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Old 06-09-2015, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 11,133,432 times
Reputation: 3738

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I would agree both cities are worthy of a visit!! In your case not possible so depends on interests (despite what a certain poster in here thinks.... Not every tourist is the same)...

Both cities excel at festivals/street events in the summer and are very urban and street friendly/walkable.

As another poster said, Montreal has better older architecture and a larger historical district that is more grand and the tourists areas more compact.. Toronto is more modern and has more Museums, larger Theme park (Canada's Wonderland larger than La Ronde and also has the countries only giga coaster and one of only 5 giga coasters I the world ) but is more spread out and is the larger of the two and it shows especially in the DT cores of each..

Food wise you'd probably get more variety in Toronto but Montreal is well regarded in dining options and with more unique homegrown stuff... Anthony Bourdain's choice is clear for Montreal but hey - Toronto does have tons of culinary variety and is emerging.

If you want a more unique 'cultural' experience with better older architecture and a good arts scene i'd go with Montreal.. If you want a bigger city experience with a full compliment of things to do (Museums, English language Theatre, Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower, Sporting events, Indoor Aquarium, more multicultural feel huge amount of nabe's/districts) go with Toronto its just gives you the bigger city package...

If you do come to Toronto please check out nabe's west of the core along Queen Street West - go to Kensington Market (a hippy type nabe with lots of vintage/unique goods shopping) Bohemian restaurants.. Also check out the St Lawrence Market area and Distillery District which has the largest collection of Victorian industrial architecture in our hemishpere.. Also, the neogothic architecture of the UofT campus should not be missed - its a gem overlooked by tourists but shouldn't be!

I find both cities a joy to walk around and explore.. Toronto has a lot of interesting and quirky architecture - it may not be as old as some other cities generally speaking but you can be walking up a street with Victorian residential architecture - just a regular nabe so to speak and just happen upon something like this

Creative Teaching and Learning

I've posted numerous pics of Toronto in the Toronto forum so feel free to look at them - I think they make a good case for Toronto being an interesting place visually to just walk about and get lost in...

Official Toronto pictures/photos/snaps thread

No it doesn't have as grand old skyscraper as Chicago or NYC but on the whole a very interesting place to see visually and the amount of construction going on is worth to see on its own - cranes everywhere so you can see its a city growing and developing quite rapidly.

I must say for a two day trip its hard to take in much that either city has to offer but given the more compact nature of Montreal you may get more bang for you buck with a short trip.. Toronto has oodles of layers to it and is actually a very interesting urban destination but best explored over a longer period of time - maybe during an extended trip coupled with a visit to Niagara Falls which is only 90 minutes away from T.O. Also you can't go wrong with Nightlife in either city but given your age and wanting to get hammered plus love of French culture - Montreal seems to be the better choice for a first visit!!

Last edited by fusion2; 06-09-2015 at 08:55 PM..
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 11,133,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Of course Montreal. It is a no brainer.

Compared with Toronto, Montreal is prettier, has a better urban vibe, better architecture, more unique non-Anglo North American culture you are probably very familiar with, better food, better neighbourhood, better night life, more relaxed alcohol rules, and is cheaper.

I will try not to put down Toronto, but for a tourist, definitely Montreal all the way.

Toronto is nothing like NYC. It is sort of like Chicago, without the bad neighbourhoods, but without the most impressive and breathtaking urban architecture/public space as well.

And Toronto is not "mostly modernist skyscrapers" - it is not Hong Kong. It has a downtown that has some modernist skyscrapers on some corridors/nodes (financial district, Yonge st, entertainment district, along the lake), but in general the city is pretty low rise just like any American city. 60% of downtown is still below three stories as far as I can see.

I am not saying Toronto will disappoint you, but Montreal obvious is the better city to visit.
Always selling Toronto short eh Botti - what else is new

Remember too - our visitor is from the U.S - Not Hong Kong - not everyone around the world or from the U.S comes from Hong Kong, Shenzhen or Shanghai.. Most individuals in the world outside of these places would be impressed with the verticality of Toronto... Additionally, the post WWII architecture of Toronto's FiDi skyscrapers is way more impressive than Montreal and some people like that sort of stuff - in that regard unless you're fresh off the boat from Dubai or Shanghai you'd probably be impressed by T.O's DT core verticality.

