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Toronto vs New York Which city is better

Toronto vs New York: Which city is better?

When it comes to iconic cities that capture the imagination of the world, Toronto and New York stand tall among the rest. Both urban titans boast rich histories, and diverse cultures, but in the eternal battle, which city truly outshines the other? 

Generally, Toronto is cheaper than New York City because according to Numbeo, you would need around 12,289.4C$ in New York, to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with only 7,600.0C$ in Toronto. 

In addition to Toronto being cheaper than New York, it is also safer, as it ranked 2nd among the safest cities in the world with a total crime index of 42.42 in May 2023, compared to 49.28 in New York.

So read on as we embark on a spirited exploration to compare Toronto and New York, shedding light on their distinctive characteristics and uncovering which city reigns supreme in this captivating urban showdown.

Cost of Living in Toronto vs New York

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The cost of living in Toronto is generally lower than in New York. You would need around 12,289.4 CAD in New York to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with 7,600 CAD in Toronto according to Numbeo.  


This means that New York is 61.68% more expensive than Toronto, in addition to the cities being ranked 3rd and 269th, respectively, in the most costly cities in the world.

Here’s a breakdown of the expenses from Numbeo related to living in both cities.

ExpensesTorontoNew York
Housing (Average Rent per Month) 
1 bedroom apartment (Monthly Rent) in City Centre2,460.43 CAD5,162.32 CAD
3 bedrooms apartment (Monthly Rent) in City Centre3,958.71 CAD9,965.88 CAD
Units for Sale in City Centre (Per Square Metre)12,599.23  CAD20,421.52 CAD
Food Costs
1 kg of rice4.14 CAD10.97 CAD
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)3.45 CAD5.85 CAD
1 dozen of eggs4.46 CAD7.46 CAD
Banana (1kg)1.68 CAD2.96 CAD
Chicken Filets (1kg)16.15 CAD22.03 CAD
Transportation Costs
Local One-way Ticket3.30 CAD3.71 CAD
Monthly Pass Cost156 CAD174.08 CAD
Normal Tariff of 1km(Taxi)1.75 CAD2.52 CAD
Data sourced from: Numbeo

In terms of street food, New York is famous for its diverse food carts and street vendors offering a variety of cuisines. Toronto also has a vibrant street food scene. 

Moreover, Toronto has an extensive public transportation system called the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), which includes buses, streetcars, and subways. The TTC also offers various pass options, including daily, weekly, and monthly passes.

In New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) operates an extensive subway and bus network. Similar to Toronto, the MTA offers various passes, such as the 7-day Unlimited MetroCard and the 30-day Unlimited MetroCard.

Real Estate Prices in Toronto vs. New York

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New York generally has higher real estate prices compared to Toronto.


Based on Redfin.com, the average median sale price of a single-family home in New York is 369.23% more expensive than in Toronto. Moreover, a condo is 2.9% cheaper in Toronto than New York.

Both Toronto and New York have competitive real estate markets, but New York generally has higher housing prices compared to Toronto. 

In New York City, factors like high demand, limited space, and the city’s status as a global financial hub contribute to higher property costs. 

The cost of housing in New York varies widely based on boroughs and neighbourhoods, with Manhattan generally being the most expensive.

In Toronto, housing prices have been rising in recent years, but they are typically lower compared to New York. The market offers a range of property types, including detached houses, townhouses, and condominiums.

Property TypeTorontoNew York
Single-Family Home $130,000$610,000
Condo Apartment $724,118$745,000

Diversity and Demographic in Toronto vs New York

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Toronto and New York are both known for their diverse populations and multicultural environments. 


They are home to people from various ethnic backgrounds, religions, and cultures, making them two of the most diverse cities in the world.


However, New York has a much larger population of approximately 7.8 million than Toronto’s 2.9 million.

New York City is known for its exceptional diversity. It has a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. 

While the demographics can vary across boroughs and neighbourhoods, New York City’s population is highly diverse.

People of various ethnic backgrounds, including Hispanic/Latino, African American, Asian American, and Caribbean descent, make up significant portions of the city’s population.

TorontoNew York
Geographic LocationOntarioUnited States
Size (Area)630.20 square kilometres 472.43 square kilometres 
Population 2,903,4567,888,121
Female Population 52%52.29%
Male Population 48%47.71%
Median Age 39.3 years old36.9 years old
Life Expectancy at Birth 82.34 years old 80.1 years old 

Toronto is renowned for its diversity as well. According to the 2016 Canadian Census, about 51% of Toronto’s population identifies as a visible minority, meaning they have a non-white ethnic background. 

Toronto is home to a wide range of ethnic communities, including individuals of South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino, Middle Eastern, and Latin American descent.

Career Opportunities in Toronto vs New York

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Based on Versus.com, the unemployment rate in Toronto is 6.3%, while in New York, the unemployment rate is lower at 4.3%. This indicates that New York may have better career opportunities and economic growth compared to Toronto.

New York is a global financial centre, with Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) being major players in the global financial market.

The city also has a thriving technology sector, with Silicon Alley being home to numerous startups and tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s financial sector is particularly prominent, with major banks and financial institutions having a significant presence in the city’s downtown core.

Toronto is also emerging as a global hub for technology and innovation, with a growing startup ecosystem and numerous tech companies operating in the city.

Crime Rate Index in Toronto vs. New York

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According to Numbeo crime statistics, Toronto has a lower crime rate index of 42.42 and is generally safer compared to New York, which has 49.28.


In fact, Toronto was ranked 2nd among the safest cities by The Economist in 2021 with an 82.2 score, while New York is 12th with a 77.8.

