Toronto and Montreal are two of the most visited countries in Canada. And because of their diverse mix of attractions, it’s easy to see why so many have fallen in love with them. But this is the only thing they have in common, as these two are quite different.
Toronto is a sleek and modern city with a more urban appeal, and it feels more American. Meanwhile, Montreal is one of the most European cities in the country, enjoying both Canadian and French lifestyles.
Being bustling multicultural cities, you’ll find no shortage of urban and cultural fun in both. But one of these two will suit you best, depending on what you’re looking for. Get to know Toronto and Montreal below, and you’ll find out which one tickles your fancy best.
Being Canada’s top multicultural city, Toronto offers diversity in its allures like no other. Evident in its food and cultural scene, Toronto makes you feel like you’re touring the world in one place. And for many other exciting draws, there are tons of reasons why it’s the most visited city in Canada!
What Makes Toronto Unique?
The Unrivaled Diversity in Its Food Scene
When in Toronto, your taste buds can travel the world within one area. Because it’s a sprawling melting pot of cultures from around the world, you can sample over 73 various national cuisines in the city. Thus, Toronto offers an exciting world of flavors, and they’re all within a stone’s throw away from each other.
Kensington Market alone is a foodie’s paradise. It’s where you’ll find cuisines from across the world in one vibrant and exciting place.
Help yourself to sushi, dumplings, or pho for some Asian delights. Within the area, you’ll also find German, Caribbean, and a whole lot more international flavors. Kensington Market also has restaurants that offer a taste of Canada’s indigenous cuisine!
But the most exciting thing about Toronto’s food scene is that it’s home to tons of ethnic enclaves. No matter what you’re craving, it’s easy to find authentic flavors in the city!
If you’re craving Chinese food, Toronto is home to more than one Chinatown! Munch on some dim sum or dumplings, get a hearty meal of hot pot, and sip on some bubble tea. There are more than enough Chinese restaurants in the city to cater to everyone.
Continue your trip to Asia at Koreatown, which is full of Korean barbecue spots, grocery shops, and bakeries. Stop by Little India too, where some eateries operate until 4 AM. With this, Little India is a foodie spot that caters to your tastebud’s whims even when it’s late.
Little Ethiopia offers tasty dishes in big portions without breaking the bank. Don’t forget to get some Ethiopian honey wine, one of the oldest alcoholic drinks in the world!
Toronto’s ethnic enclaves also take you on a tour of Europe.
Explore the many pizzerias, restaurants, and gelato spots in Little Italy. Check out the small, family-owned restaurants at Little Portugal that serve classic dishes. Or fill your tummy in any of Greektown’s upscale restaurants and generations-old gyro stands!
An Endless Stream of Cultural Fun
In the quest to get to know Toronto more, the city gives you tons of fun options. These reflect the city’s ethnic diversity, creativity, and playful character. From exciting gatherings to discovering exhibits, there are tons of ways to immerse yourself in Toronto’s culture.
In any destination, heading to the city’s museums is a great start. More than a place to admire art, they’re spaces that preserve the local culture.
You’ll find just that in the Art Gallery of Ontario, where you’ll explore thousands of years of art. This museum is home to more than 95000 artworks. A big chunk of this showcases Canada’s history, tracing back to the First Nations people.
For a more immersive tour, visit the living history museum of Black Creek Pioneer Village. You’ll have over 40 buildings here to explore and learn about Toronto’s history. But the interactive exhibits are the highlight here.
Travel back in time and experience what it was like to live in the city back in the 19th century. Make soap, churn butter, bake, and more. You’ll even see some blacksmithing and quilting demonstrations here.
For a taste of modern times, Toronto has more in store for you.
Explore the history of Canada’s national sport at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Get a glimpse of Toronto’s artistic prowess at the Museum of Contemporary art. Or discover the countless small galleries along Distillery District, Queen East and West, and Ossington!
You can even hit two birds with one stone and get entertained as you get cultured in Toronto.
Toronto has a dazzling performance-art scene, and the city’s theaters regularly feature Broadway shows. If you love classical music, head to the Toronto Symphony of Orchestra. But there are tons more venues in the city, so you’re never too far from an exciting show here.
There’s No Shortage of Gorgeous Green Spaces
Toronto has endless open spaces that bloom with all shades of green in the summer and turn into winter wonderlands during the cooler months. Some offer glistening waterfronts, while others boast features like zoos. Regardless of your interests, Toronto has a green oasis for you when you need it.
The star of Toronto’s parks, High Park is the largest green space in the city. It’s also the go-to for locals as it’s the perfect place for various outdoor recreation.
High Park features areas for sports such as tennis, baseball, and soccer. If you need to cool down during summer, the park has a swimming pool. And if you’re visiting during winter, there’s an ice skating rink here too.
The park is also home to another attraction, the High Park Zoo. Get up close and personal with its various residents, such as capybara, yaks, and more.
What’s exciting about the high park is that one-third of it still boasts its raw, natural beauty. Explore winding trails and you’ll discover marvelous rivers as you go.
A similar park is Toronto Island Park, which sits off the coast of the city. From beaches, gardens, amusement parks, and more, it offers every kind of fun you can think of.
