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Major Canadian cities crush U.S. counterparts in quality of living rankings

Vancouver skyline.
Vancouver skyline. Getty Images

Try again, San Francisco.

American cities again failed to knock Canadian locales out of the top ranks of North American cities for Quality of Living, in an annual survey released by the Mercer consulting firm on Monday.

Vancouver topped all North American cities for the fourth year in a row, taking fifth place in the world, behind Vienna (1st), Zurich (2nd), Auckland (3rd) and Munich (4th).

Among North American cities, Vancouver was followed by Toronto, which tied with Melbourne, Australia for 16th place globally, and national capital Ottawa, which landed in 18th place.

The closest competitor from America was San Francisco, which came in at 29th place, tied with Canberra, Australia.

READ MORE: Canada’s best cities for full-time jobs

Mercer’s survey aims to provide multinational companies with advice on how to compensate their employees fairly when locating them on assignments around the world.

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The rankings are based on 39 factors that are divided into 10 categories, such as a city’s economy, its housing, its natural environment as well as health and medical considerations.

Infrastructure matters

Mercer’s latest survey included a separate ranking for infrastructure, which looked at areas such as a city’s drinking water, electricity, telephone services and public transportation.

“City infrastructure, ranked separately this year, plays an important role when multinationals decide where to establish locations abroad and send expatriate workers,” said a news release.

A scenic view at twilight of Sunset Beach on the West End’s waterfront, English Bay, Vancouver, B.C., September 30, 2015.
A scenic view at twilight of Sunset Beach on the West End’s waterfront, English Bay, Vancouver, B.C., September 30, 2015. Bayne Stanley/CP

Vancouver, again, ranked highest of all North American cities on infrastructure, coming in at ninth place globally, a placing that tied it with Zurich.

It was followed by Montreal, which tied with Atlanta for 14th place.

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Last year, Montreal announced a $6.3-billion capital works plan to help with repairs to roads and infrastructure, as well as transportation and sewer work. It includes $38.5 million being spent on the replacement of the Jacques-Bizard Bridge.

READ MORE: Vancouver top North American city, 5th in world in quality of life survey

The world’s worst city for infrastructure was Port-au-Prince, Haiti, at 231st place.

It ranked below cities such as Baghdad (230), Sana’a, Yemen (229), Brazzaville, Congo (228) and Conakry, Guinea (227).

Here are five Canadian cities that show up in the top 35 on Mercer’s Quality of Living list, and their global rankings:

33) Calgary, Alta.

The skyline in Calgary, Alta.
The skyline in Calgary, Alta. Global News

23) Montreal, Que.

Montreal.
Montreal. Global News

18) Ottawa, Ont.

Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

16) Toronto, Ont. (tied with Melbourne, Australia)

It seems one the Canadian government’s official twitter accounts might be confused about what the country’s largest city looks like.
The CN Tower, right, stands next to buildings under construction in the skyline of Toronto, Ont. on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. Bloomberg/Getty Images

5) Vancouver, B.C.

Seagulls fly above the waters of English Bay and the downtown skyline at dusk in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.
Seagulls fly above the waters of English Bay and the downtown skyline at dusk in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck