Toronto vs Vancouver vs Montreal vs Calgary: Which is the best?


Choosing the right city to study in college is a crucial decision that can impact your academic and personal life. There are several cities in Canada that offer top-class education, vibrant student life, and excellent career opportunities. In this post, we compare four major cities in Canada: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary to help you decide which city is the best for you. Each city has its own unique charm and characteristics, and we hope this guide will assist you in choosing the best Canadian city for your college life.


Toronto is Canada’s largest city and is known for its diversity, culture, and bustling cosmopolitan feel. The city is a hub for finance, technology, and arts, which offers endless opportunities for career advancement for students. There are several top-ranked universities and colleges such as the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and York University which makes Toronto a popular option for college students.


  • Access to top-ranked universities and colleges
  • Excellent career opportunities
  • Rich cultural and arts scene


  • Expensive housing costs
  • High cost of living
  • Busy and crowded city


  • Research on affordable living options outside the city center
  • Utilize the city’s public transportation to save money on commute
  • Explore the cultural neighborhoods and events like the Toronto International Film Festival


Vancouver is a picturesque city known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. The city offers a high standard of living, excellent education institutions, a thriving art scene, and tech industry. The urban environment has a unique charm due to its clean air, green space, and laid-back lifestyle.


  • Beautiful natural scenery, including oceans and mountains
  • Excellent education institutions
  • Thriving art scene and technology hub


  • High cost of living, particularly housing
  • Wet and rainy weather throughout the year
  • Limited job opportunities outside of art and tech industries


  • Consider living in suburbs or outside of the city to lower housing costs
  • Invest in good rain gear and waterproof clothing
  • Explore the hiking trails and beaches for outdoor activities


Montreal is a beautiful city with a rich history, fascinating culture, and outstanding cuisine. It is known for its vibrant nightlife, music scene, and festivals. The city has several top-ranked universities and colleges and offers affordable tuition fees. Montreal is a popular choice for students due to its affordable living cost and unique French-Canadian culture.


  • Rich history, fascinating culture, and outstanding cuisine
  • Affordable living costs, particularly compared to other major cities
  • Several top-ranked universities and colleges


  • Harsh winter weather
  • French is the main language spoken in the Province of Quebec
  • Limited job opportunities outside of the French servic industry


  • Learn basic French to communicate better in the city
  • Invest in warm winter clothing
  • Explore the city’s cheap and diverse food options


Calgary is a booming city known for its booming oil and gas economy and a range of outdoor activities. The city offers affordable living costs compared to other major cities, and it is home to several world-class educational institutions. The city is a popular choice for students because of its affordable living cost, vibrant community, and low unemployment rate.


  • Affordable living costs compared to other major cities
  • A high standard of living
  • A range of outdoor activities and sports


  • Harsh winter weather and extreme temperature changes
  • Less diversity in terms of arts and culture compared to other major cities
  • A high transportation cost due to the lack of public transportation


  • Invest in warm winter clothing
  • Consider living outside of the city center to save money on housing costs
  • Explore the city’s natural and outdoor attractions such as Banff National Park


While Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary are the most popular cities to study in Canada, there are other cities that you may consider based on your personal preference, budget, or preferred field of study. Here are a few other cities to consider:

  • Ottawa: It is the capital city of Canada, and it offers a range of educational institutions and job opportunities in the public sector.
  • Halifax: It is a charming coastal city with high-quality education institutions, affordable living cost, and a friendly community.
  • Edmonton: It offers a range of educational institutions, affordable living cost, and several outdoor recreational activities, especially skiing.
  • New York: It is not in Canada, but it’s a popular destination for international students. It offers a range of educational institutions, cultural diversity, and job opportunities in various fields. To know more about living in New York, check out is New York a good place to live.

When choosing a city to study, consider factors such as your preferred field of study, the cost of living, language, cultural activities, and job opportunities. You may also want to visit each city and explore it before making your final decision.

