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Which is better, Toronto or LA?

Clash of Two Great Cities

Which is better, Toronto or LA?

For some of us who are just enchanted by big bright cities, living in iconic metropolises like Toronto and Los Angeles is the dream. 

T.O. and LA have a lot in common but are also very different cities at the same time. And if you’re torn between the buzz of the Canadian North and the sizzling charm of the American West, we've got you covered.

If you’re someone who appreciates cultural diversity, arts and entertainment and you’re looking for a cosmopolitan city with a strong sense of community, you’ll fit right in Toronto.

But, if you’re someone who enjoys an exciting, glamorous, and fast-paced lifestyle, and you love being outdoors and under the sun, LA might be the better  choice.

Below are some comparisons and discussions as to how we came up with that conclusion:

Which is better, Toronto or LA?

Cost of living in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

Cost of living in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

It’s 21.1% cheaper to live in Toronto than LA. The average monthly living cost in Toronto is $2,348, while it’s $2,975 in Los Angeles. 

This estimated monthly cost of living covers housing, utilities, transportation, and childcare.

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

Expenses  Los Angeles Cost  Toronto Cost 
Housing (Average Rent per Month)
1-bedroom apartment (downtown) $2166 $1511
1-bedroom apartment (outside the city centre) $1644 $1256
3-bedroom apartment (downtown)$3759$2615
3-bedroom apartment (outside the city centre)$2194$2059
Utilities (Average Monthly Bill)
Utility bill for one person $100 $75.4
Utility bill for a family $156 $116
Internet plan $63.2 $53.8
Transportation (Fare)
1-way ticket (local transport ticket)$1.75$2.44
Monthly pass (local transport ticket)$101$116
Taxi start (normal tariff)$17.3$14.7
Gasoline (1 litre)$1.46$1.3
Childcare (Tuition Fee)
Private Preschool/Kindergarten (full day)$1420$1156
International Primary School $23021 $19,602

Los Angeles and Toronto are both major cities with an expected high cost of living. However, there’s quite a difference in rent, utilities and childcare in Toronto and LA.

The only thing cheaper in Los Angeles than in Toronto is transportation fares. Regardless, Toronto is the better choice if you’re looking for a cheaper city.

Real Estate Prices in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

Real Estate Prices in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

Generally, Toronto has higher real estate prices compared to Los Angeles. 

Buying a single-family home in LA is 25.07% cheaper than in Toronto. In addition, there’s a 6.28% price difference in the average costs of a condo apartment in the two cities.

Real estate prices in major cities like LA and Toronto are expectedly high. 

Although there are a few hundred thousand dollars in price differences between the two capitals for single-family homes, the average costs of purchasing condo apartments are not that far apart.

The table below shows the comparison between the average price of single-family homes in the suburbs and condo apartments in Los Angeles and Toronto.

Property Type Los Angeles Toronto
Single-Family Home  $885,564 $1,182,120
Condo Apartment$692,956$739,395

Diversity and Demographics in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

Diversity and Demographics in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

Toronto and Los Angeles are among the most culturally diverse cities in the world. 

However, Toronto has the edge, as more than half of its population is foreign-born. Meanwhile, only 39.7% of Los Angeles’ population are non-natives.

Toronto and LA, both major immigrant destinations, are often regarded as two of the most diverse cities in the world. 

Let’s take a closer look at the two cities’ demographic diversity by breaking down their respective populations’ racial composition. Here are statistics gathered from World Population Review:

Racial Composition  Los Angeles Racial Composition  Toronto
East Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese)13.6%East Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese)12.7%
South Asian11.1%South Asian12.3%
South-east Asian 3.4% South-east Asian 7.0%
Latin American 3.1% Latin American 2.8%
West Asian 1.5% West Asian 2.0%
Other Visible Minorities 0.8% Other Visible Minorities 1.5%
Aboriginal 0.4% Aboriginal 0.7%

Toronto also has a higher population median age, while the life expectancy at birth matches that of Los Angeles’.

Los Angeles Toronto
Geographic LocationCalifornia, United StatesOntario, Canada
Size (Area)1,299 square kilometres630.2 square kilometres
Population  3,971,883 2,938,390
Female Population 1,989,679 1,479,213
Male Population  2,003,011 1,459,177
Median Age  34.2 years 39.3 years
Life Expectancy at Birth  82.1 years  82.1 years

LA’s land area is double that of Toronto’s; however, you’ll notice that there’s only a million in the difference between the two cities’ population. 

This means Toronto has a higher population density, having an estimate of 1,550 to 1,740 people per square kilometre. On the other hand, LA’s population density is estimated to be around 970 to 1,160 people per square kilometre.

Career Opportunities in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

Career Opportunities in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

The job landscape in Los Angeles is 9.84% better than Toronto’s, based on the difference in their unemployment rates. Toronto’s unemployment rate is 6.1%, while LA’s is 5.5%. 

The two cities also have different thriving industries and job markets.

In terms of career and thriving industries, Los Angeles is known for its dominant entertainment and tech sectors. 

Some of the key sectors driving employment in Los Angeles include film, television, and music industries, technology, aerospace, tourism, healthcare, and trade.

Meanwhile, Toronto is recognised for its financial and tech industries. Its financial district is a major driver of employment, with many banking, investment, and financial services companies headquartered there. 

The tech sector in Toronto, often referred to as “Silicon Valley North,” has been rapidly growing, attracting talent and startups with its innovative ecosystem.

While Los Angeles’ average annual salary is approximately 1.15% better than Toronto’s, it’s worth noting that the cost of living is significantly higher in LA.

