Toronto or Vancouver - Where Would You Live?

May 16, 2023


  • Shireen Fisher

When you are ready to move to Canada, the biggest decision you must make is where you will live. What makes this complicated is that there are several factors that you will have to take into account before you say "oui" to a particular Canadian city. If you are about to start your job hunt, you will inevitably find most of the opportunities are in Toronto, Ontario, and Vancouver, British Columbia. But which will be best suited to your needs? Realistically speaking, both cities have their benefits and drawbacks, but ultimately, both are great places to work and live in Canada and experience some of the best this country offers.


Location is key when deciding where to live in Canada. Toronto is located in Ontario, closer to the east coast of Canada around the great lakes. The city's landscape is flat, but from the shores of the great Lake Ontario, a body of water so large, you can only see the other side, the United States of America, on a clear day.

Vancouver is situated in British Columbia on the west coast of Canada, a coastal city that shores the Pacific Ocean. Vancouver is surrounded by hills and mountains, creating a beautiful vista from nearly everywhere in the city.

Climate wise, Toronto summers are pleasant and winters much less so, with icy, snowy and windy conditions. So temperatures vary from 17°F to 78°F and is rarely below 1°F or above 85°F. Summers in Vancouver are short,pleasant but a bit cloudy. Winters are very long, cold and wet. Temperatures range from 35°F to 73°F.


Toronto and Vancouver are two Canadian cities with the highest concentration of immigrants, making them two of the country's biggest melting pots. And this is expected to expand, according to Statistics Canada Projections for as far as 2041. The predictions, released in September 2022, reveal that the Greater Toronto Area will still be Canada's most populous city with the largest percentage of immigrants.

Both cities have quite a mix of ethnicities, from South Asians to Chinese, people of Caribbean descent and Africans, Arabs, and lots more, in terms of racialized population groups. According to the projections, South Asians will continue to be the largest group and are expected to account for 38.6% of Toronto's total racialized population by 2041.

Vancouver, on the other hand, has a higher number of Chinese immigrants, and projections for 2041 show that this population would stand at 31.7% of the total racialized population of Vancouver in 2041, while the South Asian population in the city will come in at 27.9%.

Employment Opportunities

Regarding jobs in Canada, both cities have similar offerings. So let's go through some of them.


Home to some of the world's largest tech hubs, it is no surprise that there are plenty of tech jobs in Canada.. There are opportunities in both Toronto and Vancouver to work for gaming, cyber-security, web designers, and much more, with highly competitive salaries and great benefits.

If you are a tech worker wanting to move to Canada, Toronto is the country's leader in all things tech. According to the CBRE Scoring Tech Talent 2022 report, this city has the highest tech talent growth spurt between 2026 and 2021, adding 88,900 workers to the Tech workforce. The city now has 289,700 tech workers. Vancouver's tech talent grew by 44,460, taking this city's tech workforce to 115,000.

Financial Services

If you are looking for a finance job in Canada, you will find that accountants, financial advisors, actuaries, bookkeepers, and other finance occupations are always in demand here. Toronto stands out in this sector, with banks and financial institutions firmly rooted in the fabric of this city. So if you work in this industry, you know which city to choose.

Toronto is Canada's business and financial HQ. The city is the second-largest financial center in North America. It has one of the highest concentrations of financial services company headquarters in the Americas.


Toronto is a main North American advanced manufacturing center. This makes it a city where innovative technology, production, and processing thrive. It has a booming food and beverage sector, the largest in Canada and the third-largest in North America. This sector alone employs over 50,000 people in Toronto.

In Vancouver, manufacturing adds up to around 3% of the city's total employment. This sector employs around 12,455 people., many of whom work in food and beverage production and the clothing industry.


Both Toronto and Vancouver are consistently building, revamping, and demolishing. So whether you are a laborer, engineer or architect, you'll find construction jobs in both of these cities.

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) comprises many major suburbs, a downtown area home to the CN Tower, with many skyscrapers in the backdrop. This city's huge population is also part of the reason so many construction jobs are available here.

Vancouver also has a decent amount of construction jobs. This is probably because the Vancouver Lower Mainland area has more than ten municipalities, with a flourishing real estate market and many infrastructure projects.


