What are the cons of living in Toronto?
April 10, 2021 3:03 PM   Subscribe

So, I'm moving to Canada to get a Master's Degree in CS with focus on ML/AI, not to Toronto though, but close enough that I may consider moving there later on. A series of circumstances have put me in a position in which staying in Canada is a very easy thing for me. I've received a lot of encouragement from family and friends and as such I've decided to take the plunge.

Perhaps this is premature, but Toronto is the biggest city that's nearby. I guess Ottawa and Montreal are close too, but Ottawa doesn't appeal to me and I'm not quite sure how I feel about Quebec. I know French, I know Montreal is a pretty swell place but I don't like the political inclinations of the Bloc and the PQ or its new iteration, the CAQ. Perhaps I don't get it or something, but the nationalist overtones and attitudes emanating from those parties don't make me very comfortable.

I know there's Vancouver as well, which I guess I could consider too. There's also Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton and St. John's to a lesser extent. However, those places are far away and I'm not entirely sure about how easy it is to move elsewhere once you've settled somewhere in Canada, that stuff is new to me. I'm all for it if it's doable but I see it as less likely.

This is where Toronto comes in. Once I am done studying, I want to get into finance. I have a plan on how to do that and a huge opportunity to do so. I also want to run a business one day or at least own part of a startup. These things are present in Toronto (and Vancouver as well) and Toronto is what is closest. In addition to that, I have family littered all over the east coast in the US. Toronto is pretty much next to Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and NYC. If I ever wanted to go to those places, it'd be a few hours drive. Also, being close to a financial hub like NYC but not being there or having to live with all its problems is a plus to me. Toronto has often been described as something of a balance between NYC and calmer cities. That is great for me, because while I like a lot about what NYC offers, I would never live there and I absolutely despise the way people live like in there.
To me Toronto sounds like a sure thing on where I should go.

Nonetheless, other than knowing that Toronto is expensive, I'm quite unsure about what's not so great about Toronto.
posted by Tarsonis10 to Society & Culture (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Canada is very dark in winter. Dark is different than cold. Winter is long. Be prepared for the dark.
posted by aniola at 3:50 PM on April 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Toronto is expensive, as you mentioned, and more “straight-laced” than cities like Montreal or NYC. It’s about as cold as Chicago but days are shorter in the winter, as aniola mentioned.

If you’re going into finance and you don’t mind the cold, Toronto is probably a good fit for you.
posted by mekily at 3:58 PM on April 10, 2021

Best answer: Some people find torontonians to be unfriendly - The culture here is generally that you leave people alone unless you have a reason to talk to them. You're unlikely to be able to just strike up a conversation with a random stranger unless there is something you have in common to talk about - like you're at a concert, you can talk about the band, or waiting in a long line, and you talk about that, etc. Personally, as a shy introvert, I love this, but gregarious people new to the city can find it off-putting. The trick to making friends here is to be involved in a lot of activities (and there's lots of stuff to do!) and find your people amongst the other participants. I think it's a great place to live, with a lot of different neighbourhoods that have their own pace and character - explore them and find one to live in that suits you.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:22 PM on April 10, 2021 [6 favorites]

Can you explain what you “despise” about the way people live in New York? If it’s high population density and a fast pace of life, you might still be overwhelmed by Toronto. It’s a major city in its own right. More polite than big US cities, yes, but more cosmopolitan than a lot of USians might expect.

We’re on MeFi, so I assume you’re not bothered by diversity. A big share of T.O.’s population is foreign-born.
posted by armeowda at 4:23 PM on April 10, 2021

If you and your destination are not on the subway getting around can be a huge pain. We have the worst traffic in the world and public transit here is not great.
posted by mhoye at 4:38 PM on April 10, 2021

I've never lived in Toronto but will share three data points from a couple of trips there that will give lie to the "unfriendly" nature of people in The Six (short for the Toronto area code, 416, AKA the big smoke or TO (tee oh)).
* We were standing on a street corner holding a map, and a couple of guys came up to us to see if they could help us find what we were looking for;
* During an absolutely torrential rainstorm we discovered we'd got off the bus at the wrong building for an exhibition we wanted to go to. The right one was part of the same complex but probably 100 meters away. And it was TEEMING. We'd held the door for a young guy racing in with his family and got chatting. When he found out we were at the wrong building, he went back out into the parking lot, brought his car to the door and drove us to the other building. We offered, but he wouldn't take a cent;
* Leaving that same exhibition, we missed the bus by a whisker, and it was going to be ages before the next one came along. A lady saw what had happened, invited us into her car and raced to get ahead of the bus so we could catch it at the next stop.
Some things will change post-pandemic, but Toronto is a WONDERFUL city. There's the lake, lots of green space, culture and food from every nation under the sun. Other than downtown, it's always struck me as a collection of neighbourhoods that are cheek by jowl. If I won the lottery I'd have a place in Toronto to be able to go there all the time... and a chauffeur. I'm too used to small-town driving now, lol.
posted by kate4914 at 5:25 PM on April 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

