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The Globe and Mail’s inaugural ranking of the most desirable places to live in the country, based on economy, safety and, yes, the cost of housing

As housing costs have marched steadily upward in Canada, discussing real estate prices has become as common as chatting about the weather. And so often, the conversation about where to live focuses on one number: The cost to buy a home.

But talking so much about which way home prices are moving – which cities are too expensive, how far you need to drive to find one that you can afford – means that we sometimes overlook all the other factors that determine whether a community is a good fit for you. Even if you could afford to live there, would you want to?

The answer to that question is an individual one. Looking for the perfect place to call home is a profoundly personal journey influenced by countless factors. Recognizing this challenge, The Globe and Mail has developed a data-driven rankings to assist in making this crucial decision.

The primary purpose of our rankings is to help Canadians identify communities where they can flourish based on their own circumstances. Our overall ranking emphasizes the key attributes that most Canadians value in their communities including the economy, safety and, yes, the cost of housing.

Expanding on this, we also created a much larger list – including climate conditions, the number of movie theatres and access to health care – to allow readers to see which cities offer a balanced mix of qualities. With the help of our interactive tool, you can prioritize the attributes you value most as well, tailoring the ranking to your needs.

To accommodate the evolving priorities across different stages of life, we have also created sub-rankings tailored to life stages. Whether you’re graduating from college, starting a family or business, navigating midlife changes, embracing retirement or embarking on a new chapter in a new country, our project can help you find the most liveable city for you.

Explore our list of the 100 most livable cities below. You can personalize the ranking to view the top 20 per region, select features most important to you or search for any city out of the 439 we included in our analysis to view its unique profile.

Canada’s most livable cities:
The full ranking

Select a region to view its ranking:

Select features most important to you to increase its weighting in the ranking:

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    Our methodology

    When people are considering relocating to a new city, there are many factors worth considering. It’s a highly personal decision, but a ranking with the livability of a city at the centre can help provide some guidance.

    We’ve collected data about 439 cities across the country, each with a population exceeding 10,000. Our evaluation involved an analysis of 43 variables, which span 10 categories that we’ve identified as particularly crucial when an individual contemplates relocating to a new area. These categories are Economy, Housing, Demographics, Health Care, Safety, Education, Community, Amenities, Transportation and Climate.

    For each variable, the data underwent rescaling to generate scores ranging from 0 to 1, based on each city’s ranking position. For example, Vancouver was the second-most walkable community and received a high score of 0.998, whereas Thunder Bay ranked 186 and received a lower score of 0.578.

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