toronto expensive ranking

Toronto ties Vancouver for Canada's most expensive city

After years of switching back and forth between first and second place, two of Canada's largest cities just tied for an international title that nobody wants to win.

Mercer's 24th annual Cost of Living Survey reveals this week that Toronto and Vancouver are equally expensive, as of 2018, when it comes to a combination of factors like housing, business costs and the price of goods and services.

Both cities came in at spot number 109 on the list of priciest places to live out of 375 cities across the world, but we can not-so-proudly say that Toronto is (tied for) first place in Canada.

"Although most Canadian cities dropped in the ranking, the country’s highest-ranked city, Toronto, jumped ten places," reads the Mercer report, noting that Vancouver dropped two spots.

"While Toronto’s cost of living ranking has risen, this year's results – combined with the results of Mercer's annual Quality of Living Survey released earlier this year – show that Canadian cities provide a world-class quality of living at a relatively moderate cost."

I'm sorry, but did you just say world-class? Come on Mercer, we're blushing over here.

The "relatively moderate" cost of living assertion might be a stretch, however, if you ask anybody paying rent in Toronto.

cost of living toronto

It costs more money to buy a burger combo in Toronto than it does in Vancouver, but the tables are turned when it comes to gasoline. Image via Mercer.

It's important to keep in mind that Mercer's reports are primarily targeted toward governments and major companies who use their data "to protect the purchasing power of their employees when transferred abroad."

Their findings don't necessarily reflect how affordable it might be for someone who isn't in a job where they get to travel the world and such.

Just last month, a study released by the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario found at that 46.9 per cent of all Toronto tenants can barely make rent. We're also consistently ranked one of the world's least-affordable cities by Demographia.

Whatever the case, Toronto is definitely cheaper to live in as an ex-pat than Hong Kong, Toyko or Zurich, which took the top three spots, respectively, in Mercer's 2018 ranking.

Lead photo by

Ricardo Ko


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