Last edited by fusion2; 06-09-2015 at 08:37 PM..
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,937 posts, read 27,332,488 times
Reputation: 8602
Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
I would agree both cities are worthy of a visit!! In your case not possible so depends on interests (despite what some in here say whose name start with a B lol.... Not every tourist is the same) and also time...

Both cities excel at festivals/street events in the summer and are very urban and street friendly/walkable.

As another poster said, Montreal has better older architecture and a larger historical district that is more grand and the tourists areas more compact.. Toronto is more modern and has more Museums, larger Theme park (Canada's Wonderland larger than La Ronde and also has the countries only giga coaster and one of only 5 giga coasters I the world ) but is more spread out and is the larger of the two and it shows especially in the DT cores of each..

Food wise you'd probably get more variety in Toronto but Montreal is well regarded in dining options and with more unique homegrown stuff... Anthony Bourdain's choice is clear for Montreal but hey - Toronto does have tons of culinary variety and is emerging.

If you want a more unique 'cultural' experience with better older architecture and a good arts scene i'd go with Montreal.. If you want a bigger city experience with a full compliment of things to do (Museums, English language Theatre, Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower, Sporting events, Indoor Aquarium, more multicultural feel huge amount of nabe's/districts) go with Toronto its just gives you the bigger city package...

If you do come to Toronto please check out nabe's west of the core along Queen Street West - go to Kensington Market (a hippy type nabe with lots of vintage/unique goods shopping) Bohemian restaurants.. Also check out the St Lawrence Market area and Distillery District which has the largest collection of Victorian industrial architecture in our hemishpere.. Also, the neogothic architecture of the UofT campus should not be missed - its a gem overlooked by tourists but shouldn't be!

I find both cities a joy to walk around and explore.. Toronto has a lot of interesting and quirky architecture - it may not be as old as some other cities generally speaking but you can be walking up a street with Victorian residential architecture - just a regular nabe so to speak and just happen upon something like this

Creative Teaching and Learning

I've posted numerous pics of Toronto in the Toronto forum so feel free to look at them - I think they make a good case for Toronto being an interesting place visually to just walk about and get lost in...

Official Toronto pictures/photos/snaps thread

No it doesn't have as grand old skyscraper as Chicago or NYC but on the whole a very interesting place to see visually and the amount of construction going on is worth to see on its own - cranes everywhere so you can see its a city growing and developing quite rapidly.

I must say for a two day trip its hard to take in much that either city have to offer but given the more compact nature of Montreal you may get more bang for you buck with a short trip.. Toronto has oodles of layers to it and is actually a very interesting urban destination but best explored over a longer period of time - maybe during an extended trip coupled with a visit to Niagara Falls which is only 90 minutes away from T.O.

Pretty good advice there!

I'd add for the OP that I'd caution against applying U.S. standards to Canadian cities. As such, Toronto is not really a Canadian NYC and Montreal is not a Canadian Philadelphia.

As others have said Toronto is probably more similar to Chicago although with a more cosmopolitan vibe and the added oomph of being the largest city in the country. It also has unique demographic and other traits that aren't found in U.S. cities (I liked the demographic comparison to London.)

Montreal is not at all Canada's Philly and the only thing they really have in common is the architectural vernacular of row houses. Montreal might be more appropriately compared to Boston if absolutely necessary. And because of the unique language and cultural dynamic it doesn't really feel like a second, third, fourth or fifth place city in the country like Philly (or even Boston) do(es). In many ways it kind of actually feels more like the metropolis of a small (maybe European?) country than the second city of a larger one.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 11,133,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Pretty good advice there!

I'd add for the OP that I'd caution against applying U.S. standards to Canadian cities. As such, Toronto is not really a Canadian NYC and Montreal is not a Canadian Philadelphia.

As others have said Toronto is probably more similar to Chicago although with a more cosmopolitan vibe and the added oomph of being the largest city in the country. It also has unique demographic and other traits that aren't found in U.S. cities (I liked the demographic comparison to London.)

Montreal is not at all Canada's Philly and the only thing they really have in common is the architectural vernacular of row houses. Montreal might be more appropriately compared to Boston if absolutely necessary. And because of the unique language and cultural dynamic it doesn't really feel like a second, third, fourth or fifth place city in the country like Philly (or even Boston) do(es). In many ways it kind of actually feels more like the metropolis of a small (maybe European?) country than the second city of a larger one.
Certainly agreed... Montreal beats a lot to its own tune which is a good thing.. In the same way, you are absolutely right - Toronto is Toronto... Its a large city but its not NYC its well.. Toronto lol... A big English Canadian city that happens to be very multicultural and growing like a weed..

