GTA, instead.
7. A Favorite With Big Companies
No matter what your industry, you’re likely to find big company offices and headquarters in Toronto and the GTA.
There are Shopify, Uber, and Google offices in the city, just to name a few.
The fact there are so many corporate offices and headquarters in Toronto and GTA is one of the most significant reasons why there are so many job opportunities in the region.
8. Strong And Diverse Economy
There’s no other Canadian city that can compare with the variety of economic opportunities found in Toronto.
Toronto is not only the capital city of Ontario, but it’s the most populous and exciting metropolis in the whole of Canada.
That’s for good reason.
There are jobs in pretty much every industry under the sun available in Toronto.
9. Great For Sports Fans
Toronto has numerous large stadiums and several major league sports teams.
Love the Toronto Blue Jays?
You’re in luck.
What about the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Don’t worry, they’ll start winning again soon!
Take the whole family and cheer for your favorite team at Rogers Centre or ScotiaBank arena.
There’s also Lamport Stadium, BMO Field, and Birchmount Stadium.
10. Learn About Science
The famous Ontario Science Centre is located in Toronto.
This enormous science center is full of exciting and educational exhibits that people of all ages can learn from and enjoy.
The Ontario Science Centre is perfect for a family outing or just a day out with friends.
This popular attraction is also great for a solo outing.
11. Excellent Standard Of Living
With all the amenities spread out across the entire city, you’re always certain to have everything you need within a short distance.
In fact, there are many downtown and city neighborhoods where you can walk absolutely everywhere, including work and the grocery store.
The city is beautifully designed with excellent public transportation, and just spending time walking around is a pleasure.
12. You’ll Never Get Bored
No matter what your interests and preferences, Toronto always has lots to see and explore.
Whether during the day or at night, you can find places to go and new experiences in Toronto.
13. Impressive Design
One of the first things you’ll notice when coming into Toronto is the beauty and impressive view of the cityscape.
When you walk around, you will also appreciate the expansive sidewalks and wonderful public spaces.
14. Plentiful Parks
Toronto has plenty of parks and green spaces for you to enjoy some time in the sun or having a picnic with family and friends.
High Park is recognized as Toronto’s most beautiful park. It has immense green spaces as well as playgrounds and recreational grounds.
If you feel like venturing over the water to Toronto Island, you will find a lovely green space there as well.
Toronto’s parks are wonderful for walking, spending time with friends and family, and just taking some time to relax.
15. Delicious Food Everywhere
Toronto has a wide array of restaurants serving every kind of food imaginable.
The city has some well-known and well-loved restaurants that you will want to check out if you move there.
One is The Lakeview.
This is a diner-style restaurant in Dundas West.
It’s a 24-hour restaurant and you can go there for any meal of the day.
Alo has a tasting menu known throughout the city and is located in Queen West.
Alo is upscale, so it’s usually a special occasion spot.
16. Unique And Distinctive Neighborhoods
Toronto is full of distinctive neighborhoods, each with its own architectural style and attractions.
If you’re looking for a cool vibe and lots of fascinating nooks to explore, check out places like Kensington Market and The Danforth.
There’s also The Beaches, the Old Town, the Distillery District, and Cabbagetown, just to name a few.
There are lots of neighborhoods that are steeped in history.
17. Great For Start-Ups
Toronto is a hot spot when it comes to business start-ups.
If you’re keen to launch a start-up of your own or think you’d be a great employee for an entrepreneur, this city might be the place for you.
There’s a strong tech presence in Toronto and the GTA.
People in the GTA love the entrepreneurial spirit.
This city is a great cultural fit if you want to start your own business.
That’s as long as you’re ready for the expense.
18. Excellent Public Transportation
Toronto has a world-class public transportation system, including trains, buses, and streetcars that span the whole of the city and GTA.
You can even live in one of the cities surrounding Toronto and commute into the city using the GTA public transportation system.
You’ll find the subway is a city hub, and you will definitely be impressed by its gigantic size.
There’s simply nowhere you cannot get to on the subway.
It’s also known for being a bit more pleasant than subways in other cities, such as New York.
If you have bad experiences of subways in the past, Toronto might be a pleasant surprise for you.
19. Downtown Is Great For Walkers
If you’re a walker, you are bound to adore Toronto’s walkability.
In many neighborhoods, you can get everywhere you need to on foot.
If you find that you cannot walk somewhere, the public transportation system will get you there in a flash.
20. Can Access The Airport On Toronto Island
Not only will you have access to the world-famous Pearson International Airport, but there is also a smaller airport on Toronto Island for you to use.
This island tends to focus on flights within Canada, but it’s still super handy.
21. Home Purchase Is An Excellent Investment
Yes, condos and houses in Toronto are extremely expensive.
Even in the cities and towns surrounding Toronto (which are part of the GTA), they are definitely on the pricey side, but if you can manage to secure a mortgage in the GTA, you’ve made an excellent investment.
Property values are pretty much certain to increase, sometimes exponentially.
22. Access To Lots of Amenities
There are so many amenities in Toronto, it will make your head spin (in the best possible way)!
