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Vancouver ranks 39th among best places to live in Canada

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Vancouver has been ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world, but a new ranking of the best places to live in Canada leaves the city out of the top spots.

It seems the high cost of housing has led to that result.

Vancouver comes in at 39th overall in MoneySense Magazine‘s ranking — the number one city is St. Albert, Alberta.

It came 52nd last year.

And, Vancouver doesn’t even make the top five in the best large cities to live, coming in eighth — Calgary has taken the top spot there.

Second is Ottawa, third is Edmonton, Quebec City comes in fourth, Winnipeg in fifth, Halifax in sixth, and Toronto in seventh.

“Vancouver’s one of those cities that always scores well on international rankings and liveability scores, and I don’t think anyone has any question that Vancouver is a beautiful city. It’s definitely a place that people love to visit, and if they could call home, they would,” says Mark Brown, Managing Editor of MoneySense.

The problem with Vancouver and the way that MoneySense looks at it is the fact that it is a very expensive place to live. I mean, everyone understands that real estate prices are extremely high in Vancouver, the average home is well over $900,000 there now,” adds Brown.

Brown adds incomes are high, but homes are still out of reach for a lot of people.

“The affordability is one of the main factors why the city doesn’t score as highly as it does on our ranking, and essentially, the way we see it, if you’re spending all your money on housing costs and living costs, you’re not able to save for retirement, save for your kids’ education, or travel or do the other things that you might want to do outside the city. That’s why it doesn’t score as highly on our ranking as it does in international rankings.”

That isn’t a shock to many who live in Vancouver.

“I don’t really find it much of a surprise, especially when you look at definitions of liveability. Of course, this is such a beautiful place, it’s such a great climate, it’s not cold, it’s lovely in the wintertime, but liveability is also about affordability, and as everyone knows, it’s really hard to afford to live in this city,” says Louise.

Charlie says he’s skeptical of MoneySense’s methods, but adds it’s well-known Vancouver is one of the most costly cities relative to income.

“Also, I believe with the population expansion, the infrastructure’s not really catching up so in the major roads in the city, we see significant congestion every morning and afternoon during rush hours, and it certainly lowers the standard of living for people here, I believe.”

The rankings come from data on things like housing prices, crime, weather, and household income.

Vancouver did come in first for culture — MoneySense says more than four percent of the city’s population has jobs in the arts, culture and recreation sector.