Crime and Safety in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

Crime and Safety in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

According to 2022 data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, Toronto is safer than Los Angeles considering the number of violent and property crimes reported in the past year. 

As of 2022, Toronto’s safety index is 34.11% higher than Los Angeles’s. The good news is, crime rates in both cities have been decreasing over the years.

According to the FBI’s UCR Program, Los Angeles and Toronto had significantly different crime rates in 2022. See the table below for the comparison:

Los Angeles Toronto
Violent Crime732 per 100,000 people434 per 100,000 residents
Property Crime2,474 per 100,000 residents2,045 per 100,000 residents
Safety Index47.3563.5

In comparison, Toronto generally has a lower overall crime rate and is considered safer than Los Angeles.

While LA has made significant progress in reducing crime rates over the years, certain neighbourhoods still experience higher crime rates, particularly in terms of property crime and violent crime. 

Factors such as income inequality, gang activity, and drug-related issues have historically contributed to crime challenges in certain areas of Los Angeles.

However, it’s important to note that crime rates can vary widely within different neighbourhoods, and overall, Los Angeles is generally safe for residents and visitors, especially in more well-established and affluent areas.

On the other hand, Toronto is often considered one of the safest major cities in North America. The city has a lower overall crime rate compared to many other large cities in the United States and Canada. 

While Toronto is not entirely free from crime, its proactive approach to law enforcement, effective community engagement, and public safety measures contribute to its reputation as a safe city.

Lifestyle in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

Lifestyle in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

If you’re passionate about the entertainment industry, enjoy a lively and trendy urban lifestyle, and seek outdoor adventures, you’ll likely thrive in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, people who appreciate cultural diversity and are looking to be part of a laid-back, supportive, and strong community will feel at home in Toronto.

We want to give you a fair and honest look at the lifestyle each city offers. So, we compared them based on things like weather, fun activities, and healthcare services.

Weather in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

When it comes to weather, LA and Toronto have very different landscapes.

Los Angeles, known for its sunny days, has a Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The city averages 340 days of sunshine per year, so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

The average temperature in LA is 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22.2° C), and the city receives an average of 15 inches of rain per year.

Moreover, LA does not experience snow during winter, making it the ideal place to be if you’re not into cold weather.

On the flip side, Toronto experiences a continental climate, with hot, humid summers and very cold, snowy winters. The city also has four distinct seasons, allowing its residents to enjoy the different activities that each season has to offer.

Toronto is also the better choice if you like being in the cold, even when it’s not winter. The average temperature in Toronto is 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10° C), and the city receives an average of 50 inches of snow per year.

Things to Do in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

Toronto appeals to those who value cultural diversity, family-friendly environments, and a dynamic arts scene. On the other hand, Los Angeles attracts individuals interested in the entertainment industry, sunny weather, and a vibrant city life.

Los Angeles is known for its glamorous and dynamic lifestyle, especially in the entertainment industry. 

Beach lovers can enjoy the sunny weather, those interested in the arts can experience the vibrant arts and music scenes, and outdoor enthusiasts can explore the nearby mountains and canyons for hiking and outdoor adventures.

Meanwhile, Toronto offers a vibrant and diverse lifestyle with a strong focus on cultural experiences, entertainment, and outdoor activities. The city’s multicultural atmosphere provides a wide range of international cuisines, festivals, and cultural events to enjoy.

Toronto has numerous parks and green spaces, and hiking, biking, and picnicking are popular past times. 

The city also has a thriving arts scene, with theatres, galleries, and music venues hosting various performances and exhibitions. Sports fans can cheer for professional teams like the Toronto Raptors (NBA) and Toronto Blue Jays (MLB).

Healthcare in Los Angeles vs. Toronto

Both Los Angeles and Toronto offer high-quality healthcare services, and patients can access advanced medical treatments and procedures in both cities. However, there are some notable differences.

In Los Angeles, healthcare services are predominantly private, and individuals often rely on private health insurance or pay using personal funds for medical expenses. 

In contrast, Toronto’s healthcare system is publicly funded through taxes, providing residents with basic medical coverage without direct costs at the point of care.

Both cities are at the forefront of medical research, but LA is particularly known for its medical advancements and research institutions, while Toronto excels in providing universal healthcare services to its population.

Los Angeles and Toronto: Which City is Right for You?

In the end, the perfect city for you will hinge on your personal preferences and priorities. 

Each city, Los Angeles and Toronto, comes with its distinct advantages and disadvantages, so taking the time to carefully consider these aspects is crucial before making a decision.

We came up with a quick summary for you:

Factors  The Better City  Why 
Cost of Living  Toronto Los Angeles is 26.7% more expensive than in Toronto.
Real Estate  Los Angeles The average prices for real estate properties in Los Angeles are significantly cheaper.
Diversity and DemographicsTorontoWhile both Toronto and Los Angeles are known for their cultural diversity, Toronto stands out for having a more prominent and pronounced diversity.
Career Opportunities Los Angeles Los Angeles has a strong economy and a lower unemployment rate.
Crime IndexTorontoToronto has a higher safety index than Los Angeles and the latter has experienced more reports for violent crimes and property crimes in the last year.
Lifestyle Tied (depends on what kind of lifestyle you prefer)

Los Angeles experiences relatively warm and dry weather throughout the year. On the other hand, Toronto has more pronounced seasonal changes, with snowy winters and warmer summers.

Both Los Angeles and Toronto have rich culture, history, and music and arts scenes. Toronto has a lot of green spaces while Los Angeles has mountains and trails to hike on.

Healthcare services in Toronto are more accessible and affordable compared to Los Angeles because Toronto is under a universal healthcare system.