toronto work life balance

Toronto ranked the 14th best city in the world for work-life balance

The last year has forced people all over the world to reevaluate their priorities while highlighting the importance of not overworking and making time for the things that matter, and it turns out living in Toronto just might be one way to help achieve that more balanced life.

A newly-released ranking of the cities with the best work-life balance puts Toronto at number 14, which isn't a bad place to be on a shortlist of 50 cities that frequently top livability indexes and are all known for attracting professionals and families for their work opportunities and diverse lifestyle offerings.

Conducted by American access control system developer Kisi, the first iteration of the annual ranking came out in 2019, but the 2021 version aims to take into account the attitude shifts brought on by the pandemic when it comes to the importance of being able to work from home, take time off and be with loved ones.

"For this year's iteration we aimed to find a way to incorporate these shifts in our cultural expectations of work-life balance, alongside the key elements from the previous study such as work intensity and city livability which remain fundamental," reads the report.

"The resulting index shows how cities rank against their pre-pandemic statuses, painting a picture of how Covid-19 has changed and continues to affect people's work-life balance in major cities around the world."

Down one spot from its position as 13th best in the world in 2019, Toronto received a score of 84.9 out of 100 this year based on the evaluation of 18 different components in four categories: work intensity, institutional support, legislation and livability, and COVID-19.

Factors such as how adaptable a location was for remote working, unemployment figures, Covid-related economic supports, affordability, citizens' overall happiness, safety, access to wellness and leisure venues and more were all taken into account for the ranking based on data from labour organizations, government statistical departments, census bureaus and private intelligence firms.

Helsinki, Finland took the number one spot this year followed by Oslo, Norway; Zurich, Switzerland; Stockholm, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Three other Canadian cities received even higher scores than Toronto, with Ottawa (89.1), Vancouver (87.8) and Calgary (85.2) all landing in the top 13.

A full breakdown of how all 50 cities stacked up in each category can be found online, but here are the top 20 cities for work-life balance in 2021:

  1. Helsinki, Finland
  2. Oslo, Norway
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Stockholm, Sweden
  5. Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. Ottawa, Canada
  7. Munich, Germany
  8. Vancouver, Canada
  9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  10. Sydney, Australia
  11. Hamburg, Germany
  12. Vienna, Austria
  13. Calgary, Canada
  14. Toronto, Canada
  15. Melbourne, Australia
  16. Auckland, New Zealand
  17. Berlin, Germany
  18. Singapore
  19. Dublin, Ireland
  20. London, UK

On the contrary, the top five overworked cities in 2021 are Hong Kong; Singapore; Bangkok, Thailand; Buenos Aires, Argentina and Seoul, South Korea.

Lead photo by


Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Toronto temperatures are going to swing by 20 C in the next week

Toronto is hundreds of millions in the hole and begging Ottawa for bailout money

Massive sinkhole opens up in Toronto and it's putting the hurt on local businesses

Toronto is getting a brand new shelter only for members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community

Here's what all those tubes are doing in the waters of Lake Ontario near Toronto

Huge crowds showed up to watch the CP Holiday Train roll through Toronto

Chaos erupts on the TTC after subway shuts down service between 4 stations

Someone just bought a jackpot-winning $60 million lottery ticket in the Toronto area