These parks are only two of Toronto’s 1500 parks though. There’s always a tranquil green space around the corner if ever you want to escape the hustle and bustle.
If urban parks don’t give you the adventure you crave, there are plenty of national parks around Toronto. The best part is that they’re only a short drive away from the city!
Go on an adventure at Thousand Islands National Park, which features 21 islands and islets for you to explore. Explore a wonderland of incredibly diverse landscapes at Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park. Or get a glimpse of the diverse wildlife that Algonquin Provincial Park has!
A Plethora of Historical Sites to Visit
Toronto has centuries of history under its belt, and it has tons of fascinating stories to tell you. It was once a settlement by the Indigenous Peoples, then the French, and finally, the British. You’ll still find remnants of these settlers around town today, transporting you back to the city’s distant past!
The charming Distillery District started in 1859, and it once produced about half of the spirits in Ontario. Though it stopped operating in 1990, it still features beautiful Victorian-era structures. Today, various shops and art galleries take up the buildings of this pedestrian-only village.
Toronto is also home to a beautiful, 17th-century castle called Casa Loma. Wander around and discover its underground tunnels, secret passageways, and more. The castle also hosts fun seasonal events, such as a spooky Halloween one that fits its vibe.
Gooderham Building is an architectural wonder in Toronto that’s a designated National Historic Site. Looking at it, it may remind you of New York’s Flatiron building. But the Gooderham building was actually built first!
This is one of the city’s most photographed landmarks. Not only for its unique, triangular shape or its eye-catching Gothic facade. You’ll find towering skyscrapers to the west of the building, giving you a view of Toronto’s past and future in one frame!
Going around Toronto to explore its historic landmarks can be a tiring quest. And if you’re hungry, head to St. Lawrence Market. Here, you can uncover Toronto’s history as you fill up your belly!
St. Lawrence Market is a world-famous landmark. And National Geographic even called it the best food market in the world. But the market’s charm lies within its illustrious history.
You’ll find an extensive collection of vendors here selling food of all kinds. Step into the indoor marketplace, and you’ll be in a place that’s been operating since 1803! For this reason, you’ll find a ton of tours of the market that’ll give you an insight into its role in shaping Toronto into what it is today.
Montreal has to be one of the prettiest and coolest cities in Canada. Its cobblestone streets have the charm of a European city and it has the gritty character of New York. Montreal feels like a big, bustling city, but its surrounding lakes and mountains offer tranquil and scenic retreats in nature.
Montreal offers everything a tourist could ever ask for and more. You’ll find a superb culinary landscape, an exciting art scene, and charming historical sites here. But Montreal adds its twists on these allures, making it easy to fall in love with the city in one trip.
What Makes Montreal Unique?
An Outdoor Enthusiast’s Scenic Playground
When it comes to a gorgeous natural landscape, Montreal hit the jackpot. Crystal clear lakes, majestic mountains, and dense forests are aplenty here in the city. And they’re beautiful playgrounds for almost every type of outdoor recreation.
Montreal is an island in an archipelago, surrounding the city with glistening waters all around. The city sits where the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers meet, making Montreal a watersports wonderland!
Go on a fishing tour on St. Lawrence and reel in some sturgeon or walleye. St. Lawrence also offers more excitement, as it’s a great place to go surfing! Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are also options if you want a calmer adventure.
But for a true, adrenaline-pumping excursion, head to Lachine Rapids. Enjoy faster-paced fun here with tandem rafting, river boating, rafting, or jet boating!
If you need a change of scenery, it’s easy to go from the water to the mountains in Montreal! Built around a mountain, you can find the stunning Mount Royal just within the city! Sitting atop this mountain is Parc du Mont-Royal, a four-season playground.
During warmer months, you can hike around the park and discover the diverse flora and fauna it homes. Go cycling, picnicking, boating, and more. You can even take your furry friend with you on your adventure!
During winter, the park transforms into a winter wonderland. Sledding, skiing, and snowshoeing are only some of the fun things you can do here.
Parc du Mont-Royal isn’t the only year-round playground in the city though. Montreal is home to many more urban parks that offer outdoor excitement no matter the season.
Parc La Fontaine is a verdant social-gathering spot during summer and a famous skating rink location in the winter. Parc Jarry is a popular spot for soccer, tennis, and swimming during the warmer months. And Parc Maisonneuve features a public golf course, several bike trails, and a skating rink!
Get a Taste of Its Phenomenal Food Scene
As a city that lives for food, Montreal knows how to tickle the tastebuds of its visitors, no matter their palate. The city has a delightfully varied food scene, spoiling you with mouthwatering choices. And with this, you won’t go hungry in Montreal.
You’ll get a taste of dishes passed down from one generation to another here. And on the other end, innovative chefs offer their modern and creative take on these dishes.
You’ll find dishes that showcase Montreal’s main culinary influences. This includes French, Irish, and Canadian aboriginal food. But the city also offers foreign flavors from across the globe.
You’ll have over 41 Michelin-star restaurants to choose from in the city if you’re in the mood for upscale dining. But you’ll find much more casual and creative dining options sprinkled across the city.
A trip to the city isn’t complete without munching on some iconic Montreal eats though. A food trip to Montreal starts with these local specialties:
- Poutine: A famous Canadian dish consisting of chips with cheese and gravy. Restaurants love to add their twist to this dish by adding fun and interesting toppings!
