Montreal and Toronto, wildly different Canadian metropolis' each with their unique characters, merits and shortcomings. As a Montrealer born and raised I feel like I have the right to talk a little shit about my city, not because I don't love it but rather because of all its wasted potential. Like that friend or ex you know can do great things if they just believed in themselves and put down the Jamieson once in a while.
It almost feels like if you want to grow up, you have to make the move to Toronto. Follow the money. Gawd knows it isn't here. Oh wait, they are in fact spending billions on lighting up a bridge...

When speaking to fellow Montrealers I realize I'm not the only one that feels this way. Are so many of us over it and blazé because we feel we can't affect change? I'm not going to get into why our city isn't what it once was or what it could be. But does that mean we should move to Toronto?  I really but REALLY don't want to give up on Montreal, and I mean, the restaurant scene is vibrant and thriving, the only industry other than construction that seems to be killing it here. So there's that.

I teamed up with Montreal photographer Melissa Caron to explore some of our favourite spots in the city and talk about the age old debate of Toronto vs Montreal. She's on the verge of leaving this hot mess behind and joining our neighbouring money makers and Drake lovers in TO in the next six months. Can I convince her to stay? And should I? Read on to find out.

Alice Kass: Where did you grow up and what is your favourite neighborhood in Montreal?

Mel: I grew up in the suburbs of Montreal, the north shore to be precise. I moved to Montreal in search of bigger opportunities when I was 22 years old. I have lived in many different neighborhoods since then, but my favourites are St-Henri and the Old port of Montreal for sure. 

Alice Kass: What is it about Montreal that makes you want to leave? 

Mel: I have wanted to leave Montreal for a while for one simple reason: Opportunity. The world is a big place and I don't think we are meant to spend our lives in one place. A couple of years back a good friend of mine and I quit our jobs in fashion and we were on the brink of moving to Central America to open up a restaurant. In the end, she fell in love and wanted to stay so things didn't work out, but it's important to step out of your comfort zone at least once in your life.

On a more realistic note, I have been looking into Toronto as my next destination simply because it's such a big playground for any young freelancer without being so far from home. It's kind of like that older sibling that has it together and made it. it's no longer that young wildchild stumbling around in search for it's identiy. If you play your cards right the possibilties are endless. My sister has been there for 8 years so that also help's since she is one of my best friends. 

Alice Kass: What is attracting you the most about Toronto? On my end it sounds totally shallow but the money and the boys. I've been single for 7 years and I'm pretty convinced that at this point it's not me, it's you Montreal. And in terms of business, there's just a larger population and they love fashion and they spend more on it and on themselves. We're stylish in Montreal, but we're all about mixing vintage with fast-fashion. We rather spend our money on restaurants and booze, it's a totally different shopping culture here.

Mel: What I will miss most of Montreal is my friends, the restaurant scene which is the best in Canada no doubt, and that's it (sorry boys). Luckily it's a 5 hour train ride away so that works out quite well for the food cravings etc.
Should Mel stay or should she go?
Update coming soon!

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