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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Toronto - Most Expensive City
    Posted: Jul/14/2011 at 8:57am

Toronto is now Canada’s most expensive major city


Photo by David Cooper/courtesy of Toronto Star.

Toronto is now Canada’s most expensive major city, ahead of Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, and Ottawa, according to a worldwide cost of living study released Tuesday, July 12 by consulting firm Mercer.

The city where most immigrants arrive first and decide to stay on, ranked 59th most expensive out of 214 cities around the world.

The annual Mercer survey is geared at multinational corporations that assign employees to overseas posts. It helps firms determine fair and competitive compensation for expatriate workers to ensure they can maintain the same standard of living, often with families in tow.

In more than 200 cities around the world, Mercer checks the cost of just as many everyday items, from renting a home to groceries, transportation, coffee and cinema tickets.

This year, a surge in the cost of rental accommodations put Toronto ahead of Vancouver, which is also a favourite city for newcomers.

Vancouver is Number 65 (though there’s really only five cities listed between them because two places tied for the 63rd spot).

The much bigger change is that all Canadian cities moved up substantially because of the rising value of the loonie compared to the U.S. greenback.

Dramatic declines in the U.S. housing market also played a role.

Toronto moved up 17 spots; Vancouver 10, and Montreal a whopping 19 from last year’s survey.

Still, Toronto is a bargain compared with many European and Asian cities, said Carol Wilding, head of the Toronto Board of Trade, according to Toronto Star report.

“Toronto is still a very competitive city in terms of its cost of living for executive expats coming here. The movement up to the 59th position doesn’t ring any alarm bells for us.”

Luanda, the capital city and largest in Angola, where more than half of the residents live in poverty, is the world’ most expensive city for expatriates for the second year running.

“Luanda is a city where there is a scarcity of international goods and services and appropriate expatriate housing,” said Eleana Rodriguez, a principal with Mercer Canada.

“It’s basic supply and demand. When there’s scarcity, the price goes up.”

Tokyo, Japan; N’Djamena, Chad; Moscow, Russia; and Geneva, Switzerland round out the top five.

At the bottom of the list are La Paz, Bolivia; Managua, Nicaragua; and lastly, Karachi, Pakistan, the cheapest city for expats.

(Courtesy of
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