mississauga cost of living

This Toronto suburb now has a higher cost of living than L.A. or Chicago

Whether you rent or buy, affording a place in Toronto, or even just outside Toronto is incredibly difficult — but housing costs aren't the only factor that make a city too expensive for normal human existence.

The Canadian insurance provider PolicyAdvisor recently analyzed the 20 largest cities in Canada and the U.S. by population, looking at the average costs of several frequently-purchased goods in addition to income and rent.

Eight factors in total were weighted in the company's ranking of "most expensive cities in Canada and in the U.S. for cost of living," all of them calculated as a percentage of the average monthly salary in each market.

The factors were: The price of a cinema ticket; the price of an average meal out; the price of a bottle of water; the price of a cappuccino, the monthly cost of a gym membership; the price of a one way transit ticket; the monthly cost for a public transit pass; and one month's average rent. All calculations were performed using U.S. dollars.

And wouldn't you know it, Toronto took spot number five on the list, proving to have a higher cost of living than Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Canada's most-populous city wasn't found to be the most expensive in this ranking, though: That honour goes to Mississauga, Ontario.

The Toronto suburb of just over 700,000 people came in second place on the list, bested only by New York City when ranked from most to least expensive in terms of living costs.

Vancouver and Hamilton took spots number three and four, respectively, highlighting Canada's nationwide affordability problem.

"The Canadian city of Mississauga is the second most expensive city when comparing cost of living with monthly salary," reads the PolicyAdvisor report.

"Public transport turns out to be quite expensive in Mississauga, in comparison to the other cities analysed in the study, with a monthly pass costing $111.3, third most expensive after New York City ($129.5) and Toronto ($120)," the report continues.

"These numbers, compared to an average monthly salary of just $3,202.30 (the fourth lowest after Hamilton, Montreal and Winnipeg), make this city an expensive one in terms of lifestyle, with the eight items measured equating to 56.4% of their monthly income."

Here are all 20 cities analyzed, from most to least expensive, courtesy of the insurance company:

  1. New York City
  2. Mississauga
  3. Vancouver
  4. Hamilton
  5. Toronto
  6. Los Angeles
  7. San Diego
  8. Chicago
  9. Ottawa
  10. Montreal
  11. Winnipeg
  12. Philadelphia
  13. Phoenix
  14. San Jose
  15. Brampton
  16. Dallas
  17. San Antonio
  18. Houston
  19. Edmonton
  20. Calgary

Toronto is the third most populated city in the ranking, with 2,794,356 inhabitants.

Toronto, while not more expensive overall than the cities ahead of it in the ranking, was found to have the second-priciest monthly transport pass after New York, with the eight items factored into the report amounting to 46.7 per cent of the average Torontonian's monthly earnings of $3,947.43.

Lead photo by

Ravi Pardesi


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