NYC is more like an 11 hour drive away and you better time it right because trying to get out of Toronto after 3pm is a nightmare and in the summer near the weekend the traffic can make you ask really, really dark questions about your life. With any other Canadian city, you can be in rural surroundings within a half hour drive, even Montreal. Toronto is bounded by the lake at the bottom an everywhere else surrounded by suburbs and ringed with satellite communities that have their own huge suburbs and big box plazas. It takes at least an hour before that shit even starts to peter out and in some directions it just goes on forever.

Also, Toronto's architecture is ugly.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:25 PM on April 10, 2021 [8 favorites]

Toronto is pretty much next to Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and NYC. If I ever wanted to go to those places, it'd be a few hours drive.

Yeah, either you are way underestimating the distances or you consider 6-12 hour drives no big deal. And the border crossing (especially into the US) can be time consuming on top of that, for traffic reasons if nothing else. It might be quicker if you're accepted into the NEXUS program, I don't know. In general I might not be so blasé about popping over to the US easily.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:55 PM on April 10, 2021 [10 favorites]

Best answer: It's hard to compare without knowing where you're coming from. I'd say that Toronto is more similar size-wise to Chicago (where I lived for a decade, so that's my main point of comparison) -- about 10 million in the metro, two million in the city proper.

Toronto is an order of magnitude more safe and more clean than any major US city. Housing -- sure, it's insane, but if you're coming from a major US coastal metro it shouldn't feel too much different. And Toronto's transit system is better than any major US city's beside NYC I'd say; certainly better than Chicago. (I lived only very briefly in Toronto but have lots of friends who live/lived there and spent lots of time there before I moved back to the States.)

Density-wise -- compared to Chicago, where you have high rises concentrated in a few lakeshore neighborhoods and also a fair number of 5-6 story walkups, Toronto has tallish apartment complexes across the city usually located near TTC stations, and then mostly detached or semi-detached housing once you get a few blocks from the subway. And of course a large downtown core with lots of fancy new condo highrises and shit.

Housing stock is generally postwar in most parts of Toronto, due to its explosive growth in the last 50 years. But there's a solid core in the center which has some lovely late Victorian stock.

You don't say where you are attending university but I'm assuming somewhere in Southern Ontario -- if it's Guelph, Waterloo, Mac or Brock etc. then you are within pretty easy driving/transit (1-2 hours) of Toronto and can easily visit for the weekend or even for a Friday night and drive or take the GO bus/train back.

But there's lots of other great cities in Ontario as well! I lived in Hamilton so I'm biased, it's a working-class industrial city in the best sense of the word and an underrated gem. But any Ontario city is going to feel more urban than most US cities, there's just not the massive sprawl that you see in the Midwest or the Sun Belt. Suburbs, yes, but they're much more dense and walkable.

And yeah, the diversity. As a South Asian I have the slight background whisper of being an other whereever I go in North America, except when I'm walking around downtown TO or in Scarborough. And unlike Chicago (where I lived for a decade) Toronto is much more integrated; there are areas where particular groups concentrate more, but it's just not weird for a person of any racial/ethnic/linguistic background to happen to be in any particular place -- whereas Chicago, while diverse as a whole, has very segregated and clearly delineated neighborhoods. I do miss that about Toronto.

Good luck on your studies!
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:20 PM on April 10, 2021 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Toronto is a lovely city, especially in its older residential areas. Jane Jacobs famously looked to "the Annex" (late 19th/early 20th century low rise residential area very near downtown) as an example of excellent, human-oriented urban design. Areas of a similar age - Parkdale, Leslieville, the Beaches, just about anywhere between Queen and St Clair (north to south) and Yonge St and the Humber (east to west) - are great neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, everyone else agrees on thus, too, which is why small single family homes are listed for $1.5-3 million dollars. I rent comfortably in this area, but buying is a joke. I see condos listed as "starting at $1.3 million).

