7 Reasons Americans Move to Toronto

If there’s one thing Canadians and Americans agree on, it’s that Toronto has lousy weather. Winters are cold. Summers are short. Yet despite this, the city attracts thousands of new residents every year. In fact, there are more Americans living here than almost any other city outside the United States. And while Canadians have to live with wind, rain, and snow, Americans don’t. Texas, Florida, and California are all open to them. Nonetheless, many choose to settle up north. Why?

A Diversified & Dynamic Economy

Toronto is an economic powerhouse, a major player in every global industry. Besides generating 20 percent of Canada’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product), it’s also an international commercial and industrial center for:


  • Finance. Five of Canada’s largest banks are headquartered in the city, with over $10 trillion in assets. It has one of the highest concentrations of financial services in the world, growing faster than London and New York City over the last ten years.

  • Technology. Known as the Silicon Valley of the North, Toronto is the third largest tech employer in North America and the fastest growing market for telecommunications, information technology, and computer hardware.

     

  • Fashion. There are over 50,000 people working in Toronto’s fashion industry. It hosts the second largest fashion week in North America and its fashion incubator supports emerging designers throughout the city.

     

  • Media. Hollywood spent over $2.5 billion filming in Toronto last year. This year, the city has so many film and TV projects it’s struggling to find enough studio space for them. Creative professionals are in huge demand (directors, editors, effects artists, and production designers, etc.) thanks to the sheer scale of production.

     

  • Food & Beverages. Half of Canada’s food and beverage workers live in Toronto, producing meat, sugar, fruit, dairy, and vegetable products, not to mention baked goods and tortillas. Together, they pump $3.2 billion a year into the local economy. 

     

Rich & Diverse Culture

Americans aren’t the only ones drawn to Toronto. The city welcomes immigrants from every nation on Earth. More than half its residents were born outside Canada and almost half belong to a visible minority. It's an opportunity to experience new cultures, traditions, outlooks, and lifestyles. And with so many people flocking to Toronto from all across the world, it’s certain that no matter your background, you’ll find a community here waiting for you.

Strong & Effective Public Safety

No one’s afraid to walk the streets in Toronto. In addition to its well-trained police force, the city has some of the best infrastructure, health initiatives, digital protections, and personal and environmental safety programs in the world. In fact, the Economist recently ranked it the second safest city in the world, just a hair behind Copenhagen. Residents aren’t just protected from crime, but practically every other danger as well, including disease, accident, and pollution.

Spectacular Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Few urban centers are as green as Toronto. The city has over 1,500 parks, ravines, and woodlands to explore, including:


  • Toronto Island Park. Located offshore in Lake Ontario, the island features an amusement park, interactive learning garden, a petting farm, and black cedar maze. During summer, bathers can splash around on its four swimming beaches or go kayaking along the shoreline and take in the amazing views of downtown. 

     

  • High Park. The largest public park in Toronto, home to one of the few natural forests in the city. In spring, people rush to see the cherry blossoms and explore the rustic nature trails. In winter, they enjoy cross-country skiing and skating at Grenadier Pond. Families love High Park Zoo, where they can get up close with bison, llamas, peacocks, deer, highland cattle, and sheep.

     

  • Rouge National Urban Park. A lush and vibrant ecosystem with a history dating back over 10,000 years. This extensive wilderness contains forests, farmland, meadows, marshes, streams, and shoreline for residents to hike, canoe, and camp. 

     

First-Rate Restaurants, Cafes, & Craft Beer

Toronto’s a foodies’ delight. Contemporary French, Detroit pizza, Indian-Pakistani fusion, Caribbean jerk chicken, Jewish soul food, Australian meat pies, Mexican street food, American barbeque, savory Japanese pancakes, homemade crepes, artisanal sourdough, fried watermelon, and ice cream sandwiches made with fresh-baked cookies ‒ even if you had four meals a day you wouldn’t be able to eat your way through it all, though that doesn’t stop many residents from trying.

However, the sprawling number of coffee shops make it clear most Torontonians prefer to start their day with a cup of coffee rather than a fancy meal. And while Starbucks and Tim Horton’s definitely have a home here, they can’t keep up with the independent cafes and micro roasters. They dominate the local coffee scene. There are nearly 1,700 spread throughout the city, so rest assured. No matter where you live, you won’t have to walk far for your caffeine fix.

Beer isn’t taken any less seriously. Toronto has over 40 breweries, with more springing up each week. Stop by for a pint and experience the heady mix of flavors brewed from local ingredients: barrel-aged beers, wild ale sours, citrus-spice lagers, pale gold kolsches, and small batch IPAs.

High-Performing Public Schools

Toronto’s education system is well-funded and highly-rated. Public schools are free for families with residence permits. Most children attend schools in their neighborhood, but if there’s an open slot, parents can apply to any school in the district. However, local children are always given preference. 

Parents can choose to send their kids to private schools as well. Toronto’s Catholic School Board operates 195 schools, offering a well-rounded education for elementary and secondary school children. The city has 80 additional private academies as well. However, keep in mind that while private education in Toronto is excellent, tuition tends to be steep.

Dynamic Cultural Hub

Being bored in Toronto is hard work. There’s so much going on! The city’s home to seven major sports teams (Maple Leafs, Raptors, Blue Jays, Argonauts, Rock, Marlies, and Toronto F.C.), so no matter what sport you follow, there’s always a game to catch. 

But don’t worry. There’s plenty to keep you entertained in the off-season too. You can check out the secret Arthur Conan Doyle Room at the Toronto Library, crack open one of the rare books at the Monkey’s Paw, snap a selfie at the Vlog Vault, or visit one of the city’s many annual festivals, such as:


  • Toronto International Film Festival. A landmark showcase for independent filmmakers, held every year in the Bell Lightbox. It draws thousands of moviegoers and Hollywood stars. George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Keira Knightley, and Lady Gaga have all walked Toronto’s red carpet. Notable films premiered at Toronto Film Festival include American Beauty, Slumdog Millionaire, and Green Book.

     

  • Canadian National Exhibition. The largest fair in Canada and the sixth largest in North America, featuring art exhibits, carnival rides, talent contests, gaming expos, live music, and an air show.

     

  • Royal Winter Fair. A celebration of food, agriculture, and horseback riding. Highlights include the Royal Rodeo, Royal Square Dancing Competition, and Royal Horse Show. In between, guests are invited to sample the food, check out the butter sculptures, or take a class at the Burnbrae Farms Culinary Academy.

     

  • Jazz Fest. Over 1,500 of the greatest musicians in North America descend on Toronto for ten days. Attendees can chill to some of the smoothest music in the world at some of the city’s greatest clubs and theaters.