There is a great need for teachers across Canada, so you will likely find many teaching opportunities in Vancouver and Toronto. Positions to look at include traditional teaching roles and daycare and private tutoring posts. Learn more about immigrating to Canada as a teacher while you search for your ideal Canadian city.

Film and Television

Canada's film industry continues to blossom, even after the pandemic. Toronto is one of North America's top five screen-based industries, delivering everything required for film success in pre-production to the post-production level. Vancouver has also become quite a popular filming destination. It is so popular that it has earned the nickname "Hollywood North."


As the second-largest country in the world, Canada has plenty of destinations for tourists to flock to. With Toronto and Vancouver both considered top Canadian destinations, each city is brimming with employment prospects in the tourism sector.


After Ottawa, Toronto is another hub for aerospace careers in Canada. This may be because this city has the third highest tech sector on the continent. Vancouver is, however, hot on the heels of Toronto in terms of the availability of aerospace jobs.


According to Numbeo, the average monthly salary after tax in Toronto is 4,430.17 CAD. This varies according to processions and other factors. When looking at whether you can afford a certain city, check out costs like rent, utilities, food, etc. In Vancouver, it is 4,625.50 CAD. It is up to you to figure out what your salary will be able to cover depending on which city you choose. Below is an estimate of what you will pay for basics in each city:

  • A one bedroom apartment in the City Centre in Toronto will cost around 2,460.45 CAD and 2,544.98 CAD in Vancouver.
  • Electricity, air conditioning, water, garbage for a small apartment in Toronto will cost about 194.54 CAD and 138.15 CAD in Vancouver.
  • A monthly public transport pass in Toronto costs 156.00 CAD and 120.00 CAD in Vancouver
  • Gasoline costs 1.56 CAD in Toronto and 1.95 CAD in Vancouver
  • Milk costs around 3.81 CAD in Toronto and 2.94 CAD in Vancouver
  • A loaf of white bread will cost about 3.46 CAD in Toronto and 3.84 CAD in Vancouver

Public Transport

Both cities have great public transport systems. In Vancouver, the Skytrain takes you all over the city, a train that runs high above the normal roof heights of the city. Toronto has an older subway system that is equally effective, just without the pleasure of being above ground. For example, you can use street cars; they just don't have the reach or speed of the subway. Both cities also have a highly effective bus system to take you to the areas that may be too far to walk from the train stations.


This depends greatly on your 'scene.' Toronto has Vancouver beat on the number of clubs, bars, and restaurants downtown. It has numerous venues, from theatres to sports stadiums, that cater to all tastes. Vancouver has it all, too - just not on the scale Toronto does. The reason is easy enough to understand. According to data from Census 2021, Toronto has a population of 2,794,356, while 662,248 people live in Vancouver.

Other Activities

Both cities have loads to offer in terms of activities. While Toronto has the lake, which can be enjoyed in summer, Vancouver has the ocean and wilderness at your doorstep that can be enjoyed year-round. Hikes, scenic drives, picnics, outdoor concerts, and camping in the summer. Skiing, ice-skating, sledding, snowball fights, and fireside hot cocoa in the snowy mountains during the winter.

Toronto or Vancouver? Choose Your Ideal Canadian City

Moving to Canada can become a tricky business. There is choosing where to live, finding the right home, securing a job offer, and the whole immigration process to be dealt with. And while finding the right job with a good remuneration package is important, you'll also have to make sure you settle in a province where there is enough to keep you busy with outside of work.

By using our accredited Regualted Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC), you will not only optimize your chances of success when you apply for your Canada visa, but you will receive expert advice on which program is best for your personal needs. So if you need help deciding on your ideal Canadian city and immigration matters, know that MDC is standing by to assist.


I am looking into tech jobs in Toronto and Vancouver. Which immigration programs should I consider?

You should look into the Ontario Tech Pilot for Toronto or B.C. Tech Pilot for Vancouver.

Can I Apply to Canada's Provincial Nominee Program if I want to Move to Toronto or Vancouver?

Yes. You can apply to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) or the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program.