Quality of life in Canada


Toronto ranks 2nd in Americas according to Mercers 2016 Quality of Living rankings, Ottawa places 3rd

Canadian cities have the best North America offers, according to Mercers annual comparison of the quality of life of 430 locations around the world. In fact, Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa finished ahead of all 17 American and 41 Asian cities ranked by Mercer. Monterrey and Mexico City were at the bottom of the list of North American cities, placing 108th and 127th globally.

Mercer Quality of Living rankings award Canadian cities high marks for personal safety

"Personal safety is a key factor in determining expat quality of living," state authors of the report. "[And] Canadian cities all rank high for personal safety, with Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver sharing 16th place, whereas no U.S. cities make the top 50."

Toronto: a diverse and vibrant commercial capital

Praised as a top location for mature businesses and start-ups alike, Toronto is touted as the best city in the world for youth, the most sustainable city in North America, a top 20 location for start-ups and the best place in the world to live.

Ottawa: an affordable, thriving technology hub

Ranked as the most affordable among all Canadian and U.S. cities, Ottawa is establishing itself as one of the top hubs for technology innovation in North America, with strengths in digital media, wireless technology, photonics, defence and security, and data analytics.

Mercer Quality of Living survey assessment criteria

Mercer ranks locations based upon 39 factors, grouped across 10 categories:

  1. Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc.).
  2. Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services).
  3. Socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom).
  4. Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc.).
  5. Schools and education (standards and availability of international schools).
  6. Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc.).
  7. Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc.).
  8. Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc.).
  9. Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services).
  10. Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters).