24 September 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Best Places to Live Part 2: Oakville, Mississauga and Toronto in the MoneySense Magazine National Survey


In the first part of this two-part series we looked at two Ontario cities – Ottawa and London – that performed well (placed first and 14th respectively) in MoneySense magazine’s 2011 survey of “Canada’s Best Places to Live”.


In Part 2 we will look at three other Ontario cities that featured on the list but did not make into the top 20. At #30 we find Oakville. This Toronto suburb on the north shore of Lake Ontario scored highly in the survey on account of its pleasant climate – adequate but not excessive rainfall and an average 143 days a year below freezing. Affluent Oakville also scored well on household income, good job prospects and extremely low crime rates.

At #32 in MoneySense magazine’s 2011 survey is Mississauga, which does well on the same points as Oakville, just not quite as well. Mississauga has good weather, relatively high household incomes and a fairly low crime rate. Its job prospects are not as good but its population growth is more favourable than that of Oakville.

Much further down the list, at #88, we find Toronto. The weather is quite good and average household incomes are similar to those of first-placed Ottawa,   but on other aspects like crime rate, job prospects, population growth and access to healthcare it scores much less highly than the nation’s capital.

Commentators on the results of the MoneySense survey point out that in general, smaller cities and suburban communities scored higher than Canada’s larger cities – while Toronto ranked #88 and Montreal came in at #123.


And when it comes to happiness, always a difficult thing to measure, Toronto has not done well at all. A survey by the Canadian Centre for the Study of Living Standards in 2010 found that despite having the country’s largest GDP and population, Toronto ranked lowest in the nation on the happiness scale.


But life is more complicated than these surveys can hope to reflect. How is it that Toronto, which has done fairly badly in the studies discussed above appears at #4 in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s list of the world’s most liveable cities? The liveable cities survey does not take into account ‘cost of living’ but ranks the global cities according to widespread availability of goods and services, low personal risk and an effective infrastructure.


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