- Smoked-Meat Sandwich: Thick slabs of perfectly seasoned smoked briskets in a sandwich.
- Montreal-Style Bagel: A sweet, dense, and small bagel that’s cooked in a wood-fired oven. Montreal’s bagels don’t have salt, but it gets poached in honey water before getting baked.
Looking for a place to taste these iconic eats isn’t hard. But if you were to ask a local, it seems that they can’t agree on the best place to get these tasty delights!
For bagels, it’s a rivalry between Fairmount and Viateur. Schwartz’s and The Main have a rivalry for the tastiest smoked meat in town. Meanwhile, it’s a battle between Ma Poule Mouilée and Romados for the best poutine.
You’ll Find Art Everywhere
Combining culture and its diversity, Montreal’s art scene has all you need to tickle your aesthetic senses. The city’s bold character is evident in this space, evident in the raw vibe of its showcased art. From world-renowned art to a thriving street-art scene, Montreal is one of the top art cities in Canada.
One of the top ways to discover a city’s artistic side is through its museums. Montreal is home to dozens and dozens of museums, covering every interest there is. But for the culture vulture in you, here are the must-visit ones:
- Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal: This is a well-rounded museum that celebrates art and all its forms. This museum houses impressive exhibits featuring the works of international artists. But it also hosts live performances, bar service, and thrilling guided tours!
- Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: This is the best museum in town for Canadian and European art. It also features antiquities and archaeology from across the globe. And this museum’s collection of 41000 works also includes sculptures and photographs, among others.
Museums aren’t the only must-visit sites for art in the city though. Montreal’s artistic cafes also showcase the city’s extraordinary art scene.
Drink a cup of coffee as you get inspired by the creativity of the local artists’ masterpieces. Some top artistic cafes in Montreal are Café des Arts and Arts Café.
Walking around the city already gives you a glimpse of Montreal’s art scene though. And you don’t even have to set foot indoors to marvel at the city’s artistic prowess!
Murals are everywhere in the city, they’re along main roads, in alleyways, and even in side streets. A vibrant artistic hub, Saint-Laurent Boulevard is a great spot for a street art tour, as it features 7 miles (11 km) of eye-catching murals.
Get Cultured in Various Exciting Ways
Getting a taste of Montreal’s thrilling culture isn’t all about visual art. The city offers other ways for you to truly immerse yourself in its culture. Diverse, electrifying, and a whole lot of fun, getting to know Montreal is an exciting adventure on its own.
Montreal is as serious with its legendary music scene as it is with its food. There’s always a gig, show, or concert at any of the many pubs, bars, or venues peppered across the city.
From jazz to blues to hip-hop to classical, almost every genre is widely represented in the city.
If you’re a fan of jazz, soul, or the blues, head to the art nouveau House of Jazz or the cabaret-inspired Le Balcon. Explore Montreal’s thrilling indie music scene on La Vitroa’s second floor. Or listen to some traditional music at Hurley’s Irish Pub, where there’s a show for you every night.
Thinking of going to a concert? Head to Salle Wilfrid Pelletier for classical concerts. Theatre Fairmount features an eclectic mix of music, from hip-hop to electronic to rock.
The best way to get a feel of Montreal’s music scene or even its culture, in general, is through its festivals. Montreal loves to have a good time, and it celebrates around 90 festivals each year. And with this jam-packed event schedule, it isn’t hard to coincide your trip with a fun festival!
One of the biggest festivals in Montreal is a celebration of music, the International Jazz Festival. But there’s also Piknic Elektronik for electronic music, Heavy Montreal for the metalheads, and POP Montreal for hip-hop.
Montreal’s festivals also celebrate other things such as food, cinema, art, and more!
Join the Just for Laughs comedy festival for some good laughs. Watch the sky light up with all colors of the rainbow during the Fireworks Festival. Or indulge your love for beer at the Montreal Beer Festival!
Discover Its Stunning Historical Landmarks
One of the most interesting things about Montreal is its rich history. Colonized by the French and then the English, the city has a dazzling mix of stunning monuments.
Adding to the diversity of the cityscape are the immigrants that have flocked to the city in the distant past. Not only did they bring their culture with them, but they also expanded the city’s range of beautiful structures.
Montreal’s history started with the historic neighborhood of Old Montreal. Established in 1642, this was once a French fortress called Fort Ville-Marie. And today, it’s one of the city’s most charming neighborhoods as it’s home to several well-preserved buildings from the era.
Wandering around Old Montreal feels like you’re going for a stroll in an old French city. From its picturesque cobblestone streets to the historic Notre Dame Basilica, Old Montreal is a history buff’s dream.
At the heart of Old Montreal is Rue Saint-Paul, the oldest street in the city. This street also has its fair share of historic buildings. And it’s full of unique shops that bring a refreshing change from the usual shops in malls.
Another must-see landmark in Montreal is famous not only for its beauty but also for its sheer size. Saint Joseph’s Oratory is one of the largest and tallest domes worldwide. Everyone is welcome to attend the daily morning mass here, although it’s in French.
