To find the best place to live in Atlantic Canada you’ll have to thumb down the national list to Quispamsis, N.B. at No. 105. While that’s good enough to place it in the top quarter of all the cities we studied, it’s indicative of the challenges that many cities on the east coast face in scoring higher.
Many of the cities in Atlantic Canada suffer from higher-than-average unemployment and lower incomes, but the vitals for Quispamsis more closely resemble those of a city you’d find in Ontario. The median household income in this community of 20,000 tops $100,000. And that goes far in this part of the country. The average home price is just a touch over $300,000, which leaves residents with an enviable amount of cash to spare.
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High incomes and affordable homes only partially explain why Quispamsis ranks so high. After all, incomes and household net worth are even higher in nearby Rothesay, N.B. The key difference, however, is while Rothesay’s population dipped in recent years, Quispamsis is growing at a clip of about 1.1% a year.
Unemployment is another key factor. The unemployment rate sits just below 6%, while down the road in Rothesay it’s estimated to be closer to 8%.
You can also expect to find a strong sense of community here. A community index supplied by Environics suggests a higher level of engagement than you’d find in many other cities across the country. That community spirit was on display earlier this year when the town rallied to protect a badly damaged 100-year-old covered bridge, which is part of the city’s heritage.
Cheaper and quicker fixes were considered, but in the end the town opted to repair the structure—cutting off access for almost a year and causing extensive commuting delays. It’s the price of preservation and heritage.