According to Statistics Canada, the overall crime rate in Toronto has been declining in recent years. While Toronto experiences some crime, it is known for its safe neighbourhoods and generally positive reputation in terms of public safety. 

On the other hand, while New York has a high crime rate, according to data from the New York City Police Department (NYPD), major crimes, including homicides, robberies, burglaries, and assaults, have decreased significantly over the years. 

In addition, the NYPD implements various strategies and initiatives to maintain public safety and reduce crime throughout the city.

To give you a clear understanding, check out below the stats from Numbeo that show the crime comparison level between the two cities.

Type of Crime TorontoNew York
People using or dealing drugs54.75%59.58%
Property crimes such as vandalism and theft48.18%56.69%
Violent crimes such as assault or armed robbery 44.81%52.37%
Corruption and bribery 36.79%53.54%

Lifestyle in Toronto vs New York

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Both Toronto and New York are renowned for their multiculturalism and diversity. They have large immigrant populations, resulting in a rich blend of cultures, languages, and cuisines. 


But between the two cities, Toronto is the best place to live, especially if you are aiming for a city that has a low cost of living and is safe.

When comparing the quality of life between Toronto and New York, it’s essential to consider various factors such as climate, activities, healthcare, and overall lifestyle. Here’s a summary of the differences between the two cities:

1. Climate in Toronto vs. New York

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Toronto and New York have different climates, with Toronto experiencing a hot summer humid continental climate and New York experiencing a humid subtropical climate. 

As a result, Toronto generally has colder winters and cooler summers compared to New York.

In Toronto, average high temperatures in the summer months (June to August) range from 23°C (73.4°F) to 27°C (80.6 °F), while in New York, they range from 27°C (80.6°F) to 30°C (86°F).

In winter, the average low temperature in Toronto (December to February) ranges from -6°C (21.2°F) to -3°C (26.6°F), while in New York it ranges from -3°C (26.6°F) to 0°C (32°F).

2. Things to do in Toronto vs. New York

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Toronto and New York both offer a wide variety of activities for visitors, ranging from cultural attractions and outdoor recreation to shopping and dining experiences. 

Here is a comparison of activities in the two cities:

TorontoNew York
Cultural AttractionsThe city features cultural attractions such as:
Royal Ontario MuseumArt Gallery of OntarioCanadian Opera Company
The city is known for its world-class cultural institutions, including:
Metropolitan Museum of ArtMuseum of Modern ArtGuggenheim MuseumBroadway theatres New York City Ballet
Outdoor ActivitiesEnjoy outdoor activities like visiting the Toronto Islands, exploring High Park, or strolling through the Distillery District.Central Park is the main outdoor attraction, offering various recreational activities, such as biking, boating, and ice-skating. 
ShoppingShop at popular destinations like the Eaton Centre, Yorkville Village, and St. Lawrence Market.The city is a global shopping destination, with famous areas like Fifth Avenue, SoHo, and the West Village offering a mix of luxury boutiques, department stores, and unique shops.
EntertainmentCatch a live show at venues like the Princess of Wales Theatre, attend a sports game at the Scotiabank Arena, or explore the nightlife in areas like King West or Queen West.The city offers endless entertainment options, from Broadway shows and live music venues to comedy clubs and sporting events at Madison Square Garden or Yankee Stadium.

Both cities offer a wealth of activities to suit different interests and preferences. While New York may have a more extensive selection of cultural institutions, shopping, and dining options, Toronto also provides a diverse and vibrant experience for visitors.

3. Healthcare in Toronto vs. New York

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According to Numbeo, Toronto has a healthcare system index of 75.11, while New York has a lower index of 62.41. This suggests that Toronto’s healthcare system is generally considered better than New York’s.

Here’s a list of factors from Numbeo that influence the healthcare comparison in Toronto and New York:

TorontoNew York
Skill and competency of medical staff75%74.67%
Speed in completing examinations and reports64.18%66.94%
Equipment for modern diagnosis and treatment84.20%86.15%
Accuracy and completeness in filling out reports77.64%73.49%
Friendliness and courtesy of the staff75.41%64.84%
Responsiveness (waiting in medical institutions)48.65%49.84%
Satisfaction with Cost84.51%37.25%
Convenience of location81.88%71.22%

In terms of the skill and competency of medical staff, both cities have high ratings, with Toronto at 75 and New York at 74.62. This indicates that the medical professionals in both cities are highly skilled and competent in providing healthcare services.

As for satisfaction with medical expenses, Toronto has a high rating of 84.51, while New York has a slightly lower rating of 37.25. This suggests that patients in Toronto pay less for the treatment and other expenses compared to those in New York.

Toronto vs New York: How They Stack Up

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Overall, Toronto and New York both have their own unique characteristics and attractions.

To review everything we’ve discussed, here are our suggestions on which city is better depending on the factors we’ve discussed above. 

Factors The Better City Why 
Cost of Living TorontoThe living cost in Toronto is 38.17% cheaper than in New York.
Real Estate TorontoThe average median sale price for real estate properties in Toronto are significantly cheaper.
Diversity and DemographicsTorontoBoth cities have relatively high diversity, however, Toronto has a higher percentage of visible minorities. 
Career Opportunities New YorkNew York has a lower unemployment rate than Toronto.
Crime IndexTorontoThe crime index in Toronto is lower than in New York. 
Lifestyle Tied (depends on individual preferences)Toronto generally has colder winters and cooler summers compared to New York. 
Both cities provide a wide range of cultural attractions, outdoor activities, shopping, and entertainment.
Both cities offer great quality healthcare, although Toronto scored high in terms of healthcare costs.

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