Ottawa-Gatineau Named 'Canada's Best Place to Live' in Moneysens's 6th Annual Ranking

For the second year running, Canada's capital snagged the top spot on MoneySense magazine's Best Places to Live ranking. Victoria, whose high housing prices dropped it to #8 last year (after a #1 ranking in 2009), climbed back up to sit at #2 this year, while Burlington, Ont., maintained its #3 spot.

Why did Ottawa come out on top? It turns out the city is remarkably consistent, typically scoring above average in just about every category. In addition to the national capital, several provincial capitals also fare well (Victoria, Fredericton at #6, Winnipeg at #10) as well as suburbs near large centres, such as Burlington and Repentigny, Que., which was 9th.

Some love the diversity and liveliness of Canada's largest cities, while others find them polluted, crime-ridden and crowded. In MoneySense's ranking, they finished in the middle of the pack: Vancouver ranked 29th, Toronto 88th, and Montreal was 123rd out of 180.

Where should I live?

Although there are many personal and impossible-to-measure factors that contribute to a city's livability-such as friendliness, scenery, good restaurants or historic buildings-the MoneySense rankings stick to the measurable hard data. These indicators range from climate and ease of travel to affordable housing and population growth. The ranking is designed to be a useful tool to help Canadians decide where to launch a career, raise a family, retire or simply make a fresh start. Every single city or town in the country with a population of 10,000 or more is ranked.

Canada's Best Places to Live - Top 10

  1. Ottawa-Gatineau
  2. Victoria. B.C.
  3. Burlington, Ont.
  4. Kingston, Ont.
  5. St. Albert, Alta.
  6. Fredericton, N.B.
  7. Brandon, Man.
  8. Edmonton, Alta.
  9. Repentigny, Que.
  10. Winnipeg, Man.

More rankings:

Best Places to Retire: A person's needs change upon retirement, and so we adjust our category weights to reflect what's most important to those at this stage of life. Job prospects won't matter, but access to health care, low taxes and decent weather will.

Canada's Wealthiest Cities: Proximity to the oil and mining industries and to the financial capital are big factors in getting to the top of this list.

The Weather Controversy: In a country with as many weather extremes as Canada, the importance of good weather cannot be overstated. And although many Canadians don't agree on where the best weather in the country is, MoneySense comes up with a definitive answer, based on temperatures, precipitation and clean air.

on March 29, 2011