Canada's capital named best place to live
Published Tuesday, April 29, 2008 10:43PM EDT
Ottawa has been named the best place to live in Canada by financial magazine MoneySense, although the publication's editor says he mainly focused on affordability factors.
"People always groan at the idea of Ottawa being number one," editor Ian McGugan told CTV Newsnet on Tuesday.
"It really is the triumph of the B+ student. Universities always tell you that B or C students always end up ruling the world. And in some ways that's what happened with Ottawa. It was outstanding in absolutely nothing, but it was slightly above average in just about everything, and that put it in the top spot."
MoneySense grouped Ottawa together with Gatineau for the top spot, and gave the area high marks for its quality of life:
- Average family income: $85,475
- Average house price: $250,123
- Unemployment rate: 5.2 per cent
- Doctors per 1,000: 2.6492
"This is the second year in a row that MoneySense has picked Ottawa as the number one city in Canada to live, to work and to invest," Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien told CTV's Mike Duffy Live.
"We know it, we enjoy it, and it's nice to see that on a very balanced and reasonable yardstick, other people that see that as well."
McGugan said the magazine awarded bonus points for sports teams and other elements that make communities exciting places to live. But he said economic factors were first in mind.
"People in Newfoundland always want us to somehow gauge the community spirit; people in Montreal always take us to task for not including culture; people in B.C. always whip us for not looking at natural beauty," he said.
"There are these very subjective factors ... but our contention is that it's difficult to appreciate natural beauty, or culture, or a sense of community, if you don't have a job and you can't afford a house."
The worst place to live in Canada, according to the magazine, was Port Alberni, B.C., which ranked 154. It had more than double the unemployment rate as Ottawa, a lower average family income, but similar house prices:
- Average family income: $59,305
- Average house price: $231,232
- Unemployment rate: 11.3
- Doctors per 1,000: 1.4626
Canada's major cities were spread out evenly throughout the list, with Vancouver, Halifax and Winnipeg joining Ottawa in the top 10:
- Winnipeg: 7
- Halifax: 9
- Vancouver: 10
- St. John's: 28
- Calgary: 35
- Toronto: 51
- Montreal: 82
"Homes in big cities are really becoming a stretch for most families," said McGugan. "Other factors that pull down big cities are a lack of doctors and a high crime rate."