Interesting facts

  • Toronto is the largest city in Canada, with a population of over 6 million in its metropolitan area.
  • Vancouver consistently ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities and is home to the largest urban park in North America, Stanley Park.
  • Montreal is known for its rich history and distinct culture, including its French language and cuisine.
  • Calgary has a thriving economy with a strong focus on energy and technology.

While choosing between these four cities can be challenging, it’s important to consider your personal preferences and priorities. And don’t forget to explore other options, like the state of Massachusetts. Is Massachusetts a Good Place to Live? offers valuable insights and information to help with your decision-making process.


>Q: What is the cost of living like in these cities?

The cost of living can vary depending on the city and your lifestyle. Generally, Toronto and Vancouver have a higher cost of living compared to Montreal and Calgary.

>Q: How is the public transportation?

All four cities have efficient public transportation systems, with Toronto and Montreal having extensive subway networks.

>Q: Are there good job opportunities?

All four cities have strong job markets in various industries, such as finance, tech, and healthcare.

>Q: What is the nightlife like?

Each city has a lively nightlife scene with a variety of bars, clubs, and entertainment options.

>Q: Which city has the best weather?

Vancouver has mild weather year-round, while Montreal and Toronto have distinct seasons with cold winters. Calgary has a dry and sunny climate.

>Q: Are there good schools and universities?

All four cities have reputable schools and universities, with Toronto and Montreal being particularly renowned for their higher education institutions.

>Q: How diverse are these cities?

All four cities are diverse and multicultural, with Toronto being one of the most multicultural cities in the world.

>Q: What outdoor activities are available?

Each city has various outdoor activities, with Vancouver and Calgary being particularly popular for their proximity to mountains and natural scenery.

>Q: How is the healthcare system in each city?

Canada has a universal healthcare system, with each city having access to quality healthcare services.

>Q: What is the crime rate like?

Each city has a relatively low crime rate compared to other major cities in the world, with Montreal having the lowest crime rate of the four.

Real experience

Emma had always dreamed of living in a bustling city. Growing up in a small town in central Canada, she longed for the excitement and opportunities that came with urban life. Now, as a recent college graduate, she was faced with a decision: where would she move to start her career?

At first, Emma was drawn to Toronto. The city seemed to have it all – a thriving economy, a vibrant arts scene, and endless options for entertainment. She was excited by the prospect of living in Canada’s largest city and being surrounded by people from all over the world.

However, as Emma began to research other cities, she couldn’t help but be intrigued by Vancouver. The city’s stunning natural beauty, with its mountains and ocean views, captured her imagination. She could picture herself hiking on a weekend, or watching the sunset from a quiet beach.

Montreal, with its unique French culture and cobblestone streets, also held a certain charm for Emma. She was intrigued by the mix of old-world charm and modern sophistication that seemed to coexist in the city. And of course, the food – the thought of indulging in croissants and poutine made her stomach growl.

Then there was Calgary. Emma had never really considered the city before, but as she learned more about it, she was impressed by its thriving economy and entrepreneurial spirit. The city seemed to be bursting with opportunity, and she couldn’t help but be intrigued by the idea of being part of a growing community.

In the end, Emma visited each of the four cities, trying to get a feel for what living there would be like. She met with real estate agents, spoke to current residents, and even tried some of the local cuisine. In the end, she decided to take a chance on Vancouver, drawn in by its natural beauty and welcoming atmosphere.

As she settled into her new home, Emma knew she had made the right choice. But she also knew that each of the four cities had their own unique appeal, and she couldn’t help but wonder what life would have been like in Toronto, Montreal, or Calgary.


Choosing the right city to study in college can be a challenging decision, and it’s essential to find the best fit based on factors such as your preference, budget, and field of study. Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary are four popular Canadian cities with their unique characteristics and advantages for students.

If you’re interested in learning more about the detailed comparison between the two most popular cities Toronto and Montreal, check out Toronto vs. Montreal: A detailed comparison of two of Canada’s biggest cities.

Ultimately, the best Canadian city for you to study in depends on your personal preferences, future goals, and aspirations. Consider the pros and cons and take into account tips and alternatives to help you make a well-informed decision.

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