You might have often heard in the news how Toronto ranks as one of the most livable cities in the world! Things must be really up there right? But did you know that a lot of people don’t like Toronto once they move and a record number of people end up moving out of the city?
Here are some things about Toronto that might make you want to reconsider your decision about living in Toronto! –
Toronto is absurdly Expensive
Average salaries in Toronto have stayed pretty much stagnant over the last decade while the real estate prices have increased astronomically. If you are looking for a 1-bedroom apartment; you will end up paying more than $2000 per month!
Even after paying that much it might turn out to be a crappy apartment. When I was looking for an apartment after moving to Toronto, I had found an apartment which was marketed as new but smelled like smoke. It was just unbearable and I was shocked with housing situation was.
Many people in Toronto are living paycheck to paycheck as most of the salary ends up going towards housing and taxes. Canada has really high income and sales taxes.
The City is Noisy!
Toronto has construction going throughout the year! In a lot of areas, the construction starts up early around 6-7 am! Even if you file a complaint with 311, not much will be done about it as construction companies have a big influence over the government.
This can completely ruin your sleep and also affect your mental health.
Living in downtown Toronto, I personally experienced the construction noise issue while living in my apartment and could hear almost everything on a daily basis. You can use ear plugs and add insulation but they don’t help you get completely rid of the issue.
You will be surprised by the number of homeless people in Toronto. You will see tents setup by homeless people almost everywhere in the city. The city offers very limited resources to the homeless people.
Research data has shown that there is a relation between homeless and crime. It is no surprise that crime in Toronto has been increasing as more people become homeless.
Lack of affordable housing is one of the reasons why Toronto has a large homeless population.
Poor Public Transport
Even though you might hear in the news about T-dot having the best public transport in North America, it is certainly not true.
Breakdowns on public transport happen on a daily basis, and you can expect to be delayed anywhere between half-hour to a few hours on a regular basis as well. The public transport is not in a great shape, and you will have a much better life just avoiding it completely!
I remember that once I had to go somewhere and decided to take the subway. I was just shocked that almost every light rail that was arriving was full and what should have been 5 minutes became an hour long wait.
Horrible Traffic Situation
Toronto has consistently been ranked as one of the worst cities in the world for traffic.
With a lack of highways in the city, you are forced to use city roads and have to stop every few 100 meters due to signals. The highways can be slow as well most of the days with cars driving at snail pace.
Don’t be surprised if it took you a few hours to get your destination. In Toronto, it’s considered completely normal to be late. Many people leave an hour or two early for that reason.
Increasing Crime Rate
While crime is less compared to other American cities of similar population size, Toronto has much higher crime rate compared to other Canadian cities where you can live much safer.
More recently there has been a surge in auto thefts happening in Toronto which has led to high insurance rates besides paying for parking already in Toronto.
Living in Toronto you would get used to hearing about gangs and gun violence that has been increasing in the city in the recent years.
While Toronto is relatively warmer compared to most Canadian cities, it can still get quite cold during winters. Temperatures plummet to -20 C which can be unbearably cold.
If you have been used to nice and warm weather all your life, you would need to be well-prepared for the Canadian winters. Get yourself a proper winter jacket, gloves and boots.
It is advised to check weather updates to make sure there are no storm advisories.
Do you still want to move to Toronto? I would love to hear back on what your thoughts are about Toronto if you are either living here already or planning to move here.
Tom Mehra, an Ottawa-based Software Engineer with a Masters in Information Systems from the University of Texas at Dallas, shares insights on local food spots and top attractions in Canada and the US. He’s also a former resident of the US, UK, and India, and in 2023, his blog was nominated for an Ottawa Award by Faces Magazine. He is also a cat sitter.