That said, while housing costs are insane, I do love living in Toronto. I like living near the subway better than living away, but I'd rather live in suburban Toronto than suburbs elsewhere with less transit.

Something to get a hold on about Toronto is that, until the late 1990s, it was six cities (thus "The Six"), and that's just Toronto proper - not including the outer suburbs. Each of these cities have their own history and politics.

"Old Toronto" includes the downtown, and most of the neighborhoods in the centre south part of the city. East York was just to the east and north. Both were built up heavily before WWII (streetcar buildout) and are dominated by low-rise but dense residential areas, very walkable and well served by transit. There were some industrial than have since been transformed into high rise condos (e.g. Liberty Village, Fort York area near downtown).

Three of the other cities - Etobicoke in the west, North York to the north, and Scarborough to the east - were developed mostly after the war. They'll have a few spots that were old villages and towns, but for the most part, they are car suburbs. Picture massive six lane roads with the backs of houses, and spaghetti street subdivisions. However, one huge difference between the US and Canada is that we never had redlining and our urban core never emptied out. There are some pockets of "urban decay" nearer downtown (especially on the east side), but most of our very poor and majority immigrant and non-white areas are in the suburbs on the edge of the city, especially the north-west and north-east corners, where lots of high rise housing was built in the 1960s-70s. The farther you get from the subway in Toronto, the poorer and less white the area becomes - and the services are worse (because the local councillors who are majority white are pretty shit and don't care about poor people).

Everywhere you go in the city is multicultural. We have no one large minority such as African Americans or Latino people; we have a really mixed population with large numbers of Chinese, Korean, South Asian (too many countries to list), Caribbean, Filipino, African, and eastern European immigrants - and more indigenous people than most Canadians realize. This is amazing for our food and restaurants - I love eating in Toronto. I feel like I can eat food from just about anywhere in the world (even if I did have to go to Markham to get South African dried meats). But it's also great for our cultural industries: when COVID isn't on, just about every weekend in the summer is a festival somewhere. Obviously, it's more diverse in our suburbs and downtown than in our low-rise midtown.

Transit in Toronto is worse than in Europe, but better than in most US cities of a similar size. We have only a little subway, but we do have very reliable 24 hour bus lines that cover just about every corner of Toronto proper. I grew up in a poor suburb in the North West (Rexdale), and could leave a party or bar at 2, 3 or 4 am and get home for the price of a bus ticket (flat rate over the whole city). It might have taken 90 minutes (or 2 hours), but it was safe and I knew I would get home eventually.

Speaking of safe: Toronto, like every Canadian city, is very safe. I say this as someone who presents as female and who has walked just about every dark alley between Rexdale and Queen and Sherborne at some point at night. I have been mugged once, unsuccessfully (kid tried to grab my phone, failed to get it out of my hand) and that was in a relatively posh neighbourhood (College and Bathurst).

You may or may not be thinking of kids, but Toronto also has an excellent school board, and it's the same board throughout the city. There are socioeconomic differences between schools, but not as much as you see in similar US cities.
posted by jb at 6:27 PM on April 10, 2021 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Obviously, I could go on and on about Toronto. We don't have pretty mountains like Vancouver or the ocean like Halifax, but we have great ravines and parks all over the city. Serious wilderness can be found within 2-4 hours drive north, wine country 2 hours west, freshwater beaches 2 hours east, or a 10 minute ferry ride to the Island.

We're colder than Vancouver or Halifax, but warmer than every other major Canadian city (especially Winnipeg or Edmonton, here!).

I'm totally biased because it's my home - and sometimes I think wouldn't it be lovely to live in Halifax, but I'd probably have to learn how to drive and I wouldn't have access to some of the best services in the country - like our library system, which is stupendous.
posted by jb at 6:32 PM on April 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

I will agree with everything jb and tivalasvegas said. I lived in Toronto for 20 years, moved away a decade ago. I still go back.

With the winters, it's subjective, but I thought Toronto winters were a breeze. I never found it all that cold and it didn't snow much compared to, say, Buffalo. That said, I found the summers far too humid; July and August were often difficult for me.

Like jb said, Toronto is made up of 6 former places. Sometimes as shorthand people refer to Mississauga, Pickering, Vaughan, and other 905 places as Toronto. Those cities really are distinct places and I found it difficult to travel between there and Toronto, especially if you're relying on transit.
posted by philfromhavelock at 6:52 PM on April 10, 2021

Best answer: I'm not sure what the question is here, but you will end up living in Toronto, it will be expensive, you will have a job that pays well and it will be fine. A decade later you will receive a job offer in the US for 3x what you make in Toronto and leave.

