Canada’s best places to live 2011

MoneySenseBy MoneySense staff | MoneySense – Tue, 29 Mar, 2011 10:53 AM EDT
In a country as large and diverse as Canada, it’s only natural for comparisons to be drawn between cities. Which is more livable,Edmonton or Halifax? Is Vancouver better than Calgary for raising a family? Which city is best for retirees?
This is what drives us at MoneySense magazine to publish our Canada’s Best Places to Live list. We look at empirical, objective criteria such as housing affordability, incomes, job prospects, crime rates and access to health care. Even weather is taken into account. Information is taken from the Census Metropolitan Areas, Census Agglomeration and Statistics Canada.
We include every community with a population of more than 10,000 people — 180 cities and towns in all. Each one is ranked in more than 20 different categories for a final figure out of a possible 105 points. The scores are close (we go to four decimal places) and no city is perfect. Only two scored higher than 70, and just barely.
We don’t expect everyone to agree with our findings. What makes a city appealing for one person may make it unlivable for another. We’re often asked, “what about the scenery, or the community spirit?” The fact is there are plenty of subjective, intangible criteria that we intentionally leave out of our formulas for the simple reason that they cannot possibly be measured. Our list simply provides a fact-based comparison from which people can make their own decisions on where people would like to live.
#10: Winnipeg, MB
#9: Repentigny, QC
#8: Edmonton, AB
#7: Brandon, MB
#6: Fredericton, NB
#5: St. Albert, AB
#4: Kingston, ON

#3.  Burlington, ON
This southern Ontario suburb remains in third spot this year thanks mainly to low taxes and high household and discretionary income. It has room to improve in terms of real estate prices (ranked 157th) but that’s the price to pay for the second lowest overall crime rate in the country after Caledon, ON.
#2: Victoria, B.C.
#1: Ottawa-Gatineau