Toronto and New York are two of the finest cities in North America. Both are places filled with economic opportunities and cultural diversity. But when it comes to the cost of living, they’re not the same. So, is it cheaper to live in Toronto than New York?
It’s cheaper to live in Toronto than New York. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in New York is 28.81% above Toronto. Several factors are responsible for this, they include the accommodation costs, more tourists annually, food costs, increased demand due to population, and disposable income.
Even though New York is more expensive to live in, some things are cheaper there than in Toronto. Here, we discuss the more expensive place to live between Toronto and NYC and why New York is more expensive.
Is New York More Expensive?
Despite Toronto’s notoriety as one of Canada’s most expensive cities, it’s cheaper than New York. Numbeo reveals that a person would need CAD10,750.23 in New York to maintain the same standard of living that CAD6,500 will provide in Toronto. In addition, the cost of living in Toronto is lower by around 28% than that of New York, and residents spend less on almost everything, including food, transportation, housing, entertainment, and personal care.
Why is Toronto Cheaper to Live in Than New York?
Even though both cities are metropolitan areas and some of the most important places in North America, living costs vary significantly. Here are the factors contributing to the lower cost of living in Toronto.
1. Expenses on Food
Toronto has significantly lower prices for its food compared to New York City. Whether it’s buying groceries from the local store or a full-course meal from a 5-star restaurant, you can expect to spend more in New York. For example, groceries in New York cost 51.08% more than Toronto’s, while restaurant prices are also 38.22% higher. Due to the lower cost of food items in Toronto, the average cost of food per person in the city is CAD534.35 per month, but New Yorkers will usually spend a lot more.
2. Cost of Housing
For Canadians, it costs a lot to get a place in Toronto, but that’s because they’ve never been to New York. The city of New York brings a new dimension to unaffordable housing because finding an affordable place to live here is a challenge for residents. So whether you’re trying to rent a single room apartment or you need a place for your whole family, expect to spend significantly more in New York.
The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is around CAD2,000, and you can even find it cheaper if you choose to live outside the city centre. In New York, a 1-bedroom apartment costs close to CAD4,000 monthly in the major neighbourhoods and even if you opt for the neighbourhoods far from the city center, you will still have to pay almost CAD3000. If you’re looking for 3-bedroom apartments, it’s not even advisable to get one in the city centre because you’ll be paying over CAD8,000 monthly. That’s more than the average income of most households in Toronto.
However, anyone planning to be a homeowner in any of the two cities can expect to spend a fortune. The difference in costs of homes is more evident if you’re planning to buy a home in the central areas of New york.
New York City itself is home to over 8 million people, and when the metropolitan area is considered, it increases to slightly more than 20 million. On the other hand, Toronto City itself is just about 3 million, and the whole Greater Toronto Area has around 6.8 million living within it. This disparity in the population makes a big difference. The population density of New York is more than double that of Toronto, which means the competition for space, amenities, and resources in the city surpass that of Toronto.
This is one of the reasons why things are more expensive in the city as more people are willing to pay more to get priority for services. The population also makes it difficult to meet certain demands, especially real estate. For example, the limited space and zoning laws make it difficult to increase the housing supply in the city.
4. Disposable Income
Another factor that influences the higher cost of living in NYC is that New Yorkers have more disposable income than residents of Toronto. The easiest way to confirm this is by looking at the most common salaries in both cities. While different sources offer different data about the average salary in both cities, one thing is sure, those in New York earn more than those in Toronto.
According to the average salary survey, the most common salary after tax in Toronto is CAD59,307 ($47,000), while New York‘s is $102,000. Even though the salary reduces after-tax, the individual income is still higher. This higher income means people have more to spend, and higher consumption affects the prices of commodities and services. The millionaires and ultra wealthy population of New York are far above that of Toronto.
5. Number of Tourist
Both Toronto and New York are tourism magnets, but there’s a big gap between the two cities. Toronto receives 27.5 million visitors annually, which is a huge number on all counts. But NYC had 66.6 million visitors in 2019, more than double Toronto’s numbers. The high number of tourists that visit the city affects the cost of living by increasing the prices of necessities such as accommodation, food, transportation, etc. Most tourists come loaded with cash and will spend more than the residents. Thus, New Yorkers have to match these spendings.
New York is a more expensive city to live in than Toronto. In fact, the cost of living is about 28% higher in New York. Many factors are responsible for this, and most of those revolve around the high demand for limited resources. regardless of these factors, the income here is also higher than in Toronto, which makes it even out a little