Montreal and Toronto are Canada’s two largest cities and most popular tourist attractions. Both towns are enriched with breathtaking beauty and art and have a lot to offer to their tourists. Choosing between the two could be a hard decision. Besides these towns, Bali is famous and on tourists’ go-to list.
It all depends on your style and personal preference to decide which of these in Canada’s towns you visit. This article will discuss similarities and differences between Montreal and Toronto to see which city is best for your upcoming trip to Canada.
Montreal is Canada’s second-most populous city, situated in Quebec province. Montreal got its name from Mont-Royal, a small mountain in the center of the town. It is a French-speaking city with European influence.
It is best for those people who want an urban and cultural mix. There are many options for sightseeing between historical and modern monuments. It offers a lot of activities to do all year. Life in Montreal is slightly more relaxed and slower.
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and is situated in southern Ontario, close to Lake Ontario’s western shore. It is the most diverse city with a large population of immigrants. Its population speaks English, French and Italian.
It is best for people who love to party. It is a stunningly North American city and the center of music. There are a lot of cultural festivals, museums, and sights that draw tourists from all over the world. It is a modern and urban metropolis that is fast-paced and full of life.
Montreal vs. Toronto in Comparison
Which City Offers Better Cuisine?
Food is one of the crucial factors when we first want to know about any place. Both cities have large food markets, Jean-Talon Market and St. Lawrence Market. They attracted thousands of cuisine lovers and had the best local food.
But regarding food, Montreal has a long history and was known as the only excellent restaurant city in the country. You will find various restaurants here with inventive menus and a welcoming atmosphere. Montreal offers a lot, from French and Italian cuisine to sushi and juicy steaks.
As Toronto is home to thousands of immigrants, you will find ethnic food options worldwide. Indian and Vietnamese cuisine in Toronto is famous.
Which City has the most Architecture?
Most people love one’s city architecture; it is through its history of temples. Montreal is one of the ancient cities in North America. This historic area includes cobblestone walkways, the Basilica of Notre Dame de Montréal, and old storefronts.
Toronto influences the British and America. It has numerous historic buildings with great architecture; their dispersed location gives the impression that there aren’t too many. The CN Tower is a well-known landmark worldwide, and Toronto City Hall is a stunning structure.
Montreal and Quebec City are highly distinctive cities in North America since you can still see the historic defense walls surrounding the city’s old section and appreciate the architecture inside.
Which City is more Cold and Hot?
The winter in Canada gets super cold. Montreal may receive more severe cold snaps during winter, whereas Toronto experiences milder ones.
Montreal’s summer is hot and humid but colder in winter. It is also home to the RÉSO underground city, a network of metro stops, eateries, shops, and other establishments. If you want to get protected from the icy winter or the humid summer, having the RÉSO can make a significant difference.
Toronto is more moderate due to its closeness to Lake Ontario. Its winter winds are relentless. But much kinder for the rest of the year. So Toronto is a better option when it comes to weather. If you visit these towns in winter, don’t forget to bring a travel blanket to protect yourself from the harsh winter.
Montreal vs Toronto Arts/Culture
The thriving cultural landscape in Montreal is reflected in the numerous museums, theatres, and diverse festivals that honor everything from music to movies. It has museums as well as Art Public Montreal. There are performances of plays and concerts in French and English.
The most known museum in Toronto is The Art Gallery of Ontario” (AGO). It has incredible collections and hosts tons of brand-new international exhibitions each year. It features Broadway shows that go on all year.
Does Toronto have more Outdoor Activities?
The truth is neither of the cities is very conducive to outdoor activities. To enjoy that, you must travel outside of the town. Both cities would have a wide variety of things to do in terms of general movements.
The ravine system in Toronto is excellent for bicycling and hiking (Humber, Don, Rouge). Although there are undoubtedly better outdoor recreation sites in the countryside, Toronto is among the best urban trail systems.
Which City Costs more to Visit?
If we compare the visiting cost, Montreal is a better option. Everything in the City is less expensive than in Toronto, including accommodation, public transportation, dining, and ticket cost. It’s essential to remember that neither of these two places is exceptionally cheap, so you’ll still need a sizable budget to enjoy any of them.
But if you want to remain in either city for longer than a month, Montreal is the more economical choice.
How is the Transportation system in both cities?
You can more easily reach Montreal than Toronto. The primary train station and significant airport are both in Montreal. If you’re arriving by plane, you could get to the city center in 30 minutes, but it will take you more than an hour from the airport in Toronto.
Montreal and Toronto have a clean, well-maintained metro system within the city. The metro system in Montreal is underground and has artwork. The train frequency in Toronto is higher than in Montreal. Contrary to Montreal, the stations are not air-conditioned, but the subway vehicles are. Prices of each are pretty similar.
Which City is more Safer for you?
Suppose we talk about the safety of both cities. Both are extremely safe places for tourists. Toronto has significantly higher crime statistics, but not in its touristy districts.
When to Visit
The best time to visit Montreal is from March to May and September to November. When the weather is mild, you will easily find a lot of hotel vacancies.
The best month to have a trip to Toronto in late April to May and from September to October. There is a lot of street culture and festivals in summer in the city.
Where to Eat
Montreal, with French influence, excels at French food and classic Quebec favorites like poutine (French fries with cheese gravy), tartare au sucre, Chien Chaud, and feves au lard (pork with baked beans).
Toronto offers a lot of variety from everything from Ethiopian to Peruvian. In terms of food, The Harbourfront district is hard to match. Its 360 restaurant, located atop the CN Tower, is the place to go for dinner with a view.