One of the hallmarks of Toronto living is the convenience.
23. It’s One Of The World’s Most Livable Cities
In everything from economic stability, infrastructure, and healthcare to environment and education, Toronto is ranked as one of the most livable cities on the planet.
As we mentioned earlier, Toronto is famous for its accessible amenities.
24. Several Higher Education Institutions
Toronto and the GTA are home to many world-class institutions of higher education.
These include the University of Toronto, York University, George Brown University, Ryerson University, Humber College, Seneca College, and others.
Without a doubt, the University of Toronto is the most famous. In fact, it’s recognized as the most prestigious in Canada.
Many local students commute to the various universities in Toronto, but there are also plenty of student residences as well.
There are few other cities in the world that have as much to offer in the way of education as Toronto.
Some people will move to the city to do a degree program at a university and then finish off with a college diploma program to make themselves more marketable.
With such a selection of universities and colleges in the GTA, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find the programs you want close by.
25. Historic Attractions
As a historic city founded in the 19th century, Toronto has many legendary historic landmarks.
For example, you can visit Spadina Historic House and Gardens.
If that doesn’t strike your fancy, consider Black Creek Pioneer Village.
This destination immerses you in the world of frontier pioneer life.
If historic churches interest you, head over to St. James Cathedral.
If you’d like to learn about the War of 1812, Fort York is the attraction for you.
25 Cons Of Living In Toronto
If you’re thinking about moving to Toronto, you’ve got to be aware of its significant drawbacks, too.
1. Shockingly High Housing Costs
Toronto is notorious for expensive houses and sky-high rents.
Even the most minuscule bachelor or one-bedroom apartment can cost significantly more than $1,000 per month.
If you want affordable rent, you will have to do a lot of searching and may well never find it.
Many single people get together and rent with roommates.
Depending on your specific arrangements, this may suit your needs.
As for houses, if you want to live downtown, get ready to spend in the millions.
Houses in other areas of the GTA, such as Mississauga, are relatively more affordable, but they’re still much more expensive than what you will find in cities several hours away from Toronto.
If you’re considering moving to the GTA, research the housing costs and general costs of living in the different parts of the region.
2. Not Much Wildlife
Well, other than raccoons! Toronto is pretty famous for these bandit-faced creatures, and they’re even known for invading people’s backyards and the subway.
Toronto is a city, of course, and there is a limit to the kind of wildlife you will see in it.
The further away you get from the city center, the more likely you are to see interesting furry or feathery friends.
In the GTA further away from the city center, you might occasionally see animals such as coyotes.
Again, it all depends on how far away you are from the city’s hustle and bustle.
The more people there are around and the more noise, the less likely wild animals are to venture in.
3. A Disappointing Waterfront
If you’ve ever been to a city that set up its waterfront as one of its main attractions, you might well be disappointed in Toronto.
The waterfront has been taken over by private development, meaning it’s far from the spacious green space or promenade you would hope for along the edge of the lake.
Private development on the waterfront has been a topic of hot contention by locals for many years.
4. Unfriendly People
Many people report that Torontonians are far from friendly, especially to strangers.
Remember, this is a big city.
Large metropolitan areas have a reputation for being impersonal, and Toronto often lives up (or down) to this description.
Don’t expect much of a response if you try to say hi to someone on the street, but maybe you’ll be surprised and end up with someone wanting to chat and tell you more about the area.
5. Summers Too Hot
It’s Toronto’s proximity to the Great Lakes that makes it have such humid summers.
Have you ever heard the expression it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity?
That certainly applies to Toronto.
With all the concrete reflecting the sun, summers can certainly get sweltering in the GTA, especially the city core.
The hot summers of places near the Great Lakes, such as Toronto, sometimes surprise newcomers to the country.
After all, isn’t Canada supposed to be cold?
That’s the thing about Toronto.
You will have to be ready for the most uncomfortable aspects of both winter and summer.
Some years, you’ll get lucky, though, and have a longer spring or fall.
6. It Takes Forever To Commute
It’s the GTA’s popularity as a place to live that makes commuting so long and difficult.
After all, you’ll be just one of thousands of people making their way to work in the city.
If you decide to live further away from the city center in order to save money on housing and cost of living, be ready for a long commute.
Some people even take an hour or more trying to get to work in Toronto, whether they take public transportation or drive.
If you do drive, remember how little parking there is downtown (and how shockingly expensive it is).
7. Too Much Traffic And Congestion
For the same reasons we talked about above, Toronto has lots of traffic and congestion.
Don’t assume that getting up and leaving early in the morning will be the fix you need.
It might help, but thousands of other people will also have that idea.
8. Lots Of Crowds
Just another part of big city living, Toronto has plenty of crowds.
If you’re not really a crowd person and tend to get flustered and annoyed, this part of living in Toronto probably won’t suit you.
If you’re in a popular public place, such as the Eton Centre, don’t assume you’ll be able to breeze in and out of the stores of your choice like you may have done elsewhere.
9. High Cost Of Living
Not only is housing expensive in Toronto, so are daily expenses.
