For years, Toronto and New York City  have been pitted against each other in a no-holds-barred comparison to determine which is the better city. New York is clearly the more famous, with its well-known history and touristy flair. 

But how does it compare to Toronto when it comes to cost of living? A general guess is that it's the pricer of the two, but it's not until you take a look at the numbers that you realize just how much pricier it really is.

Expatistan, a resource for comparing the cost of living in different cities, shows that living in Toronto is 29% cheaper than in New York City, based on 10,000 prices entered by 2,392 people. In almost all categories, from food to entertainment, Toronto ranks as the more affordable place for expats and tourists alike. 

Click next to see just how much cheaper Toronto is compared to New York City.


Food was found to be 20% cheaper in Toronto than in New York City. While the cost of basic meals was approximately the same for both cities, prices for products like boneless chicken breast, eggs, cheese, Coca Cola and bread were around $1 cheaper in Toronto. Such finding takes an exchange rate of 0.792 USD / CAD into account.


Housing was found to be 44% cheaper in Toronto than in New York City. The most notable finding was that monthly rent for a 900-square-foot space in an average-priced area went for as much as $1,300 more expensive in New York City. Utilities, internet and cleaning rates were also more more costly, based on an exchange rate of 0.792 USD / CAD.


Clothes were found to be only 2% cheaper in Toronto than in New York City. Most branded novelty items like jeans from Levis, sports shoes from Nike and items from retailers like Zara and H&M are actually a slightly more expensive in Toronto, despite a weaker Canadian dollar. This could be due to factors like sales tax, which is notably high in Toronto.

Personal Care

Personal care items were found to be 44% cheaper in Toronto than in New York City. Over-the-counter medications, prescriptions and toiletries were found to be a few dollars more expensive in New York City. But the biggest difference was seen in the prices for visits to a private doctor - costs could be as much as 70% in New York City compared to Toronto.


Transportation was found to be 5% cheaper in Toronto than in New York City. In general most costs are the same across both cities, from car prices to public transit. The one difference was in gas prices - 1 litre of gas was found to be 23% more expensive in Toronto than in New York City.


Entertainment was found to be 31% cheaper in Toronto than in New York City. Prices for things like a basic dinner, movie tickets and pub drinks were generally cheaper in Toronto by a few dollars. The most expensive differences were found in entertainment luxuries like theatre tickets and memberships to high-end gyms.

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