ok, i know we got hastings, rippoff housing prices and crazy gas prices but come on, not even the top ten.
TORONTO (CP) - Go west isn't good advice if what you want to do is wind up in most of Canada's top 10 places to live.
MoneySense magazine has come out with its second annual list of Canada's Best Places to Live. It ranked 123 Canadian communities with a population greater than 10,000, crunching the numbers on everything from the weather, real estate values, income levels and unemployment rates to discretionary income, crime rates and signs of prosperity.
The country's capital came out on top, with mid-sized and smaller cities filling out the top 10.
Ottawa was rated as Canada's best overall place to live, said MoneySense features editor Duncan Hood, because it didn't do poorly in any category, had high household incomes but the housing is still relatively affordable - leaving people with more discretionary income. He said MoneySense thinks that means a higher quality of life.
Rounding out the top 10 were Halifax, Quebec City, Guelph, Ont., Fredericton, N.B., Kingston, Ont., Moncton, N.B., London, Ont., Victoria and Gander, NL.
"The cities that seem to offer the best quality of life are the cities that allow you to have all the great things about living in a small town . . . that offer up workplaces that you can walk to or get to easily without sitting for hours on the highway. Places that offer you the opportunity to own your own home and have a decent-sized lawn. All those great things about smaller communities but they also offer you some of the great things about big cities like higher incomes and more amenities."
Hood said Ottawa would seem to be just sort of the perfect balance of the two things.
MoneySense also found east beats west - except for Victoria, no cities west of Ontario made the top 10.
"Where east really beat west was because our houses are cheaper. The housing is just so expensive in the west in general that that is consuming more and more people's incomes and it generally leaves them poorer. It leaves them with less discretionary income and we think that's the main reason that places out west didn't fare as well as the places out east."
Amazingly, a boomtown like Fort McMurray, Alta., was actually penalized. It has Canada's highest average household income at $135,000 a year.
"When you looked at the city more carefully, we found actually the growth rates are too high there. The infrastructure is not keeping up and the housing prices are just unbelievable there."
Canada's biggest cities finished out of the top 10.
Among them, Toronto fared the best but came in at No, 12. Hood said Toronto rated well because it had high household incomes - the fifth highest in the country. Hood said the average household in Toronto makes $91,000 a year. But the big city was near the basement in the cost of housing, ranking 103 out of 123.
Among other big cities, Winnipeg came in at 13, Montreal finished at 23, Calgary was 28 and Edmonton was 31.
Finishing at the bottom of the barrel at 123 was Port Alberni, B.C., and Hood said it fared poorly because it had a high unemployment rate and fairly low household incomes.