Montreal, the third most expensive city in Canada

As a result of inflation, exchange rate fluctuations and hybrid work, Montreal has moved up from 129th to 125th in Mercer’s annual ranking of the world’s most expensive cities.

Toronto is the country’s most expensive city according to this survey, ranking 89th, or 36 places ahead of Montreal. Vancouver follows the Queen City in 108th place.


Behind Montreal (125th) are the cities of Ottawa and Calgary, which occupy places 132 and 141 respectively. Calgary is also the city with the lowest cost of living in Canada.

The survey results indicate that “inflation and exchange rate fluctuations have a direct impact on the income and savings of mobile workers”.

Additionally, the rise of remote or hybrid work has prompted many employees to reconsider their priorities, work-life balance and where they live. These factors have implications for employers, who need to rethink the way they manage their workforce.

“In a highly inflationary environment, where organizations and employees are benefiting from increased flexibility about their workplace, employers need to ensure they have effective compensation and talent management strategies in place, adapted to the realities of reducing the cost of living of mobile workers into account,” said Mercer Canada Senior Career Advisor Nicole Stewart.

New York remains the most expensive city in North America (7th place). On the podium of the most expensive cities, the city of Hong Kong ranks first ahead of four Swiss cities (Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern).


While the unveiling of the rankings may bode badly for certain cities, their positions can still attract “talent”.

“[…] The cost of living in certain cities can have a significant impact on the interest they generate as a talent destination. The cost of living can also influence location decisions for companies looking to expand and transform their geographic footprint.

Mercer’s survey was conducted in March 2022. Exchange rates were evaluated relative to the US dollar and New York City was “used as a benchmark city”.

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