If that doesn’t entice you, Saint Joseph’s Oratory is also home to a tomb, a museum, and a beautiful sculpture garden. You can visit the fascinating Crypt Church here, which dates back to 1916. The shrine also hosts summer organ recitals every Wednesday evening, rounding up its allures.
A historical tour of Montreal isn’t complete without visiting Château Ramezay. It’s one of the oldest buildings in America, as it dates back to 1705.
This was where Benjamin Franklin tried to convince Montreal to be a state of the USA. But this building has more stories to tell through its exhibitions that take you back to the 20th century. There are even reenactors here that’ll give you a glimpse of life back in the 1700s!
Is Montreal or Toronto Better to Visit?
The better city to visit between these two will depend on your likes and what you’re looking for out of your trip. These are two distinct cities. So tackling their differences will help you decide which of them suits you best.
Toronto is more modern and slick, and it has the buzz of a big city. It has skyscrapers that seem to touch the sky, massive stadiums, loads of malls, and more. All these create an exciting atmosphere that you’d expect from a bustling cosmopolitan.
Meanwhile, Montreal has a quaint, old-town charm. It feels more laid-back and is more subtle in general. It may not have the buzz that Toronto has, but Montreal has a more unique history and culture.
The distinct character of these two is evident in their cityscape. Toronto looks more contemporary, thanks to its shiny skyscrapers and towering monoliths. Montreal has a mix of old and new buildings, with loads of centuries-old structures across the city.
From there, you’ll see what kind of tourists these two attract.
Toronto is better for city dwellers who love the busy yet thrilling atmosphere of a cosmopolitan. While Montreal is better for those who want a more relaxed vacation in general. Montreal is also a paradise for history buffs due to its wealth of historical landmarks.
If you’re an art lover, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, you can’t go wrong with either city as they tie in these allures.
Is Montreal Safer Than Toronto?
Both Montreal and Toronto are relatively safe cities. But comparing them head-to-head, Montreal is a safer city than Toronto. In fact, Montreal is one of the safest cities in North America!
According to Numbeo’s data, Montreal has a high safety scale of 68.32. Toronto isn’t too bad too, as it has a safety scale of 57.58.
Looking at the breakdown of these numbers, it’s easy to see why Montreal has a great safety reputation.
Montreal scored very high (87.22) when it comes to safety walking alone during the day. Even at night, the city scored high (67.22) in this regard.
Montreal also scored low in worries about getting mugged, robbed, insulted, attacked, and more. And it didn’t score high on any other safety worries, a testament to its safety.
Meanwhile, Toronto scored high (75.03) in safety when walking alone during the day. But only moderate (52.84) when walking alone at night.
Toronto may not have the incredible safety statistics that Montreal has. But it’s still a quite safe city, with a low crime rate compared to most cities in North America.
Crime Rate – Montreal vs. Toronto
Montreal and Toronto both have low crime rates. Montreal, being the safer city, has a lower crime rate of 31.68. Meanwhile, Toronto has a higher crime rate of 42.42.
To get a closer look at the crime rate in each city, consider this data from Area Vibes. Keep in mind that the numbers below are per 100000 people.
Montreal’s total crime is 2957, while Toronto’s total crime is 2915. These numbers have a big difference from the national average, which is 4223.
Area Vibe’s data also shows that property crime is more of a concern than violent crime in either city.
Montreal’s violent crime is 1003, while Toronto’s is 748. The national average for violent crime is 1042.
Meanwhile, Montreal’s property crime is 19454, while Toronto’s is 2167. The national average for property crime is 3181.
These two cities are also among the top safest major cities both in Canada and the United States for their low homicide rates. This ranking is according to the data of Statistics Canada and the FBI.
Montreal’s homicide rate is 1.11 and Toronto’s is 1.47 for every 100000 inhabitants. The national average rate is 4.72, and this is a big difference as well.
Is Montreal Cheaper Than Toronto?
Montreal is a cheaper destination than Toronto, although they’re both expensive cities to visit. But your expenses will still depend on your spending habits.
A week-long vacation for a solo traveler in Montreal is 1263 USD. For a couple visiting for the same amount of time, it’ll be 2268 USD. While a family of four can spend 4253 USD on a trip to the city.
Meanwhile, a week-long vacation to Montreal is around 1543 USD for one person. You’ll shell out 2771 if you’re traveling as a couple. And it’ll cost around 5195 for a family of four.
Food and accommodation costs take up a big chunk of your budget. So here are some average costs for each.
Meals and sightseeing costs are around 41 to 92 USD per day in Montreal and 52 to 90 USD in Toronto. Accommodation costs in Montreal are around 57 to 96 USD, while it’ll be around 95 to 116 USD in Toronto.
Hotels are much cheaper in Toronto from August to February. While Montreal’s cheaper months are from January to April and August to December.
For the best deals of the year, visit Toronto in early September and Montreal in mid to late September.
Montreal vs. Toronto Weather
Toronto and Montreal have similar weather, being only a few hours away. These two cities have extreme temperature changes from season to season. Still, Toronto has a more moderate climate than Montreal.
The average yearly temperature in Toronto ranges from 17 to 78 F (-8.3 C to 25.6 C). The city has around 5 to 6 cold months that are warmer than Montreal. But keep in mind that Toronto is one of the windiest cities in the country, making winters freezing cold.