I mean this sincerely and with kindness: it doesn't matter what Toronto is like. Unless you try very hard to make a career in software and specifically ML somewhere else, you will end up in Toronto. Also Toronto is fine. Personally, I love it.
posted by GuyZero at 8:39 PM on April 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

Also Toronto is "the 6" as an abbreviation of it's first area code, 416. Municipal amalgamation is ancient history at this point.
posted by GuyZero at 8:40 PM on April 10, 2021

Best answer: Also Toronto is "the 6" as an abbreviation of it's first area code, 416. Municipal amalgamation is ancient history at this point.

a) it's a shortening of 416 (which came to describe Metropolitan Toronto, as opposed to Peel, etc., which are "905"), but also includes our SECOND area code (647)

b) I am clearly very ancient, since the distinctions between Toronto, East York, Etobicoke, Scarborough and North York are all very, very clear in my mind. To be honest, I like amalgamation, because I know that even if the Etobicoke councilors are still terrible (Doug Ford was one of them), being in Toronto makes things a bit better. Whereas my downtown-raised-and-stayed friends are all pro-de-amalgamation (mostly because the suburbs keep voting for councilors like Ford or Holyday).


Looking back at your original question: what are the cons of living in Toronto? here are some, both petty and serious:

- hot and humid summers (but still less hot & humid than New York or Connecticut)
- massive income disparity (okay, again less than NYC)
- serious homelessness issue
- it's quite flat and probably would bore someone from anywhere significantly hilly (e.g. San Francisco)
- crowded transit, especially in the downtown core
- lots of traffic and vehicle pollution

Most of these are also true of similarly sized cities in Canada (such as the homelessness and the vehicle pollution), but wouldn't be as true in a smaller community like Kitchener or Kingston.

One unique con: Everyone else in Canada hates Toronto. Well, maybe hate is too strong a word - more like resents and disrespects Toronto, especially people from here who moved away.

Sometimes I meet tourists in Toronto, and I think, why would anyone visit Toronto for fun? It's not somewhere I would take a vacation - no fascinating nature, good but not unique museums. But it's quite a nice place to live, overall.

Many relatively young, professional people arrive in Toronto and immediately move to a condo-tower area like Fort York or Liberty Village, because they are close to the financial district and known to realtors. But they are also quite boring, mostly glass towers and chain restaurants. If money isn't an issue, I would personally live in one of the older neighbourhoods like Kensington Market, or Baldwin Village. In fact, even for tourists coming to Toronto, I always recommend staying at the Baldwin Inn - a lovely B&B which is also cheaper than downtown hotels.
posted by jb at 9:46 PM on April 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: To the person asking what I don't like at NYC. I think's it's more about what I don't like about American work culture. I worked with people from there, it was terrible, they never slept, half the office was on drugs and most people were busy working themselves to death. I've also worked with Torontonians, and yeah there's some of that too, but NYC is unique at everything it does. The city is nice, there's a lot of cool things, but I wouldn't ever live there.

I have no problem with diversity, Toronto having a 50% foreign born population is great.

Also, I guess someone talked about leaving Toronto for the US later on. Not likely, I don't feel very comfortable with the US right now. Too many things have happened there in the past four years, despite the recent change in leadership, many of those things and attitudes remain. No, if I were to move elsewhere it'd be Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton, Halifax or maybe St. John's, not the US though. I intend to make my move to Canada permanent.
posted by Tarsonis10 at 9:57 PM on April 10, 2021

Best answer: Okay, I have to correct "the 6" here - Drake called it that because Toronto was originally 6 cities - Toronto, East York, York, Etobicoke, North York, and Toronto itself. In 1998 under Mike Harris it was forceably amalgamated, supposedly to save money but actually for political reasons, see this Cory Doctorow thread. (Doug Ford just continued this by reducing the number of wards.)

I didn't hop into this thread because mostly I think Toronto is the bomb. But I will say the big challenges are:

- cost of living (not an issue for you I'm guessing)

- transportation - can be mitigated by money, no problem - but take it in rush hour before you sign a lease/buy anything. An hour commute each way is not unusual at all.

