October 2, 2014 4:33 pm
Updated: October 3, 2014 1:04 pm

People admit Toronto is too expensive but don’t plan on leaving


Watch above: Toronto may be expensive, but the majority say it’s worth it. Alan Carter reports. 

TORONTO – Torontonians say the city is too expensive, traffic is getting worse and it’s become an increasingly hard place for the average person to live.

It’s too much for some people – 38 per cent of 1,292 people polled by Ipsos Reid for Global News said they were thinking about leaving the city because it’s too expensive.

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The wide-ranging poll does present a depressing outlook on life in the city: 90 per cent say life is becoming more difficult, 58 per cent don’t feel financially secure, 51 per cent are living paycheque to paycheque, 79 per cent say real estate is unaffordable, and 59 per cent aren’t sure they could find a comparable job if they got fired.those i

But despite all that – 75 per cent say those sacrifices are worth it to have a 416 or 647 area code.

READ MORE: 90% say life in Toronto is increasingly difficult for average people

Hamid Arabzadeh, the CEO of cloud computing company Ranovus spent 15 years away from Toronto. He lived in Brazil and Mexico each for two years, then he spent seven years in London and another 4.5 years in Germany. Then he moved back to Toronto.

“Apart from it’s a great place to raise your kids, I found that the ecosystem here for entrepreneurship and finance specifically is very buoyant,” he said. “It’s almost a perfect gateway to tap into the North American venture capital area and also to tap into the talent here locally.”

And the majority of people hold up Toronto’s diversity as one of its best qualities.

“It’s such a beautiful city,” Nav Bhatia, a self-described super fan of the Toronto Raptors. “It has everything, you have everything from here. You see people from all races, colours, creeds. Everybody’s here. You can get food of every kind here. This is one hell of a city, I don’t know where else to be.”

And the outlook is getting better. Ipsos Reid did a similar poll in 2011 asking people a variety of questions about how they felt living in the city – whether they liked living, playing, working and investing in Toronto.

READ MORE: Half of Torontonians willing to pay more to spend less time on TTC

More people in 2014 had a rosier outlook on life in Toronto than in 2011. 

“I think we have something special here,” Arabzadeh said.  “I haven’t seen it anywhere else in the world and that’s why I decided to come back.”

The majority of people also said they are proud to live in Toronto (85 per cent) and believe the city is “world class” (79 per cent).

And they want more money spent on arts, culture and recreation: 67 per cent said the city spends two little on those three industries.

Ipsos surveyed 1,252 Torontonians on Global News’s behalf via an online panel between September 22 and 25. The survey is reliable within +/- 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The data, summaries and commentary in exclusive Global News / Ipsos Reid polling are subject to copyright. The data, summaries and commentary may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper attribution to both Global News and Ipsos Reid in all web articles, on social media, in radio broadcasts and with an on-screen credit for television.

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