7 Reasons People are Leaving Toronto

A landmark in Toronto

Toronto is a beautiful city with plenty of opportunities. However, it has its downsides. That’s why we’re discussing some of the major reasons people are leaving Toronto today. While some proudly call Toronto their home, the city also comes with certain cons that are a dealbreaker for others. If you think that Toronto isn’t the right place to call home anymore, it might be time to ring up movers in Toronto and relocate somewhere more suitable. But beforehand, make sure to check out our list of reasons people are moving out and see if they resonate with you.

Major reasons people are leaving Toronto

Even if it’s one of the biggest cities in Canada and worldwide, there are still reasons to leave Toronto. It’s not easy to accustom yourself to all the things that the city has to offer. Even if it has plenty of benefits, the downsides are sometimes just too big to ignore for many. For that reason, a lot of people hire residential movers in Toronto and move to other places. Here are the major reasons they do so:

  • High costs of living
  • Challenging housing market
  • Traffic and commute problems
  • The fast pace of life in Toronto
  • Rise of remote work
  • A desire for bigger spaces
  • The overall quality of life
The Humber Bay Arch Bridge
Check if Toronto is the right place for you

High costs of living

Finances are a crucial consideration when you’re moving. It’s just not something you can ignore. Even when you consider Toronto’s reputation as a great place to live, it’s still important to underline that it’s also one of the most expensive ones in Canada. Let’s go over some numbers that might get you to consider booking long distance movers in Toronto for a shot at a new city.

Housing costs

The average home price in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) reached C$1,113,600 in March. The fact is, with every second, the probability is higher that the price will rise. However, it’s not only the home prices that are on the rise. Renting in Toronto also demands a considerable portion of residents’ budgets. For example, a furnished place of 85 m2 in a normal area costs around C$2,788 per month. Utilities, including electricity, heating, and water for a similar-sized apartment, add an additional average monthly cost of approximately C$250. These are numbers that don’t attract too many people when you look just at the financial side. On top of that, they are a big reason why so many decide that Toronto isn’t the right place for them anymore.

Daily expenses

A basic lunch in the business district costs around C$25, while a combo meal at a fast-food restaurant is approximately C$14. Of course, these small numbers won’t be crucial for the people who decide moving from Toronto to London Ontario is the right step for them. However, every little dent in your budget can create a big hole. For groceries, residents pay about C$10 for 1 lb. of boneless chicken breast, C$3.79 for a litre of milk, and around C$3.02 for bread for two people for one day. Transportation expenses include a C$150 monthly public transport ticket, while a basic dinner for two at a neighbourhood pub could cost around C$72. With all those rounded up, you can see why so many think that Toronto isn’t a very budget-friendly city.

Comparison between costs and income

Permanent employees have an average salary of around C$61,798 per year, while part-time workers earn about C$57,550 on average. Jobs in management and business top the salary charts, with average earnings of C$129,584 per year. Such numbers indicate that there are some major differences in various industries and the overall workforce. However, these numbers should also be considered in relation to the costs. When it comes to Toronto, monthly expenses for a single person can reach up to C$3,539 without considering rent.

Let’s take a look from a different angle. The median after-tax income in Toronto was around C$82,599, but the estimated annual income necessary to afford homeownership and maintain a vehicle is far higher, at C$122,550. Even if these numbers seem very high, they don’t reflect the rising prices in Toronto. Such a situation makes it tough for many people to enjoy the city without feeling the financial pressure.

A person counting money
Finances are among the major reasons people are leaving Toronto

The challenges of the housing market

We have already mentioned that housing prices are very high in Toronto. However, there’s more than the finances that make people consider moving from Toronto to Guelph for example as the housing market overall gets more and more difficult to navigate. Here are some of the details that have the most impact on the housing market in the area.

Skyrocketing costs are difficult to navigate

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) saw its average home price rise by about 1.2% compared to the previous year. This might seem like a slight increase. However, any month or year without an increase makes headlines. That’s because Toronto is a very popular city to move to and live in. The market forecasts for 2024 remain uncertain, with predictions varying from a 3% to a 6% rise in home prices across the GTA.

Scarce availability of homes

Toronto saw an increase in home sales, with 5,607 transactions, marking a 17.9% increase compared to the previous months. Demand continues to outstrip supply, pushing the median days on the market to 20 days, indicating a quick turnover for available properties. This scarcity, fueled by ongoing population growth in the GTA and economic uncertainty, further demonstrates the challenges faced by potential buyers and renters, making the dream of homeownership or finding affordable rental options more difficult for many.

A person standing on the porch
Homes are not widely available in Toronto

Rising rent prices

We already mentioned that the median rent for all bedroom counts and property types in Toronto is reported to be $2,900. However, it’s important to know that it indicates a steep increase, 34% higher than the national average. Of course, these rent increases are expected as housing costs rise.

The overall trend of increasing rents over the past few years seems unstoppable. For example, the average asking rent across Canada has risen by 21%, which means that renting in Toronto is even more challenging. Some might say that these rising rent prices are among the top reasons people are leaving Toronto.

