toronto cost of living

Toronto has now surpassed Vancouver as Canada's most expensive city

Toronto's increasingly unattainable real estate and the rising costs of groceries, gas and other living costs have officially elevated Hogtown to the not-so-desirable throne of Canada's most expensive city.

U.S. asset management firm Mercer and its Canadian counterpart, Mercer Canada, have released their 2022 Cost of Living City Rankings, comparing the cost of living in 227 cities worldwide, and Toronto stands alone as the only Canadian city in the top 100 most expensive.

Hong Kong tops this year's ranking, followed by Swiss cities Zurich and Geneva. New York City is the only North American city to land in the top ten, and you have to scroll a good distance down the list to find the Canadian entries.

Toronto ranks as the most expensive city in the country and 89th most expensive worldwide, with a sizable gap separating it from Vancouver, which ranked 108th most expensive.

Further down the list is Montreal in 125th, Ottawa at 132nd, and Calgary ranking 141st.

Vancouver ranked 93rd in 2021, while Toronto was only a few points back at 98th most expensive.

"Amplified by the global health crisis and the conflict in Ukraine, skyrocketing inflation and currency volatility are affecting international economic balances and the cost of living for each of us," states the report.

Even out in Toronto's suburbs, the cost of living can be outrageously high.

Mississauga recently ranked second on an index of North American cities with high living costs, trailing only New York City. Toronto was fifth on the list, ranking well ahead of U.S. cities Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago and Philadelphia.

It's no surprise to see Toronto and surrounding cities on lists like this, with the average Ontario home costing about 22.5x the average disposable income as of March.

According to a Spring report from insurance and lending quote website LowestRates.ca, it now costs $2,067.99 per month for the average renter and $5,417.12 a month for the average homeowner in 2022 to live in the city.

A 2021 report stated that it takes a wage of at least $22.08 per hour to make it in the city, and an intense and prolonged period of inflation has likely pushed this figure higher.

This year's ranking includes 227 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.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau


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