Escape to Canada, Option #5: Toronto, Ontario


Escaping to Canada doesn’t mean you have to leave big-city life behind.  You might be surprised to find out that Canada does have a really-big metropolis.  Vancouver isn’t just the biggest city in Canada, it’s also the fourth-most-populated city in North America (according to a 2013 estimate).  That means only New York, Los Angeles, and Mexico City have more people.


It’s easy for Americans to think that north of the border, there’s nothing up there.  And if that’s the way you think, Toronto will come as a shock. This city is the financial capitol of Canada and the political hub of the province of Ontario.  The skyline is filled with skyscrapers, and dominated by the CN Tower (which stands 553 meters high, or 1,815 feet).  It’s the 7th-tallest freestanding structure in the world.  And just next-door, you’ll find the Rogers Centre, home to the Toronto Blue Jays and other professional teams.

You can get a great view of Toronto by taking a ferry out to Toronto Islands, which is just offshore from downtown Toronto in Lake Ontario.  Visitors can easily spend a day on this island, walking around through Toronto Island Park and a handful of residential neighborhoods that are a world away from the concrete jungle.

So, is Toronto a good choice?  It has everything you need for big-city living.  It’s not far from the U.S. (Buffalo, New York is just a short drive away) and it has a big airport with service to many American cities.  It’s located further south than most other cities in Canada, but winters can still be bitterly cold, with temperatures below freezing for weeks or months.

If you don’t want to live in Toronto itself, how about living near a world-famous tourist attraction nearby?  We’ll check out Niagara Falls next.

Want to see more of Toronto?  Check out my visit to the city and to Toronto Islands here.

What do you think?  Would Toronto make a good place to live?  Did I miss a great Canadian town that should be on the list?  Want to yell at me about the results of the election? Hey, that’s what the internet is for!  Throw in your two cents in the comments below.

Oh, and you can also check out my guide to visiting Canada for Americans and my guide to Visiting the Rockies in Winter.  And if you decide to go for a visit, use the search box on this page.  It’ll give you a great deal, and you’ll help support!

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