From bottled waters and packaged sandwiches to a magazine or chocolate bar, everything costs more in Toronto.
The closer you are to the city center, the more expensive everything is likely to be.
Even groceries are more expensive, so if you take the time to pack your lunch, there’s probably a limit to how much money you will save.
Getting your expenses under control in Toronto takes careful and steady budgeting.
10. You Might Not Enjoy Big City Life
Some people just don’t like the big city, no matter how long they take to get used to it.
Yes, there are quieter areas in the GTA away from the city center, but you will have to be ready for long commutes and relative inconvenience.
11. Hardly Any Downtown Parking
It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to park downtown, and you’d better have the cash if you want to do this on a regular basis.
The law of supply and demand certainly applies in downtown Toronto parking, and the prices are sky high.
12. Air Quality And Pollution Problems
All the traffic and industry in the region create a not-so-great air quality.
There’s plenty of pollution, and even with efforts to get more people to take public transportation instead of a private vehicle, the population numbers in Toronto make keeping the city clean a real challenge.
13. Too Much Light And Noise
Here’s a different kind of pollution.
Light and noise pollution is a real thing, and if you live in a downtown condo, you know what construction noise can be like.
There are cranes all over the downtown landscape and building noises all day long.
Also, all the lights of the metropolis may soon grate on your nerves.
14. No Longer Much Diversity Downtown
Many downtown Toronto neighborhoods used to be known as vibrantly multicultural, but no longer.
The skyrocketing cost of living and housing downtown and in the city center has led to only the wealthiest people being able to live there.
This all translates to things being a bit boring.
If you want diversity, you will probably have to venture a bit further out into the GTA.
15. Reverberations Of Speculative Real Estate Investment
The speculative real estate investment market in which buyers from other countries have gobbled up Toronto properties for their investment portfolios was completely out of control until quite recently.
That’s when rules were put in place that curbed it and its effects on housing prices.
However, you can still see the impact today.
16. Insane Downtown Property Prices
It really cannot be said often enough.
If you want to move to Toronto, be ready for scary housing costs.
If you don’t have an executive-level job, or you aren’t independently wealthy, buying a house downtown is probably going to be out of the question.
Condos are also incredibly expensive.
Even modest apartments are often prohibitively expensive.
17. Cold Winters
Wait, didn’t we say Toronto has relatively mild winters?
Yes, it does, but this is still Canada.
Some winters are colder than others.
It’s Toronto’s proximity to the Great Lakes that makes the winters relatively mild.
When you live in Toronto, be ready for locals to get a bit upset about the snow.
People in other parts of Canada tease Torontonians about their aversion to even the seemingly mildest sprinkling.
You might even hear the jokes about the army being called in for a few inches of snow!
You know those big city types.
They just don’t like the inconvenience.
You really can’t blame them, when you think of how much walking they do and the hassle of a Toronto commute.
18. Cranes And Construction
New buildings are always (and we mean always!) being erected in Toronto and even the GTA.
This leads to lots of noise and potential obstacles on your commute and when you’re just making your way around the city.
19. Hard For Immigrants To Find Jobs
Immigrants often say they found it impossible to find the work they wanted in Toronto without getting some kind of Canadian certification or experience.
In many cases, people with professional degrees are forced to take jobs paying half or less than what they earned in their home countries.
20. Long Distances To Other Destinations
Canada is an enormous country.
It has the second-largest land mass on the planet.
That’s why there is so much space in between different cities.
Be ready for long car rides on the 401 or ridiculously expensive train fares.
21. Too Much Imported Produce
If you’re a foodie looking forward to Toronto’s amazing food scene, there’s one drawback to keep in mind.
For many months of the year, pretty much all produce used in Toronto restaurants is imported.
There’s a limit to how much you can keep things local.
If you’re a stickler for keeping everything local, this may be a problem for you (and your tastebuds).
22. Figuring Out How To Get Around
As an extraordinarily large city with an enormous surrounding area, Toronto is a bit intimidating at first.
It will take time to learn how to use all the public transportation systems, all the different stops and what is near them, and more.
Get some maps of Toronto and the subway, bus, and streetcar systems, so you can start learning all the stops. Be patient with yourself, though.
This is going to take a while.
23. Increasing Gun Crime
While Toronto is a relatively safe city, and very safe when you compare it to big cities in the United States, gun crime is certainly rising in many parts of the city.
When researching different parts of the city to live, make sure to keep this in mind.
24. Too Many Bad Drivers
Maybe it’s because the traffic and commute make them grumpy, but Toronto is known to have some impatient drivers.
This is something to keep in mind when you’re exploring as a pedestrian or driving around yourself.
You don’t want any fender benders to start off your new life in the GTA.
25. Not Enough Bicycle Lanes
There are quite a lot of bicyclists in Toronto, yet the city still hasn’t created all the necessary bicycle lanes.
That’s why quite a few bicyclists feel a bit nervous when riding on the street, especially with the impatient drivers we mentioned earlier.
If you enjoy bicycling, try to spend some time riding around the city’s many parks.