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Q: Best Canadian Cities ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Best Canadian Cities
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: rover4-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 04 Aug 2004 10:13 PDT
Expires: 03 Sep 2004 10:13 PDT
Question ID: 383441
Where will the best places be to live in Canada in the next 25 years
based on criteria such as high quality of life, safe environment,
clean air, reasonable housing costs, temperate climate, good medical
facilities, et cetera?
Subject: Re: Best Canadian Cities
Answered By: scribe-ga on 04 Aug 2004 13:52 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello Rover4,

Projecting outward 25 years can be dicey.  I remember Toronto, for
example, as it was in the 1950s, a staid and still predominantly Anglo
city. Who would have predicted then that the Toronto of 1975 would be
the diverse and multi-ethnic city it was?  And look at Toronto today:
a polyglot great city.

Immigration, especially in Canada?s largest cities, is a big factor in
Canada?s present and future. Canada?s natural annual growth rate is
.4% but immigration boosts the annual increase to 1%. At this rate of
growth, Canada?s current population of 31 million will double by the
year 2070.

Canada in 2070 will still be a relatively uncrowded country, of
course. But if we assume (as I think we can) that the cities now
receiving the largest influx of immigrants will continue to do, we can
then safely project that Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, will
experience the kind of growth over the next 25 years that can
negatively impact housing, density, traffic, air quality and overall
quality of life. But, on the other hand, wise governance may blunt
that impact. Or even negate it entirely. Or even improve the city
further: Who would dispute that today?s Toronto is a much more
interesting and, in many ways, more livable city than the Toronto of

That said, you should know that Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto are
now ranked by one authority as among the world?s top 50 cities in
which to live in 2004 top 25, actually): Vancouver is #3, Toronto #15,
and Montreal #24. A fourth Canadian city, the national capital, makes
the list too; Ottawa is ranked #20. Still another Canadian city,
Calgary, is on the list, in the #24 spot. Incidentally, if you put a
premium on healthy living, note that in the survey?s Health and
Sanitation category Calgary ranks number one in the world, with Ottawa
not far behind.

Five Canadian cities make this Best 50 list. Not bad. A total of 10 US
cities make the list, but with the exception of Honolulu, all of them
are found in the lower half of the list. This City Mayors site of
Mercer Consulting, by the way, is an excellent source of information
about cities in general.

Will these Canadian cities still rank high 25 years from now? I
suppose that depends to a large degree on their citizens' and
governments' determination  to protect and even improve the quality of
life they enjoy now.

By the way a cautionary note about Vancouver (or a positive one,
depending on your point of view) may be of interest to you, at:,2933,122789,00.html

The information to this point in my answer was found using the search terms:
         * Canadian cities rated

I also searched using the terms:concern
        * Small Canadian cities rated.

This last search yielded a valuable source of information in the form
of an article from Today?s Parent entitled ?The Five Best Cities for

In this survey, Quebec City comes out on top, followed by Ottawa-Hull,
Halifax, Winnipeg and Calgary.  Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver score
as ?also-rans.?  Each city is awarded a point total; as well, the
article's informative overviews of each city should prove useful to
you, even if ?family life" is not an overriding concern for you. If it
is, on the other hand, you should take note of the survey?s overall
?We found that it's Canada's tortoises - our slow and steady smaller
cities - that have the best track records for providing what kids and
families need most. Our hares - the huge, fast-growing cities -
haven't done nearly as well, even in provinces where child care,
education and health care are well funded."
How authoritative are these surveys, anyway? I must confess that
question occurred to me when I read in the Today?s Parents article
that health care in the province of Alberta (where Calgary is located)
is ?below the middle mark.?

Finally, another personal note. I am familiar with most eastern
Canadian cities. Ottawa strikes me as a superb place to live. Not too
big. Not too small. As a world capital, it is far from being
provincial, AND its economic security and future are pretty much
assured. I think Ottawa should go on the top of your list for serious
consideration. (With of course, the caveat that winters can be
horrendous there. For temperate climate, go west?to Vancouver.)

I hope you find the perfect place to live.
All the best,

Request for Answer Clarification by rover4-ga on 05 Aug 2004 11:13 PDT
Thanks for your informative answer. The only other information I would
have Loved to have was the inclusion of smaller cities located within
1 hour of Toronto like Niagara-on-the-Lake, Guelph, Kingston, Aurora,
Burlington, Oakville, Unionville and where they fit in "quality- wise"
based on my "best places" criteria.

Clarification of Answer by scribe-ga on 06 Aug 2004 03:35 PDT
Sorry, I posted my clarification as a comment.
rover4-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
A valiant and professional effort to answer a difficult question.

Subject: Re: Best Canadian Cities
From: scribe-ga on 06 Aug 2004 03:34 PDT
Hello again,
I have found for you a site that is a compendium of official web sites
of some of the cities you mentioned. While I have not found a
comparative rating of small Ontario cites, these various official city
web sites look quite informative and should give you a good tool for
making comparisons yourself. Niagara-on-the-Lake is not among them,
you will note. As you may already know, it is more a town than a city,
and a very charming one on that. I assume that housing costs there are
similar to the high costs of living in comparable highly-desirable
locations in the United States.

Here's the site's URL: 

By the way, if you are interesting in purchasing a home, this site
should be quite useful in that respect also.

All the best,

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