But for the rest of the year, Toronto is quite warm. It’s quite a humid city though, making it feel hotter than usual.
Meanwhile, the average annual temperature in Montreal varied from 9 to 79 F (-12.8 to 26.1 C). Known to be an icy city, Montreal has hasher cold snaps than Toronto.
Snowfalls here are intense, and cars on the sidewalk get buried in snow overnight. While some may not like this, this is what makes Montreal a magical playground for winter sports!
Spring and autumn are the more temperate seasons here. During summertime, Montreal usually hits 79 F (26 C) daily. It’s quite humid too as there’s a lack of crosswinds.
Is Montreal Colder Than Toronto?
Not only does Montreal have a more extreme climate, but it’s also a colder city than Toronto. These two have similar summertime temperatures above 68 F (20 C). The real difference in their climate is evident during wintertime.
Winters in Toronto are below 39 F (3.9 C). While winters in Montreal are below 34 F (1.1 C). Although they’re only 5 hours apart, the difference in their climate is due to their location.
One factor is that you’ll find Montreal further north. This places Montreal further from the equator, receiving less direct sunlight. And because of this, the city gets less heat from the atmosphere to warm it up.
Other than that, consider the bodies of water around these two.
Toronto has a large body of water beside it, which is Lake Ontario. The temperature of this lake doesn’t have extreme fluctuations, no matter what season it may be. Thus, Lake Ontario provides insulation against the cold air from the north, keeping Toronto warm during winter.
Montreal is also surrounded by water systems, such as the St. Lawrence River. But these bodies of water aren’t big enough to act as an insulator.
Is Toronto or Montreal More Fun?
Being more different than alike, Toronto and Montreal appeal to different kinds of travelers. Whichever is more fun will depend on the kind of thrill you want on your trip!
Being Canada’s largest city, Toronto’s allures lie more in its urban charm. With the exciting buzz that only a big city can offer, Toronto is more fun for city dwellers!
Toronto has all the amenities of a big city. It’s the city that never sleeps, and it offers a more lively, robust nightlife that continues on until the crack of dawn. It also has an extensive collection of museums, music halls, sports venues, festivals, ethnic events, and plenty more!
While Toronto feels more like a bustling American city, Montreal feels like a quaint European city.
Montreal may not have Toronto’s amenities, but it has a unique culture. Step into a city filled with European architecture, get cultured at street fairs and food markets, and more! Montreal feels more down to Earth, appealing to those who want a more relaxed trip.
Montreal is also better if you want to be closer to nature, it even has Mount Royal within the city. It’s not only about parks here, but also true wilderness!
Toronto or Montreal for Family Vacation?
Toronto and Montreal are both worthy destinations for families. Each has a diverse mix of attractions that keep the kids entertained on your trip! So the decision mostly lies on what your kids want to see, or what they want to do.
Montreal is better if your family loves spending time outdoors. You’re much closer to nature in Montreal, with Mount Royal right within the city. Climb up to Parc Mont Royal and you’ll easily have your dose of outdoor fun!
Montreal’s kid-friendly allures don’t stop with nature though,
Go ice skating in the free giant rink of Esplanade Tranquille. Escape an indoor maze in Old Port at SOS Labyrinth. Or get a sugar rush at Sucrerie de La Montagne!
Toronto has no shortage of fun things to see and do for kids too.
There’s the Ripley’s Aquarium, Centreville Amusement Park, and the Ontario Science Centre! Because Toronto is full of sprawling parks, it offers tons of outdoor recreation fun too. Go biking, play some sports, and discover the natural wonders the city holds!
Despite this, Montreal may be better if you have younger children. It’s easier to get around the city, and it’s far less crowded than in Toronto.
Toronto vs. Montreal for Nightlife
There’s arguably no better city for night owls in Canada than Toronto or Montreal. These two have renowned and incredibly diverse night scenes. And there’s something for everyone here, regardless of what scene you like.
Toronto is Canada’s city that never sleeps. Being the largest city in Canada, it offers all the conveniences and amenities of a big city.
Start your night at a comedy bar, head out to an Irish pub after, then go clubbing until the early hours! What’s so delightful about Toronto’s night scene is that it’s concentrated in the downtown area. So it’s easy to switch scenes, as everything is only a short walk away!
Montreal can also rival Toronto’s night scene when it comes to variety. Whatever goes here, and no matter what floats your boat, you’ll find it in Montreal. From its cultured music venues to more erotic entertainment options, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
You can’t go wrong with picking either if you love good nightlife. But if you love going to casinos, Montreal is the best choice for a plethora of fun games. It’s home to Casino de Montreal, one of the most popular and renowned casinos in the country!
Is Montreal Close to Toronto?
Two of Canada’s most famous cities, Montreal and Toronto are only a few hours apart. Because they’re quite close together, it’s easy to travel between the two in one trip!
If you do want to visit both, Montreal is only about an hour away from Toronto. And if you’d rather travel by car or train, these two cities are only around 5 hours apart.
Montreal to Toronto Distance
The straight line distance between Montreal and Toronto is around 313 miles (503 km). But this estimate is more accurate when it comes to plane travel. If you’re traveling by land, you’ll cover more distance due to road curvature.
