Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Middle of the Pack

A U.S. consulting group have released their "Next Cities" ranking for Canadian Cities. They are supposed to show the best cities for young professionals - you know, the Richard Florida types - to work, live and play in.

So what makes a city a "Next City" ? The fewest potholes ? A great sewer system ? cheap homes ? Nope, it's a little wider than that:

"Simply being the cheapest place to live, or the city with the most jobs is not a long-term workforce strategy," says NGC's founder, Rebecca Ryan."The next generation is very savvy about choosing where they'll live. They look carefully at quality of life factors like how much time they're going to spend in traffic commuting, if they can live near a park or hike-and-bike trail, and whether a city's downtown stays awake after five."

How did the 'Peg fare among 100,000 plus cities ? Here are the rankings. For more on the NCG report.

1. Victoria, British Columbia
2. Ottawa, Ontario
3. Vancouver, British Columbia
4. Kingston, Ontario
5. Halifax, Nova Scotia
6. Toronto, Ontario
7. Calgary, Alberta
8. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
9. London, Ontario
10. Edmonton, Alberta
11. Winnipeg, Manitoba
12. Regina, Saskatchewan
13. Thunder Bay, Ontario
14. St. Catharines-Niagra, Ontario
15. Saint John, New Brunswick
16. Montreal, Quebec
17. Kitchener, Ontario
18. St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
19. Quebec City, Quebec
20. Hamilton, Ontario
21. Sherbrooke, Ontario
22. Sudbury, Ontario
23. Oshawa, Ontario
24. Windsor, Ontario
25. Abbotsford, British Columbia
26. Trois-Rivieres, Quebec
27. Saguenay, Quebec


Stimpson said...

I guess you could say Wpg fared OK. But then the whole idea of ranking cities like this is dubious, ain't it?

cancelbot said...

I can't help but question rankings like this. I mean, Thunder Bay ranking above Montreal? Hmm...

mrchristian said...

True. Ranking is very subjective.

The View from Seven said...

I was also surpised by Thunder Bay coming in ahead of Montreal, given the former's isolation and anemic population growth (2001-06: net gain of 124 residents out of more than 109,000).

But I suppose Thunder Bay has a few things in its favour:

- Housing affordability: In 2006, Thunder Bay's average home value was less than one-half the Ontario average, but median family income was only slightly lower than the provincial average

- It's a regional hub for health care, education and government services, which could turn into labour shortages in these sectors in the years ahead (if they're not experiencing them already)

- This small city likely gets a boost in education by being home to both a university (Lakehead) and a college (Confederation). I imagine it scores points for short commutes as well.

Alex Reid said...

100,000 cities? in Canada?

Richard said...

I'm going to bet they ranked a value like "current population 18-35 as a percentage of total" in their calculations, which would account for all the university towns ranking high. Too high. I can vaguely see their logic, but someone needs to tweak their multipliers... I'd venture Florida would disagree with this list too.