- housing, ditto

- the coldness factor is real. I fell down some steps in the subway once when I was pregnant. Everyone around me froze and sort of half-watched me until I got up and loudly proclaimed that I was fine. I know that if I had not been fine, absolutely lots of people would have helped, that's standard. But the culture here is to leave people alone - the activities tip above is a really good one. When I moved to New Brunswick and people wanted to talk to me I used to fear going out for a walk until I adjusted. Helsinki is the only city where I've felt the same vibe as Toronto.

- there is an area where salaries in the US and Canada really differ and I would say that's mid-career - when I was in media I was offered jobs in the US twice at more than double my salary just on the numbers, never mind the difference in the Canadian dollar, and I think a lot of it was because there's just not a jump at the kind of middle management level that there is down south. (My husband is in tech and the ratio is the same.) For my family this is a feature not a bug because the result is kind of that...all those people keep their kids in the public good activities and then the public day camps, schools, etc. are advocated for by the middle class/low end of upper middle class.

- living in Ontario right now is kind of scary because we are creating environmental disasters and have gutted much of health care...but in non-Covid times, living in Toronto mitigates the health care issue because our hospitals are so world-class, we get very good care including family doctors who arrive from all over the world (anywhere around Queens is also fine)

I'll also say that while a lot of Scarborough and Etobicoke are indeed the kind of strip mall post-war housing model, along the lake where I live is the same housing but gorgeous - I live along the bluffs and a 10 minute walk from a trailhead that is 12km at the base of the bluffs and it is gorgeous all the time. There are areas of Mimico that are similar. Also a lot of the strip malls are turning into higher-density housing, especially in Scarborough right now.

Visitors rarely get how great the lake is. There are the Toronto islands for day trips from downtown, but it's out in the 'burbs, especially east, that you get really nice beaches. (As well as the Beaches neighbourhood.)

We have two airports and assuming that travel comes back in close to its previous form, I know it's terrible carbon-wise, but you can get on the free shuttle at Union (train/commuter train/subway) station and get on a Porter flight and be in Chicago hassle-free in like, 2.5-ish hours door to door. Rumour has it Amtrack is adding back its Toronto-Detroit-Chicago line too.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:00 AM on April 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

Oops I left Scarborough, my home, out of the 6, oops.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:09 AM on April 11, 2021

Best answer: I'm ancient growing up in Toronto,
We had the Red Ensign for a flag and in public school we would sing God save the Queen followed by the Lord's prayer.
The Lord's Day act was in force and basically everything was closed Sundays

Bloor street was served by streetcars, they were everywhere.
The Bloor subway opened 1966.
North of 401 was a wilderness.
From 1942 to 1985 the province was run by the Conservative party the Big Blue Machine

Toronto was a sleepy provincial capital, competing with it's flashier , larger sister Montreal.

Then it changed .
Explosive growth. People from all over the world. It's an incredibly diverse population now.
Pearson airport goes from 1 tiny terminal to 3 huge ones.
The 401 becomes the busiest highway in North America
The 407 ,the most expensive toll road.

Right now Toronto has the most construction cranes working in North America. By a long shot
Los Angeles has 41 working . We have 124.

This incredible growth has created a very different , cosmopolitan, vibrant city

However infrastructure to support this growth lags.
Especially in transit. An hour commute is common enough

Toronto has a micro climate.
we have winter but its short,
Lately we have snow around Christmas and gone by beginning of March.
Lots of thaws in between

An hour north or south of Toronto is another story.
posted by yyz at 10:04 AM on April 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

> Toronto has tallish apartment complexes across the city usually located near TTC stations, and then mostly detached or semi-detached housing once you get a few blocks from the subway

I am struggling to see how this is an impression anyone could have... maybe ten years ago... if a neighborhood isn’t already a field of condos, it will be.

To back up things already said above

On cranes: Link

Here’s a map of condos, planned and existing: Link

Flooding because no one cares about upgrading infrastructure: Link

Transit in non-Covid times is a nightmare. I mean the coverage is pretty good considering the service is mostly subsidized by fares, unlike any other system in the world where governments see it as a public necessity. But it doesn’t have the capacity to carry the growing population. So it’s crowded: Link - which unfortunately occasionally contributes to agitation in the already-agitated, there have been a few (albeit rare) reports of someone being pushed or assaulted.

The problem with homelessness is out of control. Link. I’ll be called all kinds of things I’m sure, but the truth is as a woman I don’t feel comfortable walking in my downtown neighborhood alone at night. (I am in a sort of notably intense area, admittedly. It’s not as intense further out from the core. But it’s spread, even in the suburbs, even out in smaller towns, it’s where it didn’t used to be.)

