Canada’s Best Cities To Live 2013

Date: Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Christina Commisso,

Canadians looking for the best place to live, work and raise a family should set their sights on Alberta, where high income and low unemployment helped a number of cities come out on top of an annual ranking of communities across the country.

Calgary was ranked the top city to live in in Canada, taking MoneySense Magazine’s number one spot on three of its rankings: best overall city, best large city and best place to raise children.

Cowtown jumped from the 14th spot in 2012 to dethrone Ottawa as top Canadian city in 2013.

The national capital had held onto the title for three consecutive years, but has now slipped to the number six spot in the latest overall ranking.

Released Wednesday, MoneySense’s yearly lists show that Alberta’s thriving energy sector has fuelled the development of healthy communities.

“A lot of these other cities, the underlying numbers have not really changed. But Alberta is so strong, it’s pushing those cities (in Alberta) up above everyone else,” MoneySense Magazine’s managing editor Mark Brown told Canada AM Wednesday.

“It’s a young, vibrant community,” Brown continued. “Calgary is really coming into its own and there’s a lot of evidence in all of the numbers this year.”
Top 10 overall cities:

  1. 1. Calgary
  2. 2. St. Albert, Alta.
  3. 3. Burlington, Ont.
  4. 4. Strathcona County, Alta.
  5. 5. Oakville, Ont.
  6. 6. Ottawa
  7. 7. Saanich, B.C.
  8. 8. Lacombe, Alta.
  9. 9. Lethbridge, Alta.
  10. 10. Newmarket, Ont.

The same holds true for the small cities (less than 100,000 in population)  in Alberta, where communities located within about an hour’s drive from Edmonton  captured the top three spots.
Top 10 small cities

  1. 1. St. Albert, Alta.
  2. 2. Strathcona County, Alta.
  3. 3. Lacombe, Alta.
  4. 4. Newmarket, Ont.
  5. 5. Halton Hills, Ont.
  6. 6. Stratford, Ont.
  7. 7. Boucherville, Que.
  8. 8. North Vancouver, B.C.
  9. 9. Milton, Ont.
  10. 10. Canmore, Alta.

Burlington, Ont. captured the number one spot for mid-sized cities  (population between 100,000 – 400,000) with its eastern neighbour Oakville, Ont.  taking the number two spot.

Brown said the municipalities are “perfectly situated” in the Golden  Horseshoe, with easy commutes to both Toronto and the U.S. border.

“It’s great for weather and it has a lot going for it,” said Brown. “You’re  on the lake and later in the afternoon if you want to go on a hike you can go  out to the Bruce Trail, it’s just around the corner.”
Top 10 mid-sized cities

  1. 1. Burlington, Ont.
  2. 2. Oakville, Ont.
  3. 3. Saanich, B.C.
  4. 4. Lethbridge, Alta.
  5. 5. Saskatoon
  6. 6. Regina
  7. 7. Kingston, Ont.
  8. 8. Vaughan, Ont.
  9. 9. Richmond Hill, Ont.
  10. 10. Lévis, Que.

Toronto, Canada’s most populated city, captured the number seven spot the  MoneySense ranking of the top large Canadian cities (400,000-plus population)  and the 28th spot overall. Montreal, the country’s the second most populated  city, didn’t crack the top 10 for large cities and sits at the 134th position  overall.
Top 10 large cities

  1. 1. Calgary
  2. 2. Ottawa
  3. 3. Edmonton
  4. 4. London, Ont.
  5. 5. Winnipeg
  6. 6. Halifax
  7. 7. Toronto
  8. 8. Mississauga, Ont.
  9. 9. Québec
  10. 10. Vancouver

The rankings are based on: commuting, housing, health care, weather, crime,  culture, demographics, taxation, wealth and amenities.

The wealth and demographics categories are most-heavily weighted, followed  by housing, commuting and weather.

The 2013 rankings were the first that categorized based on population and  overall ranking. The magazine added a ‘best place for new immigrants’ category  to this year’s list, which was captured by Burlington, Ont. The new category  compliments the magazine’s ‘best place to raise a child’, and ‘best place to  retire’ categories.