Montreal Vs. Toronto

Old Aug 5th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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B12
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Montreal Vs. Toronto

A friend and I plan to visit Canada soon. Originally we planned on visiting Montreal but then I also heard good things about Toronto. We are looking to go for the shopping, restaurants and nightlife. Any suggestions on which is better? (Please keep in mind that we are females in our mid-twenties).
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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I live in Toronto, and it's a great city, but if you can only visit one of the two, I would have to say Montreal.
Both cities have great night-life, shopping, and restaurants. But Montreal is much older, and seems more like a European than North American city. Once you're in Quebec, you must also visit Quebec City. And, after all that, if you still have time, come to Toronto. It's a great city of wonderful neighbourhoods... Chinese, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Ethiopian, Jamaican, etc. etc.
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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I have to agree with jec, he's right on all counts...
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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Montreal ..... sorry Toronto !
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 05:07 PM
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I agree that both cities offer hundreds of things to do and see, but I'd vote for Montreal.

The hills and old city have charm that just edge out Toronto.

I would also encourage you to visit Quebec City if you have the time.
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 05:54 PM
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I agree , try to see Quebec City . I lived there for 6.5 years and felt like a tourist every day ...... Beautiful , you will wonder if you are perhaps in Montmarte in Paris .... ( have to be honest and tell you I actually live in Montreal )
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 10:39 PM
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Come to Toronto.

Toronto is an "everything all the time experence" to excite all senses.

Toronto has more of everything from theatres, art galleries, live music, musuems, a huge clubland region, restaurants featuring cuisine from around the world, urban oasis like the Toronto Islands and the beaches.

Toronto is North America's fifth largest urban area.
Plenty of people (4.3 million of them!) of all ages and ethnic background call Toronto and the surrounding area home.

Are you a film fan? In September is the Toronto Film Festival.

Shopping is without equal in Canada with plenty of independant shops selling everything imaginable from Prada to pineapples.

It's easy place to get around in by streetcar and subway.

Interesting side trips include Niagara Falls and Niagara On The Lake (theatre, shopping, wine) and Stratford Ontario (theatre).

The choice is simple - Your destination is Toronto.
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 07:34 AM
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I think it depends on what you want to do.

Montreal feels more "Eurupean"--whatever that means--and the streets are fun to stroll. Beautiful architecture, history, great food. It also seems a little dirtier and a liittle less welcoming.

OTOH, Toronto feels a little more familiar and "North American", but has better museums, better theatre, a broader variety of restaurants, and an ethnic diversity that is unrivaled. There are stil great neighborhoods to stroll and explore, but things feel less historic and more accessible.
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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Hey

Toronto and Montreal are both great cities:

As far as live music, shopping and restaurants are concerned, previous posters have stated that shopping in Toronto is "without equal" and that there's "more live music" and "a broader variety of restaurants". Truth is, in Montreal, there's so much variety in restaurants and shopping, even locals who go restaurants and shopping regularly cannot explore all the fabulous options this city has to offer. There's also so many great live-music options in Montreal, I often have to pick and choose. Even if there are "more" of these in Toronto, the point is really irrelevant for a visitor. One, after all, can only go to one shop, restaurant and live-music venue at a time.

A nuance. English-speaking theatre has far more options in Toronto; French-speaking theatre has far more options in Montreal... if this would sway you.

And now for personal bias. I believe Toronto does have better & more museums than Montreal, enough so that a visitor might wish to pick Toronto for this reason. Toronto may perhaps have more nightlife establishments, but I find the nightlife way more staid there relative to the electricity of Montreal. Montreal is more stylish per capita and to my eye, and the styles are less influenced by the neighbour to the south than in Toronto.

Ultimately, I would say if you want something that feels more like a dynamic, cosmopolitan US city, go to Toronto. If something dynamic, cosmpolitan, and French-speaking with a different feel from the US calls to you, go to Montreal.

DAN





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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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Dan said it best.
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 06:13 PM
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Dan : 1.5

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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 06:23 PM
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For everyone involved its a good thing I've been in italy, otherwise I would have put this debate to bed after the first post.

Its simple Montreal is, has and always will be more fun than TO. TO is and always has been the financial capital of Canada, but never the fun capital and never will be. It lacks the steam and saunter which is the flavour added by the french and european influence in Montreal. As far as cosmopolitan, I'm Not sure on the definition, normally this word is more imparted to Montreal than TO. TO is a place people go to earn a living, which although in the past few years has somewhat improved in its nightlife and flair, will never be Montreal.

