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Philadelphia vs Toronto: What’s the Difference?

East Meets North Contrasting Life in Philadelphia and Toronto

Philadelphia vs Toronto: What’s the Difference?

Philadelphia and Toronto have much in common. 

Both are bustling metropolises, separated by miles of open landscape and cultural diversity. These two urban giants also share a common allure, drawing in dreamers, adventurers, and seekers of a better life.

But if you are planning to move, choosing between the two isn’t as easy as deciding what to eat for lunch.

If you appreciate a blend of history and modernity, and you want to be exposed to vibrant arts and cultural scenes, Philadelphia might be the place you’ll call home. But if you thrive in a bustling and diverse environment, Toronto is the better pick.

Here are several comparisons and discussions that led us to draw this conclusion

Philadelphia vs Toronto: What’s the Difference?

Cost of living in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

Cost of living in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

The average monthly living cost  in Philadelphia is 4.9% more expensive than in Toronto. The average monthly living cost in Toronto is $2,348, while it’s $2,463 in Philadelphia.

We broke this data down to make it easier to absorb. Check the table below to statistics from

Expenses  Philadelphia Cost  Toronto Cost 
Housing (Average Rent per Month)
1-bedroom apartment  (downtown) $1686 $1511
1-bedroom apartment (outside the city centre) $1151 $1256
3-bedroom apartment (downtown)$3232$2615
3-bedroom apartment (outside the city centre)$2101$2059
Utilities (Average Monthly Bill)
Utility bill for one person $110 $75.4
Utility bill for a family $167 $116
Internet plan $66.4 $53.8
Transportation (Fare)
1-way ticket (local transport ticket)$2.5$2.44
Monthly pass (local transport ticket)$95.3$116
Taxi start (normal tariff)$31$14.7
Gasoline (1 litre)$1.03$1.3
Childcare (Tuition Fee)
Private Preschool/Kindergarten (full day)$1231$1156
International Primary School $15,983 $19,602

While the difference in the monthly total estimated cost of living in Philadelphia and Toronto is not that big, utility bills and transportation are generally more expensive in Philadelphia.

There’s also a very high demand for housing in Philadelphia but with limited available accommodations. Moreover, their property taxes are also higher than Toronto’s.

Real Estate Prices in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

Real Estate Prices in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

Toronto’s real estate prices are 329.3% more expensive compared to Philadelphia. Meanwhile, a condo apartment is 43.4% cheaper in Philadelphia.

While the cost of living and rent are relatively cheaper in Toronto, the same can’t be said when it comes to purchasing real estate. Not when the difference between the average cost of a basic house in the two cities is close to a whopping million dollars!

The following factors continue to encourage the price hike of real estate in Toronto: high demand and limited supply, foreign investment, and low-interest rates for house loans.

The table below compares the average price of single-family homes in the suburbs and condo apartments in Philadelphia and Toronto.

Property Type Philadelphia Toronto
Single-Family Home  $270,000 $1,182,120
Condo Apartment$405,000$739,395

Diversity and Demographics in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

Diversity and Demographics in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

In Toronto, 51.5% of the population identifies as a visible minority, while that number is only 39.33% in Philadelphia. 

In addition, 48.8% of the population in Toronto speaks a language other than English at home, while it’s only 29.5% in Philadelphia. 

Here are statistics gathered from World Population Review to break down the demographic diversity in the two cities:

Racial Composition Philadelphia Racial Composition Toronto
East Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese)2.32%East Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese)12.7%
South Asian2.53%South Asian12.3%
South-east Asian 1.09% South-east Asian 7.0%
Latin American 1.53% Latin American 2.8%
West Asian 0.24% West Asian 2.0%
Other Visible Minorities 2.4% Other Visible Minorities 1.5%
Aboriginal 0.21% Aboriginal 0.7%

While the majority of Philadelphia’s population is Black/African-American, Toronto’s population and ethnic groups are much more culturally diverse in comparison.

In terms of both land size and population, Philadelphia is substantially smaller than Toronto. In addition, it has a lower life expectancy at birth and younger median age than Toronto.

