If you've ever wondered about picking up and moving, you've probably pondered what makes a community a good place to live. Is it climate? Salaries? Real estate?
To be honest, it's probably a bit of each of those factors, plus many more. MoneySense's third annual list of Canada's Best Places to Live is designed to help you measure as many different aspects of a community as possible. You can use our findings in several ways. Perhaps you're planning to relocate. Perhaps you're looking to invest in real estate. Maybe you simply want to know how your community stacks up against its neighbors. Whatever your situation, we've got the facts you need.
We've taken weather into account, of course. Jobs and home prices, too. We've also looked at crime, the availability of doctors, how easy it is to walk or bike to work, and more than a dozen other factors. Our Best Places to Live rankings are the fairest, most unbiased guide you can find to Canadian communities.
What's new this year
This year, we're delighted to provide you with information on 154 communities, up from 123 last year. Thanks to improved sources of data, we are now able to break out metropolitan areas into separate listings for communities of 100,000 or more. So while we previously had to rank all the various communities within the Greater Toronto Area as one unit, we can now separately rate locales such as Mississauga, Markham and Oakville that used to be lumped together under the Toronto label. Similarly, we can break Vancouver down into separate entries for the City of Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey and other surrounding communities.
To make our list as useful as possible, we've acted on your suggestions and included additional factors, such as air quality, in our rankings. In all, we looked at 16 indicators for each community. The maximum number of points a community could earn was 104.
Canada's best places to live 2008
How to use our tables
The tables can be sorted in ascending and descending order by clicking on the name of the column of interest. Clicking on a community name loads a profile page with all of our information about that community.
Sections of the Best Places to Live ranking can be emailed, printed out in a printer-friendly format, or downloaded into a spreadsheet. We invite you to share our list on Facebook, Digg, Del.icio.us, Stumble Upon, Newsvine and other social media sites.
Read our complete methodology.