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Old 07-29-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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According to my personal experience, almost every single item costs more in Toronto compared with New York (except properties), or maybe anywhere in the United States.

It is more interesting to observe that even second-hand items (be it a book or a kingsized bed) sold on craiglist or kijiji cost much more than in American cities. You can get a 2 year Ikea chair for $20 in Los Angeles, but here in Toronto, sellers typically ask for $40 or $50.

Do you agree or not?

You would think when income is lower, price should be lower as well.

That's my observations. However, on most of the most expensive city rankings, Toronto ranks considerable lower than New York city. Why is that? Maybe only due to higher housing prices?
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kkgg7 View Post
According to my personal experience, almost every single item costs more in Toronto compared with New York (except properties), or maybe anywhere in the United States.

It is more interesting to observe that even second-hand items (be it a book or a kingsized bed) sold on craiglist or kijiji cost much more than in American cities. You can get a 2 year Ikea chair for $20 in Los Angeles, but here in Toronto, sellers typically ask for $40 or $50.

Do you agree or not?

You would think when income is lower, price should be lower as well.

That's my observations. However, on most of the most expensive city rankings, Toronto ranks considerable lower than New York city. Why is that? Maybe only due to higher housing prices?
I think you'd have to be more specific than "everything." For example, we're headed to Toronto from Pittsburgh this weekend, and for the past several weeks I've been researching tons of stuff to do online. From the perspective of a visitor, at least, every single restaurant menu I've looked at, tourist attraction, hotel room, parking garage, etc. have all been MUCH cheaper than their counterparts in a similarly central part of NYC would be. Don't get me wrong I love NYC, I was born there. Just saying, your question, as literally asked, has numerous answers.

Perhaps some of those rankings are taking things into account like health insurance, car insurance, homeowner's insurance, and housing costs? All of those are higher living in the middle of NYC than living in the middle of Toronto, even if purchasing various kinds of consumer goods and daily supplies might be higher in Canada.
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by khyron View Post
I think you'd have to be more specific than "everything." For example, we're headed to Toronto from Pittsburgh this weekend, and for the past several weeks I've been researching tons of stuff to do online. From the perspective of a visitor, at least, every single restaurant menu I've looked at, tourist attraction, hotel room, parking garage, etc. have all been MUCH cheaper than their counterparts in a similarly central part of NYC would be. Don't get me wrong I love NYC, I was born there. Just saying, your question, as literally asked, has numerous answers.

Perhaps some of those rankings are taking things into account like health insurance, car insurance, homeowner's insurance, and housing costs? All of those are higher living in the middle of NYC than living in the middle of Toronto, even if purchasing various kinds of consumer goods and daily supplies might be higher in Canada.
Well, parking and hotel are both related to housing due to Manhattan's limited space. But tourist attractions? Can you give some example? The attractions have to be similar in quality though.

Car insurance is typically $200-250 a month in Toronto. What's the rate in New York? I have little idea.
Health insurance, don't you get it from your employer when you have a job?
I am not talking about housing here, just everything except.
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kkgg7 View Post
Well, parking and hotel are both related to housing due to Manhattan's limited space. But tourist attractions? Can you give some example? The attractions have to be similar in quality though.

Car insurance is typically $200-250 a month in Toronto. What's the rate in New York? I have little idea.
Health insurance, don't you get it from your employer when you have a job?
I am not talking about housing here, just everything except.
Well I guess I don't understand your question then. You're just going to refute anything anyone suggests with "but this" and "but that" it seems. But there's limited space in Manhattan, but of course groceries cost more in Alaska and Hawaii, but of course gasoline costs more in Puerto Rico, etc. Also, the bit about American employers somehow magically providing health care almost feels like trollbait.

I guess the simplest way to respond is "no, it is demonstrably false that everything is more expensive in Toronto than in New York or maybe anywhere in the United States."
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Burlington, VT
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I think I understand what kkgg is getting at. I've been doing research based on my possible relocation from NYC (see the other thread on this page). It seems that outside of the cost of housing everything is on par with NYC or costs more. I'm basing this solely on observations from looking at prices online seeing as I don't actually live in TO (yet?).