The distance between Montreal and Toronto depends on your chosen route. But the shortest one, via Ontario Highway 401, has a distance of 337 miles (542 km). The longest one, via Highway 7 and Trans-Canada Highway, has a distance of 380 miles and 612 km.
Which Is Bigger – Montreal or Toronto?
Toronto is a bigger city than Montreal, both in land size and in the number of inhabitants.
Toronto has a land area of 243 square miles (630 square km). Meanwhile, Montreal has a land area of 167 square miles (432 square km).
When it comes to population, Toronto is the largest city in Canada. Montreal comes in second place as the largest city in the country based on population.
Montreal vs. Toronto Population
Based on population, Toronto and Montreal are the largest cities in Canada. Toronto is the top largest city, with a population of around 2.79 million. Meanwhile, Montreal, the second largest city, is home to over 1.76 million people.
Rent in Montreal vs. Toronto
Montreal has much cheaper rents compared to Toronto, no matter what type of apartment you’re looking for. According to Cost of Live’s data, Toronto has an average house rent of 2369 USD. Meanwhile, the average house rent in Montreal is only around 1231 USD.
These prices will depend on the size of the apartment and location. To give you a better idea of the rent prices in both, here’s a breakdown.
A one-bedroom in the city center of Toronto costs around 1822 USD, but it’ll only cost around 947 USD in Montreal. Renting a one-bedroom outside the city center is cheaper. But it’ll still cost around 1374 USD in Toronto, and only around 665 USD in Montreal.
If you need more space, a three-bedroom apartment in the city center of Toronto costs a whopping 2659 USD. For the same size and area, it’ll only cost around 1697 USD in Montreal.
To cut down the cost, a three-bedroom apartment outside the city center is around 2220 USD in Toronto. Montreal is still cheaper, as this will cost around 1135 USD.
The cheapest neighborhood for a one-bedroom in Toronto is The Annex (2300 USD. In Montreal, the cheapest is Chameran (1040 USD).
How to Go From Montreal to Toronto
When traveling from Montreal to Toronto, you have four transportation options. You can either take the plane, bus, or train or drive to Toronto!
The fastest option is to take the plane. The flight time from Montreal to Toronto is 3 hours and 25 minutes. And it only costs around 40 to 288 USD.
If you’re traveling on a budget, taking the bus is the most affordable option. Bus tickets only cost around 35 to 65 USD. But this is the slowest option, as it takes around 6 hours and 55 minutes of travel time.
You can also take a train from Montreal to Toronto. There are several direct trains daily, so you don’t have to make a switch along the way! Train tickets cost around 80 to 190 USD, and it takes around 5 hours to get to Toronto on this route.
If you want to make stops along the way, you can always drive instead. The driving time depends on the route you take. But it’ll take around 5 to 6 hours before you can reach Toronto. The estimated fuel cost is around 78 to 112 USD. Keep in mind that you still have to pay for tolls.
Montreal to Toronto Flight Distance
The flight distance between Montreal and Toronto will depend on your chosen inbound airport.
One option is to fly from Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau to Toronto Pearson. The distance between these two airports is around 316 miles (509 km).
You can also choose to fly from Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau into Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport instead. With this option, you’ll have a flight distance of 307 miles (494 km).
Train to Montreal From Toronto
Marvel at the scenery of Canada’s great outdoors as you travel on a train from Montreal to Toronto. This journey starts at Toronto Union Station and ends at Montreal Central Station. And you’ll be covering around 332 miles (535 km) on this trip.
On average, this trip takes around 5 hours or so to complete. The shortest travel time on this trip takes around 4 hours and 53 minutes.
Train ticket prices on this route vary between 50 to 150 USD. Keep in mind that prices change periodically. So it’s best to check online for more accurate estimates.
The cheapest month for train travel between the two cities is February. This is when average train ticket prices are around 64 USD. Traveling in August is the most expensive one, as average ticket prices go up to 88 USD.
You won’t have trouble traveling from Toronto to Montreal. Several trains travel this route daily, so you’re bound to catch one. There are morning, afternoon, and evening trains to choose from.
The earliest train in the morning leaves at around 6 AM. The earliest afternoon train leaves at 3 PM. While the earliest evening train leaves for Montreal at around 6:02 PM.
Train Ticket From Montreal to Toronto
Train ticket prices from Montreal to Toronto range from 50 USD to 185 USD. Ticket prices change from time to time, so it’s best if you check online to get a better estimate.
To get the cheapest deals on tickets, plan your trip in November. During this month, the average train ticket only costs around 65 USD. This is the lowest price of the year.
Meanwhile, August is the most expensive month for train travel from Montreal to Toronto. This is when average ticket prices go up to 88 USD.
When you book your tickets is also a big factor on the price. You can travel during August and still score great deals as long as you book tickets at least 29 days in advance. For same-day bookings, you can expect to pay around 50 USD more for the tickets.
Cheap Train From Montreal to Toronto
The lowest train ticket price from Montreal to Toronto is around 40 USD. Train ticket prices change from time to time and there are a few factors that go into its pricing. Because of this, it’s tricky to figure out when these tickets are cheapest and what they’re actually priced.
With this, it’s best if you check out train ticket prices on this route online. There are a few ways to score great deals on the tickets though.
