I've heard Victoria is great, and it's close enough to Vancouver if you need a giant city.
I'm from Ontario. I don't live in Toronto but a lot of my family does. They're sort of arrogant in a way about Toronto... they think it's the most important place on earth. Toronto is a great city and I do really like it, but they act like it is the essence of Canada and that the entire country of Canada is like a massive suburb of Toronto. They also seem to think it's like the biggest city in the world, even though on a world scale it's still not that big. Bassically, Toronto is a bit full of itself, but if you can look past that it's really great. I can't comment too much on it financially speaking or in other social terms though.
Do you need a big city? How about smaller cities like London, Windsor, Hamilton, Ottawa (well, Ottawa is big for Canada) ect? I don't reccomend Windsor or Hamilton though, my siblings live there and don't like it. London and Ottawa are good though.
Pippi are you in Van? I'm going to agree with you either way - WAY more expensive than Montreal. I couldn't believe the rent when my sister moved there for school. She paid more in Vancouver for a basement bedroom in a shared house than I do in Montreal for a triplex top floor 2 bedroom flat (in a seriously nice, tho not posh, nabe) I don't share.
Im going to just say something about Victoria here, too. I grew up on the Island so am not talking *completely* out of my ass. Victoria IS pretty. Very pretty. But is also, imo, a bit dull. It has a bit of a retirement-age vibe going on, combined with an insufferable hipster vibe (those UVic students! spare me! ) and I've always found it to be a bit of a slightly shallow tourist/retirement town. It, to me, definitely has a small town vibe vs a big city vibe like Vancouver - a whiff of the provincial if I want to be insulting. My sister lived there when she went to UVic tho, and liked it, so this is just my opinion.
Also, Murk, I think you're hanging with the wrong crowd! (here in Mtl)
"Only an irrational dumbass, would burn Jews." - Jaguar
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I found Toronto to be much more expensive than Calgary. The rent is about the same, around $1000 for an apartment. Car insurance is two to three times more. It's easy to find free parking in Calgary. Not so in TO. Food and clothing price is about the same. Alberta has no provincial sales tax. In Calgary, it's easy to get free stuff, at least when I left. I tried to give away a lot of good quality household items but there was little interest. Toronto is a different story.
Toronto is a much more lively city, if you like cultural/public events. There's always something going on. Calgary has nothing, but it's close to the mountains. It's good for nature lovers.
The Calgary downtown area becomes abandoned after 6pm. There's really no public area that attracts a lot of people. 17th Avenue has a lot of pubs and shops, but it's nothing like the Toronto's Yonge street which is always bustling with activity.
Calgary is spread out. Toronto is densely packed. The Calgary air is quite clean. Toronto is polluted. Calgary is WASPy. Toronto is extremely multi-cultural.
I found rather difficult to get to know people in Calgary. (not that I tried very hard) Everyone seems rather settled into their cliques. Toronto....we'll see.
I'm in Ottawa and I like it a lot. (I could elaborate on why, but I'm not sure what you're looking for). I don't like Toronto personally, but a lot of my friends do. Depends what you're looking for in a city, of course.