Despite hosting the 2010 Olympics, Vancouver failed to make the podium in an international survey ranking cities on their quality of life.
The city remained tied with Auckland, New Zealand, in fourth place, in Mercer's 2010 quality of living survey, with Vienna, Zurich and Geneva taking the top three spots.
"It's good finishing No. 4 in the world and we should be very pleased," said Tourism Vancouver's Walt Judas. "We're No. 1 in the Americas and No. 1 in Canada."
He said it's hard to say how the quality of living survey results would affect tourism.
"Combine the survey with the Olympics and it's just one more reason to visit Vancouver," he said.
Ottawa was in 14th spot with Toronto 16th, Montreal 21st and Calgary 28th.
However, despite its emphasis on fossil fuels, Cowtown topped the Mercer rankings when it came to "Eco-cities."
In the green category, Honolulu was second and Ottawa ranked third, while Vancouver was tied with Montreal at a distant 13th.
Vancouver Coun. Andrea Reimer, council's liaison to the Greenest City Action Team, said there are a lot of different ways of measuring green cities.
The survey by Mercer, a human-resources consulting firm, doesn't measure greenhouse-gas reduction, she said.
"That's where Vancouver has really shone historically," said Reimer.
"Without that, Vancouver is left with water, waste and sewage. Certainly, on sewage we're not doing well and we're not going to hide that and, on the question of waste, we do really poorly."
She said the city has recently brought in curbside composting and set a faster timeline for building a new sewage-treatment plant.