Which restaurant holds the bragging rights as Canada’s best place to eat? Which Canadian city has the most romantic citizens? Where do the happiest people on Earth live?

Those questions and more were tackled in a series of rankings that made headlines over the past year.

In a nod to the form, CTVNews.ca presents the top 10 most noteworthy lists of 2017.

Canada crowned world’s best travel destination


Canada started off the year strong, earning the New York Times’ top destination to visit in 2017. In its mention, the Times gave a shout-out to “the turquoise lakes and mountain peaks of Banff in Alberta,” “the rolling dunes and red sandstone cliffs of Prince Edward Island,” and “the glacial-rounded Mealy Mountains in Labrador.

But don’t get too smug – the story also pointed out that a weak loonie meant Americans got more bang for their buck.

Three Canadian cities among world’s most livable

Out of 140 cities across the globe, three Canadian municipalities ranked in the top five most livable, according to annual analysis by The Economist released in August.


Vancouver was the top-performing Canadian city, coming in at number three, with Toronto in fourth place and Calgary tying Adelaide, Australia for fifth.

The only other country with three cities on the list was Australia, with Melbourne topping the list and Perth ranking sixth.

The Economist's Intelligence Unit considered five core categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.

Canadian cities among best for LGBT

toronto pride

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better city to be LGBT than Toronto. Canada’s biggest city ranked third out of 100 cities, with Montreal coming in 12th and Vancouver hitting 17th on the list.

The list, compiled by housing aggregator Nestpick, considered criteria such as open-minded citizens, a low level of hate crimes, national laws affecting LGBT citizens and gay-friendly nightlife.

The only other Canadian city to crack the list was Calgary in the 50th spot.

Victoria claims best Canadian city to be a woman; Windsor worst


Victoria is the only city in Canada where more women hold down jobs than men, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which named B.C.’s capital the best city in Canada to be a woman for the third year in a row.

The CCPA looked at Canada’s 25 largest municipalities and considered women’s access to positions of leadership, economic security, education, health and personal security.

Other cities near the top included Gatineau (2nd), Hamilton (3rd), Kingston (4th) and Vancouver (5th). For the second year in a row, Windsor came in last place.

Canadians among world’s happiest people

Cherry Beach, Toronto

Happiness is infectious, and Canada has bragging rights to some of the happiest citizens of anywhere on Earth. The World Happiness Report, compiled each year using the Gallop World Poll, calculates how respondents evaluate their own lives from zero to 10, and also considers economic and health data.

Canada ranked seventh on the list behind Nordic countries such as Norway (1st), Denmark (2nd), Iceland (3rd), Switzerland (4th) and Finland (5th).

For international students, Montreal is the best place to study

McGill University

When September rolls around, there are few university campuses more beautiful than historic McGill, tucked at the foot of Montreal’s Mount Royal.

That wow factor – along with affordability, university rankings and student demographics – earned Montreal the top spot as the world’s most coveted city for international studies. The Quebec city’s win unseated Paris.

Other Canadian cities on the list included Vancouver (10th), Toronto (11th), Ottawa (26th) and Quebec City (72nd).

Vancouver takes bronze in world’s least affordable housing markets

Vancouver housing market

Canada’s hot housing markets often make headlines, but in Vancouver, real estate drew international attention for all the wrong reasons in January. Demographia, a U.S. think tank, ranked Vancouver the third most unaffordable housing market in the world.

The only cities tougher to buy a home, according to the report, were Hong Kong – the world’s least affordable market – and runner-up Sydney, Australia.

The study based its findings off a calculation called the “median multiple”: the median home price in a city divided by the median household income.

Victoria steals hearts as country’s most romantic city

Victoria named Canada's most romantic city

How do you pinpoint the most romantic place in Canada? Sales of romance novels and lingerie, of course.

Amazon analyzed sales of romance-related products and – for the fifth straight year – named Victoria the most romantic city in Canada.

The research looked at per-capita sales of romance novels, relationship books, romantic comedies, jewelry and sexual wellness products in Canadian communities with populations greater than 80,000.

British Columbia dominated the list, with seven of the top 20 cities in the western province. Runners-up included Abbotsford, B.C., North Vancouver, Grand Prairie, Alta., and Saskatoon.

Love may be tougher to find for urbanites, with Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa left off the list. That, or they buy their romantic goods in person.

Toronto has half of Canada’s worst traffic bottlenecks

Human remains were found in a wooded area near Highway 401 and Yonge Street in Toronto.

Anyone who’s driven through Highway 401 in rush hour (or snow, or rain, or construction season) likely isn’t surprised to learn that Toronto is home to 50 per cent of the country’s worst bottlenecks, according to a report commissioned by the Canadian Automobile Association.

Only four municipalities made the list: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Quebec City.

Click here to see if your commute falls within the country’s most notorious routes.

The best place to eat in Canada is…

Alo Restaurant

Montreal’s famed eatery Joe Beef has earned plenty of international praise – including an 81st spot on the acclaimed World’s Best Restaurant list. But a Toronto fine-dining restaurant that opened just two years ago eclipsed the famed eatery in 2017 to become Canada’s top place to eat, according to Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants Magazine.

Alo rocketed from 7th place to number one in just one year, earning top honours from a panel of 82 judges across the country.

Joe Beef still managed a third-place finish, with Montreal’s Toqué! ranked second.