MoneySense Magazine released its Canada’s Best Places to Live 2018 list, and the reigning champ, Ottawa, has been dethroned by none other than Ontario’s own Oakville.
Ottawa held the top spot for the last two years, but it slipped into second place; it’s still the number one place in Canada to retire though.
To determine the best places to live, 415 cities across Canada were ranked based on 10 categories; wealth & economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, and amenities & culture.
So, why is Oakville the best place to live in Canada?
When some people think of Oakville, they think of big waterfront mansions off Lakeshore Rd. The truth is, Oakville has a healthy balance of wealth and middle-class families. The average household income of $162,000 is tenth highest in the country.
It’s not all about the money though. MoneySense found that Oakville is the best place to live for new Canadians. In fact, the percentage of visual minorities has increased from 18% to 31%, according to the latest census.
Oakville is also the third best place to retire and fifth best to raise a family, plus the city has access to Toronto’s booming job market.
The City still refers to itself as the “Town of Oakville,” though the population is above 200,000. Oakville Mayor Rob Burton doesn’t see a point in changing it, saying “Oakville is a city that calls itself a town and acts like a village. Oakville as a community is determined to maintain that town vibe.”
What about Toronto?
Toronto actually performed well this year, breaking into the top 20 as the 16th best place to live in Canada. In 2017, Toronto was 129th! MoneySense points out that Toronto is still an expensive place to live, but surrounding suburban areas are actually getting pricier. The average household income is $105,338, but average household net worth is $906,663.
Overall, Toronto’s top features were wealth & economy, transit, and weather. Locals may complain about transit, but the number of people relying on transit to get to work is still higher than other Canadian cities. We find it interesting that Toronto’s weather is a top feature because our winters can be brutal and our summers scorching!
What’s your top place to live?
While MoneySense uses hard data to determine the rankings, the weight of each factor is subjective. For example, if you don’t rely on transit, having reliable and efficient transit may not be as important to you.
You can remix you own best places to live here. Just adjust the importance of each factor and the list will change based on your preferences.
We adjusted our weighting to emphasize transit, low crime, and the arts, and Oakville remained at the top, but Toronto jumped up to the 12th spot.