This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Narcity Media.
When it comes to Eastern Canada, Toronto and Montreal are two remarkable cities that will always come to mind. Although everyone has their own style, it is often debated which is the best city.
Although Montreal takes the cake personally, there are some things Toronto offers that I wish Montreal had. Sure, we have great fashion, our food scene is unreal, and Montreal’s nightlife is untouchable, but there’s always room for improvement. Law?
Now, I’m in no way putting Toronto on a pedestal, but the 6ix certainly has things that would make Montreal even better, and here are a few.
Now, before we get our pants up, Toronto’s food scene is good, but nothing comes close to Montreal.
Montreal is home to the most restaurants per capita in Canada and even has a few accolades to its credit, including being named the New Food Capital of North America by Town & Country.
Despite our booming food scene, Toronto has many more American options and chains that I really wish we could partake of here in Quebec.
For starters, Cactus Club and Earls. I could go on for days about these two spots and why Montreal has none.
Have you ever eaten a Peach Bellini from Cactus Club? Or went to Earls happy hour? We need it in Montreal. And I mean need.
Toronto is also home to Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Red Lobster, Panera Bread… I could go on and on. I love the St. Hubert, but it would be nice to have a bowl of burrito, bowl of bread, or endless cheddar bay biscuits once in a while without having to cross a provincial border.
More sports teams
Montreal is home to the Canadiens, who just happen to hold the record for most Stanley Cup wins (although it’s been a while), but it would be nice to have a little more going on here sport-wise.
While we tried a baseball team at the time with the Expos, Montreal definitely needs to improve its sporting status in the major leagues and revive a baseball team.
Toronto is also home to the Raptors, the only NBA team in all of Canada. With their victory in 2019 uniting us all, it has become clear that Montreal absolutely needs to jump on the basketball train and form its own team, especially given the sporting talent of Montreal.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love winter, especially Montreal winters. However, I wouldn’t mind a little less snow – considering the havoc it wreaks on driving, parking, and how my legs and back feel after shoveling.
Toronto has a decent winter, with snow and cold fronts, all of which I like, but on a milder scale compared to Montreal.
Montreal receives an average of 100 centimeters more snowfall than Toronto in a typical winter, according to WeatherMedia. Don’t get me wrong, I like a little snow, but a little less would be nice (hell, that would be great).
Montreal has YUL and Toronto has YYZ, but did you know that Toronto also has YTZ? Aka, Billy Bishop Airport!
Not only does Toronto have its international airport, they even have a second airport right in the heart of the city.
I’ve flown from Montreal to Toronto several times, landed at Billy Bishop and been downtown in minutes, and let me tell you, it’s amazing. While I don’t know if Montreal would ever be able to build a second airport on its waterfront, it’s definitely something Torontonians have a little jelly that we don’t.
After having visited all the major Canadian cities, I solemnly believe that Montreal has one of the best public transit systems in the country.
Now, while the bus and metro get us all where we need to be (not always on time, but what are you going to do?), we’re still missing a little something. When you look at Toronto, not only do they have buses and the subway, but they also have streetcars!
Not only are the streetcars cool when it comes to how they work, but they also give the city a San Francisco vibe that you really won’t find anywhere else in the true north. Does Montreal need trams? No, but it would certainly be an elegant touch.
I don’t need to say much here, do I?
Montreal is notorious for being the pothole capital, and while I’m not sure if that’s entirely accurate, the damage the streets of Montreal have done to my car seems to make it that way.
While Toronto is home to horrendous traffic and wild drivers, you can definitely tell you’re in another province when the driving gets smoother and you don’t find yourself playing “avoid the pothole – a game that many of us Montrealers are far too familiar with.
Montreal is home to some of the best dressed Canadians, and while our purchases are good, they could be great. Toronto offers so many more stores and malls than Montreal.
For example, it would be great to have an Abercrombie and Fitch here in 514, or a Nordstrom.
Toronto is also home to Yorkdale, which has a plethora of high-end designers, boutiques and shops, and while Montreal’s Holt Renfrew is comparable, it doesn’t come close to the products you might find at Yorkdale.
Finally, Torrid. For all plus size styles, Montreal really doesn’t offer much. Your best bet is shopping online, but having more plus-size-friendly stores like Torrid around town would definitely be great.
The cover image of this article was used for illustrative purposes only.