The concept of quality of urban life (QoUL) can be interpreted quite differently across different cultures. Little evidence has shown that the measure of QoUL, which is based on Western culture, can be applied to populations cross-culturally. In the current study, we use data from the 2006 Assessing Happiness and Competitiveness of World Major Metropolises study to identify underlying factors associated with QoUL as well as assess the consistency of the QoUL measurement among adults, aged 60 and older, in ten world major metropolises (i.e. New York City, Toronto, London, Paris, Milan, Berlin, Stockholm, Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul). Exploratory factor analysis and multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) are used to analyse the data. Findings of the study suggest that the measure of QoUL is sensitive to socio-cultural differences. Community factor and intrapersonal factor are two underlying structures that are related to QoUL among older adults in ten metropolises cross-culturally. Results from the CFA indicate that Toronto is comparable with Beijing, New York City, Paris, Milan and Stockholm in QoUL, while other cities are not. The results provide insights into the development of current urban policy and promotion of quality of life among older residents in major metropolitan areas. Future researchers should continue to explore the relationship between QoUL and socio-cultural differences within international urban settings, while remaining cautious when making cross-cultural comparisons.