Canadians have lots of great options when it comes to choosing the best places to live, with many of the country’s biggest hubs ranking high in liveability factors such as transportation, access to parks and to employment opportunities, according to a recent RE/MAX report. RE/MAX brokers and agents from coast to coast were asked to score the cities where they work, as part of the 2019 RE/MAX Liveability Report. RE/MAX tallied the results to determine which cities are Canada’s most-livable and why. Here’s how the country’s major hubs ranked when stacked against each other as some of the best places to live in Canada.
Brampton → 88%
Brampton tops the charts in 2019 among the best places to live in Canada. The city scored well in public transit, offering a number of highly efficient inter-city routes. Employment opportunities, retail access and population are on the rise as construction and new developments continue. The “Flower City” also offers access to a number of green spaces along with great accessibility to bike lanes and walking paths. These liveability factors are notably higher in the neighbourhoods of Heartlake, Sandringham and Fletchers Meadow, which rank as the top three overall.
Calgary → 88%
Tied with Brampton among best places to live in Canada, Calgary takes the lead in employment opportunities, access to green spaces, walking paths and bike lanes, population growth and top-rated schools. Housing supply and affordability rank higher here than in any other Canadian city, as average residential sale prices remain stable, welcoming young families and couples. The city offers great access to bike lanes and walking paths, especially in North Haven Upper, Renfrew, Chinook and Meadowgate Park.
Edmonton → 82%
Coming in behind Brampton and Calgary, Edmonton thrives in access to employment opportunities and economic development as Alberta’s economy continues its recovery. Situated along the North Saskatchewan River, the city has lots of green space to offer, which is considered to be the most important liveability factor for many Canadians.
Victoria → 82%
Victoria was on par with Edmonton overall, but is a leading city for availability of retail stores, which 60 per cent of Canadians consider very important when choosing where to live. The city also sees an influx of students during the academic year, thanks to a large number of top-rated schools and universities. Often referred to as “The Garden City,” Victoria offers easy access to bike lanes and walking paths, allowing residents to enjoy its wide variety of green spaces and parks.
Ottawa → 79%
Ottawa is attracting a large number of young couples to buy their first home, thanks to a boom in economic development and accessibility to employment opportunities. The capital also attracts many young families, as it is home to a number of top-rated schools, which 18 per cent of Canadians deem to be one of the most important neighbourhood expectations. Although Ottawa ranked highly for housing affordability, prices are rising as a result of the housing shortage.
London → 79%
Like many other major Canadian cities, London is experiencing a supply shortage, but housing in the region remains highly affordable. Employment growth and great accessibility to healthcare facilities go hand in hand, as the London Health Sciences Centre is the largest employer in the area. However, the city could improve its public transit system considering its large student population, and that transportation is one of the key liveability factors that more than 36 per cent of Canadians – especially students – look for in a neighbourhood.
Hamilton → 79%
Hamilton had moderate scores in a majority of the liveability factors, but it performs particularly well in employment opportunities, which is a top priority for 30 per cent of Canadians when choosing a neighbourhood. The city also boasts great access to healthcare facilities, as well as housing affordability, with average housing prices down by two per cent in the past year.
Winnipeg → 79%
Winnipeg was one of the few cities that performs exceptionally in public transportation. The city also scores highly on housing affordability thanks to a balanced market this past year, attracting single Millennials, young couples and young families. With a highly diversified economy, Winnipeg offers better access to healthcare facilities than many other top Canadian cities.
Saskatoon → 79%
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan’s largest city, also had high scores for public transportation and access to healthcare facilities. Although a majority of the liveability factors in the city had average scores, parks, green spaces and retail stores are highly accessible, all of which are the top liveability criteria for more than 60 per cent of Canadians.
Vancouver → 76%
As one of Canada’s largest and densest cities, not only is Vancouver’s public transportation system a robust one, the city is also highly accessible by bike and on foot. Despite being a metropolitan centre, the city offers a number of green spaces and parks to enjoy. Housing affordability scores were low, with average residential house sales in the $1-million range. Despite this, Millennials and young couples continue to move to the city for its diversity, economic development and breathtaking natural beauty.
Mississauga → 76%
As one of Canada’s most populous cities, Mississauga scored highly on population growth. The city scored well for access to employment opportunities, which can be attributed to the increasing economic development taking place, drawing in Millennials and young families and couples.
Toronto → 70%
As Canada’s business and cultural hub, and one of the largest, most diverse cities in the world, Toronto understandably scored high on population growth but, with that, scored the lowest of all Canadian cities for housing supply and affordability. However, it’s no surprise that the city came up on top for shopping and retail store availability, as well as accessibility to healthcare facilities, as it boasts some of the world’s best hospitals and medical research centres.
Halifax → 70%
This beautiful Atlantic Ocean port offers a stable balance in most liveability factors. Halifax had average scores across the board, with the exception of its high rating for top schools. With employment and economic development on the rise, the city continues to attract young couples and Millennials.
Kitchener-Waterloo → 67%
Bustling with new opportunities, Kitchener-Waterloo attracts the youngest demographic on the list of best places to live in Canada. Young families, couples and Millennials are drawn to the wide availability of full-time employment in growing sectors like technology, which is the most important liveability factor to 30 per cent of Canadians. However, as population rises, housing affordability and supply are falling short, with average sale prices increasing by 10 per cent in 2019.
Nainamo → 67%
As a smaller city on the east coast of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo undoubtedly scored high on access to parks and green spaces along with accessibility to bike lanes and walking paths. However, its overall liveability score suffers as employment opportunities remain low, public transportation is limited and housing is in short supply.