If you talk to people who live in these 10 most expensive cities to live in Canada, the majority will tell you that the quality of life they have is worth every penny they spend. For years Canadian metropolitan areas have been among top-20 places with highest costs of living. However, when you compare prices in New York, the most expensive city in the world, with those in Toronto, you notice a significant difference. While in Big Apple total expenditure on goods and services is $3,342, in Toronto it is (you are almost compelled to say only) $2,609.
This doesn’t mean that Torontonians are stingy but that their purchasing power is lower. Last year’s USB global survey of prices and earnings revealed interesting facts about costs of living across the globe, including how many minutes you have to work in each of ranked cities to buy Big Mac and iPhone6. Torontonians need 15 minutes of work to afford special Mac meal, compared to New Yorkers who can have Big Mac for 11 minutes of work. When it comes to iPhone6, New York’s residents can become proud owners of the device in three working days, while their neighbors must sweat almost the whole week (37.2 hours) which is nothing if you have in mind that Nairobians need two and half month’s salary to cover the price of the Apple product.
In general, one of the main reasons why cities in Canada rank high by costs of living is the price of housing. In January this year, average house price in Canada was $470,297, which represented the increase of 17 percent compared to a year ago. The rise is mainly due to the fact that prices in the most expensive cities in Canada continue to reach astronomic amounts. If the amounts needed to buy a home in British Columbia and Ontario were left out from the calculation of average home price, average worth of Canadian home would be $286,911. Despite high real estate costs, country’s largest cities are not as expensive for expats as some other places in the world. Mercer’s Cost of Living list, which ranked 209 cities globally according to how much foreign workers spend on 200 goods and services, placed Vancouver on 119th spot, far below N’Djamena (Chad), Lagos (Nigeria), Manila (Philippines) and many others. Other four Canadian cities which found the place on the list are Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Ottawa. However, if you think that half a million is too much for a house in the country with average temperatures well below zero during winter, you can check our list 10 most expensive cities to live in Colorado, where you will find lower prices and higher temperatures.
In creating the ranking of 10 most expensive cities to live in Canada, we used two criteria – annual average household expenditure and average house prices. First, we ranked cities by both criteria, and then we combined the ranking, calculating the average for each city to come up with this list. You will notice that Vancouver, which has been traditionally perceived as the most expensive place in Canada, occupies the fifth spot. The reasons for this are relatively low household expenditures which affect city’s overall costs of living. Data about expenditure were obtained from Statistics Canada. Note that for some cities latest available data are from 2007. Also, for some cities information about how much families spend yearly couldn’t be found at Statistics Canada, so we used other sources. RentSeeker was used as a source for real estate prices. Finally, we used Moneysens’s data about cities’ median household income and average time needed to buy a home.