Atlanta Vs. Toronto: Which City Is Better to Live In?

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

These two cities are not even located in the same country, yet could not be more similar and close to one another. Both offer an excellent quality of life, plenty of leisure opportunities, and enough to keep you and your family happy and safe for years. Yet, there could only be one winner.

Atlanta is the better city because it can offer an incredibly high job growth potential, unlimited education opportunities, and a fantastic climate. This city also is a haven for cultural blend and diverse demographics. A high median income means that you and your family will be happy in the near time, with plenty of growth and opportunity long term.

However, Toronto can offer one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world with a very safe urban center. Unfortunately, sky-high real estate prices make this city challenging to live in for some. Further, Toronto has limited job growth potential in the next ten years, making it difficult for people to advance. Of course, consulting with a real estate agent familiar with both cities will be your best guide to determine which city is best.

Which City Is Better: Atlanta or Toronto?

Choosing a great city to live in can be difficult, especially with so many factors to consider. Not only do you need to think about the overall cost of living, but you also have to make sure that you have plenty to keep you occupied. For our consideration, we will look at how the average person lives in each city to determine a clear winner.

Quality of Life

Like many of our comparisons, Atlanta and Toronto are incredibly close. The quality of life in each city is well above the national average, but Atlanta just every so slightly edges out Toronto. In Atlanta, you will be able to have more purchase power, experience a better climate, and deal with less traffic on your daily commute. Comparatively, Toronto will offer a much safer city to live in, better healthcare options, and far less pollution. It is important to note that both of these cities are well above the average quality of life and were within less than a percentage point of one another.

Winner: Atlanta

Cost of Living

Comparing these two cities reveals a striking cost difference. On average, Toronto is about 17% more costly than Atlanta. While residents in Atlanta may expect to pay about 17% more for healthcare, many other necessities are far more expensive in Toronto.

Food will be about 16% more expensive, transportation 38% more expensive, and housing nearly three times as much in Toronto compared to Atlanta. Still, if you can stomach the drastic gap in housing costs, these two cities are much closer in price than they initially appear.

Winner: Atlanta

Housing Costs

While these two cities are pretty comparable when it comes to the cost of living, the significant outlier separating these two cities is the striking difference in housing costs. Housing is nearly triple the amount in Toronto compared to Atlanta. Still, even with the extreme discrepancy, almost 67% of all the residents in Toronto own a home. Rent is equally high in this urban location, with prices nearly double to cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto compared to Atlanta.

Median House Price$290,400$870,000
Average Rent 1 Bedroom$1,153$2,245

Winner: Atlanta

Job Market

Determining a winning city between Toronto and Atlanta is tricky and comes down to how you choose to define a booming job market. Unemployment is relatively low in each town, which is encouraging for new residents looking for a job. While Toronto offers a significantly higher median income, the job growth potential in the coming ten years is non-existent compared to the booming industry expected to hit Atlanta.

Think about if a higher starting salary or future job growth potential is your metric for determining a thriving job market.

Residents in Atlanta will find finance, healthcare, and biomedical industries leading the job market. In Toronto, finance, media, technology, and tourism define the primary industries. Nearly half of Canada’s largest companies are headquartered in Toronto, including Apple, SAP, Nordstrom, Microsoft, and Google Canada.

Projected 10-Year Growth51%9%
Median Household Income$59,948$98,174
Median Personal Income$47,424$65,829

Winner: Tie


Atlanta was a significant city in the Civil Rights Movement, and many of the critical leaders of this movement found their home in Atlanta. It follows that the Civil Rights movement has helped to shape much of the culture in this city. Further, Atlanta has one of the highest LGBT populations, making this city culturally diverse, engaging, and inclusive.

Comparatively, Toronto is the definition of a cultural melting pot with many ethnicities blended together. Residents can visit Chinatown, Corso Italia, Greektown, Little India, or Little Jamaica, all located within the city bounds. The city itself is very business-minded and is very socially progressive and accepting. While Toronto is the largest city in Canada, it is one of the most ethnically diverse cities globally.

Winner: Toronto


There seems to be something for everyone in Atlanta. Those that enjoy the outdoors will enjoy strolling through PIedmont Park, an urban site with a farmers market, or those who want sporting entertainment will be delighted to find two professional sports teams. History buffs will enjoy the Civil Rights museums and monuments. Animal lovers will be delighted with a trip to the Georgia Aquarium, where they can see manta rays and whale sharks.

Toronto is a shopping hub with many designer stores featured in this fashion center. There is also the St. Lawrence Market, which has open-air vendors that change regularly. For those who want to explore nature, the Toronto Islands are a wonderful place to visit, restricting motor vehicles on the Island to create a calming, inviting atmosphere.

Winner: Tie


Home to the busiest airport in the entire world, Atlanta understands how to manage transportation. They have an extensive bus system, light rail transit, and streetcar system that helps move people throughout the city. Public transport connects the city to the airport and also further out to the residential areas. Still, with so many public transportation options, only about 10% of the population chooses to use mass transit options.

Toronto Transit Commission manages Toronto’s public transportation. This city also offers buses and streetcars but does not have a light rail system yet. Very similar to Atlanta, Toronto has Canada’s busiest airport.

Winner: Tie


With a diverse makeup filled with mixed ethnicities, Atlanta is hard to beat when it comes to demographics. 51% of the population identifies as Black, 41% White, 4.7% Hispanic, and 3.7% Asian. This city is also very educated, with over 50% of the population earning at least a Bachelor’s degree, if not a Master’s degree as well.

Toronto, though, is home to several ethnicities and cultures and is highly diverse. Everywhere you look, you will see wonderfully blended culture and a melting pot of people and tradition. Nearly 63% of the population is made of visible minorities. Further, 25% of the population identifies as White, 12.5% Asian, and 9% Black.

Winner: Toronto


Both the public and private schools in Atlanta are top-notch and receive some of the best ratings in the nation. Schools are esteemed academically, as well as athletically, giving students loads of opportunities. There are also many higher education facilities in Atlanta, including Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Georgia State, and Spelman College.

Canada spends more on public schools than any other country globally, and it follows that the public school systems are incredible in Toronto. There are also private schools available for students, and in both school systems, academics and athletics are in a league of their own.

Toronto is home to four colleges and universities, and Canada, in general, has the highest acceptance rate for higher education in the world. About 61% of students who apply are accepted, and more notable, these schools are very affordable. Toronto is home to Seneca College, Humber College, and St. Lawrence College.

Winner: Toronto


It’s tough to compare the warm weather in Atlanta to the snowy tundra in Toronto, but there are pros and cons to each city’s climate. Atlanta may have warm summers that average around 80 degrees F and winters that dip into the low 50s, but they are also prone to powerful storms and tornadoes. In just the past 60 years, this city has experienced 130 strong tornadoes that have ripped through the area.

Although the weather may be colder in Toronto, with summers reaching the high 70s and winters in the 30s, the city doesn’t get that much snow compared to other Canadian cities. Toronto averages just 48 inches of snow every year. Residents will have to deal with frigid wind chills that are often below zero.

Winner: Atlanta

Crime Rates

As an urban city, Atlanta has its fair share of crime. Violent crimes like assault and robbery are about double the national average, with murder nearly three times the national average. Rape, however, is only slightly above average. Properly crimes like burglary and theft are slightly over the national average, but motor vehicle theft is more than double the national average.

Comparatively, Toronto is the 6th safest city in North America. For every 100,000 residents, this city reports only 641 violent crimes. However, as time progresses, the city is becoming more dangerous. In the past five years, Toronto’s crime has increased by 14%.

Winner: Toronto

Related Questions

How severe are Toronto winters?

While Canada is undoubtedly known for incredibly snowy winters, Toronto is actually much milder than most Canadian cities. The Toronto area gets much less snow, only about 45 inches each year, but it does have bitterly cold winters. Expect wind chill to dip below zero regularly from December to mid-March.

What does Atlanta’s rush hour look like?

Despite the multiple options for public transportation, many people decide to commute to and from work in their personal vehicle. Rush hour can be pretty intense and is frequently ranked as one of the worst in the nation. Expect rush hour to be the worst between 6:00 am and 7:00 am in the morning, and between 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the evening. The average commute time for residents is about 35 minutes.


We have had very few city comparisons as close as Toronto and Atlanta, but ultimately Atlanta is the winner. Not only does Atlanta have wonderful weather and affordable housing, but the school system is excellent, and the job growth potential in the next ten years is tough to beat. The deep-rooted culture, fantastic cuisine, and varied demographics make this the perfect city to call home.

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