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Vancouver places dismal 174th in annual ranking of best Canadian communities

Maclean's created the rankings based on a few key features like affordability, crime, weather, health, population growth and internet access
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Maclean's Magazine ranked Vancouver 174th based on factors like affordability, taxes, crime and weather.

Despite our cherry blossoms and coastal views, Vancouver is only the 174th best community in the country.

At least that’s according to Maclean's Magazine which published its annual rankings of the best Canadian communities earlier this month. The Toronto-based national news magazine gave the coveted No. 1 spot to Halifax, thanks to its affordable housing prices and impressive urban amenities. British Columbia made an okay showing though with 10 communities making the top 50.

Maclean's created the rankings based on a few key features like affordability, taxes, crime, weather, health, amenities, community, population growth and internet access. In an article explaining the magazine’s methodology, data on 415 communities across Canada was compared to categories Maclean's thought would be most important to the average person. This comparison also took into account the shifting priorities caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Our revamped ranking assumes remote work is here to stay, asking where people should move if they’re not tied to an office and a commute. We eliminated categories assessing the local economy, since remote workers won’t have to look for a nearby job, and added a category assessing internet quality,” a Maclean's article states.

Some other categories were also streamlined like rent data in the affordability category since rents and property prices are closely correlated and it’s “safe to assume a community with high housing prices will also have expensive rents.”

Communities are ranked on how they did compare to their peers. For example, the community with the lowest housing prices will get a rank of 1, and the community with the highest housing prices will get a rank of 415. The points are then put on a curve to determine where they stand compared to the other communities.

To read more about how the rankings were determined you can check out Maclean's website.

Now with that out of the way let’s see how we did.

All British Columbia’s entries have access to the internet as a top-ranking factor. B.C.’s first community on the list goes to Langford in 18th place with additional features like population growth and weather. The nine other communities and the features that helped them make the top 50 are listed below:

#22 - Central Saanich

  • Community
  • Population Growth

#23 - Sidney

  • Community
  • Health

#29 - Saanich

  • Community
  • Health

#30 - Vernon

  • Health
  • Amenities

#37 - Kamloops

  • Amenities
  • Weather

#38 - Comox    

  • Crime
  • Community

#41 - Penticton

  • Weather
  • Health

#48 - Delta        

  • Amenities
  • Population Growth

#49 - Courtenay

  • Community
  • Amenities

The City of North Vancouver came in 58th place, West Vancouver in 168th and of course Vancouver itself in 174th. Data used to place Vancouver included the average value of primary real estate at $1,393,879, property tax as per cent of average income at 1.2 per cent and the provincial tax rate for an average family of 44 per cent.

Other factors included days per year Vancouverites were rained or snowed on at 171, days per year above 0ºC at 330 and days per year above 20ºC at 53.

If it makes you feel any better though (not sure how), North Vancouver as a District Municipality came in 245th place and Greater Vancouver as a whole came in 342nd place.