The results are in, and after years of back and forth, Toronto has finally tied Vancouver as the most expensive city to live in Canada.
According to Mercer’s 24th Annual Cost of Living Survey, released Tuesday, Toronto jumped ten spots on the chart (to 109) and is now equally as expensive to live in as Vancouver. The survey collected data from over 209 cities across the world and measured comparative costs of over 200 items such as housing, business costs, transportation, and costs of goods and services. The study revealed that while many cities dropped in the rankings, Toronto went up due to an increase in expatriate rental accommodation costs. However, according to Gordon Frost, Partner and Career Business Leader for Mercer Canada, when compared to the quality of living, the prices are quite modest. “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. This is a significant strength for Canada and Canadian companies as we compete for top talent in a highly competitive global economy and prepare for the workforce of the future.”
Both housing affordability and lack of supply in Toronto and Vancouver have been a huge topic of conversation these past few years, as prices have become astronomical for relatively small spaces. One bedroom rental rates in both cities are above the $2,000 mark, and vacancy rates are at an all-time low – sitting below one per cent. There has been constant debate around various housing policies, as the government introduced a series of cooling measures earlier this year in hopes of cooling down the market. While sales of all housing types have decreased, prices remain on the upward trend. Sales are expected to pick up in the back half of the year, once buyers have adjusted to the new regulations.
On to the contrary to Toronto and Vancouver, Ottawa was listed as the least expensive city in Canada, ranking in at 160, followed by Calgary and Montreal, which came in at 154 and 147 respectively. The survey is designed to assist companies to determine living costs and appropriate compensation for ex-pat employees.
Curious about the most expensive city in the world to live? Survey results show Hong Kong is, followed by Tokyo and Zurich.