We just completed 3 years in Toronto, Canada. We moved from the Bay Area with two kids under 4 and looking back we are so grateful we made this decision to move. If everything goes well we’ll be Canadian Citizens soon. We are proud to call Canada our home and our kids have blossomed here.
Some of the positives (based on our core city living experience)
Zero/Minimal driving: Unlike the bay area where you spend numerous hours on the road, in Toronto, we barely felt the need to use our car. Our kids’ school is walking, grocery stores are walking, the gym is walking, we do everything walking. We occasionally use our car on the weekend. Public transport in Toronto is pretty good, we have friends who are car-free and happy.
Great for Kids: The city has so much going for kids even in the winter. Public schools are awesome, parks are always filled with kids. Affordable nannies. I can do a whole page on how great Toronto is for kids but I’ll keep it short by saying we absolutely love Toronto for this and I don’t think any place in the US can match a lot of these things.
Great City: Toronto is an awesome city. Super friendly, diverse and safe. It’s very easy to make friends here. Great parks, museums, theater, trails, ravines. You’ll find restaurants open till late in the night. People are always out and about irrespective of the weather. Everyone is well equipped for every type of weather and nothing stops them from stepping out.
Winter is definitely longer and extreme as compared to California. But you get used to it and if you have the right clothes it’s not a bother at all especially if you live downtown. Toronto feels like a big popular east coast American city with a bit of Europe mixed in.
As for jobs and salaries, it’s subjective. I know several folks who’ve moved here and working for top American companies Google, Instacart, Coursera, etc. I know several people who are working remotely for valley companies. We also have American friends who have moved here with family for the Canadian quality of life.