I added more to my post that you didn't see though - given the OP's age/short duration of stay and love of French culture (and of course French Canadian culture can't be just relegated to 'French' culture) - my recommendation for his first time visit is to Montreal.. Even with cheaper bus fare to Toronto - its a bit more expensive for lodging than Montreal. Day to day food for a 19 year old plus drink will probably not be much different expense wise in either city... I don't think he's going to be eating at Toqué or Canoe
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,937 posts, read 27,332,488 times
Reputation: 8602
Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Certainly agreed... Montreal beats a lot to its own tune which is a good thing.. In the same way, you are absolutely right - Toronto is Toronto... Its a large city but its not NYC its well.. Toronto lol... A big English Canadian city that happens to be very multicultural and growing like a weed..

I added more to my post that you didn't see though - given the OP's age/short duration of stay and love of French culture (and of course French Canadian culture can't be just relegated to 'French' culture) - my recommendation for his first time visit is to Montreal.. Even with cheaper bus fare to Toronto - its a bit more expensive for lodging than Montreal. Day to day food for a 19 year old plus drink will probably not be much different expense wise in either city... I don't think he's going to be eating at Toqué or Canoe
There's also the ''girl thing'' though. Can't discount that factor!
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 11,133,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
There's also the ''girl thing'' though. Can't discount that factor!
Well i'm gay so I can't comment lol... For my peeps I can't really complain in either city - they are both heaven for me lol and I can't simply won't choose!!... I'd rank both at the highest level in Canamerica for gay scenes on the level of S.F and NYC.

I've heard a mixed bag of stories from my straight friends from Toronto about girls here ie.. they are stuck up in the day to day but make up for it at a club sort of thing... I dunnooo... I'll leave that for those of your persuasion to fight about which girls are better in which city but since OP loooves French i'd say just go to Montreal and don't give it a second thought...
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,937 posts, read 27,332,488 times
Reputation: 8602
Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Well i'm gay so I can't comment lol... For my peeps I can't really complain in either city - they are both heaven for me lol and I can't simply won't choose!!... I'd rank both at the highest level in Canamerica for gay scenes on the level of S.F and NYC.

I've heard a mixed bag of stories from my straight friends from Toronto about girls here ie.. they are stuck up in the day to day but make up for it at a club sort of thing... I dunnooo... I'll leave that for those of your persuasion to fight about which girls are better...
Oh no... what I meant was that there seems to be a girl in Toronto that he's interested in seeing. Not commenting at all on the relative merits of females in either city!
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 11,133,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Oh no... what I meant was that there seems to be a girl in Toronto that he's interested in seeing. Not commenting at all on the relative merits of females in either city!
Oh yeah gotcha.... Well being realistic here - Hmmmm 19 - wants to get hammered and party - loves French culture...hmmmm... verdict:

The girl in Toronto can wait a bit longer - she's been waiting for what 5 or 6 years anyway... Once he's ready to settle down a bit with said attractive online sweetie - They can go catch a Blue Jays game and see the sharks at the Aquarium together, followed by a trip to the AGO to see Ruben's Massacre of the Innocents...

Last edited by fusion2; 06-09-2015 at 09:48 PM..
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:46 PM
 
873 posts, read 814,161 times
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Montreal has a lot more cooler festivals in the summer than Toronto. I was at Just For Laughs Festival last year and it was literally the best festival I've ever been to.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:48 PM
 
Location: London, UK
3,458 posts, read 4,005,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Oh yeah gotcha.... Well being realistic here - Hmmmm 19 - wants to get hammered and party - loves French culture...hmmmm... verdict:

The girl in Toronto can wait a bit longer - she's been waiting for what 5 or 6 years anyway... Once he's ready to settle down a bit with said attractive online sweetie - They can go catch a Blue Jays game and see the sharks at the Aquarium together, followed by a trip to the AGO to see Reuben's Massacre of the Innocents...
Tell the girl to hop on the train or bus and meet him in Montreal. Then he has the best of both worlds.

Or maybe let the girl wait and keep his options open for the weekend. There are alot of beautiful women in Montreal afterall.
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