One is to time your trip right. November is the cheapest month to travel from Montreal to Toronto by train. This is when tickets are only around 65 USD on average.
If you’re not traveling in November, don’t worry. You can instead book your tickets at least a month in advance.
Booking your tickets even at least two weeks in advance saves you around 33 USD on ticket prices. If you buy tickets on the same day or last minute, you’ll have to pay around 50 USD more for them.
How Far Is Montreal From Toronto by Train?
Montreal is around 332 miles (535 km) away from Toronto by train. This train trip starts from Toronto Union Station and ends at Montreal Central Station. If you choose other train stations, the distance will vary slightly.
Toronto to Montreal Train Time
The train travel time from Toronto to Montreal is around 4 to 5 hours. Several trains travel this route daily, and each has its estimated travel time.
The fastest trains that travel from Toronto to Montreal are evening trains. The travel time on these trains is around 4 hours and 45 minutes. There is only one evening train on this route though.
The morning trains on this route are often the slowest. The fastest trip on a morning train is around 5 hours and 11 minutes. While the longest trip takes around 5 hours and 29 minutes of travel time.
If you’d rather take the afternoon train, the fastest train has a travel time of only 5 hours and 1 minute. Meanwhile, the slowest afternoon train has a travel time of around 5 hours and 11 minutes.
Usually, there are around two morning trains and afternoon trains traveling between Toronto and Montreal.
Montreal to Toronto Train Schedule
Several trains travel from Montreal to Toronto daily. Their schedules may change from time to time, depending on a few factors. But here is an overview of the schedule.
Around four morning trains are traveling on this route daily. The earliest train traveling from Montreal to Toronto leaves at around 6:20 AM. And the latest morning train leaves at around 11:00 AM.
In the afternoon, only two trains leave Montreal for Toronto. The earliest afternoon train departs at 1:23 PM. While the last afternoon train leaves at 4:56 PM.
Only one train travels from Montreal to Toronto in the evening. And the last train of the day leaves at around 6:22 PM.
Montreal Airport to Toronto by Train
Unfortunately, there is no train station on the Montréal-Trudeau Airport grounds. So if you want to travel by train from here to Toronto, you’ll have to go to the nearest train station, which is the Dorval train station.
It’s quite easy to get to the Dorval train station though. There are shuttle services from the Montréal-Trudeau Airport to the train station, thanks to VIA Rail. These shuttle services are free of charge for train passengers. And it’ll only take around 5 minutes for the shuttle to get you to the station!
From Dorval, it’s a straightforward train journey to reach Toronto. Several trains travel between them each, and most of them are direct trains. These direct trains may make stops along the way, but you don’t have to switch trains along the way.
The distance between Dorval and Toronto is around 304 miles (489 km). Usually, this trip takes around 5 hours and 45 minutes to complete. But the fastest trains can cut this down to only 4 hours and 19 minutes.
The earliest train that departs from Dorval for Toronto leaves at around 9 AM. Meanwhile, the last train on this route leaves at around 5 PM.
Bus to Montreal From Toronto
The trip from Toronto to Montreal on a bus covers a distance of 313 miles (504 km). On average, this bus ride takes around 5 hours and 40 minutes to complete.
The lowest price for tickets on this route costs around 40 USD. But the prices of these tickets can surge up to 185 USD.
With a few bus companies traveling this route, several buses are traveling this daily. The earliest bus on this route leaves at around 7 or 8 AM. Meanwhile, the last bus departs from Toronto at around 5 PM daily.
Toronto to Montreal Bus Price
The bus ticket prices from Toronto to Montreal can be anywhere from 40 to 185 USD. On this route, though, the prices for bus tickets are fairly consistent, no matter what time of the year you travel. In general, you can prepare to pay around 98 USD for a bus from Toronto to Montreal.
According to Bus Bud, the ideal time to buy the cheapest bus tickets on this route is at least 24 days in advance. This way, you can score tickets that only cost around 40 to 50 USD or even less!
Bus to Montreal From Toronto for Cheap
Looking for the cheapest tickets from Toronto to Montreal takes quite a bit of work. This is because bus ticket prices depend on various factors. This includes when you’ll book your tickets, when you’ll be traveling, and the type of bus you’ll choose.
On some bus routes, you may find different bus classes too. And this will affect the ticket prices, especially if you choose a more luxurious option. With this, one of the best things you can do to get cheap bus tickets is to book in advance, at least two weeks ahead. This alone will allow you to score bus tickets at around 50 USD.
Then look for low-cost bus options. This includes economy buses, choosing nonrefundable tickets, and taking a bus that travels outside the peak hours. Usually, traveling at night can get you much cheaper ticket prices.
Toronto to Montreal Bus Time
The first bus on this route leaves at around 8 AM daily. Meanwhile, the last bus of the day leaves Toronto for Montreal at around 5 PM.
Montreal to Toronto by Rideshare
You’ll find no shortage of rideshare options that’ll take you from Montreal to Toronto. These rideshare trips allow you to arrive at a neighborhood near your destination. Many of these have Scarborough Town Center as their destination, but other tips end at Pape, Yorkdale, Esso, and more.
On most of these rideshare options, you’ll have to carry small bags. Usually, these only offer small trunk space, and most of them only allow smaller backpacks and bags. Although some have bigger trunk space that fits larger backpacks and luggage.
