Vancouver's quality of life is tops among Canadian cities, says an international survey released Tuesday.

Vancouver tops all other Canadian cities on Mercer's 2012 Quality of Life Worldwide City Rankings and ranks 5th in the world behind Vienna, Zurich, Auckland and Munich.

Mercer, an international consulting firm, conducts the survey to help companies pay employees fairly when they're on international assignments.

"In order for multinational companies to ensure their expatriates are compensated appropriately and an adequate hardship allowance is included in compensation packages, they must be aware of current events and local circumstances," Slagan Parakatil, Mercer's senior researcher, said in a news release.

Mercer looks at 39 factors when ranking cities. They include political stability, banking services, climate, recreation and natural environment.

Vancouver held on to the top regional spot from the last survey, followed by Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal in 14th, 15th and 23rd places, respectively. Calgary ranked 32nd, moving up one spot from the last survey.

The survey comes just after research site Numbeo named Edmonton as having Canada's top quality of life. Mercer does not mention Edmonton in its top 50 cities.

Mercer also ranked city infrastructure based on factors such as electrical supply, availability of water, as well as public transportation and communication services.

Vancouver ranked ninth in the world on that list, followed by Toronto (16) and Ottawa (25).

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  • Vienna, Austria

    Vienna ranked first on Mercer's quality of life survey.

  • Zurich, Switzerland

    Zurich ranked second on Mercer's Quality of Life survey.

  • Auckland, New Zealand

    Auckland ranked third on Mercer's Quality of Life survey.

  • Munich, Germany

    Munich ranked fourth on Mercer's Quality of Life survey.

  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

    Vancouver ranked fifth on Mercer's Quality of Life survey.

  • Dusseldorf, Germany

    Dusseldorf ranked sixth on Mercer's Quality of Life survey.

  • Frankfurt, Germany

    Frankfurt ranked seventh on Mercer's Quality of Life survey.

  • Ottawa, Ontario

    Ottawa ranked 14th on Mercer's Quality of Life survey.

  • Toronto, Ontario

    A Canadian Press reporter hangs off the CN Tower in Toronto. Canada's biggest city ranked 15th in Mercer's Quality of Life survey.

  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Montreal ranked 23rd on Mercer's Quality of Life survey.