Guess what? Vancouver is expensive! Oh, and Toronto is as well. We know it’s no shocker, but a recent list has shown that these Canadian cities might not be as expensive as we think they are. Or, more appropriately, that it’s a little easier to afford life in Vancouver and Toronto than it is elsewhere.

Put together by the organization Mercer, a new set of rankings has determined the most expensive cities in the world for international employees to live in. And, a few Canadian cities make an appearance on the list, but much lower than we’ve come to expect when it comes to global cost of living rankings.

Mercer, which is an international investment management firm, came up with the ranking through a few determining factors. They looked at the cost of housing, food, personal care, alcohol and tobacco, transportation, domestic supplies, clothing and footwear, utilities, home services, and recreation and entertainment.

Vancouver ended up ranking in at 93 on the list, climbing one spot up from last year. Toronto wasn’t that far behind it at 98, the same position it was last year.

vancouver spring
Photo via Shawn.ccf /

Other Canadian cities on the list include:

126. Montreal
145. Calgary
156. Ottawa

All three of which dropped from where they were last year.

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While Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada, it’s still far from having the highest cost of living according to this study. The honour of the top three most expensive cities for international employees in the world goes to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Hong Kong, and Beirut, Lebanon respectively. So, if you’re on a budget, maybe steer clear of those places!

If that seems like an odd top three, consider the factors and the ranking itself. Especially during the pandemic, the costs of goods and services have skyrocketed in less fortunate countries. Add in the fact that Hong Kong has had a wildly tumultuous year politically AND that it is already one of the world’s most expensive cities, and the ranking makes even more sense.

The remainder of the top ten carries most of the usual suspects, with Tokyo (4), Zurich (5), Shangai (6), Singapore (7), Geneva (8), Beijing (9) and Bern (10) rounding it out.

So, yes this might not be news for all you Vancouverites and Torontonians, it’s still an interesting insight into how our country, and the world, is changing. If you’d like to check out the report for yourself, just click here!