Traffic and commute times

Getting around will always be an important detail of your living place. If you plan on moving from Toronto to Vancouver, this might not be too big of a deal, as both cities are similar when it comes to this. Let’s go over some details that show you how bad the commute and traffic in Toronto can get.

Traffic congestion

When it comes to Toronto, drivers face the longest travel times per 10 kilometers in North America. The average time for this distance is around 29 minutes. On average, people driving around the city spend 98 hours per year. That is plenty of time that you spend in traffic. It’s estimated that on a yearly basis, there’s a loss of around C$11 billion due to the traffic congestion and the long commute times. Of course, the Toronto Region Board of Trade is already making plans on how to bring in measures that can help with this. However, until then, many people have been considering moving out of Toronto.

Plenty of cars in traffic will be one of the major reasons people are leaving Toronto
The commute can be very long in Toronto

The impact of commutes on daily life

Research from Toronto Metropolitan University highlighted that long commutes affect students’ academic performance, social participation, and well-being. About 30% of students in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) reported their commute as a barrier to academic success. Even post-pandemic, the reliance on public transit remained high among students, emphasizing the need for accessible and efficient transportation options to improve their quality of life and academic outcomes. However, it’s also important to note that besides students, there are millions of people who have to go through the stress of commuting around Toronto daily.

The lack of better commute options

It’s well-documented that Toronto faces challenges related to traffic congestion, long commute times, and the need for more efficient public transit solutions. These issues impact daily life by increasing travel times, reducing time available for personal activities or rest, and contributing to stress and fatigue. Additionally, the environmental impact of heavy road traffic and the economic cost of lost productivity further underscores the urgent need for improved commute options in the city. Plenty of Toronto residents will take this lack of options as a reason to leave the city.

A pace of life that is too fast

Sometimes, the rush of the big city is too much. Toronto is always growing, so it can feel overcrowded. For that reason, many people think about moving out of the area, as other areas can offer a much slower pace of life. Check out why this is one of the major reasons people are leaving the city.

The appeal of quieter areas to live in

The appeal of quieter areas to live in is often due to their tranquility and slower pace of life. Toronto just can’t meet these needs. Many people find solace in these less bustling environments, where community bonds are stronger and daily stress is noticeably reduced. Additionally, these areas often offer more natural surroundings, providing residents with easy access to parks and recreational activities that enhance their quality of life.

A dog in the street
Reasons people are Leaving Toronto include the search for more peaceful places

The pursuit of a quality work-life balance

A good balance promotes well-being, productivity, and job satisfaction. On top of that, it also reduces stress and burnout. However, in a buzzing city like Toronto, it can be difficult for many to find that. Some consider moving from Toronto to Ottawa to find a healthier lifestyle. Overall, a life under constant stress won’t be fun and isn’t for everyone.

Rise of remote work opportunities

After the pandemic, more and more employers have recognized the benefits of remote work opportunities. The more companies allow this type of work, the less there’s a need to be in a big city with plenty of companies. You can consider moving from Toronto to Windsor or to any other location in Canada or worldwide and still work for a company in Toronto without any problem. On top of that, such a model greatly improves the work-life balance. Companies can save on real estate, utilities, relocation, cleaning, security, food, and office equipment costs, totaling over $700 billion annually if remote work is partially adopted. So it’s not a surprise people are moving out of the big cities like Toronto to benefit themselves.

A desire for a bigger space is one of the reasons people are leaving Toronto

Everyone likes living in bigger spaces with more opportunities. As we mentioned, Torono’s living spaces that will fit all your needs can be very hard to find. Many people in the city will live in small rented apartments. In other areas of Canada and beyond, you can get more space for the same amount of money.

However, let’s not forget about the necessities of a healthy and outgoing lifestyle. In the concrete jungle of Toronto, there are outdoor spaces, but they are surely not the city’s focal point. If you truly want a breath of fresh air, you might consider moving out like many do. The pace of life with the lack of opportunities to relax in nature can be considered one of the bigger reasons people are leaving Toronto

Quality of life

Many want a quality of life at the highest level. Toronto offers that to some extent in certain areas. However, there are some areas where the city of Toronto is lacking. For example, even with initiatives and active management, air pollution and smog are issues that the area is battling. However, it’s difficult to imagine that this is not the case as other big cities worldwide are also having similar issues.

Another downside is the big-city culture. It’s very rare to find a close community of people, as everyone is in a rush. That’s why many people decide to relocate to smaller areas where they can feel like a part of the community.

Having fun in the outdoors can be one of the reasons people are leaving Toronto
Many leave Toronto to find a lifestyle that fits them more

Is Toronto the right place for you or should you move away?

Knowing the reasons people are leaving Toronto can provide you with crucial information to see if this is the right call for you as well. Even with all the pros of living there, overlooking the downsides can be dangerous. From the financial aspect to the lack of certain qualities you expect of life, there’s a lot that can ruin the Toronto experience. Analyze your priorities and see if the pros outweigh the cons.