Canada fares well in a new list of the most “liveable cities” in the world.
Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary were third, fourth and fifth, respectively in the 2016 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The survey compared 140 cities globally.
Melbourne, Australia finished in number one spot followed by Vienna, Austria.
The EIU ranking is based on factors like stability, health care, culture, environment, education and infrastructure.
However, the report didn’t mention two of the big issues in Canada, the increasingly unaffordable real-estate in Vancouver and Toronto, and the impact of low oil prices which have contributed to high-unemployment in Alberta.
Ian Lee, associate professor at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, said while Canada and Australia are generally considered safe countries he wouldn’t place Toronto or Vancouver at the top of the index.
“I wouldn’t consider Toronto to be the most livable city in Canada,” Lee said. “Toronto is so congested, it’s so expensive, and it’s so difficult to move around in.”
Lee said he considers cities like Montreal, Halifax or Victoria to be much more livable and suggested that low density is a very important variable when looking at Canada’s livability.
“It means you can spread out and means you’re not living cheek by jowl,” Lee said.
And while Calgary is seeing high-unemployment right now, it doesn’t mean it isn’t livable.
“Right now because of the collapse of oil prices Calgary is in a lot of pain,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean everyone is killing each other in Calgary…. Unemployment to me isn’t about livability, to me it’s about how safe are the cities.”
5 most livable:
- Melbourne, Australia
- Vienna, Austria
- Vancouver, Canada
- Toronto, Canada
- Tie- Calgary, Canada and Adelaide, Australia
5 least livable:
- Kyiv, Ukraine
- Douala, Cameroon
- Harare, Zimbabwe
- Karachi, Pakistan
- Algiers, Algeria