Toronto vs. Montreal

Nov 18th, 2002, 04:44 PM
  #1  
toronto?
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Toronto vs. Montreal

Hi,

I visited Montreal last summer. It was my first visit to Canada and I loved it so much that I'd like to visit more Canadian cities. I'm thinking about Toronto as my next destination. How different is Toronto from Montreal? Do the two cities have similar "feel"? Is Toronto bigger and busier? In Montreal, I liked old Montreal, wonderful restaurnsts, shopping district, Metro, lively streets, and relaxed atmosphere, and more.
Thanks!
 
Nov 18th, 2002, 05:18 PM
  #2  
Donna
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You'll find all the things you liked in Montreal in Toronto as well. They are "different", though, which is best experienced for yourself.
 
Nov 19th, 2002, 06:11 AM
  #3  
sophie
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Toronto is more like a big city in the U.S., e.g., you hear English most of the time. To me, it doesn't have the old, slightly European feeling of Old Montreal.
 
Nov 19th, 2002, 07:01 AM
  #4  
Thomas
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Don't listen to Donna. Toronto is no Montreal and certainly does not have all the things you liked about Montreal. It does not have the same lively feel. It is a big boring city with little charm. If you go expecting it to be a bigger Montreal, you'll definately be disappointed.
 
Nov 19th, 2002, 07:17 AM
  #5  
Robert
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I agree Thomas. I have lived in both cities & would take Montreal over Toronto any day.
 
Nov 19th, 2002, 07:49 AM
  #6  
Mike
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I have to disagree a little. I think comparing Montreal to Toronto is like comparing New York to LA. They are just different.

Toronto lacks the "European charm" (whatever that means) that Montreal has, but it makes up for it by being a big, living city. Toronto has wonderful theatre, while Montreal's theatre scene is especially bad. Toronto has amazing museums, while Montreal's pale in comparison. Montreal always feels "touristy" -- especially Old Montreal -- while I never have that feeling in Toronto (although it undoubtedly exists).
 
Nov 19th, 2002, 07:58 AM
  #7  
Susan
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Toronto also seems much more multi-cultural than Montreal. I've read somewhere that about 50% of the population of Toronto was born in another country. While not all Montrealers are born in Canada, the city doesn't have nearly the same mix of people as Toronto.
 
Nov 19th, 2002, 08:06 AM
  #8  
Susan
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There is no city in Canada that "feels" like Montreal! As a Canadian I am happy to hear that your visit to Montreal has inspired you to visit other cities in Canada. However, I caution you to not go looking for that Montreal "feel". You will be disappointed. Toronto is bigger, busier & lacks the "relaxed atmosphere" that you describe enjoying in Montreal. On the other hand, everything is relative & whenever I return from NYC to To. I find To. "relaxing"! And, Halifax in Nova Scotia is "relaxing" when compared to Toronto!
 
Nov 19th, 2002, 08:15 AM
  #9  
just
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Why does everyone insist that Montreal feels European? Just because they speak French and have some relatively old buildings? Montreal reminds me more of New York than any city in Europe.
 
Nov 19th, 2002, 10:21 AM
  #10  
xxx
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Montreal is basically Paris for dummies. That said, it most certainly has a more French charm than do the other large cities in North America. I would pick Montreal only because it is safe, unique, great restaurants, great bars, great shopping and also because Toronto is basically a poor immitation of a large American city.
 
Nov 19th, 2002, 12:10 PM
  #11  
JeanPaul
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Most Parisians would laugh at the comparison.
 
Nov 19th, 2002, 04:41 PM
  #12  
al
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My views are closest to Mike's views. I live in Toronto but visit Montreal regularly for business and pleasure.

The 2 cities are very different. Montreal does have a European feel due to its language and some of its older neighbourhoods. It also has a different "buzz" in its resturants.

