Canada’s Best Places to Live 2012 Methodology

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Canada’s Best Places to Live 2012 compiles, weighs and ranks 190 cities and towns in Canada by 22 separate categories, for a comprehensive data-driven snapshot of the benefits and drawbacks of our urban communities in Canada. Here’s how we crunched the numbers.

While we can’t gauge many of the elements that people enjoy in their cities, the nearness of family, the friendliness of neighbours or even great sunsets, we have measured what can be measured and compared what can be compared from towns and cities across our provinces and territories.

What’s New This Year

Best Places to Live 2012 measures 190 cities, up from 180 last year. To come up with the ranking, we gathered information on Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) and Census Agglomeration (CA) areas as defined by Statistics Canada. We then broke up the CMAs of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Quebec City, Hamilton, Ottawa-Gatineau, St. Catharines-Niagara, Oshawa, Edmonton, Victoria and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo into their component cities of 50,000 or more in population.

In 2012, we added the new CAs of Steinbach, Man., and High River, Lacombe, Strathmore and Sylvan Lake, all in Alberta. New suburban cities are Aurora, Ont., Strathcona County, Alta., Blainville and Dollard des Ormeaux, both Que. In addition, Gatineau, Que. and Saanich, B.C. are split out from their CMA areas for the first time. Lastly, La Tuque, Que. was removed from the CA cities designation by Statistics Canada.

We have also included breakout lists; Best Places to Retire, Best Places to Raise Kids and Best Places to Find Jobs.

How We Ranked the Cities – The Calculations

A total of 105 points was up for grabs. Each category (below) was allotted a number of points depending on the importance of the category. For example, employment statistics are worth 10 points while sales taxes are worth 1 point. Some categories are further broken into subcategories. For example, the crime category is determined by statistics in the subcategories of violent crime, crime severity and total crime.

The top city in each category received the maximum number of points, and the rest of the cities received descending incremental points based on their ranking.

For example, in the area of unemployment, Estevan, Sask. had the lowest unemployment rate in the country (1.6%). It was ranked No. 1 in that category and received 10 points. The second-best city in the unemployment category, Wetaskiwin, Alta., received 9.95 points. The next city was Swift Current, Sask. with 9.89 points and so on down to the 190th city (Bay Roberts, N.L. unemployment rate 16.8%), which received 0.53 points.

Calculations for some other categories follow a slightly different methodology. For example, in the category of population growth, an annual rate of 7.9% was considered ideal. Anything below or above that rate loses points and cities with a population loss got zero. The same is true for the subcategory of precipitation, which makes up part of the weather category. (The ideal number is 700 mm a year, with anything above or below that losing points accordingly)

As well, 5 bonus points have been added based on the percentage of people employed in arts, culture, recreation and sports.

Example: Oshawa, Ont.

Oshawa scored the following in these categories;

While a perfect score in all categories would give a city 105 points, the top city this year, Ottawa, only garnered 74.11 points. Our lowest ranking city, New Glasgow, N.S., scored 33.8 points.

A city’s points are then ranked with all other cities to determine the best places to live overall.

Categories and Points

WALK/BIKE TO WORK: 7 points – This represents the percentage of people who walked or took their bike to work. Source: 2006 Statistics Canada reports

WEATHER: 18 points – (6 for each : amount of precipitation, number of wet days, days below 0°C). Ideal volume of precipitation is considered to be 700 mm per year. Source: Environment Canada

AIR QUALITY: 2 points – One point for parts per million of ozone and one point for levels of suspended fine particulate matter, both of which are major components of smog. Source: Monitoring stations in or nearest to each city as reported by the National Air Pollution Surveillance Network.

POPULATION GROWTH: 10 points – Results are based on the average Canadian population growth rate from 2006-2011 of 5.9% plus 2%. Higher growth rates create problems as cities struggle to provide services to growing populations. Lower growth rates means less opportunities. Cities with negative growth received 0 points. Source: 2011 Statistics Canada figures

UNEMPLOYMENT: 10 points – 2011 data from Statistics Canada when provided and 2012 estimates derived from Canadian Demographics.

HOUSING: 15 points – (7.5 for average house prices and 7.5 for time to buy a house) House price averages from reports and listings by MLS, Canadian Real Estate Association, and the Real Estate Boards of Toronto, Fraser Valley, Vancouver, Edmonton and Quebec. Time to buy was derived from average price divided by average 2012 estimated household income sourced from Canadian Demographics.

HOUSEHOLD INCOME: 4 points – Based on 2012 estimates. Source: Canadian Demographics.

DISCRETIONARY INCOME: 4 points – Discretionary household income as a percentage of total household income derived from 2012 estimates. Using a percentage figure adjusts for higher cost of living and tax factors. Source: Canadian Demographics.

NEW CARS: 4 points – 2009-2011 model year vehicles as a percent of total vehicles as per Canadian Demographics.

INCOME TAXES: 2 points – Cities ranked (lower is better) according to the rate of combined federal and provincial (or territorial) income tax paid on a single person income of $50,000. Source: www.taxtips.ca.

SALES TAXES: 1 point – Cities ranked (lower is better) according to the rate of provincial or territorial sales tax.

CRIME: 5 points – Violent crime rates (2 points), total crime rates per 100,000 people (2 points) and crime severity rates (1 point) for 2010. (Lower is better in all three cases.) Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

DOCTORS: 6 points – Number of general practice and specialist physicians per community and converted to doctors per 1,000 people. Source: Canadian Medical Association

HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: 4 points – Percentage of people in each city who are employed in health occupations. Source: 2006 Census

TRANSIT: 5 points – Based on the percentage of the workforce utilizing public transit. Source: 2006 Census

AMENITIES: 3 points – One point each for a hospital, university and college. Cities in a CMA area received credit if a particular institution was located anywhere in the CMA.

CULTURE: Bonus points – A city could receive up to 5 points based on the percentage of people employed in arts, culture, recreation and sports. Source: 2006 Census

Best Places to Live 2012 displays cities’ rankings in each category and total rankings out of 190 cities, not points.

All data and calculations are on this downloadable spreadsheet.

Sub-list: Best Places for Jobs

This calculation was adjusted to account for services and requirements for those looking for work. The list eliminates weather, air quality, walk/ bike to work, new cars, culture and crime categories.

The point system;

Employment 25
Housing 15
Income 15
Discret. Income 15
Taxes 10
Transit 7
Doctors 6
Population 5
Health Pros 4
Ammenities 3
Total 105

Sub-list: Best Places to Raise Kids

This calculation included the following additional categories;

  • child care spaces
  • population 14 and under
  • percentage of students

Note, some of the statistics are available only province to province instead of city by city. Sources: Canadian Demographics 2012 edition childcare space statistics 2008 report published by the Childcare Resource and Research Unit www.childcarecanada.org, Statistics Canada Summary Public School Indicators and 2010 Provincial population projections

The point system;

POPULATION 14 AND UNDER 7
DAYCARE SPACES 5
STUDENT AS A % POPULATION 3
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE 9
TIME TO BUY A HOUSE 9
HOUSEHOLD INCOME 6
DISCRETIONARY INCOME 4
INCOME TAXES 2
SALES TAXES 1
POPULATION GROWTH 5
CRIME 5
DOCTORS 6
HEALTH PROFESSIONALS 4
UNEMPLOYMENT 10
WEATHER 12
AIR QUALITY 2
TRANSIT 7
AMENITIES 3
CULTURE (Bonus) 5
TOTAL 105

Sub-list: Best Places to Retire

The calculations were adjusted to emphasize services and conditions for retirees.

The point system;

WALK/BIKE TO WORK 7
CLIMATE 30
POP. GROWTH 10
HOUSING 15
INCOME TAXES 3
SALES TAXES 2
CRIME 5
DOCTORS/1000 12
HEALTH PROS 8
TRANSIT 5
AMENITIES 3
CULTURE (Bonus) 5
TOTAL 105

183 comments on “Canada’s Best Places to Live 2012 Methodology

  1. Pingback: Canada's Best Place To Live - 2012 | MoneySense

  2. This is great, it would be wonderful if someone could manipulate the list by choosing which bits of information are most important for them and from there create personalized livable list. For example doctors is not important for me but walkability and housing cost is super important.

