Toronto Is One of the Best Cities for Newcomers in 2023 

Toronto Is One of the Best Cities for Newcomers in 2023
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Toronto was named one of the world’s best cities in terms of quality of life for newcomers, according to a recent report by the leading consulting firm, Mercer.

Titled Quality of Living City Ranking 2023, the ranking assessed the “practicalities of daily life” for expatriate employees and their families in locations across the world.

The top cities on the list were Vienna, Zurich, Auckland, Copenhagen, and Geneva.

Canada placed 8th out of 241 cities on the ranking, through its Western city of Vancouver, which boasts a “blend of outdoor recreation and cosmopolitan living.” This was also the only North American city that made the top 10 list, which comprised of Vienna, Zurich, Auckland, Copenhagen, and Geneva, Frankfurt, Munich, Vancouver, Sydney, and Dusseldorf.

Toronto, however, was not far behind, finishing in 17th place. This makes it the second-best city in the country in terms of quality of life for newcomers.

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Canada in general performed very well, with five of its cities topping the list. Ottawa tied with Berlin, Germany, for 18th place, Montreal ranked 20th in a tie with Melbourne, Australia, and Calgary came in at 23rd place.

The factors accounted for by the report were the city’s healthcare system, education, infrastructure, political stability, eco-friendliness, cost-friendliness and socio-cultural environment.

“The most successful locations are currently those combining flexible governance for mobile talent, a high quality of life and a reasonable cost of living,” Mercer wrote.

The annual survey is “designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation strategies for their international assignees.”

New York City was used as the baseline for comparison.

Canada’s recent housing crisis has been well-documented, with major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal suffering from a shortage of affordable homes.

Toronto Metropolitan University’s report, The Crisis of Affordable Rental Housing in Toronto, defines a housing crisis as “an extended and increasing scarcity of affordable housing” and one in which the “housing supply falls short of demand.”

According to its findings, Toronto is the sixth most expensive city in the world, and – as of 2020 – it is more expensive to find rental housing in Toronto than in San Francisco, New York, and London.

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The city has witnessed a loss of affordable rental units and a sharp increase in high end units.

This is attributed to four reasons:

1. New rentals that were and continue to be built are mostly secondary market luxury rentals (condos).

2. The policy of vacancy decontrol allows landlords to bypass rent control that limit rent increases (2.2%) and raise rents to any amount for a new tenant, thus incentivizing more frequent evictions and price gouging, driving up rent prices.

3. The financialization of housing led to equity firms and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) buying up older purpose-built units and buildings, renovating them, pushing up rental costs, and pushing out existing tenants for those willing to pay higher prices.

4. Any New Purpose-Built Rentals are exempted from rent increase limits.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.