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Montreal or Toronto?

Kentucky
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Montreal or Toronto?

I was following the story about US emmigration to Canada with interest, as I'm pretty fed up with the USA and considering an eventual move there myself. However, I know virtually nothing about the major. I assume Quebec City is small and, I think, also French-speaking? So my remaining choices would be Montreal or Toronto (want a large city not too far from the US; English-speaking). Would anyone care to compare and contrast the two? Thanks in advance.

proud montrealais
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1. Re: Montreal or Toronto?

Depends on what you're like and what you're looking for. Both cities are relatively close to the US border. My take on this issue:

Montreal: come for the joie de vivre. THE GOOD: work less, play more: better food in general, better looking people, thriving nightlife, lower cost of living, smaller (more intimate, easily accessible via public transit and walkable). THE BAD: heavy tax burden (up to 40%, yikes). THE UGLY: politics, especially whenever the language debate rears its ugly head. (Why can't we all just get along?)

Toronto: go for your career. THE GOOD: business centre of Canada, better asian food (especially Chinese and Korean), arguably more diverse art and culture (theatre, shows and art). Significantly less personal tax burden. THE BAD: Marginally higher sales taxes, higher cost of living. Despite the availability of public transit, urban sprawl will eventually make you need a car, and insurance rates are much higher. Unless you can afford central digs, be prepared to commute everywhere, and say goodbye to spontaneous social life, as often you'll find your friends living all across the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and they'll often be too tired to hang out on weekdays after work. Corollary: expect to gain weight - almost all my Montreal friends gained weight after moving to Toronto, living the sedentary life. THE UGLY: Toronto is apparently having problems with guns and street gangs, with a high-profile incident with a young female bystander killed in broad daylight in a Foot Locker store during a Boxing Day sale (vs. the problem generally being in Montreal's east end).

In short: I would say you work to live in Montreal, and you live to work in Toronto.

2. Re: Montreal or Toronto?

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Surrey, Canada
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for Quebec City, Quebec, Montreal, The Netherlands
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3. Re: Montreal or Toronto?

:-))

I know both cities pretty well, and agree with kuroiTenshi's post. The last sentence in his post says it all.

Montreal hands down for the quality of life, and the good dynamic there is in the city. Toronto for the impression you are making big bucks, with a much higher cost of life.

Kentucky
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4. Re: Montreal or Toronto?

Should've given more details; I'm single, so would like other singles around (not family oriented) and would be retired by then (young; around 55), so work would be less important than life.

Also, grew up just 30 miles (?) from the Canadian border in VT!!!

Excellent replies; thanks.

Surrey, Canada
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5. Re: Montreal or Toronto?

Again, Montreal for the quality of life.

http://www.lovelettertomontreal.com/

montreal
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6. Re: Montreal or Toronto?

If you grew up Vermont, you might prefer Montreal. Why not take a trip up north for a week and visit both cities. Moving to a city is serious business.

Re street gangs, they're not just in the east end anymore and Toronto is no worse than Montreal. It all depends on where you live.

Montreal
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7. Re: Montreal or Toronto?

...but don't forget how nice Toronto neighbourhoods can be -- I was there last weekend hanging out at the Beach Jazz Festival, went up to the Danforth for amazing food, to the artsy Queen Street West area, the new Distillery district (hmm... not so sure) to the Village (ick, not so great). Of course, my friend had a car so it's possible to do that easily..

But, if you have the money, and would enjoy putzing around your little neighbourhood, Toronto would be a very good choice indeed. Extremely multicultural, very polite, lots of stuff going on, a good sense of civic pride and duty, cute little houses, tree-lined streets, streetcars, warmer than Montreal in the winter. And everything is in English, much easier if you don't speak French (although you can live here in English only, too, you just miss out on a lot). Oh, and an air-conditioned subway, yum,

Toronto's minuses? Too uptight, too much emphasis on $$$ and success, a flash and glitter veneer covering a fairly conservative almost soul-less town constantly trying to be really cool as if to say See? We're world-class, too! but with not much to back it up. Waaay to spread out, poor transit coverage, hot and muggy and polluted in the summer. Really ugly downtown.

Of course, I live here so I prefer Montreal. Our neighbourhoods are wonderful, too, and arguably prettier, it's less uptight, the French/English thing going on makes it more interesting, it's more dense and no great expanses of nothing so you can walk and bike everywhere, great festivals in the summer, sidewalk cafés... less snobby, appearances aren't important although people are extremely stylish, a very fluid society where different layers mix more easily thanks to its live-and-let-live attitude. Iit's a city with soul and history. Old Montreal is gorgeous. Better transit coverage.

Montreal's minuses? Winter, people like to complain, politics, crumbling infrastructure, less interesting until your French improves, people are less polite, drivers are crazy.

My summary? Toronto works hard at trying to be good and interesting and succeeds for the most part. Montreal succeeds in doing the same things with less effort and more style.

Of course, have you considered Victoria? Warm in the winter, really cute, very English, ocean, not very polluted, very green, people are exceedingly polite, smaller town, beautiful nature just a quick drive to the north...

Surrey, Canada
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8. Re: Montreal or Toronto?

... and all the rain making it so green (as they say in Ireland: there is a price tag attached to so much greenery!) ....

Old Montreal
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9. Re: Montreal or Toronto?

So where are you going?

montreal
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10. Re: Montreal or Toronto?

Super question Platipus. I also want to know where otterhere will be going.