Toronto Vs New York City: How Do The Cities Compare?

Toronto and New York City are two of the largest and most vibrant cities in North America. As global hubs of finance, culture, and entertainment, they share some similarities but also have distinct identities and advantages.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: While New York City is significantly larger and more globally prominent, Toronto offers greater affordability, safety, and quality of life. The two cities have different personalities, with Toronto described as cleaner and more polite than the fast-paced New York.

Size and Population

When comparing the cities of Toronto and New York City, one of the first things that stands out is the difference in size. New York City is over three times larger than Toronto in terms of land area. With a land area of approximately 468 square miles, New York City is a sprawling metropolis that stretches across five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.

On the other hand, Toronto has a land area of about 243 square miles, making it more compact in comparison.

New York is over 3 times larger than Toronto

New York City’s vast size can be attributed to its historical growth and expansion. Over the years, the city has experienced significant urban development, resulting in its large land area. Toronto, while still a sizable city, is smaller in comparison but has been experiencing its own growth and expansion.

Population density and urban sprawl differences

Another factor to consider when comparing the two cities is population density and urban sprawl. New York City is known for its high population density, with over 8 million residents living in the city proper and over 20 million in the metropolitan area.

The city’s iconic skyline and tall buildings are a testament to its dense urban environment.

On the other hand, Toronto has a lower population density compared to New York City. While it is still a bustling and vibrant city, it offers a more spacious and spread-out environment. Toronto has a population of around 3 million people, with a metropolitan area population of over 6 million.

Growth projections for the cities

Both Toronto and New York City continue to experience population growth, albeit at different rates. According to projections, Toronto’s population is expected to reach over 3.4 million by 2031, with the Greater Toronto Area projected to have a population of over 8 million by the same year.

This growth can be attributed to factors such as immigration, job opportunities, and a high quality of life.

New York City, on the other hand, has a more stable population growth rate. While it is already a densely populated city, it continues to attract people from all over the world. The population is projected to reach over 9 million by 2030, with the metropolitan area expected to surpass 22 million.

It is important to note that these growth projections are subject to change and can be influenced by various factors such as economic conditions, government policies, and global events.

For more information on the size and population of Toronto and New York City, you can visit the following websites:

Economy and Industry

Finance and banking

Toronto and New York City are both major financial hubs, with robust finance and banking sectors. However, New York City is widely regarded as the financial capital of the world, home to Wall Street and numerous global financial institutions.

The New York Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in the world, and the city’s financial sector contributes significantly to its economy.

Toronto, on the other hand, is often referred to as Canada’s financial capital and is a major player in the global finance industry. The city is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, which is the ninth-largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization.

Toronto’s finance and banking sector is known for its stability and resilience, and it plays a crucial role in Canada’s economy.


Both Toronto and New York City have thriving technology sectors, attracting innovative startups and large tech companies. Silicon Valley may be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about the tech industry, but both these cities have established themselves as tech powerhouses.

New York City has a diverse tech scene, with companies specializing in e-commerce, software development, and digital media. The city’s proximity to major financial institutions also makes it a hub for fintech innovations.

Toronto, on the other hand, has been dubbed “Silicon Valley North” due to its rapidly growing tech sector. The city is known for its strengths in artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and biotech.

Toronto’s supportive startup ecosystem and access to top talent have contributed to its emergence as a global tech hub.

Film and television production

New York City has long been a popular filming location, with its iconic landmarks and diverse neighborhoods serving as backdrops for countless movies and TV shows. The city’s film industry generates billions of dollars in economic activity and supports thousands of jobs.

Toronto has also become a major player in the film and television production industry. The city offers attractive tax incentives and a diverse range of locations, making it a preferred destination for Hollywood productions.

Toronto’s film industry contributes significantly to the local economy and has earned the city the nickname “Hollywood North.”


New York City is one of the most visited cities in the world, attracting millions of tourists each year. The city’s iconic landmarks such as Times Square, Statue of Liberty, and Central Park, as well as its vibrant cultural scene, make it a top destination for travelers.

Toronto may not be as widely recognized as a tourist destination, but it has a lot to offer visitors. The city is known for its diverse neighborhoods, world-class museums, and vibrant food scene. Toronto’s attractions include the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, and the Distillery District.

Both cities have a wide range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly options, to cater to the needs of tourists.

Culture and Entertainment

Museums, galleries, performing arts

Both Toronto and New York City boast vibrant cultural scenes with a plethora of museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. Toronto is home to the renowned Art Gallery of Ontario, which houses an extensive collection of Canadian and European art.

The city also has the Royal Ontario Museum, known for its diverse exhibits that span natural history, world cultures, and art. In terms of performing arts, Toronto offers the iconic Roy Thomson Hall and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, where visitors can enjoy world-class concerts, ballets, and operas.

