Toronto and Vancouver couldn't be more different and while they're in completely different Canadian provinces, they're the top two choices for many people choosing a vacation. One has the allure and intrigue of the Great Lakes while the other waterfront city juts out into the Pacific Ocean, and is much, much smaller in size.
With that being said, the differences between them are exactly what will help a future traveler to determine which one is better for them. Both cities offer great experiences in regard to nightlife, entertainment, and the urban lifestyle, but with a completely different delivery. By the time all the pros and cons have been weighed, there's no way that a choice between the two could be any easier.
Let's Start With The General Vibe Of Each City
Every city has its own vibe or atmosphere that's quintessential to what it is. Anyone who has ever visited both New York City and Boston can attest to that; while cities around the world might share some characteristics, there's always something that makes them unique.
Toronto is far more of a city-like atmosphere than Vancouver. Due to its sheer size and the fact that there's so much packed into one urban area, it's comparable to that of Montreal but denser.
There's plenty to do on the waterfront (more on that later) and transportation isn't an issue, although travelers may want to opt for public transportation over driving. This city is also one of the most diverse in the world. This means its atmosphere, stores, restaurants, and entertainment are influenced by numerous cultures, making it somewhat of an international treasure of a city.
Though smaller in size, Vancouver still manages to have a nice city environment, with the attitude of a small town. As opposed to Toronto's faster pace, Vancouver is very laid-back and casual, with its residents not usually looking to rush anywhere.
This is something to consider for those who are seeking a fast-paced city vacation; Vancouver might force them to slow down just a little bit. Discover Canada Tours describes Toronto as 'career and success-minded,' while Vancouver residents were described as 'health and image-minded,' which is pretty accurate.
What To Do In Both Toronto And Vancouver
Both cities offer plenty for tourists to do in the way of entertainment, but they also offer different activities that the other city doesn't. This is perhaps where the biggest deal-breaker will be for one or the other as their geographical locations also influence the activities in each city.
In short, if a traveler could see themselves indulging in the 24/7, up-all-night lifestyle of a New Yorker, then Toronto is the city for them. From the nightlife to the all-hours dining, this city offers so much for those who are looking to take in a comedy show until 1 AM or grab a bite to eat at 11 PM on their way back from a concert.
This also means that the diversity among restaurants and entertainment venues is second to none, with a plethora of options - so much that it's overwhelming at times.
Vancouver is undoubtedly nature-oriented, which means there is an added emphasis on quality of life and one's lifestyle first, before fancy venues or all-hours eateries. The city's proximity to the nearest mountain range (which is only 30 minutes away) makes it a haven for hikers and climbers.
The Pacific Ocean at its doorstep also makes this a haven for kayakers, canoers, and boaters. There's no shortage of things to do out in nature and the city tends to echo the same vibe, with outdoor recreation at its forefront. Many of the dining establishments echo this and are full of the latest health trends, chic, and modern cuisines styles.
The Weather In Both Cities
The weather in both Toronto and Vancouver could not be more different, and it's probably also not what one would expect. The locations and structure of each city have much to do with that, and each one experiences different extremes.
Out of the two, Toronto gets the most extreme weather. Visiting this city during the winter is not exactly prime tourist season, as snow, ice, and below-freezing temperatures are all part of its season.
The weather is similar to that of many cities around the Great Lakes and it's subject to just as much lake-effect precipitation and wind as the others. In the summer, the city stays hot (as most cities do) with steamy seasonal temps during July and August.
In stark contrast, Vancouver rarely sees much snow outside of the mountains that flank it on one side. However, the city does see plenty of rain which has earned it the nickname 'Raincouver' by the locals.
Aside from that, the temperatures are pretty moderate year-round, which is similar to many northern states on the Pacific coast. The heat is drier than that of Toronto and though there are roughly 165 rainy days out of the year when the sun is out, it's absolutely beautiful.
So, Is Toronto Or Vancouver Better?
Ultimately, there's no right answer as to which city is officially 'better' than the other. Travelers seeking a big-city feel with almost too much to do around the clock will be better off booking Toronto. Those who are looking for the amenities of a city without the crowds and fast pace, and maybe a bit of nature, will be happier in Vancouver.