Toronto, Vancouver most expensive in Canada for ex-pat workers

by Steve Randall27 Jun 2018

An annual report on the cost of living in some of the world’s key cities shows that its become more affordable to live and work in several Canadian centres.

Mercer’s survey helps multinational businesses decide on compensation for expatriate employees based on factors including housing markets, economy, and the cost of goods and services.

Canada’s most expensive city in last year’s survey – Vancouver -  is still the most expensive but has dropped 2 places to 109. It’s joined by Toronto which has surged ten places in the 2018 rankings.

Montreal (147) and Calgary (154) fell eighteen and eleven spots, respectively.

“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,” said Gordon Frost, Partner and Career Business Leader for Mercer Canada. “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.”

The most, least expensive in the world
The top 5 most expensive in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey are Hong Kong, Tokyo, Zurich, Singapore, and Seoul; meaning four of the five are in Asia.

The US has seen its cost of living for ex-pats fall as the greenback has weakened.

New York dropped four places to rank 13, the highest-ranked city in the region. San Francisco (28) and Los Angeles (35) dropped seven and twelve places, respectively, from last year, while Chicago (51) dropped twenty places.


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