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Why Is Montreal So Much Nicer Than Toronto? Redditors Are Listing Possible Reasons

Though not everyone is convinced.

Senior Editor
Glassy Toronto skyscrapers. Right: A typical Montreal multi-family home.

Glassy Toronto skyscrapers. Right: A typical Montreal multi-family home.

To many Montrealers, squat, closely packed residential areas beat imposing glass towers any day. A March 21 Reddit post asking "why Montreal looks better than Toronto and feels more approachable" has inspired almost two hundred comments, many pointing to the Quebec metropolis' high density as a reason for its lively, walkable neighbourhoods.

"I understand that 'looking good' is a very subjective thing," Reddit user davidliu1007 says in the post, "but after living in Toronto for a while and coming back to Montreal, I have to say that Montreal just looks better and feels more approachable, for some reason. Anyone feel the same?"

Many people, apparently.

User toin9898 identified what they called Montreal's "European model," in contrast with Toronto's "Americal model," as a reason for its high-quality streetscapes.

"Toronto grew so fast and they didn't zone correctly so now most of their downtown and surrounding areas are single-family homes," they wrote. "Montreal had the foresight to make sure that new developments even in boom times were duplexes, triplexes and up. That means a lot more of us are crammed into the city, but also that more businesses are viable because of the population density so it isn't all just Shoppers and Rexalls."

Several other commenters also pointed to Toronto's "missing middle" — the availability of multi-family houses in addition to condo high-rises and single-family homes — as an explanation for its formidable urban environment.

There were other theories too.

from montreal

"It's the people" and their attitudes toward work and life that make Montreal great, according to u/thewolf9. They explained that while Toronto draws people for economic opportunities and thus emphasizes work, "People tend to be here because they like it here, and strive to make it desirable. It's a community rather than a workplace."

User gabmori7 raised the point so often heard in conversations about the two cities: "In Montreal, people work to live, and in Toronto, people live to work."

Or, as u/ashtonishing18 put it bluntly, "Toronto gives me a soulless humans stacked on top of humans vibe. Montreal has more culture and flavour and cool cozy neighbourhoods."

But not everyone is convinced Montreal truly is the superior city.

"I live in Montreal and that's exactly how I feel when I go to Toronto... more parks, more trees, cleaner, bigger. People are nicer (more polite)," u/madpeanut1 wrote. "I guess the grass is always greener."

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

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