When traveling with rideshare from Montreal to Toronto, you can expect to pay around 20 to 75 USD on your trip.
Carpool From Montreal to Toronto
There are tons of carpools traveling from Montreal to Toronto daily. And you have plenty of options online to pick out the best arrangement that works for you. With plenty of sites available for this use, you’ll have no trouble finding a carpool for your trip!
What’s great about taking a carpool to Toronto is that you can find one with a drop-off point you prefer. With this, you’ll end up in an area that’s near your accommodation.
Carpools from Montreal to Toronto can be as low as 20 USD, but prices can go as high as 80 USD.
Toronto to Montreal Drive
You have three options when driving from Toronto to Montreal. Whichever you choose, it’s going to take you around 6 to 7 hours to travel between the two cities. With this, choosing the best route depends on what you want to see on your trip!
On the most direct route, you’ll hop on Highway 401 as you leave Toronto, driving along the shore of Lake Ontario. On this route, you’ll drive through Highways 407, 115, 7, 417, and then Autoroute 40.
This route is the best option if you want to get to Montreal right away, as it’s the shortest and fastest. But there aren’t many scenic stops along the way unless you stray away from the highway.
Another option is the Ottawa route. This route follows highways 404, 407, 115, 7, and Autoroute 40. And this route offers more beautiful scenery along the way, and you’ll pass through some cool cities.
The last route is the most scenic, but it’s the longest. You’ll drive through Highways 28, 407, 115, and 7, then come back to Highway 28 for a trip to the countryside. From there, you’ll hop back on Highway 41, 132, and then 417 to reach Montreal.
How Far Is Toronto From Montreal by Car?
The distance between Montreal and Toronto depends on the route you choose on your drive.
Driving on the Ontario Highway 401 is the fastest route option. This route has a distance of 178 miles (287 km) and it takes 3 hours and 10 minutes of driving time.
You can also go through Trans-Canada Highway, Ontario Highways 417 West and 401 West. On this route, Toronto is 213 miles (344 km) away from Montreal. This route takes around 3 hours and 44 minutes of driving time.
The longest route is via Autoroute 50 and Ontario Highway 401 West. On this route, you’ll cover a distance of 224 miles (361 km). And you’ll spend around 4 hours on the road on this route.
How Long — Drive From Toronto to Montreal?
How long you’ll spend on the road driving to Montreal from Toronto depends on your route. And you have two options on this journey.
One is driving via Ontario 401 Highway East. This route has an estimated driving time of 5 hours and 36 minutes.
The other option takes you along Trans-Canada Highway and Ontario Highway 417 East. If you choose this route, your driving time will be around 7 hours and 18 minutes.
Driving Rules in Montreal vs. Toronto
The driving rules in Ontario are pretty much what you’d expect from other cities. But Montreal has some unique driving laws that you won’t find elsewhere in the country. Thus, you may want to focus on driving in Montreal more.
But to cover the bases, here are some road rules in Toronto.
The speed limit on most freeways in the city is 61 mph (100 km/hr). In the city and town roads and streets, it’s 31 mph (50 km/hr). Elsewhere, it’s 50 mph (80 km/hr).
These speed limits are what you should follow unless a posted speed limit says otherwise.
In Toronto, you must always drive in the right lane of traffic. Left lanes must only be for passing cars. This rule is much stricter in Montreal.
You can make a right turn at a red light in Ontario if there is no sign telling you otherwise. But this is not allowed in any circumstance in Montreal. You have to wait for the green light before you can make a right turn.
Toronto to Montreal Road Trip
The most direct route takes you from Toronto to Montreal in 5 hours and 30 minutes. This route takes you through scenic lakeside cruises along Lake Ontario, but it offers little other scenery. For just around an hour or two more on the road, you can choose two other scenic options on this journey.
There’s the Ottawa route, which has a distance of 373 miles (600 km) and a driving time of 6 hours and 30 minutes. This route has stunning scenery along the way, giving you a taste of Canada’s natural beauty. You’ll also go through charming cities along the way on this route.
But the best road trip route on this journey is the longest. This route has a distance of 410 miles (660 km) and a driving time of 7 hours. This scenic route takes you through Highway 28, offering rugged yet breathtaking views of Ontario.
This route starts the same way as the previous one, driving along Highways 407, 115, and 7. But you’ll hop on Highway 28 as you pass by Peterborough. This takes you to the beautiful countryside, especially along Bancroft.
Then you’ll hop on Highway 417 again to continue your trip to Montreal!
Day Trip to Montreal From Toronto
A day trip to Montreal from Toronto is possible, but it’s not worth it.
Getting to Montreal from Toronto by car alone takes around 5 to 6 hours. A bus has a longer travel time that can reach 7 hours. And this doesn’t include delays due to traffic.
You may think that taking the train would be better so that you avoid traffic. But a train ride can still take a little over 5 hours.
Thus, a round-trip from Toronto to Montreal can easily take up a whole day.
Because of this, you’ll need to allot at least two days on a trip from Toronto to Montreal. This way, you have the time to travel between the two cities. Plus, you’ll have enough time to explore Montreal and see why it’s one of the top tourist cities in Canada!