New York City, on the other hand, is synonymous with art and culture. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, known simply as “The Met,” is one of the world’s largest and most influential art museums. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is another must-visit destination for contemporary art enthusiasts.

The city’s vibrant theater district, Broadway, is famous for its dazzling productions, including long-running musicals and plays. Whether you’re in Toronto or New York City, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to immersing yourself in art and culture.

Restaurants and food scenes

When it comes to culinary delights, both Toronto and New York City offer an impressive array of options. Toronto’s multiculturalism is reflected in its diverse food scene, with a wide range of international cuisines available.

The city’s Kensington Market and St. Lawrence Market are popular spots for food lovers, offering everything from fresh produce to exotic spices. Toronto is also known for its vibrant street food culture, with food trucks and pop-up markets scattered throughout the city.

New York City, often hailed as a food lover’s paradise, offers an unparalleled dining experience. From world-class fine dining establishments to hole-in-the-wall eateries, the city caters to every palate.

The diverse neighborhoods, such as Chinatown and Little Italy, provide a glimpse into different culinary traditions. Additionally, New York City is famous for its iconic street food, including hot dogs, pretzels, and pizza slices.

Exploring the food scenes in both cities is a culinary adventure that should not be missed.

Nightlife and bars

When the sun sets, both Toronto and New York City come alive with vibrant nightlife and bustling bars. Toronto offers a diverse range of nightlife options, catering to different tastes and preferences.

The Entertainment District is the go-to destination for partygoers, with numerous nightclubs and bars lining the streets. The city also has a thriving live music scene, with venues like The Horseshoe Tavern and Lee’s Palace hosting local and international bands.

New York City, famous for its iconic nightlife, offers an unrivaled party scene. From rooftop bars with stunning views to trendy nightclubs in the Meatpacking District, the city has something for everyone.

The vibrant neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and Williamsburg are known for their lively bars and music venues. Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated cocktail lounge or a high-energy dance club, New York City has it all.

Sports teams and events

Both Toronto and New York City are sports-crazy cities, with passionate fan bases and a wide range of sporting events to attend. Toronto is home to major sports teams such as the Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), and Toronto Blue Jays (MLB).

The city’s sports venues, including the Scotiabank Arena and Rogers Centre, regularly host thrilling games and attract enthusiastic crowds.

New York City is a sports mecca, with numerous professional sports teams representing the city. From the New York Yankees (MLB) to the New York Knicks (NBA) and the New York Giants (NFL), fans have plenty of teams to cheer for.

The city’s iconic sports venues, such as Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden, are legendary and offer unforgettable game-day experiences.

Transportation and Infrastructure


Both Toronto and New York City are major international travel hubs, with multiple airports serving their respective regions. In Toronto, the main airport is Toronto Pearson International Airport, located just outside the city.

It is one of the busiest airports in North America and offers a wide range of domestic and international flights. Additionally, there is Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, located on an island in Lake Ontario, which primarily serves regional flights.

New York City, on the other hand, has three major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport. These airports collectively handle millions of passengers each year and provide extensive domestic and international flight options.

According to a recent study by the Airports Council International, both Toronto Pearson International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport ranked among the top 30 busiest airports in the world.

Public transportation systems

When it comes to public transportation, both Toronto and New York City have well-developed systems that cater to the needs of their residents and visitors.

In Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operates an extensive network of buses, streetcars, and subways. The subway system, known as the TTC Subway, consists of four lines that cover a large portion of the city, making it relatively easy to navigate.

The streetcars and buses complement the subway system, providing additional transportation options to various neighborhoods.

New York City, on the other hand, is famous for its iconic subway system. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) operates the subway, which is one of the most extensive and widely used public transportation systems in the world.

With numerous subway lines and stations throughout the city, New Yorkers and tourists alike rely on this efficient mode of transportation to get around.

Walkability and bike friendliness

Both Toronto and New York City offer options for pedestrians and cyclists, although the level of walkability and bike friendliness may vary in different neighborhoods.

In Toronto, the downtown core is known for its walkability, with many amenities within walking distance. The city also has a growing network of bike lanes and paths, making it easier and safer for cyclists to navigate the streets.

New York City, particularly Manhattan, is famous for its walkability. The city’s grid system and pedestrian-friendly streets make it enjoyable to explore on foot. Additionally, the city has made efforts to improve bike infrastructure with the introduction of bike lanes and bike-sharing programs.

According to Walk Score, a website that measures the walkability of cities, New York City has a higher overall walkability score compared to Toronto.

