Work Life Balance in Montreal vs. Toronto

“I would never imagine that Montreal will ever be a Toronto or a New York or a London or Paris, but I don’t think that is our goal either. Those big cities, world-class cities have huge advantages, mostly along the lines of the amount of money or the economic prowess. But I find culturally in Montreal that is not as much of an importance.

A general joie de vivre, which is a well-known philosophy here, is very important. And I’m happy being a Boston or a secondary type of city, but be the best type of secondary city. And what that reflects is we have good real estate prices. The city is very livable. And for, particularly in my field, in the sciences, whether you’re a doctor or a researcher or even involved in a startup, this is great ’cause it means you get all amenities of any of these world-class cities, but you get it for living like what I would say a normal human being.

People living in Toronto, I’ve worked there and it’s a struggle, even if you’re in the middle class. Particularly as a family physician, people do talk about their finances with me, and it’s the pressure that it puts. When you have a million-dollar mortgage, it’s tough to go out and enjoy a beer on a terrace. When you spend two hours in traffic, it’s tough to go out, to have the energy on weekends to take your family to the park.

I would never want Montreal to be a New York City, per se. My kind of passion would be that Montreal reaches its greatest potential, and there’s definitely room for improvement, but I think we’re headed in the right direction.”