Vancouver vs Toronto: Which is the Best City for Students?

Vancouver vs Toronto- Which is the Best City for Students

As the pandemic gradually recedes, many aspiring students are thinking about the prospects of higher education in Canada. This has resumed the debate, ‘Vancouver vs Toronto: Which is the best city for students?’ Canada is home to 6,42,000 international students enrolled in various courses in fields like medicine, law, science, technology, arts, astronomy, etc.

The country offers unlimited opportunities both in terms of an education system and a quality standard of living. It has a promising work culture too. Canada is one of the most favored international destinations for overseas education. 

The top cities in Canada, like Vancouver and Toronto, are among the most talked-about cities for international students. If you are confused about choosing Vancouver or Toronto as your destination, the following comparison between the two cities can be helpful.

Read More: All you need to know about studying in Canada

Vancouver or Toronto for studying in Canada? 

Education in Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the most sought-after destinations for international students. There are recognized and notable educational institutions. The University of British Columbia in Vancouver needs special mention. Also, the eminent Vancouver Film School is a very famous destination for international students. Some of the other top universities located in Vancouver are University Canada West, Capilano University, and Emily Carr University. Colleges like Langara College, Vancouver Community College, Simon Fraser University, Columbia College, Regent College are some of the reputed colleges in Vancouver for undergraduate studies.

Education in Toronto

Education system: Toronto is ranked among the top cities globally for international students and the University of Toronto is one of the reasons behind this. The university is ranked 1st in Canada and holds a rank of 26 according to the QS World University Rankings. There are other notable colleges and universities in Toronto, like Ryerson University, York University, George Brown College, Humber College, Trent University, and Centennial College. These colleges and universities offer world-class educational opportunities with the best state-of-art facilities. 

Read More: Cost of Living in Canada for international students

Vancouver vs Toronto: The cost of living

Both Vancouver and Toronto are preferred by international students because the cities offer a high living standard. Both are quite expensive in terms of rent, food, and transport. Vancouver, however, surpasses Toronto when it comes to things like rent, groceries, and necessities.

Here is a detailed comparison between Vancouver and Toronto in terms of living costs: 

1. Grocery prices in Vancouver are higher than in Toronto.

2. In terms of accommodation and rent, Vancouver is more expensive than Toronto. Accommodation costs in Vancouver are a bit higher than in Toronto. 

3. Restaurants and clubs in Vancouver are more affordable than in Toronto. Toronto is expensive in comparison. 

4. Vancouver is slightly more affordable than Toronto in terms of consumer durable costs. 

5. Vancouver has an affordable living cost than Toronto. Students living here have more consumption power than students in Toronto. 

Vancouver vs Toronto: Lifestyle

Canada is a culturally rich country with opulent and sophisticated living. The cities of Canada are differentiated based on nature, lifestyle, and culture. What binds all the cities together is their modern amenities and world-class facilities. 


Vancouver is a perfect destination for students who prefer to enjoy relaxed city life. It offers the best work-life balance. The relaxed life also means that Vancouver is slower in terms of development and business. You can enjoy a peaceful work environment. Due to the relaxed work-life pattern and slow pace of development, you cannot expect high salaried jobs here.

1. The nightlife, shopping, and restaurant options in Vancouver are quite vibrant. 

2. Hiking, running, biking, and skiing are some of the common activities near downtown. 

3. Fun festivals and art galleries make Vancouver a culturally rich and diversified city.

4. The city has well-defined and connected public transportation.


Toronto is the largest city in Canada. It is powered by culture, business, development, and a fantastic education system. It has a global city vibe loved by international students. 

1. The best attraction of the city is its rich cultural heritage and diversity. 

2. The city is bustling with thousands of individuals all heading toward the path of trade and business establishments.

3. Toronto has the highest-paying jobs in all of Canada. The job market is robust for meritorious students. 

4. The city hosts festivals, activities, and boasts a rich ambiance. 

5. With incredible food joints and shopping venues, it exhibits a perfect metropolitan culture.

Read More: Job opportunities after MS in Canada 

Vancouver vs Toronto: Job opportunities


Toronto is home to the largest banks in Canada. It stands out in terms of job opportunities and offers some of the highest-paying jobs globally. Some of the companies that provide job opportunities in Toronto are Accenture, Ford Motor Company, Procter & Gamble, Salesforce, Xerox Holdings Corporation, Oracle, and Royal Bank of Canada.


Vancouver is the third-largest city by industry strength, and it offers ample growth opportunities. The city does not promise the highest paying jobs, but it hosts some reputed companies like Best Buy Canada, BC Hydro, HSBC Bank Canada, Fraser Health Authority, Nintendo, and Arrow Transportation System Inc. 

Vancouver or Toronto for studying in Canada

Reasons for choosing Toronto

1. Culture: Toronto has a diverse culture with more than 140 languages spoken there.

2. Transportation: The transportation infrastructure is well defined and the city is connected by buses, subways, streetcars, and rail.

3. Safety: The safety index in Toronto is more than 81%.

4. Education system: The city has some of the most reputed universities like the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. 

5. Employment scope: Employment scope and opportunities are high with some of the best companies offering the highest salary packages in comparison with those offered globally.

6. Cost of living: The cost of living includes an average rent of CAD 1,500 (Rs 89,000), a meal is CAD 20 (Rs 1,200) and transportation is CAD 3.25 (Rs 200). 

Reasons for choosing Vancouver

1. Culture: The majority of the population is European. 

2. Transportation: The city is well connected with rapid trains, buses, and the West Coast Express. 

3. Safety: It is safe for international students. Crimes like robbery and murder are rare. 

4. Education system: The University of British Columbia and the eminent Vancouver Film School are prime attractions. There are other prestigious universities and colleges for various specializations. 

5. Employment: The city offers job opportunities for graduate and postgraduate students of various specializations. 

6. Cost of living: The cost of living includes rent of CAD 2050 (Rs 1.2 lakh), meals are CAD 14 (Rs 850) and transportation is CAD 3 (Rs 180). 

Read More: Settle in Canada from India


Vancouver and Toronto are equally preferred by international students. The cities are vibrant and have a safe and culturally sound quality of life. The education system and employment scope in both cities are great in their own ways. To further clear your doubts regarding Vancouver or Toronto for study in Canada you can connect with the counselors of upGrad Abroad.

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