Halifax Again Listed In the Top Best Places To Live in Canada
Thursday May 03rd 2007, 9:35 am

There was a small article in today’s newspaper captioned “Halifax in top 10 places to live in Canada”. This really isn’t new information because every study I have seen in the past few years has placed Halifax in the top ten places in Canada and the United States to either live or retire. This latest ranking was by MoneySense magazine which ranked 123 Canadian communities with a population of over 10,000. It ranked Ottawa as the best place to live, and Halifax as the second best place to live in Canada.

The ranking was based on weather (20 points), real estate values (15 points), income levels (5 points), unemployment rates (10 points), discretionary income (5 points), and signs of prosperity. Points were also given for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work (10 points), ideal population growth (10 points), low crime (7.5 points), numbers of medical professionals (7.5 points), amenities such as public transit, hospitals, universities or colleges (5 points), and attractions (4 points). The top ten places to live in Canada are Ottawa, Halifax, Quebec City, Guelph, Fredericton, Kingston, Moncton, London, Victoria and Gander. Our largest cities were also rated highly - Toronto (12), Winnipeg (13), Vancouver (15), Hamilton (22), Montreal (23), Calgary (28) and Edmonton (31).

This ranking was a little different from others I have seen, which usually rates Victoria as the top city. However, the prices of real estate in that area may have something to do with that city not being in the top spot now. High prices for real estate is great if you already own a home, but this ranking gave points to places with affordable homes for the residents in relation to their income. I can see why Ottawa received the top ranking because, except for the weather, it seems like a very nice place to live. One of the problems which wasn’t mentioned about Ottawa, is that unless you are bilingual, getting a good job maybe more difficult than in some other parts of Canada. The main goal of the rankings is to show the best places to live which give their residents good weather, good jobs and a high standard of living.

When they were ranking communities on their weather, they considered that most people like a moderate climate that’s almost Mediterranean in nature. They gave points to places with few days below zero, few 30 degree-plus scorchers, lots of sunny days and few dull cloudy days. Canada’s overall winners for weather are Cobourg and Leamington, Ontario. Powell River, Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. have the fewest days below zero.

Surprising to me was that the lowest rated places in Canada were Williams Lake, Duncan, Quesnel, Campbell River and Port Alberni, which are all in British Columbia. Most of the top ten best places to live are located in eastern Canada, with four of the top ten located in Atlantic Canada. Most of the lowest rated places are located in western Canada. You would have to analyze the entire list to determine why places which appear to be good places to live, scored lower than other areas. The study wasn’t based on touristy things such as pretty scenery and friendly people, but was done strictly on statistics. The complete list of the rankings of the communities is at: www.canadianbusiness.com/rankings/bestplacestolive/list.

This study again confirms to me that one of the best places to live is in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is indeed a hidden gem.

Have a good day,
Anne