Philadelphia Toronto
Geographic LocationUnited StatesOntario
Size (Area)365.71 square kilometres7187.22 square kilometres
Population 1,603,797 2,938,390
Female Population 822,000 1,479,213
Male Population 778,000 1,459,177
Median Age 37 years 39.3 years
Life Expectancy at Birth 79.1 years 82.1 years

Career Opportunities in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

Career Opportunities in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

Employment opportunities in Philadelphia are 46.34% higher than Toronto’s. As of 2023, the unemployment rate in Toronto is 6.2%, while it’s 4.1% in Philadelphia. 

Despite the lower unemployment rate in Philadelphia, workers in Toronto are paid 4.6% more on average. The average annual salary in Philadelphia is $68,297, while it’s $71,427 in Toronto.

Crime and Safety in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

Crime and Safety in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

Toronto is generally safer than Philadelphia in terms of reported violent and property crimes. As of 2022, Toronto’s safety index is 36.85% higher than Philadelphia’s.

Below is a comparison of Philadelphia’s and Toronto’s violent crime rate, property crime rate, and safety index according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in 2022.

Philadelphia Toronto

Violent Crime

(per 1,000 residents)


Property Crime

(per 1,000 residents)

53.3  34.8
Safety Index46.563.5

Philadelphia is among the cities in the United States with high crime rates. Some of the main factors that influence this are poverty, gun violence, and a growing and diverse population.

Lifestyle in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

Lifestyle in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

If you’re looking for a city with a lot of energy, embraces sports, and has a tight-knit community, you’ll fit right in Philadelphia. 

But if you’re more of a cosmopolitan and are looking for a city that values inclusivity and multiculturalism, then Toronto is your best bet.

We compared the two urban centres based on a number of factors, including the weather, recreational possibilities, and healthcare services, to get a better idea of the lifestyle each city has to offer.

Weather in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

Weather in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

The weather in Philadelphia and in Toronto is not much different from each other. Both cities are located in the mid-latitudes, meaning both follow the same  four-season weather patterns.

If you enjoy summer, Philadelphia might be your best pick. On the other hand, you’ll enjoy Toronto if you’re a winter fan.

The winters in Philadelphia and Toronto are quite similar, with both cities getting plenty of snow. However, the summers in Philadelphia are slightly warmer and more humid than the summers in Toronto.

Philadelphia Toronto



76°F/24°C 78°F/26°C



37°F/3°C 29°F/-2°C

Things to Do in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

Both Philadelphia and Toronto are keen on sports, entertainment, and offer a wide range of options for outdoor activities.

Philadelphia offers a blend of historical charm and modern attractions, providing a range of recreational activities for residents and visitors alike. Some of the iconic landmarks in the city are the Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell

Toronto, on the other hand, embraces its multicultural identity and dynamic city life. It’s a welcoming and educational city for anyone looking for a cosmopolitan lifestyle, cultural encounters, and outdoor excursions.

Healthcare in Philadelphia vs. Toronto

Both Philadelphia and Toronto have robust healthcare systems, but they operate under different healthcare models.

Philadelphia, being in the United States, uses a mix of private and public systems. Most of its citizens rely on private health insurance coverage provided by employers or purchased individually.

The good news is, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health assists low-income residents who can’t afford healthcare.

Toronto has a publicly funded healthcare system called the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). OHIP provides basic healthcare coverage to all residents of Ontario, including primary care, dental care, and mental health services.

There are also a number of private healthcare providers, including hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices that offer a wider range of services than that covered by the public healthcare system, but they may be more expensive.

Philadelphia vs. Toronto: Unraveling Your Perfect Urban Match

In the end, discovering your ideal city hinges on understanding your personal preferences and priorities. Both cities offer distinctive advantages and drawbacks, underscoring the need to thoughtfully evaluate before arriving at a choice.

Here’s an overview for your reference:

Factors  The Better City  Why 
Cost of Living  Toronto Philadelphia is 4.9% more expensive than in Toronto.
Real Estate  Philadelphia The average prices for real estate properties in Philadelphia are 79.5% cheaper.
Diversity and DemographicsTorontoToronto's diversity is more pronounced.
Career Opportunities Philadelphia The unemployment rate in Toronto is 1.15 times higher than the unemployment rate in Philadelphia.
Crime IndexTorontoToronto has a higher safety index than Philadelphia.
Lifestyle Tied (depends on what kind of lifestyle you prefer)

Both cities are located in the mid-latitudes, meaning both follow the same four-season weather patterns.

Toronto and Philadelphia both have vibrant music and art communities and diverse cultures.

Healthcare services are both robots but are more accessible in Toronto.