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      • Very cool. I agree with Jonathan though, I'd love to play with that spreadsheet and rank what cities according to my personal priorities. (It's currently password protected.)

        If income is already measured, why are there 4 points for 'percentage of new cars' on the list? What does that represent about a community?

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        • Yes, please unlock the spreadsheet as you have done in all previous years – it was very helpful to have the raw data to manipulate according to what is important to you personally.

          Great work though folks – love this feature!

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    • copy and paste into excel….then sort any way u like…

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      • u might have to "save as" first

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  3. The link to the Excel spreadsheet is broken. : (

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  4. HA! Edmonton and Red Deer over Calgary in Alberta is laughable.

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    • I've worked and lived in all 3 the last year. I think they got it right. I'm a little thrown off by Ottawa in first place though. Massive PS budget cuts, lousy weather, struggling tech sector….very odd for it to come in first. Lots of Ottawa folks heading west…

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    • not really.. I left Calgary after living there from 1989 to 2006 because it was getting too expensive and I did not want to raise children there.. too much competition to keep up with the Joneses and the 'bigger better' mentality was getting kind of sickening.

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    • Yeah, Calgary's skewing lower due to the cost of living, I'm sure.

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    • You do understand the criteria right? Red Deer has less crime, more bike paths, better housing prices, wide variety of industry, less traffic, etc. Yes the bigger cities have all that but for the amount of people Red Deer gives you everything good without all the hassles and big price ticket. It's not a popularity contest, just statistics.
      I

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  5. Ottawa the best city …I am happy for the result because living for over 20 years in Ottawa make feel proud about our city

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    • I agree, we do not live there, but it is the most beautiful of all our cities.

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    • The only reason its like that is because thats where the goverment is, duh

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  6. Brampton, #166. No surprises there! It sure isn't the city it used to be.

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    • Brampton is still the city it used to be. I would say it improved.

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  7. Since people who work for the government are covering a treasure they don't want to share, finding a job in Ottawa is not easy. People who cannot find work move…

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  8. Burlington #2…. Should be #1. I love it here.

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    • Me toooooooooooo !!!!

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  9. Did you go into this ranking with a particular outcome in mind and then choose criteria that would suit? For example, why is precipitation, but not average temperature, a factor for Weather? Why do "days below 0 degrees" matter, but not "days above" a certain temperature? What about average wind speed, regularity of storms, likelihood of flooding, etc.? Just stating "Rain bad. Few freezing days good" is a teensy bit simplistic.

    Or how about "Culture"? Why look at the number of people employed in the fields of arts, sports, etc.? Is employment really a good indicator of a city's cultural richness. I bet there are plenty of cities where relatively few people actually work in these fields but where a huge number of people actively participate in cultural activities. An area with a large Native community or a particularly high number of immigrants will often have an enormous number of cultural events, unique community facilities, etc. But few of the people in the area will actually be employed in these endeavours.

    Shall I go on? "Amenities" — hospitals and post-secondary institutions. Hardly a well-rounded selection of the facilities and services available to a good community. And is this necessarily a good thing? A town where everybody's sick all the time NEEDS a lot of hospitals. That's not a sign of a great place to live. Do college towns with a selection of huge universities, but where most students are only temporary residents, rank higher than a city that provides a smaller selection of educational opportunities, but targets those to its own citizens?

    Then there's taxation. You've looked at Income Tax and Sales Tax. How about municipal taxes? User fees? A city in a province with a low sales tax but that charges citizens a small fortune in school taxes, has water meters, and so on might score unfairly high. Another city where sales and income taxes are high, but where those taxes cover virtually everything, might score unfairly low. Wouldn't "total tax and public services burden" be a better metric?

    And "Unemployment"… Does this follow the official definition: people actively looking for work? If so, it can be a terribly misleading term. Perhaps a lot of people have simply given up hope… And there's no mention of quality of work. A city with low unemployment but where everyone's working a miserable job is not necessarily better than a city with higher unemployment but where those who do have jobs are happy and productive in the workplace.

    I could go on, but hopefully you get the point. A huge number of criteria in this ranking seem based on entirely arbitrary, and poorly defined, selections.

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    • I agree with John, many of the criteria here are poorly thought out. "Population growth" for instance is not the best criteria to neccesarily judge either the burden on public services or the availability of opportinities. I am sure there are better ways to determine both more directly, for instance job vacancies or property taxes.
      Also, why is rain counted twice ("precipitation" and "wet days")? Personnaly I'd rather rain over snow, you don't have to shovel the stuff every morning. If you count rain twice, you should count snow thrice. That goes for numerous other oddities seen in this beffuddled little piece of work: "Income", "Discretionary income" and "New Cars"?? "Doctors" and "Health Professionals"??

      And another thing: what accounts for the distance to the nearest national park, ski hill, large body of water? How about access to swimming pools, restaurants, theatres, museums, schools.. etc and the quality of these institutions?

      It's a shame this thing wasn't better thought out.

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      • I want to vote for both of your comments several times.

        People who work IN the arts can rarely afford to TICKETS to the arts. The measure should probably be reversed (percentage employed IN arts means a lower arts score).

        Access is very important.

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    • Yes! Yes! Yes and so on… Big unemployment, but not on the dole, no Dr's and huge municipal taxes. Not really conveyed in this survey.

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    • Bravo! I could add more topics for debate but where would that get us? Hopefully what you have had the good foresight to mention will get their attention for the next comparison. It is hard to fight the 'powers that be' when they are paid (from our taxes) far more than they are worth. They can manipulate the numbers anyway they want to make them come out to THEIR liking or for whomever they are working for, it certainly isn't the average person. Go get 'em.

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    • John well said and elaborated. You just confirmed that nothing wrong with my understanding but what was wrong is the methodology. I can only applaud your comments. If we could have more of John who speak their minds fearlessly , Canada would be a free place from those who claim ultimate knowledge and expertise using the poorest method to reach "a particular outcome in mind" for whatever purpose and whoever party.

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      • I too tried to speak my mind fearlessly but it seems the moderator did not approve my comments. It seems this website/publication is a little touchy and does not want to publish criticism that hits a little too close to home in this obviously flawed study.

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        • MoneySense invites criticism and debate. We do not however publish derogatory or inflammatory comments and we tend to publish only those criticisms that carry the debate forward with unique insights and/or suggestions on how to improve the rankings.

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  10. So good weather is more important than crime rates and health combined? And both income and sales taxes are -according to this study- bad, even when they pay for hospitals, transit, cultural amenities, and education, which are all deemed -by this study- as good?

    And population growth is always good? I would say that for a large city like Toronto a stable population is best, i.e. 0% growth. No city on earth can grow indefinitely, unless this planet can hold an unlimited number of people. Maybe that's just me.

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  11. I am really confused. How does Burlington rank #3 for the weather, while Hamilton ranks #45? Essentially, they have the same weather. Even if air quality is included in this weather calculation and Hamilton fairs more poorly, seems like a huge differential given that precipitation is 7 points and air quality is 2 points. Seems fishy

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    • I was wondering the same thing about Newmarket and Aurora. Aurora is a few minutes south of Newmarket but we rank much lower on the "good weather" scale.

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  12. Yeah. There's no way in hell I'm leaving Toronto for any of the 46 better ranked places. And almost none of the categories used matter more to me than the events, tons of concerts, TFC, Blue Jays, Raptors, Rogers Cup, people on the streets at midnight, art events, theaters, TIFF, and everything else in between. I'd rather have these than walk to work, thank you.

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    • TFC, Blue Jays, Raptors Roger's Up (?)..And who can afford all of that … Unless you're rich…if you're rich anyplace is good. Toronto real estate is too high ( for now… ), wages too low ( bad combo )

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  13. How on earth was "climate" calculated (under best place to retire)? It's not listed in the methodology. Kelowna, BC (golf courses, wineries, mild winters) is rated 65th, sandwiched between Ottawa (66th) and Gatineau (65th)? I live in Ottawa, the last thing I want to be doing in my retirement is shovel mountains of snow and be stuck inside from November to May because of the climate. I'll be moving to Kelowna thanks!

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    • I thought the same as you and moved to Kelowna. I am now moving back to Toronto due to lack of health care / expensive and the weather. It is March 22 today and snowing. Toronto is sunny and warm.

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    • Hi Mike, we just moved from Kelowna back to Burlington in 2011 after spending 3 years there. I would not move back. We purchased a home in a great area that we cannot sell now. Just a suggestion – "try it on" first and rent your first year, as you might return back to Ontario. People here are definately more friendly. The weather rating is correct, the weather here is better in Burlington. I stay inside when it is 40 in Kelowna, even if it is a "dry heat". The positive – the skiing is fantastic and can't be beat; Silver Star over Big White. Hind sight is 20/20, hope our experience helps you. Enjoy your weekend. Cathy

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  14. This seems to be missing many important factors. For example transit. Halifax #4 really? It's transit is horrible and it's crime is ridiculously high.

    IMO:
    Montreal is by far the best city to live in Canada. Rent is cheap, food is cheap, transit is amazing, having a family here is by far the best – Quebec pays QPIP to mothers for maternity. This is 70% of their earnings and they can be on it for a year, as opposed to the rest of Canada at 55% and less than a year.
    Tuition here is the lowest in Canada so going back to school is more of an option for those who want to.
    It's also extremely culturally diverse in Montreal. This keeps people from being ignorant!

    I have lived in Cape Breton, Halifax, Vancouver and now Montreal.

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    • You receive those amazing subsidies(QPIP) from the pockets of the Canadian taxpayer. You don't really think Quebec could afford that all by itself?
      However, that in itself, it is still Montreal. You like it there. Good for you! You get that subsidy throughout Quebec, ya' know!
      Mike H

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    • You my friend are in a dream world. If it was not for the equalization payments from other provinces, you and your ilk would be living in poverty. Also your province complains about the oil sands, and yet the largest portion of your equalization comes from Alberta. Perhaps you should become aware of the world around you

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    • I would have to say that Montreal scores high with me as well except English language
      employment. I am retired now and have been living In Calgary now for thirty years after living
      in Montreal for half that time. There is much greater variety of things to do in Montreal, many more clubs for middle aged people and places to go to in the large downtown area. Calgary's
      downtown is mostly office buildings which ruins a city center as a place to meet others.

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    • sorry buddy but no opportunities for people that,s why there are moving out to others provinces

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    • There is something bittersweet about Montreal. It's a truly beautiful city, especially in the summer time. A great social scene, affordable housing, culturally diversified, relatively safe, and you can get anywhere on the island within an hour because of its small size. Four universities to choose from on island alone, and extremely bike friendly. One the other hand, the air quality isn't that great (as everyone is constantly blowing smoke in your face), the quality of the roads are totally ridiculous, and the winters are less than desired. Add that to the strict language criteria for employment and you begin to wonder if you love it that much.

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    • Good for you! Halifax is a great city. There are more places in Canada Besides Toronto Montreal and Vancouver. Get over it!!!!!

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    • Montreal would be the best place to live in Canada if we could put the language issue to rest. It is a rouse set up by government to keep people from focusing on the real problem issues we have here like 50% of Quebecers not being able to find a GP or 18 hours waiting time in hospitals to see a doctor or the shrinking middle class that supports all these govt programs that we borrow money from Canada to supply. We need to learn to share the province with all English, French and any others who choose to live here. In doing so, we could attract business & financially start to prosper again. Be nice to loose the title of 1 of the poorest province in Canada.

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    • if u dont want work thn montreal is best ..they feed u but u have to beg …cheap people always talk abt cheap things… montreal is discreminaton city…i m moving frm here….montreal is worst place to live…..if ur income is high…thn quebec tax u pays higher..thn every province in canada….hell in montreal

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  15. My suspicions were raised when Newmarket, Whitby and yes, Oshawa, were top 25. Then I read the rationale and my suspicions were confirmed. Good for creating debate, meaningless for making key decisions. Look at the raw data yourself and draw your own conclusions!

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  16. How on earth can red deer, edmonton… be ahead of victoria and vancouver. The only issue out here is the high real estate prices. This is the cost to live in paradise. I retired to Victoria from Burlington and Edmonton and have no regrets.

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    • Paradise…………………………….

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    • I agree. I "tried" Vanc. way back in '75, from Ont. and have stayed in this seemingly rainy place every since. Why do you think that is, folks !!

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    • You forgot that victoria has no sewage treatment plant and dumps all their raw sewage into the ocean so how nice is that for strolling on the beach. So they plant lots of flowers every to show you how beautiful it is but it's the biggest polluter on the coast.

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      • Victoria has a primary sewage system. Secondary sewage is (sadly) in the works. I say sadly because it is a waste of huge amounts of money that could be applied elsewhere for better results. The vast majority of sewage is water. The second component is human waste which, obviously, nobody wants to encounter in any concentration. That's why the system works: the sewer out falls are well offshore and pump the water and waste into a massive body of ocean water which has strong natural currents. Then Mother Nature kicks in and processes the waste from us shore based mammals, just like it processes the waste from all the fish, birds and mammals living here in paradise. If it offends you then I suggest you ask all the wildlife in the region to please use facilities elsewhere.

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    • Unfortunately people will be unable to afford to live here much longer as myself with a young family we cannot afford to buy a place to live even with well paying jobs, so we are leaving but there are other places in the province that are much more beautiful than victoria or vancouver. And Red deer probably ranked higher because they don't have east hastings and better health care. good luck when its time to move to a care home too.

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    • I stopped traveling to dirty, ugly, drug-crime infested Vancouver years ago, so can't give any reasons. However, for Victoria here's my list of why Edmonton is a better place to live:

      1. Just got back from Victoria and after almost been pooped on by seagulls five times a day for a week I started to notice … EVERYTHING is covered in seagull poop.
      2. The place is full of old retired folks that shouldn't be driving … but they do.
      3. It's a bit of a hick town, and the people living there seems to have a bit of an inferiority complex.
      4. There are panhandlers EVERYWHERE. Why? Do people in Victoria care so little about their fellow man that they don't look after these folks?
      5. Too many people are fanatical about their right to smoke weed. It's illegal … get over it and go have a beer. Looks like a good place to raise your kids as long as you don't mind them being stoned all the time.
      6. I'd be going to U of A, UBC, U of Calgary or U of Sask. before ever getting a degree from U of Vic.
      7. Housing is too expensive for what you get.
      8. Paying HST vs only 5% GST in Alberta.
      9. The hotels are expensive, and most are awful.
      10. It's getting better, since 5 years ago there were no great restaurants in Victoria (ZERO), but there still doesn't seem to be a need to run a good restaurant since the owners can make good money running their tourist traps instead.
      11. Lots of vacant or destroyed by fire historical buildings.
      12. Lots of downtown business that have shut down. It looks like Vic was hit hard by the recession.
      13. Edmonton has a much better job market. Higher paying jobs requiring a more highly trained workforce.
      14. The tourists (and I've been one many times) drive you nuts downtown. They run in front of cars, stop dead to take photos or walk too slow.
      15. Edmonton just has more to do all year long. Better theater, better festivals, better restaurants, pro sports. The only negs are the long winter and mosquitoes during the summer (buy some deet and they're not a bother).

      Here's what I like about Victoria:
      1. Great weather for at least half the year.
      2. Close to Seattle.
      3. Very few mosquitoes.
      4. Nice little airport.
      5. Nice trees.

      Honestly, I could never live in Victoria. I could see myself living in Saanich, except you'd still need to go into Victoria or take the ferry to Seattle, for something to do. It's an excellent location if you like outdoor activities like boating, rowing, swimming, though.

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    • Go David

      In Winnipeg the definition of a good girlfriend used to be .

      Can she shovel snow.

      Your choice the burlington bridge or the Johnson street bridge

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  17. I agree with John – many of the criteria used are very arbitrary, as an example, it indicates the best level of precipitation is 700 mm – wow, that is an awful lot of precipitation and would exclude most areas on the Prairies. I really am not putting too much faith in these figures – I live in Saskatoon which is ranked 30 on the list but I feel it should be higher – it is an excellent all around place to live and still has that small town feel to it.

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  18. What about Vancouver and Montreal?

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    • Montreal is a great city. Diversity, great food, excellent Jazz comedy fest , The Old port.Yes the winters can be hard but the spring summer are fantastic.This is a city you will never be bored in

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  19. The result of this ranking is needed more discoustion, considering some questions as:
    1- categories are the product or outputs but the indicators are the inputs, so how the ranking can be based on the indicators and categories, simultaneously. for example: Healts/pros is a product but the doctor/1000 is an indicator. or Incom taxes and sales taxes both are indicator. Environment is a category which the weather and the air quality can be its indicators. Transit is a category but walk to work is an indicator.

    2-Driving forces impact the categories in same terms, making cities challenge with. Why there are Diferent points for diferent categories? and why some can be more important, to get mor point, than the others? Woun't this method influence on the result of the ranking, if we chane the importance of the categories?

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  20. Where did Saskatoon rank on the list?

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  21. London, Ontario – WAY too high on the list – dirty, dangerous city with high unemployment, high crime, and a homeless and drug problem. Terrible traffic, a ring road to nowhere, and the entire east end is run by a rioting mob. Not to mention the Hells Angels seem to love it there. Companies are leaving London left and right. Waterloo, Ontario – well, walk through downtown London, then downtown Waterloo and tell me which city is a nicer place to live. London is far over rated, and as a happy former Londoner, I wouldn't recommend anyone in their right mind move in to that hole.

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    • Actually one of my most hated citys in the world, second only to Doncaster in England.

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    • I don't know what got up in your saddle there Scott, but London is not as bad as you think. Yes there is a unemployment problem, but overall London is one of the most diverse economies in the province who will get throught their issues. One sector is getting hit, but don't forget it is a medical community and high tech also. I work in the transportation field which has a problem getting workers. There is a labour shortage in the area when it comes to certain jobs. If a company can't get those workers, they will go where they can. The drug problem is a world wide problem , you can't get away from it just to let you know. The Hells Angels are also can be everywhere so, lame excuse there too. You might want to get the facts first before you put down your community. I don't find London dangerous as you put it. I have been to a few US cities like Detroit where yes watch your back, but even then I have never had a problem in that city either. IT is your attititude that will get into that situation.

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    • I totally agree!!!

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    • I'm a senior who has lived in Edmonton for 30 years and am doing research on moving to London. My concept of London comes from what it was like in the 1970's when it was a good place to live. You've got me concerned. Has it really deteriorated that much?

      David C

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  22. Can't understand why Vancouver ranks in top 3 best places to live in the world and is number 56 on this list below Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina, Red Deer, Calgary and Saskatoon, now really, let's get serious and stop larking about. Have you ever spent one winter in any of these places. I live in Vancouver and although property prices are extremely it by far outranks many of the 56 above it for everything on your list.

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    • I guess that's why the homeless population in Vancouver is so high. It's a great place to be homeless. Perhaps the real estate prices, cost of living, PST don't bother you but I can't afford Vancouver. I would take a Sunny Alberta winter over a dreary wet-coast winter.

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      • Dreary is a relative term. I can understand the need for more sun, as in Alberta, but when the sun comes out on the B.C. coast, it is so beautiful, with greenery all through winter, snow on the mountains where it belongs and flowers blooming early. It's not the "weather" or the "climate" that should be evaluated, but what a person really values. For me, it's being able to hobnob outside at any time of the year, wearing a light jacket, interspersed for only a month or so with a thicker one.

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    • Yes I am in agreement. I have ived in Vienna, Adelaide, several US cities, Managua, San Jose, Abishan,Africa an now in Mexico. None of the Cities come close to Vancouver. Adelaide is a nice city but not comparable to Vancouver

      Reply

  23. Yay Ottawa and Kingston for ranking so high! My two hometowns. No thanks MTV: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver. Ottawa has a love/hate relationship with government and the mentality while it certainly does keep the economic pace even keel. Lakes, water and proximity to nature are important to us and our real estate values need to help fund retirement. Ottawa is the middle of the Oreo – not alot of top (rich) – not alot of bottom (poor) – just a great centre.

    Reply

  24. Surrey, BC- the worst place for outdoor fun when it comes to biking and rollerblading. The Canadian way of doing fun under the sun was gone away.

    Reply

  25. this list is kind of ridiculous…does anyone really believe it? more accurate and respected rankings are found by looking at other places. Google search "The Economist Magazine Best cities" or "Mercer Consulting Best Cities" for a more realistic list of the best places to live.

    Reply

  26. I'm from Victoria. I moved to Red Deer. Then to Edmonton. My family lives in Calgary.

    I have no idea how Edmonton and Red Deer could possibly rank higher than Calgary. It's impossible! I totally understand why Vancouver and Victoria aren't at the top (it's ripping expensive and there's no work there…plus it rains nine-months of the year), but even they deserve to be above Lacombe!

    Edmonton!? Really!? It can't be the weather since it's below 0 four months of the year and for an entire month we don't break -30 (this winter notwithstanding)! It can't be a low crime rate since we proudly hold the title for Murder Capital of Canada with 47 murders last year and are in the running for Violent Crime Capital of Canada as well! Less than 25% of the population has a high-school diploma (according to city-data.com). The arts? Two words: Steel Balls (seriously, google $600000 steel balls and see what I mean).

    The study is flawed.

    Seriously flawed.

    Reply

    • i agree the system is flawed, but your mind is flawed for looking at the criteria. for "low crime" i do not believe it includes "severity" of crime. considering this was done for this years weather, it should only include this years weather. think before you speak

      Reply

    • I can see why you are so bewildered. That is the normal state for people in Calgary since there is so much unfounded hype to filter through to get to the real truth. What has Calgary really got to offer besides a rodeo. This is how they define culture in that city. Quite the benchmark!!

      Reply

    • Obviously he was exaggerating, we all know its bloody cold in Alberta! COME ON!

      Reply

  27. I think this list is so different from the other ones that always say Vancouver is the best city because this report talks about the best city "for the money". It's like saying which is a better car…a Hyundai or a Ferrari. Obviously the Ferrari is the better car but the Hyundai is the better value. I don't think this study disagrees with the other studies that say Vancouver is the best city…it only says that Vancouver is not the best value. The reality is most of us can't afford a Ferrari (or Vancouver) so we chose a better "value" like a Hyundai or Ford (or Ottawa)

    Reply

  28. Does any one really take this seriously? It is so obviously flawed it can't be for real. I live in Delta BC which ranks #37 for weather. I live literally 500 metres from Richmond. I can see it from my window right now…but it ranks #90 for weather. Just ridiculous. And it's crazy to think there are 89 Canadian cities with better weather than Richmond. I golfed in Richmond twice in January!!! How many Canadians can say that? With results like this I wonder how accurate the rest of this report is.

    Reply

  29. Barrie is #120?No kidding.What a hell hole to live. They have no clue what they are doing there.Downtown is unkempt,drugs rule our schools and streets.Over priced houses,no jobs,blah blah……. What a mess!!!! Glad we moved…Not a good place to live.

    Reply

  30. Toronto thsat high? Ya right. A city with no soul, where you have to drive 90 minutes to get anywhere, where $250,000 buys you a shack, and the 401v becomes parking lots during rush hours.

    Reply

    • This is just a stupid article/study that has no merit. All it is good for is inciting competition and debate from people who live in these cities. " My city is better that yours!" "We are the happiest city ever!" "We have more jobs that thou!" "We have less crime!" blah blah belch!

      Reply

  31. I question some of those "cities" on your list. Bay Roberts, NL is NOT a city (pop. about 5000/ 8000 if you include the surrounding area) and Cape Breton is the ISLAND part of the province of Nova Scotia. The second city in NS is the Cape Breton Regional Municipality which includes Sydeny, Glace Bay, New Waterford, Louisbourg and other small towns. Cape Breton, as you claim, would include the entire geographical island……and believe me, it is NOT a city.

    Soooo……I ask again…..what EXACTLY is your criteria for classifying an area as a CITY and just how much research do you put into this study? Are you like most Ontarians……and NOT know what exists outside your OWN province???? It's obvious by your article of Best/Worst Places to Live that your staff needs a crash course on Canada's geography.

    Reply

    • Hi and thanks for reading Samson. We use Statistics Canada census agglomeration data to determine cities with populations above 10,000. Bay Roberts proper, for example, has some 6,000 residents but when you include its five or so outlying townships (as per StatsCan) the city is well over 10,000. Hope that clears it up.

      Reply

  32. I was totally insulted by this report. Campbell River is a beautiful city on the east coast of Vancouver Island. We may not have as many cultural activities as the big cities, but there are opportunities for the arts. We are surrounded by natural beauty that comes with the price of more precipitation, but we don't shovel snow in the winter, and enjoy our mountains and lakes in the summer without concern of forest fires. Crime is everywhere in the Canada – the justice system needs to be fixed, not necessarily the place we all live. Jobs are available, but if people are looking for oil sands wages, then they are out of luck, but there are plenty of employers looking for employees. By the sounds of the previous comments, we are all happy with were we live and are proud of our cities, defending their attributes. The criteria is questionable, and again, I disagree with this report.

    Reply

  33. How is it even possible to compare small towns (ie: populations hovering near 10 000 or even less) with Toronto? Burlington? Calgary? Obviously they're not going to have the same amenities…

    Reply

  34. Pleasantly surprised that Brandon made number six on the list. Lived here most of my life and enjoy it. Our weather can be both harsh and lovely the crime rate is low and we have plenty of lakes close by for summer recreation. Go Wheaties.

    Reply

  35. All they talk about is the big cities what about the east coast where you can buy land cheap houses are affordable schools are great for the kids your close to the ocean and you dont have to drive in traffic for an hour to get to work or to school and your not breathing in smog visit and see for yourself

    Reply

    • what city is that please? I want a city that is good for kids. Thanks

      Reply

  36. I was born in Williams Lake moved to North Vancouver and spent most of my life in Maple Ridge – I have since moved back to Williams Lake and bought a house within reason I have a job but I no longer have to commute 5 hours a day to drive back and forth to Vancouver. What I can't believe is that on a Saturday morning at 9 am it's bumper to bumper on the Lougheed Hwy. Yes it was the cost of living on the lowermainland and I feel that my time is important. Though I would still say that Vancouver out ranks Calgary or Edmonton or Red Dear for it's beauty of nature. I disagree with this report as Williams Lake cannot compete with the bigger cities but it's peaceful and the people are friendly.

    Reply

  37. I find it funny that income is 15 pionts out of 105. with "new cars" counting toward 4 of this? Your income desides if you buy a new car. You are not given a income and a new car for a normal job._Income then is 11 points out of 105. 10.5% of total value does not send thousands crossing the country to live in the praries. Income must have a greater weight to cause this migration._This survey is seriously flawed.

    Reply

  38. I live in New Glasgow and it's great! But Moneysense – it's not a CITY! We live in a small town! How can you even compare OTTAWA to NEW GLASGOW??????

    Reply

  39. If you like where you are enjoy!

    Reply

    • Vancouver , Lower Mainland , is nice weather city but family income, values very poor ,
      soon many people they will be homeless ,crimes will be high due politicians selffishness.
      Another Europe disaster coming soon, be prepared.

      Reply

    • u sad it bob!! the best place to live in canada is anywhere!!!

      Reply

      • Except London ontario…

        Reply

  40. This study is seriously flawed. Just look at weather. Winnipeg is ranked as having better weather than many places in the Okanagan, including Kelowna. I've lived in both, and there is no comparison. People move to Kelowna because of the amazing weather. People do not move to Winnipeg because of the amazing weather. So however it is calculated is flawed. After seeing that, I have little regard for the rest of the study

    Reply

    • i agree winnipeg's weather sucks , this is why i want to move to Southwestern Ontario

      Reply

    • To be honest, Kelowna's weather is terrible in the winter months, grey, dull, and zero sunshine…

      Reply

  41. K-Town number 3. As it should be….great place to live….it will be even better when they get it finished.

    Reply

  42. I live in Port Alberni and the way things are going it's probably pretty well right. Our air quality in the winter was just rated unacceptable by an Air Quality Meteorologist from the Ministry of Environment. Our unemployment rate is high,our infrastructure is aging and one of the biggest money makers for the city [Catalyst] is close to being gone

    Reply

    • PA was also rated in the bottom ten in Canada for unemployment. I was born and raised there. Last year when I looked for work over there I had calls from Nanaimo, Tofino, and VLictoria. The job postings were sparse and many were temporary positions.

      Last week a friend could not get a truck and most were being left in other cities in Alberta where many people are moving to work.

      Reply

    • Gary must be depressed….Port Alberni is a great place. Its going through redefinition right now so the old heavy industries are going to go the way of the do do. Retirement, close to absoutely stunning nature, a work force that can do things, and an excellent climate for gardening and agriculture. People are realy nice, and the roads are wide and well kept. It is also central to vancouver island and is only an hour and a half to long beach Tofino, Naniamo, Campbell River and many other interesting spots for day tours.

      There is a certain negativity born by the culture that is slowly being displaced by gentrification, however if theyed roll up their sleeves and pretty up their houses and lands, and accept that the old days are going going going, there are plenty of oportunities. The mill is closing which is the best thing that ever happened to the town….Now we can get on with healthier, less boom and bust dependent economies………thanks Mike

      Reply

  43. Brooks is better than Penticton? As if.

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  44. st johns nl –as far as im concerned is the best place to live lot of snow but great for the sports minded great spring lots of rain so what rain is good keeps our vegs growing they are fresh not the grabbage we get else where they are fresh -school are good some bullying but everywhere got that we have a great police force & fire dept we have something for everyone so next time you do a survey we are here just look we are on the map everyone loves there own place thats good &-and we love ours.

    Reply

  45. North battlefield no 1 and all nb former residents know it

    Reply

  46. It appears that "available" as opposed to "appropriate" data were used and aggregated to general categories by ????? . As the prior comments reflect, since there is no agreement on the methodology there is no agreement on the rankings. I applaud the notion and your efforts but you have "miles to go before we sleep". What may be useful is comparing our own locations year to year statistics to identify areas of controllable change. Lastly, you haven't taken in to account the characteristics of the "person" this is aimed at. What's best for a family with kids in school will logically differ from what's best for singles or empty nesters in terms of importance. Keep up the effort though as it will spark meaningful discussions when the methodology gains acceptance.

    Reply

  47. It is all in how you look at it! I live in Sudbury, ON. Love it, but is it perfect? No way, tons of room for
    improvement. Home is where the heart is and of course where the job is. If you are working, your personal life is good, than you will love where you are. Get my drift?

    Reply

    • Your are exactly right, went you working, money come in, everything else just flow.

      George
      I live in the province of Ontario for 35 years, lots of work " Great'
      now I live in New Brunswick
      'great place to retire"

      Reply

    • I agree with you Peggy. Every place has its merits and its downfalls. However, what I make of where I live is what makes a difference in my life. I live in small town Penhold, Alberta, and I am edging up just a few years of being 80, and I love it here. Red Deer is 10 minutes away, and we have everything we need.
      Nina L.

