Montreal, Toronto among top 10 most expensive cities- Vancouver, obviously was already in the list.

By The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Toronto and Montreal have now joined the list of the top 10 most expensive cities in the world due to a stronger loonie and higher inflation rate.

An updated survey from Swiss wealth management firm UBS Bank suggests the two Canadian cities jumped around 20 spots since last year, ranking eighth and ninth among 73 cities surveyed.

Oslo, Zurich and Geneva remain the world’s most expensive cities, but Canada’s two largest cities ranked higher than London, Singapore and even Paris.

On the other end, the lowest prices for a broad basket of goods and services can be found in Mumbai, Manila and Bucharest.

Despite the pricey standard of living, the survey also found employees in the Canadian cities enjoy relatively high purchasing power from their hourly wages with Montreal ranking 11th and Toronto 14th.

On top were workers in Zurich, Sydney and Miami, while employees in Jakarta, Nairobi and Manila had the lowest purchasing power among cities surveyed.

When it came to comparing wages, the survey found Toronto ranked 13th and Montreal 16th among cities surveyed. Zurich and Copenhagen had the two highest wage levels.

The Prices and Earnings survey is published every three years. In 2009, the survey measured a standardized basket of 122 goods and services between March and April. This year’s update was carried out to adjust 2009 data for cumulative inflation and exchange rate movements.

The next full survey is scheduled for the spring of 2010.

Pam Martin of Invis, Mortgage Broker – Kelowna,Vernon, Penticton, Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada