When it comes to choosing the best city in the world, what factors would you consider? Would you choose your own city or one that you love to visit? Would you base your decision on the city’s culture, people, or location?
These are just some of the questions that the Time Out magazine posed to 34,000 anonymous city-dwellers, Time Out editors, and experts around the globe to help compile their list of the 48 Best Cities in the World for 2019.
Canadian urban centres Montreal and Toronto both earned spots on the list, with Montreal being ranked no. 6 and Toronto snapping up the no. 23 spot.
Those surveyed were asked to consider categories such as food, drink, culture, music, nightlife, sociability, happiness, progress, attractiveness, and other qualities, such as diversity, affordability, and safety, in their ranking of the world’s best cities.
So, what placed Montreal and Toronto alongside some of the world’s most popular places?
According to those surveyed, Montreal is a great place to celebrate what makes you different, as it’s considered a hub of diversity, self-expression, and creativity. The city also beautifully blends modern aesthetics with a rich history.
Montreal is a foodie’s paradise, with more restaurants per capita than any other city in Canada. Diners can choose from wallet-friendly comfort food to upscale culinary experiences, with tastes ranging from traditional French-Canadian fare to ethnic delights from around the world. The city is well-known for its poutine and smoked meat sandwiches.
There’s something for everyone to do in Montreal, whether it’s browsing fine art, exploring science exhibits, enjoying the city’s many parks, taking in the history of Old Montreal, or catching a Cirque du Soleil show. A booming nightlife makes Montreal a playground for many, complete with dynamic nightclubs, live music venues, and exotic burlesque shows.
The city also has one of the most advanced public transit systems, which reaches to the metropolis’ far corners, and it offers affordable homeownership and renting opportunities when compared to other large Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver.
The Montreal real estate market has a variety of housing options from which to choose, with high-end condos that include all of the bells and whistles, beautifully restored historic homes that offer just the right amount of charm, and trendy apartments in the city’s coolest neighbourhoods.
When it comes to a bustling, diverse, and culturally exciting cities, Toronto fits the bill nicely. Torontonians surveyed said they are a happy and friendly bunch, exchanging smiles on streets every day.
The city’s culinary scene is ever-evolving and does a fantastic job of representing the many ethnic groups that call Toronto home. From fine dining and complex pieces of edible art to lip-smacking street food and greasy spoon diners, Toronto has a restaurant for every craving.
The city boasts a constant stream of events, from the world-renowned Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to theatre performances, to cultural festivals like the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, to small street parties in various neighbourhoods.
The city is also home to a number of attractions like museums, art galleries, amazing parks, the CN Tower, and plenty of fantastic shopping destinations. Toronto’s major sports teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), the Toronto Raptors (NBA), the Toronto Blue Jays (MLB), and the Toronto Argonauts (CFL), never fail to draw big crowds of spectators.
Toronto’s public transit system offers multiple ways to get around, including by bus, streetcar, or subway, and the city is very walkable. You can even use the underground walkways in some areas to avoid winter weather! The city also boasts a variety of very distinct neighbourhoods, adding to its diversity and interest.
With high-rise apartment buildings, comfy single-family homes, luxury condos, and sprawling estates, the Toronto real estate market offers something for every lifestyle. While prices here are higher than those in Montreal, Toronto has a robust job market that can help fund home purchases.
With their cultural and culinary diversity, open and friendly vibe, and endless things to do, Montreal and Toronto prove themselves worthy of their positions on the 48 Best Cities in the World list. Ranking among exotic or avant-garde places such as New York, Tokyo, LA, Paris, or Tel Aviv, these cities add a Canadian vibe to the map of must-see locations on the globe!