Life in a Small Town Versus the Big City

Over the last three year, I have traveled back and forth from Toronto to Sudbury. I wanted to write a post about the differences I have noticed between the two very different cities and point their pros and cons. You probably are wondering why Sudbury? Well, I am doing my undergrad at the university in Sudbury. Also, another question I get a lot when I say I went to Sudbury is why there? Why not somewhere close to home? At the time, I wanted out of the city. I needed something new, something different. Sudbury was that opportunity given to me.

Let me talk about the drive up, the very first time I left the city. Coming from a person who does not travel outside of the city too often, this drive was absolutely beautiful. The change from a four-lane highway to reducing to one lane… ONE LANE… was absurd. The best part of that drive was the change in landscape – from all the tall skyscrapers to all the pine and cedar trees and all the rocks.



Something that stands out to me was the type of people, the different lifestyles, and hours. That last one probably does not sense but let me explain what I mean. When I am in Toronto I go from place to place at late hours without a worry but whereas in Sudbury… if I want to do anything after maybe 7 p.m. … Let me just say that adventure probably would have failed. Well, this is probably because of the people who live in Sudbury. There are always pros and cons to these hours but for me, early Sudbury hours is somewhat of a con because sometimes I just want to go out and get a coffee. It really does drive me crazy that almost all the coffee shops around my campus close at 5 p.m.

And if you are an architecture student or know an architecture student… you will know that we work into the late hours and caffeine is a need (I mean for me it is, I might have a bit of a caffeine addiction).


Difference in Lifestyle and People

As I said before, people and lifestyle – the biggest difference you will see and you will feel. In Toronto, there are all types of people from age, ethnicity, sexuality; you name it! But in Sudbury, there are a lot of old people and also a lot of questionable people… depending on the area you are in. Due to the number of people in Toronto, everyone is always in a rush and angry but when I moved to Sudbury that changed. People in Sudbury are not in a rush, they seem to enjoy their lives and the biggest perk of people in this city – they are nice and friendly (for the most part). I definitely feel the difference between living in Toronto and Sudbury; Toronto is that fast-paced life whereas Sudbury, it is slower, a more relaxed way of living. I am going to quickly slide this in but housing up in Sudbury are A LOT cheaper than in Toronto. I want to say that it is a huge pro about living up here.

Transit System

Okay! I need to get this off my chest about the public transit system. It is horrible. HORRIBLE. Within a few months that I was in Sudbury, their transit system automatically became my worse enemy. If I missed the bus, you better know I will be walking into class late (or not show up at all). So if you are thinking about going to Sudbury, make sure you have a vehicle.

If you want to see the other bus schedules, here is the link

Now comparing that system to the one in Toronto… really, it is just sad. Whenever I am home, in Toronto, I do not really need to worry if I missed my bus because I know there will be another one in 5-10 minutes (hopefully).

See the difference between the two public transit systems… Sudbury is more of a car-centric town.


Now I do not want you to think Sudbury is absolutely horrible. Both of these cities have wonderful areas to visit. I have found that being in Sudbury, the attractions are very much about the landscape and history of Sudbury. A few places if you do plan to visit are:



As for Toronto, there are so many places to visit in comparison to Sudbury. That can be for another post 🙂

Life in these two cities has shown me the lifestyle I do love, which is life in Toronto. But do not get me wrong; I enjoy life in Sudbury especially because there are little to no distractions during the school year. The quick and slower-paced life is not for everyone but I think it is an experience you should have. Have you lived in both these types of cities? What do you like or dislike about each? Or if you have not and were given the opportunity, would you?