      Reply

  48. Im from Halifax, Enjoy the salt sea air,the 40 minute rush hours 5minutes to a favourite fishing spot.wht,s not to like?Eat you heart out the rest of Canada

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  49. Have you even BEEN to Wetaskiwin? There is NO shopping here except for food, junk, cars and booze.
    Many people now shop in Camrose, Leduc and Edmonton. You can't drive down main street or any other street for that matter and not hit a pot hole. Land taxes are going up this year because the idiots that run this city don't listen to the people, they get an idea in their heads, fight like children and then 2 or 3 of them power over the others and now we are getting an aquatic centre which we can't afford. No one thought of saving for it first! Well, we'll be able to walk the walking trails, buy cars and shop at Wally World…….or ……..Welcome to Wetaskiwin, come and see why it rates 20th on your list!!

    Reply

  50. Hornby Island B.C. is the best place on the planet to live but don't tell anyone please!!

    Reply

  51. Don't worry folks, all of those points on census data availability, quality etc. Thankfully you will not have to worry about this data much longer now that the Conservatives have rid us of the pesky census. Moneysense, MCleans etc. will no longer be able to write such articles any longer, or worse yet they can; however, will be even sketchier because data will be even more scarce.

    Reply

  52. I live at the confluence of 2 rivers, with over 1500 rivers and lakes in the proximity of my home. Nature should be on the list which would then make Prince George BC one of the best places to live.

    Reply

    • I believe David,as my town is rated awful also in many ways that I never seen is that Statistics Canada is full of crap!Believe mw,I have seen this before,they use a negative approach too nullify the people and bring them down.My advice is never listen to them!!!II learned that way before Disciples Of Power formed there after me in Vernon,British Columbia.Take my advice…never believe a word of others – follow your own provocations.Write me back in E-Mail or elsewise as a friend as a frind but,the choice is yours as I am not a graphic equilizer as the stat's groups are!

      Reply

  53. Dryden Ontario and Fort Frances Ontario are the stinkiest towns. Dryden has a high cancer rate.

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  54. Reply for Bewildered, stating Edmonton can stay -30 a month at a time ?? Get your facts right, I've lived here for 55 Years and have never seen that happen. At most -30 for a few days at a time in the last 20 years.

    Reply

    • I agree. I've lived in or near Edmonton for 40 years now, and have never seen cold snaps longer than a few days. I grew up in Winnipeg where -30 could last weeks. I find Edmonton to be milder.

      Reply

    • I also agree with Bev's comments. Where are you getting your facts?!! I have lived in Edmonton for many years and despite the fact it is the most northerly of Canada's major centers, I have never seen -30 in the winter last for more than a days at a time and it is very unusual that it gets to these temperatures to begin with.

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  55. I don't know where these people get this stuff from but the best province in the country had nothing mentioned about it or their great cities. Regina, Saskatoon, Swift current, Moose Jaw and on an on.We have everything you want. Lots of high paying jobs in all fields if your looking for work, unemployment the lowest in the country, population growth the highest in the country, lowest crime rate in the country, we have 1000's of lakes for fishing and recreation, hunting, the best CFL team and fans, hockey, the longest summer days and the hottest summers in the country,We have it all oil, gas, potash, diamonds, uranium, coal, wind power, agriculture, lumber, can go on an on.New cars well our GM dealer sold the most new cars and trucks in all of Canada. We do have 2-3 months of cold winter but come on people open your eyes and come and see us.

    Reply

    • 2 to 3 months of cold winter, ha!. More like 5 o4 6. I grew up there.

      Reply

    • Just to reply – they do talk about Saskatchewan – Yorkton #34, Saskatoon #30, Swift Current #24, Regine #5 – Put it this way – Moneysense is saying where i'm from is one of the worst places to live in Canada because we have shitty transit!

      Reply

    • hats to u dear…i moving soon

      Reply

    • How cold are the winters there? Is it a dry cold or a humid cold?

      If the jobs are high paying, are the houses also very expensive?

      Does Saskatchewan need pharmacists or do you have enough?

      Regards,
      Bisa Mitrovski

      Reply

    • Hi, I am alexander and am a social worker and would like to work in canada. can u help me to find which is the best province to work and live in. Looking for normal climate. Pls mail me to alexander.mgc@gmail.com

      Reply

      • Hey Alex

        I think your best bet would be Toronto or Alberta.. The climate in Toronto it varies humid summers can be cold in the winter for 3 to 4 months.
        I know you make more money in Alberta everyone does, so I think you should check out these two places in my opinion.

        Reply

    • Regina seems to be a nice town, I Have been seeying in Google earth. ¿Do you think if its hard to find a Job as an architect? My wife is physiotherapist and we are decided to live in Caada, but not know where is the best place to do!

      Reply

  56. There seems to be a serious disconnect in this "study". I do not understand how small communities can be compared to large cities. There are pluses to each style of living. Cities give you greater access to services and a lot of other benefits. Small towns can offer less hectic life styles and often lower costs. Transit vs no transit….a town of 15,000 cannot have the same transit system as a city of 100,000 or more people. A small town just can not "do" a subway. The mayor of Toronto or Vancouver cannot know the names and faces of 20/30/40% of the population but a small town mayor often does. I just feel that this report uses exactly the same criteria to judge a wide range of communities who are completely different. At the very least some of these things counted should be adjusted when comparing small towns and large cities. By the definition I learned when I was in school Nova Scota (my province) really only has 1 real city…Halifax Regional Municpality. All the rest of the communities are TOWNS rangeing from good sized to itty bitty.

    Reply

      • I responded to this about 90 minutes ago but nothing has showed up. I beleive your information and the processing of it is wrong. New Glasgow has less than 10,000 people not the 25,000 to 50,000 you say. If you took all the towns and the county where we live it would fall into the 25 to50,000 category. That's 5 towns and a county. There is no real comparsion that works properly in that scenario. Apples to apples and oranges to oranges. I am afraid your process is comparing apples to something like blueberries. Not even in the same category or size. The physical size of the county probably equals some cities or maybe is even greater in area but the population, services and all those other things you check are not even in the same ballpark.

        Reply

        • MoneySense data journalists rank Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and Census Agglomeration (CA) with populations of 10,000 or more as per Statistics Canada.

          Reply

      • Perhaps if you were to actually study what you you are publishing as a study, you would find that the population of the TOWN of New Glasgow(not a city)has a population in the neighbourhood of 15,000 people, while the COUNTY that the TOWN is located in (Nova Scotia is divided into counties) has a population of close to 50,000 people. In this county there are actually 5 separate and distinct towns, all of which are easily located on a map. This is the second year in a row that this mistake was made in your magazine and leads one to believe that your response is just ready made and reader emails are not really accorded the time deserved. If as much thought goes into financial advice in your magazine, there will soon be a run on the affordable housing in our town as people will be no longer able to afford to live in your "better cities"

        Reply

        • Hi Dan and thanks for reading. To be clear, MoneySense data journalists rank Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and Census Agglomeration (CA) areas with populations of 10,000 or more as per Statistics Canada. We don't define the areas, they do!

          Reply

          • Perhaps you should then at the very least identify the area properly, it is PICTOU COUNTY that you are claiming is the worst place to live in Canada. Hiding behind someone elses data doesn't say much about your journalism skills or your fact checking.

            You are still comparing apple to oranges using your current methods. The town of Truro rates a bit better than us but that one town has almost twice the population of New Glasgow. I don't know why I am keeping after this except that I feel these kinds of articles distort the true picture when the information is not handled correctly. No town is perfect but in all honesty I truly beleive that New Glasgow can't be the worst.

  57. Bay Roberts is a city like … shoot, make your own comparison. A place, it appears to be.

    I'm poised for flight for when they post their service jobs, because I would love to go to the back of beyond to work for minimum wage.

