Is life in Calgary better than Toronto?

When it comes to Canadian cities, Calgary and Toronto are often compared to each other. Both cities offer unique opportunities and a high quality of life, but which one is better? In this article, we will compare various aspects of life in Calgary and Toronto to help you make an informed decision.

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Cost of Living

The cost of living is an important factor to consider when deciding where to live. In general, Calgary tends to have a lower cost of living compared to Toronto. Housing, groceries, and transportation are all more affordable in Calgary. However, it's important to note that salaries in Toronto are generally higher, which can help offset the higher cost of living.

Job Opportunities

Both Calgary and Toronto offer a wide range of job opportunities. Toronto, being Canada's financial hub, has a larger job market with more options across various industries. However, Calgary is known for its strong energy sector and has a thriving job market in oil and gas. Ultimately, the job prospects will depend on your industry and personal preferences.

Housing Market

The housing market in both cities is competitive, but Calgary tends to have more affordable housing options. Toronto's real estate market is notoriously expensive, with high prices for both renting and buying. In Calgary, you can find more affordable options and potentially get more value for your money.


Both Calgary and Toronto have excellent education systems, with reputable universities and schools. Toronto is home to several world-renowned universities, including the University of Toronto, while Calgary boasts the prestigious University of Calgary. The choice between the two will depend on the specific program and educational goals.


Both cities have well-developed transportation systems. Toronto has an extensive network of subway lines, buses, and streetcars, making it easy to navigate the city without a car. Calgary also has a reliable public transportation system, including a light rail transit (LRT) system. However, Calgary is more car-oriented, and having a vehicle can be more convenient.


Calgary and Toronto have contrasting weather patterns. Calgary experiences colder winters and drier summers, while Toronto has milder winters with more precipitation throughout the year. If you prefer a winter wonderland and enjoy outdoor winter activities, Calgary might be the better choice. However, if you prefer a milder climate, Toronto might be more appealing.

Outdoor Activities

Both cities offer a plethora of outdoor activities. Calgary is nestled near the Rocky Mountains, providing easy access to hiking, skiing, and other mountain activities. Toronto, on the other hand, has beautiful parks, waterfront trails, and nearby beaches. The choice will depend on your personal preferences and outdoor interests.

Cultural Scene

Both Calgary and Toronto have vibrant cultural scenes. Toronto is known for its diverse arts and entertainment scene, with numerous theaters, museums, and music festivals. Calgary, although smaller, has a growing arts and culture scene, with the annual Calgary Stampede being a major highlight. Ultimately, the cultural scene will depend on your interests and the type of experiences you seek.


Canada's healthcare system is renowned for its accessibility and quality of care. Both Calgary and Toronto have excellent healthcare facilities and services. Access to healthcare will be relatively similar in both cities, ensuring you receive the necessary medical attention when needed.


Both Calgary and Toronto are considered safe cities overall. However, like any urban area, there are certain neighborhoods that may have higher crime rates. It is advisable to research specific neighborhoods and consider factors such as proximity to amenities and safety when choosing a place to live in either city.


Ultimately, the decision between Calgary and Toronto will depend on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and priorities. Calgary offers a lower cost of living, more affordable housing, and a strong energy job market. Toronto, on the other hand, provides a diverse range of job opportunities, a bustling cultural scene, and milder winters. It's important to consider all aspects and weigh them against your own needs to make the right choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Calgary more affordable than Toronto?

Yes, Calgary generally has a lower cost of living compared to Toronto, including housing, groceries, and transportation.

2. Which city offers better job prospects?

Both cities offer excellent job prospects, but Toronto's larger job market across various industries often provides more opportunities.

3. Are houses more affordable in Calgary or Toronto?

Houses are generally more affordable in Calgary compared to Toronto, where the real estate market is known for its high prices.

4. What are the main cultural attractions in both cities?

Toronto has a diverse arts and entertainment scene, with museums, theaters, and music festivals. Calgary is known for the annual Calgary Stampede and its growing arts and culture scene.

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