Vancouver passes Toronto as 'most expensive' city in Canada
Vancouver's skyline at sunrise is shown in a handout photo. (Destination BC/Albert Normandin via The Canadian Press)
Published Friday, June 23, 2017 9:43AM EDT
An annual ranking of the cost of living in hundreds of cities worldwide suggests that Vancouver has overtaken Toronto as the most expensive in Canada, although both remain relatively affordable by global standards.
The Mercer 2017 Cost of Living Survey placed Vancouver at 107, followed by Toronto at 119, Montreal at 129, Calgary at 143 and Ottawa at 152. There are 209 cities on the 2017 list.
All five of the Canadian cities in the ranking moved higher, in part due to the rise of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar. Vancouver saw the biggest jump, up 35 spots from 2016.
The ranking compares the costs of more than 200 items in categories including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.
Gordon Frost, a partner at Mercer Canada, notes that the cost of living in cities like Vancouver and Toronto may seem high for locals, but "both cities remain attractive destinations for expatriates placed by organizations outside the country.”
“Compared to the rest of the world, even with a strong dollar, Canada remains relatively affordable," he added.
The top 10 most expensive cities, according to Mercer, are:
1. Luanda, Angola
2. Hong Kong
3. Tokyo, Japan
4. Zurich, Switzerland
6. Seoul, South Korea
7. Geneva, Switzerland
8. Shanghai, China
9. New York, United States
10. Bern, Switzerland
Mercer says the top 10 least expensive cities are:
1. Tunis, Tunisia
2. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
3. Skopje, Macedonia
4. Windhoek, Namibia
5. Blantyre, Malawi
6. Tbilisi, Georgia
7. Monterrey, Mexico
8. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
9. Karachi, Pakistan
10. Minsk, Belarus