    Think of the night life! All that quiet, except for the swish, swish of the icebergs as they float by.

    Reply

  58. I Agree Edmonton should be on the list of the worst place to live in Canada. HIGH PRICES OF HOUSING since 2006, and salary/wages are not that really competitive compared to other provinces. This is not a place for family who would want to start a living for they will end up looking for double job just to support to pay off their bills and goodluck if you have kids.

    Reply

    • Ya i know what you mean Winnipeg is up there as well , just to get a Half decent place to rent and lets say a 1 bedroom would run you between 650 to 750 verys on where you live , at one time winnipeg use to be really cheap .

      Reply

  59. Im pretty proud to see Brantford moving up the list a #38: its a great city with great all-around access to education, culture, housing, well-rounded emploment opportunities, but still embodies a certain amount of small-town charm. You can still get a modest detached dwelling for around $130K (choose your area of town if you're pre-approved for $200K).

    Im in Hamilton now, which sadly didnt rank as well (#77) because of the high unemployment and zero family doctors. Otherwise, Hamilton would have been ranked significantly higher with its affordable housing/ cost of living, dedicated transit system, and plenty of post-sec education and cultural venues. If you have the need to live in the city but still looking for many distinct communities you can work your way through as your life unfolds, Hamilton is a pretty decent choice, (even if you decide to carpool to GTA for work).

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  60. I would never live in Novia Scotia especially Halifax! Everything is done backwards and its really expensive there and no jobs. I will stay in SK thank you very much. I know this because my daughter moved there for schooling. It costs almost $8 for 4 litres of milk!

    Reply

    • LOL In Halifax we pay 5.75 for 4L of Milk and I would sooner live on the ocean here then in a field like you are.

      Reply

    • Amen! This is the fallacy in just using "hard numbers" (to MoneySense's credit, they admit this in their write-up). It doesn't take into account the awkward, frustrating lay-out of the city, the unfriendliness there, the boring nature of the Maritimes (trust me i live here).
      Also if you look thru the methodology, the selectiveness of the categories favours Halifax and some other similar cities. "Housing" only looks at home ownership (the cost of renting in Hali is CRAZY), "jobs" only looks at the unemployment rate (doesn't factor that most of the jobs aren't quality ones)

      Reply

  61. You guys should just stop running this study.This isn’t even a debate worth quantifying. I live in Toronto, right in the heart of downtown, and I love it. My parents are old and hate it because “It’s too loud! There’s no PRIvacy!” Who really cares, we all like different things in our lifestyle. Oh, and to the fogeys saying Toronto has no soul, you clearly have never lived here. It’s an addictive place to live. The city breathes vibrancy and life, which is what I’d call soul hahaha. Give it a shot sometime! Torontonians are super friendly people, we’ll show you around and you’ll learn to love it!

    Reply

  62. This study is MOST inaccurate. Just pick a few places out iof a hat and you'd be more accurate!

    Reply

  63. The spreadsheet is completely locked up. I can't sort data, or manipulate columns/rows as in past years. Is there a way to copy and unprotect offline?

    Reply

    • Save as text. Copy and paste in excel.

      Reply

  64. I have lived in 4 cities in Ontario, 2 in BC, 1 each in Yukon and NWT. Every place has its merits, and some more than others. I loved the lifestyle of the west coast myself, and would love to be able to move back. But I must admit, how Thunder Bay and Winnipeg rank so high for weather does not make sense. And Yellowknife No 2 for walk /bike to work? That city is the coldest and windiest in the survey. I think some of the methodology here is flawed, but in general, I look reading these as I am moving again soon…

    Reply

    • I agree. Every place does have its merits. And since many who have postings here are compelled to list the places they have lived I will also join in. I have lived in Vancouver and Denver, two cities known for there natural beauty and quality of life. I now live in Edmonton and have had a very prosperous life in terms of the incredible generosity the people of this city have extended over the years and the career opportunities that have presented themselves. Edmonton relies on it's culture and people to make this one of the best cities in Canada unlike cities with mountain vistas and oceans that seem to have so much attitude they can't see past their narrow definition of what makes a city liveable. Edmonton is genuine (that is the real deal and admits readily to it's shortcomings), hardworking, creative and successful . How unfortunate some of these so called "blessed" cities can't say the same.

      Reply

  65. What about Victoria? I'm planning to move and was thinking about Victoria, because is close to Seattle and I have family there. Any suggestions?

    Reply

    • Wouldn't recommend Victoria unless you are planning to retire, too expensive and not enough job opportunity.

      Reply

    • I love it here. It is worth the extra cost of real estate for our family. It has its flaws but it is very liveable. I've travelled and worked in many places in Canada and the US and even Hong Kong. Most places have some great features but we love the scenic beauty, weather and interesting neighbourhoods plus a reasonable number of cultural options and virtually unlimited outdoor recreation options. For "big city" features, Vancouver and Seattle are both close. Our tech sector has grown rapidly and now tech jobs outnumber tourism jobs. Government is still a large employer. That said, I can understand why many young adults move away to pursue better job opportunities to build up a financial nest egg.

      Reply

    • Victoria is very beautiful and you can't help but get into a healthy vibe here. Downside, most people work for the government, are on the boring side, and keep to themselves. The night life for the 30 plus crowd is non-existent and there are tonnes of retired folk here. Not bad things just the reality. If you can get a good job and have a significant other, this place can be an awesome. Its easy to travel from Victoria to practically anywhere. Good luck.

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  66. What about Fort Mac…… To work and maybe to live? Crime rate would be a factor too..

    Thanks

    Reply

    • Fort Mac is listed as Wood Buffalo

      Reply

  67. Where is a good place to raise teenagers, and with lots of employment opportunities?

    Reply

    • Yukon and the other Territories???

      Reply

    • i moved to kichener/waterloo ontario when my child was 13 and it was for that reason.

      Reply

  68. All I Did Was Wake Up This Morning Wondering Where I Could Live Comfortably On My Well Earned and Meager Disability Pension (On Vancouver Island Now – TOO Expensive) More confused now than before >>> Google This >>> If You Get The Picture !!

    Reply

  69. Imagine somewhere where it's always cloudy (0 hour of sun by year). It's always 1C outside. There is never rain, except one day in the year, where 700mm fall ( in a single day ). Would you live there ? That would be a perfect climate for Moneysense.

    Reply

  70. wow regina ranked before saskatoon obviosly who ever made this list has not been to regina, very lame not a hill in sight very plain looking city and older with not much of a vibe to it. and saskatoon was only the 75 th or so fastest growing population? seemes to me its been in top 3 the last 4-5 yrs. I spend a lot of time in both cities and there night and day and regina being the night.

    Yes the economy is booming in sask and both regina and saskatoon are reaping the benifits. 20 yrs ago regina was bigger than saskatoon now saskatoon is a fair bit larger. there is a reason for that so if moving to sask and have a choice look at both cities im sure most would choose stoon as most new people in last 20 yrs have.

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  71. Has the methodology changed year over year? I find it very difficult to have confidence in a report that swings so wildly in annual rankings. Canada just hasn't changed this much in 1 year, eh?

    2011 2012
    Halifax 21 4
    Red Deer 96 9
    Whitby 82 16
    Victoria 2 35
    Toronto 88 47
    Vancouver 29 56
    Cobourg 28 92

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  72. Thetford Mines located in southern quebec being 190/190 on the weather ranking? Seems a bit hard to believe when places such as Whitehorse, Yukon and Yellowknife NWT have a better ranked while being wayyyyyyyy up north.

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  73. NL IS THE SPOT LOTS OF GRUB WORK AND SLEEP.

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  74. There are tow kinds of People, those who live in Oakville and those who wished they did…

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  75. Yes, the 'study' is indeed quite flawed. For those of us who have lived all across this great nation, it is fairly obvious. Cities such as Edmonton and Ottawa ranked far higher than they should; places that Canadians 'go to when they retire' are ranked extremely low. Then again, it can be explained by the poor selection of criteria – none of what was picked really has anything to do with quality of life. For example, you ranked the percentage of people who walk/bike to work as being a valid indicator of a good city? What does that have anything to do with how good a place is? Maybe the place has a large population of retired persons who don't have to walk/bike to work?