Toronto has more cultural/tourist attractions, more neighbourhoods and more great restuarants. Even some Montrealers agree with my comment on restuarants - in part because Toronto has a greater population and wealth just like New York and London in turn have more great restuarants.

Toronto is not just another American city. It is like Montreal, Chicago, Boston and a smaller New York in that they all have downtown centres worth spending time in as a tourist. It is unfair to compare Toronto or most other cities to New York as there is only one New York. Toronto has more for tourists than urban centres like Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, etc.

Size is not necessarily a meaningful barometer of how attractive a city is for tourists, but Toronto is North America's 5th largest metroplitan area and is Canada's key economic and cultural centre. This enables Toronto to attract and sustain cultural institutions, restaurants, sports teams, etc.

In summary, Montreal and Toronto are both worth visits. You will enjoy Toronto!!
 
Nov 19th, 2002, 05:53 PM
  #13  
xxx
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Al, there is no way that Toronto has better restaurants than Montreal.
 
Nov 19th, 2002, 07:46 PM
  #14  
Daniel Williams
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Some interesting things have been said about both Toronto and Montreal in this post. I've lived in Montreal for around 5 1/2 years, have visited Toronto on several occasions, so this is my take.

In direct answer to your question, Toronto does have quite lively streets (it doesn't clear out at night like some cities in the US south or west, for example) with some wonderful restaurants, good shopping, a subway/streetcar system. As far as relaxed is concerned, people from other parts of Canada often refer to Toronto as the most dog-eat-dog, go-go-go, live-to-work part of Canada. YET a friend of mine from Washington DC found Toronto more relaxed, and having lived in DC, I do concur.

I agree that overall "Toronto is more multicultural", although Montreal is no slouch in this regard either (Ville St. Laurent, Cote des Neiges, Jean Talon Market area, Parc Extension). In my experience, I've been to some great restaurants in Toronto and many in Montreal as well. As far as which has more...well, I can say the number of superlative restos in Montreal is more than I can find the time to eat at as a resident (and I enjoy eating out and variety), so if Toronto has more (which I'm not convinced of), is it really that important, since one won't come close to visiting all the good ones in either city?

The following statements I disagree with strongly: that Toronto is "a big boring city with little charm", that Montreal theater is "especially bad", that "Montreal always feels touristy" and that "Montreal is Paris for dummies". In comment to this, I find Toronto does have an anglo-Canadian charm to it (outsiders might appreciate this); I especially enjoy the architecture in Little Italy and near Cabbagetown. Montreal is a very real city to my eyes; I can hardly believe that someone could find it "always touristy". And as for Montreal being Paris for dummies; well it's not Paris, it's Montreal with its own interesting history, accent and culture (that is great in itself). There's a lot of civic pride in Montreal (and in Toronto) and it's there (in both) for good reason.

My recommendation: go to Toronto and enjoy! Nothing like checking something out for yourself, to see if you like it.
 
Nov 20th, 2002, 06:50 AM
  #15  
gary
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To Danial - AMEN!
 
Nov 20th, 2002, 07:06 AM
  #16  
whomadeyou
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"Montreal is basically Paris for dummies. "
How insulting !
 
Nov 20th, 2002, 07:52 AM
  #17  
x
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not a very interesting thread, since most of us don't go either place. Presumably each is nice to visit. So, make up your own mind, okay!
 
Nov 20th, 2002, 10:04 AM
  #18  
xxx
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I think you misinterpreted what I meant by Montreal being "Paris for dummies." I live in Montreal, and while it does have European flair, it is by no means a North American Paris. Yet, tons of visitors (mostly Americans) come up here to MTL expecting Paris and then are dissapointed.
 
Nov 20th, 2002, 10:28 AM
  #19  
NYer
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I came to Montreal expecting Canada and I was not disappointed at all!
 
Nov 20th, 2002, 10:40 AM
  #20  
xxx
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Its kinda like when I went to New York and expected America. I wasn't surprised at all.
 

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