Toronto New York City
Airports Toronto Pearson International Airport, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport
Public transportation Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) – subway, buses, streetcars Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) – subway
Walkability Score: 70 (according to Walk Score) Score: 89 (according to Walk Score)

Housing and Affordability

Home and rental prices

When it comes to housing, both Toronto and New York City are known for their high costs. In Toronto, the average price of a home has been steadily increasing over the years, reaching an all-time high in recent times.

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average price of a detached home in Toronto is currently around $1 million. Condos and townhouses are also in high demand, with prices averaging around $600,000 and $800,000 respectively.

New York City, on the other hand, is notorious for its sky-high real estate prices. According to the New York City Department of Finance, the average price of a home in Manhattan is over $2 million, making it one of the most expensive places to live in the world.

Rental prices in both cities are also steep, with Toronto and New York City consistently ranking among the top cities with the highest rental costs.

Cost of living

Living in major cities like Toronto and New York City comes with a higher cost of living compared to smaller cities or rural areas. The cost of groceries, transportation, entertainment, and healthcare can add up quickly.

According to the Numbeo cost of living index, both Toronto and New York City are considered relatively expensive cities to live in, with New York City being slightly more expensive overall.

It’s important to note that while the cost of living may be higher, both cities also offer a wide range of amenities and opportunities that contribute to the higher costs. From world-class restaurants and entertainment venues to excellent healthcare and educational institutions, residents in both Toronto and New York City have access to a plethora of options that make the higher cost of living worth it for many.


When it comes to taxes, both Toronto and New York City have their own tax systems in place. In Toronto, residents are subject to various taxes, including income tax, property tax, and sales tax. The Canada Revenue Agency provides detailed information on the tax rates and brackets for individuals and businesses in Toronto.

In New York City, residents are also subjected to income tax, property tax, and sales tax. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance provides information on the tax rates and guidelines for individuals and businesses in the city.

It’s important to consult with a tax professional or refer to official government websites for the most up-to-date and accurate information on taxes in both cities.

Quality of Life

Safety and crime rates

When comparing the safety and crime rates between Toronto and New York City, it is important to note that both cities have made significant improvements over the years. However, statistically speaking, Toronto generally has lower crime rates compared to New York City.

According to the latest data from Toronto Police Service, the city’s overall crime rate has been on a downward trend, with decreases in both violent and property crimes. In contrast, New York City, while having also experienced a decline in crime rates, still has a higher overall crime rate compared to Toronto.

Safety is a top priority for residents in both cities, but Toronto’s relatively lower crime rates provide a sense of security for its residents.

Education and healthcare access

Both Toronto and New York City are renowned for their educational institutions and healthcare systems. Toronto is home to world-class universities such as the University of Toronto and York University, which consistently rank among the top universities globally.

Similarly, New York City boasts renowned institutions like Columbia University and New York University. In terms of healthcare access, both cities offer a wide range of medical facilities and services.

Toronto’s healthcare system, often praised for its efficiency and accessibility, is primarily publicly funded through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). On the other hand, New York City has a mix of public and private healthcare providers, with a focus on the New York City Health + Hospitals network.

Overall, residents of both cities have access to high-quality education and healthcare, although the specific institutions and systems may differ.

Parks and outdoor spaces

Both Toronto and New York City take pride in their parks and outdoor spaces, providing residents with ample opportunities for recreation and relaxation. Toronto is known for its extensive park system, with over 1,500 parks and green spaces, including the iconic High Park and the Toronto Islands.

These parks offer a variety of activities such as hiking, picnicking, and cycling. New York City, on the other hand, is famous for its Central Park, a sprawling oasis in the heart of Manhattan. In addition to Central Park, the city boasts numerous other parks, including Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens.

Both cities prioritize the maintenance and development of their parks, ensuring that residents have access to natural beauty within the urban landscape.

Civility and local culture

When it comes to civility and local culture, both Toronto and New York City have vibrant and diverse communities that contribute to their unique identities. Toronto is often recognized for its multiculturalism, with over 200 different ethnicities residing in the city.

This diversity is celebrated through various cultural festivals, such as Caribana and the Toronto International Film Festival. Similarly, New York City is a melting pot of cultures, with a rich history of immigration that has shaped the city’s character.

The city’s neighborhoods reflect this diversity, each offering its own distinct cultural experience. From Chinatown to Little Italy, residents and visitors can immerse themselves in a wide range of cuisines, traditions, and artistic expressions.

Both cities embrace their cultural diversity, fostering an environment that encourages acceptance and appreciation of different backgrounds.


While New York City and Toronto share some similarities as major North American cities, they have distinct sizes, characters, industries, and advantages. New York offers greater global prominence, while Toronto provides greater livability and affordability. Considering your priorities and lifestyle, each city provides a different urban experience.

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