    It doesn't seem reasonable to use the criteria selected an legitimately call the study what it has been. The reality in Canada is, you avoid living in big cities if you want a better life. Better life as in better living (not working, or some made up health nut statistics) where people actually feel good about themselves. Maybe they should actually be measuring that?

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    • Yes, I totally agree with you.In large cities, such as Vancouver it's very unreasonable to walk to work and to get to Langley from Vancouver it takes about 60 minutes driving, so it's very unreasonable to take transit which would take 2+ hours depending where you want to go to.

      If you want to go to school there's some places around. Generally, even though there's some nice people here it way to EXPENSIVE TO LIVE here (takes 10 yrs to earn enough). Also it's rainy most of the year except July- September, and when it snows people totally don't know how to cope. To make things worse after it snows, it usually warms up above 0C, so those of us who want to practice driving in snow can't have a chance.

      I think a reasonable place to live, is a place that is a medium sized city; a long warm spring, a reasonable summer where it rains for 2 weeks, the extremes happen in Autumn and in Winter the snow stays for longer than a week with temperatures not any lower than -25C. In terms of housing it'd be a price that is reasonably priced, and Eco-vehicles are a common site. I don't know anyplace in our country like this, but a complete Eco-friendly city would be healthy for its citizens.

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  76. I live in Vancouver. It is a terrible city in sooooo many ways. Its got a couple nice views. That is all.

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  77. best town to live in CANADA ! i don't know where they get those ranking ideias but for me, i know where it is. they don't advertise, what is good for the residents.we don't need too many people,we have enough residents to have a good hospital,good schools,clean air,clean water,no rushing hour,mild wether,good fishing,hunting,what else do you want? not too many jobs do. but we have good fruits,vegies and friendly people. have a look to the OKANAGAN VALLEY!

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    • not to mention absolutely wonderful, welcoming wineries in the okanagan (how many? must be 30-50?) that don't charge you a fee to visit! I was shocked and dismayed when I moved to quebec and found it costs about $30 to visit a lone winery in the middle of nowhere :(

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    • I lived in the Okanagan Vallley, Kelowna for some 20 yrs plus. I find it too dark in the winter, not enough sun.. Too hot and too dry in the summer! It was nicer when it was still small in the 1970s and 1980s, with less people.. It was mostly a farming community! .. Now, when I go to visit Family, its huge.. driving is nightmare.. The funny part is that they complain about the Vancouver Traffic..I would take Vancouver traffic anytime.. In some ways, Kelowna has improved, Lake Parks and the roads got bigger and better.. But the number of people and number of large buildings…astonishing!! i know a good number of long-time residents, the young families Moving out of Kelowna to Kamloops and any smaller places in between!
      Does that tell u anything?? Retirement? I would never chose Kelowna or close area to Retire! never! I would rather stay in Greater Vancouver Area! Or move to Kamloops.. I am looking to move to another area, wildlife, culture, more snow and more sun, but Not too hot!..

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    • Hi Tony
      I just got back from a visit to the Okanagan Valley and I agree… it's a beautiful place that I will visit again. Wonderful restaurants, great scenery and yes, the weather was pretty good for February.
      Cathesue

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  78. I live in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

    I have lived in many communities throughout Canada, and I chose to live in New Glasgow, and glad I did. It is safe, clean, and friendly. It is a wonderful place to raise a family. I am saddened to see that your magazine has continually ranked our community as the least desirable place to live in Canada. I think some of your variables used to measure need to be examined to determine if they are a valid measure of what makes a great place to live.

    In a small area like Pictou County, we have 8 ice surfaces, stellar walking trails, 4 golf courses, two pools and countless ball fields and other recreational facilities. We have some of the most beautiful beaches in Canada.

    We may not have many people employed in the cultural area as measured in your study, because we have many volunteer boards that run incredible events like the Lobster Carnival, Riverfront Music Festival, DeCoste Entertainment Centre and others.

    We have a 1000 seat modern community college with full enrollment and waiting lists to get admitted.

    The best thing about Pictou County is the people, and how they come together to help others in need. I have never seen so many efforts to mobilize to help others in need, be it someone who is suffering from an illness and needing funds to travel to Halifax, to someone who has lost everything they own in a house fire, and many many more. We have a committee that raises money so that there is a fuel fund to assist those who cannot afford to heat their homes.

    We have an annual fundraiser, the Summer Street Scramble golf tournament that raises more funds than any other golf fundraiser in Canada. That's right…in New Glasgow. It has raised more than 1 million dollars over the past 15 years, and raises more than $150,000 annually to help operate our local sheltered workshop.

    We have our challenges too. The unemployment rate is too high. There needs to be a public transit system, and the area needs to find a way to amalgamate the five small towns into one larger and more efficient unit.

    Housing is affordable here. It is wonderful to own a home on a quiet, safe neighborhood. Because I live here, I can afford to have a summer cottage as well. I could not afford to have this luxury if I lived elsewhere.

    It is not the number of new cars that are on our roads that make this a desirable area to live; it is the people in those cars who, rather than buy a new car every other year, are giving back to the community and to those who are in need in our community. Isn't that more important than new cars?

    I live in New Glasgow by choice.

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  79. which is the best place in canada for earning money….n get cheap house

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    • Alberta!

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      • alberta is not cheep to live in but u make good money

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  80. New Glasgow used to be a great place to live.So say the locals.Now its a dump-probably has a lot to do with the fact that Sobeys own everything ,and local politics are beyond corrupt.the people are just demoralized and exhausted-pitiful.I,ve only lived here a few years ,but anyone can see that its in big trouble.Cancer rates through the roof,a hospital that you,d expect to find in a ghetto,the air stinks,small business crushed flat,and boss hog types everywhere.All the men are in Fort Mac.,because there are no jobs above minimum wage.I have eighteen months left in my contract,and I,ll be out of here.Oh yeah,and there are other ways to express yourself,other than hockey folks.

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  81. What a pot of crock! Okotoks, where I lived, ranked 113th. Okotoks is the safest place I have EVER lived in the world. There is a wide variety of housing to suit all budgets and people from Calgary move here because the schools are so good. It is the 'greenest' community in Canada and a very physically active community too. The 24,000 strong community of Okotoks make you feel like you are living in a small "we look out for each other" town instead, just how it used to be years ago. I would not want to live anywhere else. And knowing all this about Okotoks because I live, work and raise my children here means I absolutely know that your criteria and point scoring method are completely flawed. I would, without a shadow of a doubt, have ranked Okotoks at #1 or at the very least, above Calgary!

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  82. Obviously snow and winter was too light a consideration
    call me in January from Brandon Manitoba
    While i drive by the golf course watching guys tee off .
    On my way to walk my dog on Willows Beach, Victoria
    If you would like to stay in Brandon , you have been there too long
    Your brain is frozen.

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  83. There is an under appreciation in this article and many of the comments that, if you live in almost ANY city in Canada, you have won the worldwide lottery for your home.

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    • I absolutely agree with this wise person whoever writing this comment!!!
      Yes! We are living in THE PARADISE ON THE EARTH – OUR BELOVED CANADA !!!
      My family and I came to Canada in1975 and have been living in Ottawa ever since.
      We escaped and fled the Viet Nam War right after the lost of the South Democracy to the North Communist. No one can understand and appreciate peace, generosity, and prosperity of people and nation of Canada than us – the Vietnamese Boat Refugees.
      Now in 2013 and after living in Canada for 38 years, whenever looking back, I still wonder how on earth there is a place to live such as a paradise like this heavenly Canada!

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  84. How is it that Burlington, which is basically a sleeper town for Hamilton ranks at #2, and Hamilton, a real city, doesn't even make the list?

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