I'll grant that housing is generally much less. You can find a one bedroom in a luxury building in downtown Toronto for ~$1500 - 1700. That same place, centrally located in Manhattan would be almost double. "Everything" else, though, seems to be quite expensive in Toronto. Very similar to NYC prices which everyone seems to holdup as the benchmark for expensive living in North America.

It looks like beer at a bar is roughly $6 for a good pint (same as NY).
Monthly subway pass is about $20 more in Toronto.
Car prices, gas, insurance are all significantly more.
"Nice" or popular restaurants seem to be about the same.
Electronics and clothing in an apples-to-apples comparison are more in Toronto.
Everyone knows the price on the back of books is always $2-$3 more in Canada.

In a lot of ways it seems like things are still priced like they were 20 years ago when the CAD was at a 20% discount to the USD. Now, though the currencies are virtually on par.

Anecdotally speaking, let's say you make 100k in NY or TO. I'm starting to think that it will go the same distance in both cities. Sure, in NYC, rent is significantly more but in Toronto you get a larger chunk taken out for taxes. At the same time it seems like $100k jobs are a dime a dozen in NY while in Toronto it seems like that is considered an excellent wage. Am I missing something here? Very interested since I may be dealing with this very scenario shortly.
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Originally Posted by jeffcon0 View Post
At the same time it seems like $100k jobs are a dime a dozen in NY while in Toronto it seems like that is considered an excellent wage.
Wow, you don't say! What am I doing here? I am going to start packing my bags to-night.
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jeffcon0 View Post
It looks like beer at a bar is roughly $6 for a good pint (same as NY).
Monthly subway pass is about $20 more in Toronto.
Car prices, gas, insurance are all significantly more.
"Nice" or popular restaurants seem to be about the same.
Electronics and clothing in an apples-to-apples comparison are more in Toronto.
Everyone knows the price on the back of books is always $2-$3 more in Canada.
I moved to Toronto recently from upstate NY, so I can compare prices with at least one US city that I've lived in recently.

- Beer: a 6-pack of Coronoa was around $6 at a regular liquor store, it's around $9-10 in the stores I've visited so far (I'm comparing an import beer because it would be unfair to compare, for instance a Canadian Molson in NY, where it is considered an import beer, and the same beer right where it is produced, i.e., a domestic beer)

- Car insurance: I was paying $115 a year, in Toronto it would be around $1,500 a year (same car, same driving history).

- Rent: I was paying $ 745 for a nice 1-bedroom apartment in a low-rise building (around 800 sq ft); the same apartment would be anywhere from $1000 to $1200 in Toronto.

- Milk: I was paying $ .85 for a quarter gallon, while in Toronto I pay around $2.50 for the same.

- Orange Juice: I was paying $2.50 a gallon, while in Toronto the average is $4.10 for the same brand/size.

- Pastries: this one is actually cheaper. I was paying $1.50 for a regular croissant, and $1.80 for a mini-cannoli, and in some stores in Toronto you can get regular specials of 3 x 1 (three croissants for 1 dollar), and mini-cannolis for $ .79

- Ice Cream: I was paying $2.50 for a 6-pack of Klondike bars (the original flavor), in Toronto they cost $ 8.50 (and I've only seen the original flavor so far, no "heath" or "strawberry" or "double chocolate", etc.). I was paying $4.50 for the small size Hagen Dazs, in Toronto it's around $7.20

- V8: I got fond of their newest release, the V8 that is a blend of juices (pomegranate/blueberry, banana/orange, etc.), and I used to buy their diet version at $2.50; in Toronto they are $3.80, and they only have the regular type (not the diet one).

- Supermarket sandwiches: these are equally priced in general, and you have your choices from $2.99 to $5.99

- Soda (or rather, pop): I was paying $1.25 for a regular bottle of coke (16 oz? 20 oz?) from a vending machine; in Toronto it's about $ 1.75 to $2.00.

- Bus ticket: I was paying $1 before, in Toronto it's $3.

- Parking: I was not paying for residential street parking, only for meters downtown. In Toronto I pay $88 for a 6-month street parking permit (I still have to pay for metered parking when necessary).

