PHOTOGRAPHY VIA MERCER/FACEBOOK

These Canadian Cities Made the ‘High Quality of Life’ List

If you're looking for the right place to settle down in North America, get to packin' for Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal.

Thinking of exchanging your ‘We the North’ t-shirt for one claiming beach bums are better? Well, you might change your mind knowing that four of Canada’s biggest cities rank highest for the best quality of life in the world.

Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal made the cut for Mercer’s annual Quality of Living City Rankings this year. Mercer, a human resources consulting firm, conducts the Quality of Living survey annually to enable multinational companies and other organizations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. Their authoritative survey is one of the most comprehensive in the world.

In this year’s ranking of 231 cities, Vancouver came in fifth overall, Toronto in sixteenth, Ottawa in ninetieth and Montreal in twenty-first place. The cities are judged on 39 factors, which are grouped into 10 different categories: social environment including politics and crime, economic environment, limitations on personal freedoms, medical and health considerations, schools and education, public services and transportation, recreation and entertainment, consumer goods, housing and natural environment and climate.

Mercer also has a cost of living report, and interestingly, no Canadian cities were listed amongst the most expensive in the world. However, a chart on the firm’s website shows that the cost of living in Vancouver has increased eight per cent over the last 20 years. Let’s hope it doesn’t go any higher than that.