It may not be something that’s a surprise if you’re coming from the US, but there’s been a problem with gun violence in Toronto.


This is because of growing inequality.

What I’m saying is that the shocking rate of recent development, and the neglect of infrastructure and social services have made Toronto a hard and uncomfortable city to negotiate day to day. (I’m saying this as someone who has lived in larger, denser cities.)

The suburbs are blah, it takes ages to get anywhere.

Loneliness is a live problem for people of all ages in Toronto, it’s very difficult to make friends, I think because the stress of getting by (cost of living is stupid) means people huddle in. So they hang out with people they know through school, usually, maybe a scene.

So this is what you’re in for :/ if you hate NYC you won’t like Toronto. But yes if you’re into finance, you don’t really have a choice.

(Yeah 2nd the depressing, dark winters also.)

Pick a neighborhood that’s a little more chill. East of the DVP, or maybe the Junction, or Roncesvalles. Those are the more low-rise areas with a neighborhood feel (at least for now... guaranteed they’ll find a way to build there too). Around DuPont, St Clair etc is nice, too. For now.

Should mention planning isn’t really down to the city, it’s the province that has the final say, and they only care about making their developer friends rich, screw everyone else. The city doesn’t get enough funding for these needed infrastructural issues because it’s funding football issue between levels of government and everyone hates Toronto and no one wants to pay taxes.
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:42 PM on April 11, 2021 [2 favorites]

But if want to work in finance, I think you’ll have to reconcile yourself to living in big cities.
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:43 PM on April 11, 2021

Best answer: if you hate NYC you won’t like Toronto

I would agree that we have serious issues re homelessness and poor planning (our better councilors try, and are voted down by our worst). But I think that Toronto is really, very different from New York City. NYC is much more crowded, much busier - there is a density of people that I've only felt in London, UK (and both stressed me out because I wasn't used to that). Toronto is really a medium sized city, and only gets to be the centre of things because it's the biggest in Canada. But size-wise, it's more like Chicago or Houston - and while the transit has gotten more crowded, it's still less crowded than the London Tube is regularly.
posted by jb at 3:12 PM on April 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

I grew up in Toronto until after university but spent most of the last decade in the Bay Area (so my view might be dated). What’s not great about Toronto is what’s not great about Canada as an environment for building a start-up: the mindset. The ego and conviction you need to get a start-up off the ground is harder to find there. And if you have it, it’s less likely that others will follow. The mindset is founded on equality with remnants of the British - everyone in their place.
posted by gillianr at 9:40 PM on April 11, 2021

I went to high school in Toronto, have been working in Toronto for 10+ years, living in the city proper for 3 years.

Worth remembering that COVID has impacted workplaces greatly in Toronto. This is anecdata to be sure, and the situation is still unfolding, but it does sound like many of my friends' workplaces downtown (many work for large finance/telcomm/tech companies) are planning to scale down in-person office attendance and allow for more regular WFH. When the time comes, this might influence where you want to live.

Other Toronto pros:
- It is a fantastic place to live. Diverse in its people, arts, industries, food, scenery. The "city of neighbourhoods" means there is a place to suit everyone. Choosing your neighbourhood carefully can mitigate a lot of the cons listed.
- I agree with tivalasvegas; I'm Chinese and I never feel like out of place in any particular part of the city.
- It's a young city. Lots of opportunities to grow.
- It can get stupid hot but Toronto is also magical in the summertime; the city comes alive with festivals, exhibitions, concerts, rec sports.
- raccoons (adorable)

Other Toronto cons:
- I don't know if there is a name for this, but I've noticed that Toronto is extra thirsty to be seen as a World Class City. We can be a little sensitive about how the rest of the world sees us. Take us seriously, dammit.
- I don't get the sense that working yourself to death is prevalent here, but the rise and grind/forever hustling culture is pretty common.
- City politics can be extremely frustrating, is often hamstrung by the provincial government and differing priorities in various wards, and change happens at a snail's pace or not at all or sometimes even goes backwards. We are not good at long-term planning. As others have noted, infrastructure, transit, affordable housing, etc. have all suffered because of this. See also: our fuddy-duddy, middle-of-the-road mayor John Tory and his various tutorials on relatability over the years.
- raccoons (little bandits)
posted by notethisbean at 9:56 AM on April 12, 2021 [3 favorites]

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