Looking for the best quality of life in Canada? According to Maclean’s, you should look for a home in Burlington, Ontario.
Maclean’s conducted a study of 415 communities across Canada and ranked them based on a variety of criteria, including wealth & economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute times, crime, weather, health care, amenities and culture.
Ontario swept the top five with Burlington in first, followed by Grimsby, Ottawa, Oakville, and New Tecumseth. Toronto came in 19th overall, scoring low in the affordability category. Other Ontario places to crack the top 25 include Brant (7th), Niagara-on-the-Lake (8th), Russell (9th), Tecumseh (10th), Aurora (11th), Haldimand County (13th), Kingston (14th), LaSalle (16th), Milton (17th), Wilmot (20th), Lincoln (21st), Collingwood (22nd), and Hamilton (24th).
If you’re looking for an affordable home though, Burlington isn’t the place for you; it didn’t even crack the top 100 most affordable places in Canada. None of the overall top five are in the top 100 most affordable.
Salmon Arm, British Columbia claims the top spot in the most affordable homes category. “For anyone chasing the goal of homeownership but finding the prospect demoralizing, Salmon Arm’s housing prices are actually within reach of the average person,” writes Alireza Naraghi for Maclean’s. “The average primary residence in the town is just $429,000. Salmon Arm is also in the top 25 percent of all cities for lowest taxes, and if you enjoy close-knit community culture with lots of jobs in the arts and tourism sectors, Salmon Arm is also in the top 25 percent in the culture and community category.”
If you want to stick to Ontario and the top overall 25, then you should look for a home in Russell or Tecumseh. They have the second and third most affordable homes, respectively. According to Maclean’s, the average price of a home in Russell is around $420,000, and it’s also within the top 25 for safety and is under 30 minutes from Ottawa by car. Haldimand County, LaSalle, and Kingston are also among the most affordable, placing in sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.
If you’re the family-first type, then Burlington is once again your best bet, followed by LaSalle and Oakville. Milton and Russell are also ranked high in fifth and sixth, respectively. Affordability was Burlignton’s worst category, so don’t expect homes to be cheap.
“It’s literally a full-time job to find a desirable place that makes sense to raise your family,” said Jonathan Wadham, who moved to Burlington from Toronto, interviewed by Maclean’s. “I went to school in Toronto and loved the city, but we couldn’t imagine raising our kids here and providing them with what we were used to when my wife and I were growing up. The cost of living is not manageable with my income.”
Of course, a lot of this is subjective. Fortunately, Maclean’s has a ranking tool so you can weigh the different categories by what’s important to you. Maybe Burlington isn’t the top spot for you. Try it today!