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How Toronto Compares to International Cities

Oct 26, 2022 | Toronto

Toronto has long been considered one of the top places to live, not just in Canada but in the world. The quality of life, dining scene, arts, music and culture are incomparable.

Last month, Toronto’s reputation got an even bigger boost when it became the first Canadian city to be featured in the Michelin Guides. This prestigious publication is based out of France and awards stars of excellence to select restaurants and hotels throughout the world.

Earning these awards is no easy feat. A single star is a tremendous honour. Two or more stars place a restaurant on the global stage. At this point, twelve Toronto restaurants have received one star, and one has received two. The award-winning dining scene alone is worth a trip to Toronto, but it is far from the only reason. 

Here are a few other ways our beloved home stands out amongst other international cities.

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Cultural Attractions

Toronto’s diversity and culture helped it rank in Time Out’s Best Cities in the World. The city hosts countless festivals and events throughout the year, including: 

  • Caribana
  • The Canadian National Exhibition
  • The TD Salsa Festival
  • Nuit Blanche Toronto
  • The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
  • Beaches International Jazz Festival
  • Pride Toronto
  • Honda Indy
  • Taste of the Danforth 
  • Rogers Cup Tennis
  • Toronto Christmas Market
  • Toronto International Film Festival

If you’re not into festivals, there is still an abundance of cultural activities to enjoy. Historic museums like Casaloma and Spadina House provide a glimpse into the city’s fascinating history.

The Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery Ontario are among our most famous attractions, but you can also explore the Gardiner Museum, the Museum of Inuit Art, and the Canadian Air and Space Museum. Toronto offers a spectacular combination of entertainment and education!

In the summer, art lovers come out in droves to celebrate the Toronto International Art Fair and the Queen West Art Crawl. The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition gathers 500 visual artists and craftspeople and is a fantastic opportunity to find one-of-a-kind art pieces.

And let’s not forget about the annual Toronto International Film Festival. Every September, there’s a chance to rub elbows with big-name celebrities or indie movie producers and mingle with thousands of movie fans.

Thinking of investing in the GTA? These resources can help you hit the ground running:

Live Entertainment

The live shows and plays in downtown Toronto are enough to give New York a run for its money, with longstanding musical performances that draw thousands of people every year. Interesting fact: The Royal Alexandra Theatre is the oldest continuously operating theatre in North America!

Live music features everything from local artists at Music at the Park to world-famous superstars selling out the Air Canada Centre.

Like Vegas, Toronto never sleeps. You can find a live music performance almost every day of the year, from moody jazz performances to rowdy dance numbers at one of the many vibrant nightclubs throughout the city.

A Nature Paradise Right in the City

In a city the size of Toronto, you can hardly expect to find a lot of natural beauty, but you will. From the dazzling cherry blossoms of High Park in the Spring to the gorgeous hiking trails surrounding Grenadier Pond, the chance to get away from it all is only ever a few moments away. The abundance of green space that exists right in the heart of the big city is one of the things that make Toronto unique. 

Here are a few of the beautiful places you can go when you want to experience some peaceful tranquillity:

  • Toronto Music Garden, on the waterfront near Queen’s Quay
  • Evergreen Brick Works, along the Don Valley River in the east End
  • Trinity Bellwoods Park, on Queen St West
  • Allan Gardens, right downtown on Jarvis Street

Access to Highly Rated Education

The education sector is one of Toronto’s top employers, with more than 100,000 people working in the network of public, secondary and post-secondary institutions. This access to highly rated education makes Toronto popular for families with children. Some of the highest-rated public schools include:

  • Rosewood Public School
  • Blythewood Public School
  • Old Orchard Public School
  • Earl Haig Secondary School
  • Ursula Franklin Academy

What about post-secondary education? Toronto has some of the most respected institutions in the world, including Ryerson University, York University, and the University of Toronto is highly regarded as the top university in the nation. 

Humber College ranks within the top 50 research colleges, and George Brown is frequently considered in the top 40 colleges in Canada.

Which Toronto area is right for your family? Find out more in our neighbourhood guides right here.

Business Development and Technology

Toronto is well-known for its culture, but its innovation and technological advancements are what genuinely set it apart from anywhere else in the world. According to CBRE Group, Toronto has more tech workers than Chicago, LA, or Washington, and the sector is growing faster than anywhere in the U.S. 

The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor supports over 5,200 business startups in fields such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cybersecurity and virtual reality. Plus, tech giants like Uber, Intel, LG and Samsung have set up headquarters in the city, providing innovation and countless high-paying careers.

How did our city become such a significant player in global technology? Startups flock to Canada, particularly Toronto, because of our stable government, access to healthcare, excellent education, and thriving economy.

There are so many things to love about Toronto that it is no wonder why more than 2.8 million Canadians call it home, with thousands more flocking here every year.

A Guide to Our Trendiest Neighborhoods

St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market is one of the top attractions in Toronto and is known for having some of the oldest and architecturally distinct buildings. If you’re in the neighbourhood, the Distillery District is a must-see attraction. The cobblestone streets are lined with trendy shops, independent cafes and restaurants, and it is also the location of the Toronto Christmas Market. Of course, we can’t forget about the iconic St. Lawrence Market featuring 120 vendors under one roof.


Yorkville is an upscale neighbourhood known for its incredible shopping and dining opportunities. Bloor St has earned the nickname “Mink Mile” for its collection of designer shops. When you need to relax and unwind, Yorkville is also home to the city’s best hotels and spas and, of course, real estate. Many of Toronto’s top events occur in this neighbourhood throughout the year, including Hot Docs, the Peach Party at Sassafras, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. 

Find out more about Yorkville in our community guide right here.

West Queen West 

West Queen West recently found its way into Vogue magazine as one of the 15 Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World. Why was this area chosen for the honour? The plethora of indie patisseries and hidden-in-plain-sight art galleries helped to do the trick. The neighbourhood is also home to some of the trendiest clothing shops and labels in the city. Art lovers come from miles around to appreciate Graffiti Alley, which showcases the talents of Toronto’s many underrated street artists.

Want to know more about West Queen West? Find out more in our community guide right here.

Ossington Ave Strip 

If West Queen West is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the entire world, Ossington Ave is one of the coolest streets. The UK publication Time Out has given it that distinct honour, primarily due to the fantastic restaurants, live music and vibrant nightlife between Dundas Street West and Queen Street West.  

The Ossington Ave Strip is located in the Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood. Find out more in our community guide right here.

Are you considering a move to one of the best cities in the world? We are happy to help you find the perfect home for you. Reach out today at tanya@tcteam.ca or 647-293-3785 with any questions you have.