Where to Shop
Montreal Island is heaven for shopping if you’re looking for casual clothing or something luxurious. Around 15,000 large and small stores, both above ground and underground, may be found in Montreal’s City Centre and Underground City, which are located on Sainte-Catherine Street. Twenty kilometers of the city center are covered by the underground. The Le Plateau and Outremont districts have many unique stores and boutiques.
Over the past ten years, Toronto has established itself as an alternative to New York for shopping vacations from the UK. Kensington Market, Distillery Historic District, Bloor-Yorkville, and Toronto’s Covent Garden are trendy.
Top Attractions Sites in Montreal
If you research any city, see its top attraction sites and if it interests you or not. Also, while packing for the trip, don’t forget to bring travel essentials and know packing techniques. They could save you from future trouble.
Tourists fall in love with Montreal’s distinct European charm. Although Montreal is vast, the tourist interest sites are in compact neighborhoods. Learn about the top attraction sites to visit and activities you can do in Montreal.
It is the heart of Montreal and has the charming atmosphere of a Parisian quarter. It is home to a significant concentration of structures from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Visit Notre Dame Basilica, explore Bonsecours Market, and take in the open-air meeting area of Place Jacques-Cartier.
This cobblestone neighborhood offers a wide variety of sights to see and things to do, including marketplaces, historical sites, museums, and architectural wonders. If you want to live here for a few days of sightseeing, this is the best place for that.
Mount Royal Park
Mount Royal is a gigantic park with a lush landscape and a famous outdoor activity spot. It spreads across playgrounds, picnic areas, ski slopes, tennis courts, trekking trails, tobogganing hills, and lakes for row boating. Two hundred thirty-three meters above the ground, it is positioned atop the volcanic rock formation known as Mount Royal.
You would find different schedules of activities that are fun, free, and also for families. It is considered a top sightseeing destination. So have a walk through this lush place and see the memorials of Jacques Cartier and King George VI and look in the cemetery on the western slope where the city’s various ethnic groups have been resting in harmony for centuries.
Enjoy a magnificent view of the entire 51-kilometer length of the Île de Montréal, and St. Lawrence may be seen from the peak or, more precisely, from a platform below the cross.
Quartier Des Spectacles
It is the heart of culture, art, and entertainment. The Place des Arts, a performing arts complex home to an orchestra, an opera house, and a renowned dance troupe, serves as the city’s focal point. The Grande Bibliotheque, the busiest library in Canada, and Salles du Gesu, the city’s oldest theatre, are also located there.
You could visit this place anytime because many festivals are organized yearly. The most significant of these is the yearly Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, which takes place in late June or early July and draws visitors worldwide.
Apart from the historical buildings and museums, Montreal is also rich in a green landscape. Jardin Botanique is a large botanical garden. Here a wide variety of climates are represented by the various plants grown in 30 themed gardens and ten exhibition greenhouses.
It was also the venue of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. There are also outdoor spaces for alpine, aquatic, medicinal, functional, and even toxic plants. So wander in this plant world and explore all possibilities for adventure and thrill.
For animal lovers, Ecomuseum zoo is a zoological park located at the western tip of the island. It is home to more than 300 animal species worldwide and is dedicated to preserving nature and protecting the environment.
The Ecomuseum Zoo can focus a lot on caring for individual animals because of its modest needs. Stroll around this zoo to experience the wildlife in Montreal.
Top Attractions Sites in Toronto
Many of the key attractions in Toronto’s city center are within walking distance, making it easy to get around.
CN tower is a Canadian icon and a must-see landmark across the world. It is at 533 and is one of the world’s highest freestanding buildings. You have the choice of admiring the structure from the ground or ascending to one of the restaurants or observation decks for stunning views of the City and Lake Ontario.
The Sky Pod is the highest viewing platform on the CN Tower, offering, on clear days, views that stretch beyond Niagara Falls and New York State. The 360 Restaurant, which rotates 360 degrees, offers superb cuisine and Toronto’s best tableside panoramas. You can have lunch and dinner in this restaurant with free admission to the tower’s Lookout and Glass Floor levels.
These Falls are one of the most famous waterfalls and a must-visit destination. The three cataracts that makeup Niagara Falls were created 12,000 years ago by a glacier retreating. The key sites are Whirlpool Rapids, the Floral Clock, and Niagara-on-the-Lake, a charming little community. Falls is only a short 90-minute drive away, so you should consider including it in your trip to Toronto.
Royal Ontario Museum
Royal Ontario Museum is one of the world’s most prominent museums of culture and natural history. It contains an exceptional collection that spans natural history, art, and culture from a wide range of regions around the world.
The Crystal, the museum’s spectacular main entrance, is situated right in the heart of Toronto and immediately draws attention. Every time you visit this museum, there’s something new to learn at this century-old museum.
St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market is a central and famous public market building in Toronto. Locals frequently buy from here fruit, meats, cheeses, and other items, while tourists come for the lively atmosphere and delectable fare. St. Lawrence Hall operated as a community gathering space and a performance venue. You will also find several artists who sell jewelry and other crafts.
This market is a great place to stop after sightseeing to grab a bite to eat or unwind with friends over a cup of coffee.
Distillery District is among the most significant whiskey production in British Empire. It has been rehabilitated and is now a hip spot for entertainment and shopping. The historic structures are occupied by charming shops, galleries, artist studios, and restaurants.
The annual Toronto Christmas Market is one of the most well-known entertainment events that take place here.
Despite being close, Toronto and Montreal are as distinct from one another as two cities can be. One town in Canada delivers a fast-paced, exciting lifestyle and is stylish and intelligent. The other has an elegant European vibe. Both towns provide a plethora of attractions. It all depends on you which city you prefer.