How Are Cities in Canada Different from Those in the US?

Odds are, if a picture of a Canadian city and a city from the United States were side by side in front of you, you would not be able to tell which country belonged to which. Skylines, public transport, office buildings, lots of concrete dotted with green spaces.

Canada and the United States can have a lot of similarities on the surface, but in truth, there are many differences in the cities for each country. This ranges from how the population is dispersed economically and what public transport looks like, to crime rates and the overall feel of a city.

Urban and Suburban Areas

In American cities, there is a stark difference in the urban and suburban areas you see. The hierarchy of such living is clear when simply walking or driving down a street. Canadian cities don’t have as much of a distinction between the inner city area and adjacent parts.

Real estate in Toronto looks different and less divided economically than that of Chicago, where the outskirts of the city are clear.

Crime Rates

With any densely populated area will come crime. Canadian city crime rates are lower than American cities almost across the board, which could affect the overall feeling of a city.’

Individuals may feel safer walking in a Canadian metropolitan area than an American one. According to internet database Numbeo, as of 2021, the United States is ranked 56th on the crime index, whereas Canada is ranked 82nd out of all the countries in the world.

Urban Density

Overall, American cities are much denser than their Canadian counterparts. According to a Fraser Institute study, San Francisco is 1.31 times as dense as Vancouver, Canada’s densest major city. Chicago and New York, are 1.03 and 2.45 times as dense as Canada’s financial and media center, Toronto.

The Views Vary

American cities are host to architecture from all eras, dependent upon where you are in the country. Canada’s cities don’t have much variety. Many cities have a more industrial and modern feel, due simply to the building and planning process over the years.

However, Canadian cities do offer more ample walking and green spaces within many of its major cities, while American cities can be less walkable due to building count being more robust.

Job Opportunities

Though both Canada and the United States rank among the top economies in the world, the United States is the larger of the two. This means business-centric metropolitan areas in America can offer more job opportunities than those in Canada.

Getting Around

Canada has more ample public transport in its cities than America does, be it train, subway, or bus. Canadian cities are more compact, and so public transport is a great option to get residents and visitors from place to place efficiently.

The cities in the United States tend to be more sprawling, calling for more complicated public transport systems or a lack of a system in certain areas of the city. A car may be a better option in many American cities.

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