Vancouver has surpassed Toronto as Canada’s most expensive city, according to Mercer’s latest cost of living survey.
Up thirty-five places from last year, Vancouver (107) has overtaken Toronto (119) to become the most expensive Canadian city in Mercer’s 2017 Cost of Living Survey ranking, followed by Montreal (129) and Calgary (143).
Ottawa (152) is the least expensive major city in Canada.
“The Canadian dollar has appreciated in value triggering the major jumps in this year’s ranking,” the report said.
The survey covers 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.
Governments and major companies use data from the Mercer survey to protect the purchasing power of their employees when transferred abroad.
In general, Asian and European cities – particularly Hong Kong (2), Tokyo (3), Zurich (4), and Singapore (5) – are the most expensive cities for expatriates. The most expensive city, driven by cost of goods and security, is Luanda (1), the capital of Angola.
Other cities appearing in the top 10 of Mercer’s costliest cities for expatriates are Seoul, South Korea (6), Geneva, Switzerland (7), Shanghai, China (8), New York City, U.S. (9), and Bern, Switzerland (10). The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates, according to Mercer’s survey, are Tunis, Tunisia (209), Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (208), and Skopje, Macedonia (206).
Vancouverites, who are dealing with a housing affordability crisis, may have a hard time believing the city ranked behind — and is cheaper than — 17 U.S. cities including Seattle (76), Minneapolis (86) and Detroit (95).
Detroit, meanwhile, was also named the worst American city to live in in a separate report released Wednesday by 24/7 Wall Street.
“Overall, U.S. cities either remained stable in the ranking or have slightly increased due to the movement of the U.S. dollar against the majority of currencies worldwide,” the Mercer report said.
MERCER 2017 COST OF LIVING RANKINGS
1 Luanda, Angola
2 Hong Kong
3 Tokyo, Japan
4 Zürich, Switzerland
6 Seoul, South Korea
7 Geneva, Switzerland
8 Shanghai, China
9 New York City, U.S.
10 Bern, Switzerland
200 Minsk, Belarus
201 Karachi, Pakistan
202 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
203 Monterrey, Mexico
204 Tbilisi, Georgia
205 Blantyre, Malawi
206 Windhoek, Namibia
207 Skopje, Macedonia
208 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
209 Tunis, Tunisia