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7 Things Toronto Has That I Wish Montreal Had Too

There are a few things Toronto does better than Montreal, but only a few!

Associate Editor
A Toronto street car. Right: Man posing in front of mural art in Toronto.

A Toronto street car. Right: Man posing in front of mural art in Toronto.

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

When it comes to Eastern Canada, Toronto and Montreal are two stand-out cities that will always come to mind. Despite each having its own unique flair, it's often debated which city is the best.

Although Montreal personally takes the cake, there are a few things that Toronto offers that I find myself wishing Montreal had. Sure, we've got great fashion, our food scene is unreal, and Montreal's nightlife is untouchable, but there's always room for improvement. Right?

Now, I'm not putting Toronto on a pedestal by any means, but the 6ix certainly has things that would make Montreal all the better, and these are a few of 'em.

Toronto restaurants

Now before we get our knickers in a twist, Toronto's food scene is good, but nothing comes close to Montreal.

Montreal is home to the most restaurants per capita in Canada and even has a few accolades under its belt — including being named the New Food Capital of North America by Town & Country.

Despite our booming food scene, Toronto has a lot more options and American chains that I definitely wish we could partake in here in Quebec.

For starters, Cactus Club and Earls. I could go on for days about these two spots and why Montreal doesn't have either of them.

Have you ever had a peach bellini from Cactus Club? Or gone to an Earls happy hour? We need that in Montreal. And I mean need.

Toronto is also home to Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Red Lobster, Panera Bread... I could go on and on. I love me some St. Hubert, but gosh it'd be nice to get a burrito bowl, bread bowl or endless cheddar bay biscuits every once in a while without having to cross a provincial border.

More sports teams

Montreal is home to the Habs, who just so happen to hold the record for most Stanley Cup wins (although it's been a while), but it would be nice to have a little bit more going on over here sports-wise.

While we had our go at a baseball team back in the day with the Expos, Montreal definitely needs to step up its major league sports status and get a baseball team going again.

Toronto is also home to the Raptors, the only NBA team in all of Canada. With their 2019 win uniting us all, it became evident that Montreal definitely needs to hop on the basketball bandwagon and get a team of its own sorted — especially considering how much sports talent Montreal has.

Milder winters

Anyone who knows me knows I love winter, especially Montreal winters. However, I wouldn't mind a little less snow — considering the havoc it wreaks when it comes to driving, parking and the way my legs and back feel after shovelling.

Toronto has a decent winter, with snow and cold fronts, all of which I love, but on a milder scale compared to Montreal.

Montreal averages 100 centimetres more snow than Toronto in a typical winter, says The Weather Network. Now don't get me wrong, I love me some snow, but having a little less would be nice (heck, it'd be great even).

Multiple airports

Montreal has YUL, and Toronto has YYZ, but did you know Toronto also has YTZ? Aka, Billy Bishop Airport!

Not only does Toronto have its international airport, but they've even got a second airport right in the heart of the city.

I've flown from Montreal to Toronto a few times, landing at Billy Bishop and being downtown in minutes, and let me tell ya, it's amazing. While I don't know if Montreal would ever be able to build a second airport on its waterfront, it sure is something I'm a little jelly Torontonians have that we don't.

Streetcars

After having visited every major Canadian metropolis, I solemnly believe that Montreal has one of the best public transit systems in the country.

Now, while the bus and metro get us all to where we need to be (not always on time, but what are you gonna do?) we're still missing a little something. When you look at Toronto, not only do they have buses and the subway, but they've also got streetcars!

Not only are streetcars cool when it comes to their operation, but they also give the city a San Francisco vibe that you won't really find anywhere else in the True North. Does Montreal need streetcars? No. But it sure would be a snazzy touch.

Better roads

I don't need to say much here, do I?

Montreal is notorious for being the capital city of potholes, and while I don't know if that's entirely accurate, the damages Montreal streets have caused to my car seem to make it so.

While Toronto is home to some gnarly traffic and wild drivers, you can definitely tell you're in a different province when the driving gets smoother and you don't find yourself playing "avoid the pothole" — a game many of us Montrealers are far too familiar with.

Shopping

Montreal is home to some of the best dressed Canadians, and while our shopping is good, it could be great. Toronto offers so many more stores and shopping centres than you'd find in Montreal.

For instance, it'd be great to have an Abercrombie and Fitch here in the 514, or a Nordstrom.

Toronto is also home to Yorkdale, which carries a plethora of high-end designers, boutiques and stores, and while Montreal's Holt Renfrew is comparable, it doesn't come close to the goods you could find at Yorkdale.

Lastly, Torrid. For any plus-size styles, Montreal really doesn't offer much. Your best bet is online shopping, but having more plus-size-friendly stores such as Torrid in the city would definitely be great.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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