To quote my brazilian friends Montreal is Rio and Toronto is Sao Paolo. Torontonians are obsessed with wealth and acquisition and Montrealers are obsessed with fun.

I'm sorry guys, us Canadians stop being politically correct and worry who you offend but call a spade a spade. Montrealers have long grown accustomed to being the #2 financial center but honestly remove your head from your blank on the issue of fun. Its like comparing Chicago or Seattle to New York there all great but NY is NY.
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 06:32 PM
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Exactly !!!!! This town can rock on until the wee hours !!!!
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Old Aug 8th, 2005, 05:08 AM
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Oneillchris, your glib stereotype may have been correct 30 years ago, but not anymore. Toronto is actually like NY in that it has more nationalitites than anywhere else in the world. Just this weekend there was a Greek festival on the Danforth, a beer festival at Fort York, and a south asian festival, Masala!Mehndi!Masti!, at Harbourfront. Last weekend was the culmination a 2 week Caribana. We had visitors from all over the States for that. September is the film festival.
As for Seattle, it's a great city. So, it's not New York. Why should every city be the same? If they were, we could all stay home. But if you like ocean, mountains, an amazing market, and the weird and wonderful "Republic of Freemont", Seattle is the place to visit.
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Old Aug 8th, 2005, 05:14 AM
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I love the civic pride torontonians, its good when canadians are proud, rare but good. Certainly each city has something to offer, I love seattle too, and for sure you've come a long way baby to coin a phrase, but you LACK THE ESSENTIAL components french Canadians and an uncertain politics which creates this underground element to Montreal that squeaky clean TO will never have. Actually speaking of TO civic pride has anyone been nwathching the late late show, he's been bashing the beans out of TO.
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Old Aug 8th, 2005, 05:57 AM
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I've travelled extensively in Quebec, and love the province and the people I've met. I guess that's because I've never run into anyone there as condescending as oneillchris. So, B12, on the assumption that you won't run into anyone like that either, I highly recommend that you visit Montréal.
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Old Aug 8th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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I've spent a lot of time in both cities and both are truly great vibrant cosmopolitan cities. However, if able to visit only one, Montreal has to get the nod. As stated in a previous reply, the fact that Toronto has more museums is irrelevant since Montreal has excellent museums and you can only see so much. What gives Montreal the edge is that it's downtown is much more vibrant after hours and on weekends. The amount of excellent restaurants and shopping in the downtown areas is staggering to Americans accustomed to downtown areas that close down after 5:00. In both eating and shopping, everything is available from low end to the very highest - same goes for hotels. Even at the cheap restaurants, food quality will also be high.

Off the beaten path, try rue St. Laurent (gritty but loaded with character, in a poor neighborhood but Montreal is unbelievably safe), rue St. Denis, rue Prince Arthur, St. Joseph's Oratory, Old Montreal (a must) which all show that Montreal's character extends well beyond the downtown.

Quebec City is a destination itself and is about two and a half hours away so would recommend this if you're trip will be five days or longer.

One caveat, if you're a big theater fan, go for Toronto. Montreal's English languge theater is very small in comparison. Bon voyage.
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Old Aug 8th, 2005, 01:08 PM
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I have experience both cities:

I would do Montreal.

Montreal is a city with great cuisine, lots of culture, lots of history.

Toronto is great, but it's like any other North Amerinca city
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Old Aug 8th, 2005, 01:37 PM
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You don't say how long your visit is. The cities aren't that far apart. Spend a few days in one then hop on a train or plane or drive to the other for another few days. I'm a Torontonian and it's a great city but how can you miss Montreal? Do both, baby!
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Old Aug 8th, 2005, 02:12 PM
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Both cities are great but... if I had to choose between the two I would choose Montreal. As far as historic cities in CA and US, I find it very unique. Toronto as great as it is, is a big city and if you've been to Chicago, Vancouver, Seattle, or New York you've been to a city like Toronto. Each city has it own special haunts, musuems ecetera but not are as old or quaint as Montreal in my opinion.

I didn't spend too much time shopping or hitting the clubs but we were out late and loved the resturaunts.

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