Toronto, the biggest city in Canada, is one of the world’s leading business, culture, and finance centres. The city has been continuously rated as one of the most liveable cities on the planet by the Mercer Quality of Living Survey and the Economist Intelligence Unit. If this little introduction hasn’t convinced you yet that Toronto is one of the most awesome places to live in, then maybe these reasons will.
1. It has some of the best educational centres in the World
Whether your child is in elementary school or college, Toronto offers top educational facilities so that your kids can get a high-level learning experience. The city’s public schools are great, and there are a number of highly regarded private schools as well. The University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University and Humber College, which are some of the best colleges in North America, have a wide range of courses and subject areas so that every youngster can study to their heart’s content.
2. It’s safe
Toronto has a long reputation of being one of the safest metropolitan cities in North America. According to a 2012 study, the homicide rate in the city was 2 per 100,000 people, which is very small compared to Chicago (18.5 per 100,000 people) or Boston (9 per 100,000 people). The city’s robbery rate is also low (207.1 robberies per 100,000 people) in comparison with Chicago (588.6 robberies), New York City (265.9 robberies) or even Montreal (235.3 robberies).
3. It’s famous for its multiculturalism
Toronto is famous for being culturally diverse, since the local population is made up of more than 200 different ethnic groups, which speak more than 140 dialects and languages. According to a study conducted in 2006, 47% of the city’s population had a different mother tongue than English or French. The most popular languages spoken are Chinese, Italian, Punjabi, Filipino and Portuguese.
4. The food is similarly diverse
Because so many different cultures live together in just one city, the food scene is unbelievably colourful, whether you’re in the mood for Chinese dumplings, Italian pasta, Vietnamese noodle soup, some Greek salad, or an Ethiopian injera, you will definitely find the restaurant serving the dish of your choice right around the corner. If you’re looking for something Canadian, poutine, butter tarts and samon jerky are national favorites.
5. It’s easy to get around
Although a relatively large city, Toronto is very easy to navigate, either on foot or by public transport. The city is built on a plain grid and block system, so you’ll probably never get lost when you’re walking around. The city’s subway network is one of the simplest in the world, with only two primary lines. The Toronto Transit Commission rates aren’t at all expensive – a ride will cost you $3, and you can even buy a day pass for $10.75 and get on and off as many times as you wish.
6. It’s close to nature
Whenever the city’s many skyscrapers and tall, glass-façade constructions start to get you down, you can escape the concrete jungle by heading to one of the many green parks the city has to offer, such as Ashbridge’s Bay Park, Bluffer’s Park, High Park, Rouge Park, or Riverdale Park. You can also hop on the closest ferry and get to the calm Toronto Islands in half an hour, to enjoy a lovely day of paddling on the lake or even swimming at Manitou Beach or Centre Island Beach.
7. Business is flourishing
Toronto is one of the top financial centres in the world, and is also home to 8 out of the 10 fastest-growing IT companies in the country. The city ranks high in terms of employment of young people. The Youthful City Index rated the city 3rd in the world in terms of its economic status in 2014. The city is also a leader in innovation sectors such as energy efficiency and electric vehicles, and has the 2nd largest number of biotechnological companies in the world.
8. It has a very active and colourful nightlife
Whether you’re into partying ‘till the break of dawn, or you just want to grab a beer and shoot some pool with your buddies, Toronto has something for everyone. There’s a wide variety of venues on offer, including sports bars, pool bars, rooftop bars, arcade bars, do-it-yourself cocktail bars, nightclubs, pubs and cafes.
9. Festivals are held year-round
As one of the leading cultural centres of North America, Toronto is home to many world-class events and festivals, which add color and even more diversity to local life. The Toronto Jazz Festival is one of the largest jazz events on the continent, held every year for ten days in late June through early July. The famous Toronto International Film Festival is also held yearly in the month of September, and today has become one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the world. There are also a number of free festivals and events in which one can participate, such as the Busker Fest, the Caribana (the largest street festival in North America), the Nuit Blanche, the Pride Festival and the Taste of Danforth Festival.
10. It’s one of the best Canadian cities for shopping
No matter what you’re looking to buy, you can most certainly come across it in Toronto. It has two great malls: Yorkdale Mall and Eaton Centre – the latter has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction. Queen Street is the place to go when searching for unique boutiques, whilst Bloor Street is famous for its numerous high-end shops. If you’re looking for organic, freshly grown produce be sure to check out Kensington Market and St. Lawrence Market – the latter was declared the best food market in the world by National Geographic.
11. The Museums and Galleries
If the previous distractions aren’t enough, then you may be happy to find that Toronto is home to numerous museums and art galleries as well. The Royal Ontario Museum is the largest in the country with some fascinating natural history exhibits on display. The curious Bata Shoe Museum offers an insight into the history of shoes and shoemaking. The Art Gallery of Ontario houses an impressive collection of European and Canadian masterpieces, whilst the Dominion Gallery of Inuit Art focuses on the culture of the Inuit people.
12. The CN Tower, the city’s symbol
The 1,815-feet-tall telecommunications tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere and the third tallest tower in the World. Besides the amazing 360 Restaurant offering the best views in town, the tower has also opened an EdgeWalk lane, where visitors can walk around the edge of the top of the restaurant, at an altitude of 1,168 feet. It is not for the faint of heart, although the adrenaline rush and the amazing view over Toronto is most certainly worth a go. This is the highest full-circle, hands-free walk in the world.
If you’re into Canada’s national sport, then Toronto is the place to be for hockey fans. The Hockey Hall of Fame is the permanent home of the Stanley Cup. The city is represented in seven major-league sports, including the National Hockey League and the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. The city’s best hockey team is the Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the National Hockey League’s Original six clubs, who have won a total of 13 Stanley Cup titles.
14. Luxury Residences in the Swansea neighborhood
You can purchase a luxurious home in the heart of the Swansea neighborhood with 3 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms for $1,679,000. This lovely two-level property comes with a lavish living and dining area with a dramatic skylit atrium, a beautiful chef’s kitchen, an office area, and even a powder room. There is enough space to park three cars. The living room even has a romantic gas fireplace and the upper rooms have their own terraces. The house was constructed in 2007 and comes with a stunning open plan main floor with 9-foot ceilings.
15. Homes in Old Toronto for Smaller Budgets
For only $399,000 you can get a renovated townhouse in the heart of downtown Toronto! The home comes with three bedrooms, one bathroom, a snug little kitchen, and a spacious living and dining area. The kitchen is already equipped with a fridge, stove, dishwasher, a washer and a dryer. There’s a lot of storage space and you can comfortably park your car in the underground parking lot. All the windows, the bathroom, and the kitchen were newly renovated this year.
Whether you’re looking for active nightlife, a place to move your business, a colorful social life, or just a cozy and affordable apartment in the heart of town, Toronto has it all!