- Monthly pass: a bus/subway/street car monthly pass is around $ 114 in Toronto.

- Groceries: I can get similar prices to the US if I go to Kensington market and look around (oddly enough, the items marked "From the US" are sometimes cheaper than the ones that are grown locally). Otherwise prices are higher: I was paying $ .88 for a pound of Roma tomatoes, while in Toronto I would pay $ 1.28 for the same.

So, to answer the initial question, yes, at the end of the day, I find most items are more expensive in Toronto than in the US cities I've lived at (most recently, upstate NY). I haven't lived in larger US cities like New York itself, Chicago, or in ever-so-expensive LA, so I don't know how the prices above compare to those US cities.

Last edited by rgpg_99; 07-31-2010 at 02:20 AM..
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kkgg7 View Post
. However, on most of the most expensive city rankings, Toronto ranks considerable lower than New York city. Why is that? Maybe only due to higher housing prices?
I used a website that compared cost of living when I moved from nothern FL to upstate NY. The results were that the cost of living was lower in upstate NY. After I moved, I discovered it was not.

After running the same comparison again and analyzing the results, I understood why. There were some items that were cheaper in upstate NY, but they did not represent a large portion of my budget (or they might not be a part of my budget altogether). The items that were more expensive, although they were not more expensive by a large percentage, they did represent an important part of monthly expenses.

For example: rent was more expensive in upstate NY by 49%, and electricity was cheaper by -500%. So my rent went up from $500 to $745, and my electricity went down from $180 to $30. In actual money, I saved $150 in electricity, but I spent an extra $250 in rent, which meant I actually spent $100 more. But in percentages, the comparison showed an overall lower cost, because the percentage per se did not reflect the actual money represented in each category.

In other words, the comparison may show a lower cost, but the money that you actually save or pay more of in each individual category is what matters.
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rgpg_99 View Post

So, to answer the initial question, yes, at the end of the day, I find most items are more expensive in Toronto than in the US cities I've lived at (most recently, upstate NY). I haven't lived in larger US cities like New York itself, Chicago, or in ever-so-expensive LA, so I don't know how the prices above compare to those US cities.
Thanks a lot. I think you gave a very thorough and objective observation.I am also shocked by the milk/icecream price after moving to Canada

The reason I didn't mention Chicago or LA is simply because, those two are unambiguously cheaper.

-- 95%+ of products are cheaper in Chicago, including housing (cheaper by 20% at least I'd say). I don't know why such a big city is so affordable, maybe it has too many warmer competitors?

-- Los Angeles is not really a very expensive city for an average person who doesn't frequent Beverly Hills. Car insurance is about 60% of Toronto, food, MUCH CHEAPER (from breyer's icecream to lobster and crabs). Clothes, cheaper with deeper discount for sure. As to rent, my friend used to rent a nice 2-bedroom apartment in the heart of Westwood for $1,600. I wouldn't say it is more expensive than downtown T.O. Purchasing price would be somewhat higher, but not by much.

Even this is NOT the whole picture. American stores offer more frequent and deeper discounts than Canadian ones. In Toronto, I find that 20-30% off is sort of a good deal for clothing, but in LA/NYC, 50-70% off is not surprising.
My friend from New York liked a Club Monaco shirt here and found it too expensive at $99+13% tax. He went back and bought the same shirt in the same week for $39, no tax. I have never seen Club Monaco give 60% off during the past few years I shopped there.

Not trying to say "which is a better place to live" sort of conclusion. Just to get some objective observation on the costs of living, as those official cost of living stats often seems ridiculous to me.
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:20 PM
 
351 posts, read 2,110,022 times
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Originally Posted by kkgg7 View Post
It is more interesting to observe that even second-hand items (be it a book or a kingsized bed) sold on craiglist or kijiji cost much more than in American cities. You can get a 2 year Ikea chair for $20 in Los Angeles, but here in Toronto, sellers typically ask for $40 or $50.

...panhandlers are more expensive also In the US (at least, the places I've lived at) they ask you for a quarter or two. In Toronto they ask you for a "looney" or a "tooney" (spelling?), i.e., a dollar or two.

I guess a couple of quarters doesn't go a long way...
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