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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2015, 11:30 PM
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Wich Canadians Metro Areas (over 100 000) are offering the best quality of life ?

Make a top 5 (at least) and explain why with your own criterias.
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PROVINCE OF QUEBEC ==> 8 236 000
MONTREAL ==> 4 027 100
QUEBEC CITY ==> 799 600

Last edited by FrAnKs; Dec 7, 2015 at 1:11 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2015, 11:47 PM
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I won't even bother trying to be objective but just focus instead on what would make me happiest and best contribute to my quality of life.

1. Montreal - A strong identity, sense of self, community. Great culture, beautiful Old Town area, affordable expenses. There's no connection, really, between me and that identity but I admire and relate to its powerful presence.

2. Vancouver - Climate. Outdoorsy, active culture. It doesn't have the same sort of strength of identity as I admire in Montreal, but it is completely divorced from the dominant Central Canadian narrative (which does nothing for me) in a way Montreal can never be.

3. Toronto - It's large enough to be who you want, surround yourself with the sort of people you wish to share your life with, and enjoy just about everything available in Canada. I could get an apartment with four other Townies, get toutons for breakfast, fish and brewis for lunch, and listen to Joel Thomas Hynes storytelling at some Irish pub in the evening. Your life can be as insular and reflect where you're from as you want, or it can be as expansive and exploratory as you want.

4. A tie between Ottawa and Quebec City. Ottawa is perhaps a little sleepy with all its grey business suits buts it's the one mainland city where everyone I know who has moved there has loved it. It's comfortable, safe, and has a good central location for travel bugs. Quebec City is gorgeous. Given the amount of joy I get from seeing the same rowhouses every day, I can't imagine how much more fulfilling it would be in Quebec City, which has everything I love about St. John's but better. The only downside is I'll never be able to connect with its culture or feel a part of what's going on there.

5. This is where I'd rank my own, but I don't want to bother with that. So next up would be, for me, Calgary. The climate isn't that bad in winter, I love the optimism - like the lyrics of that song, "This is where I dream, it's where that dream has got some hope of coming true." And, for a Newfoundlander, it's a very easy move. I already know several people there. There's something very appealing to me about living in a city during a formative time in its history.
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  #3  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 1:06 AM
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For a person who is statistically the average Canadian, Calgary is probably pretty hard to beat.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 1:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrAnKs View Post
Make a top 5 (at least) and explain why.
What criteria should we be considering? I could make 20 different lists based on 20 different sets of criteria. Usually when you see official lists they're talking about either the "average" quality of life or a specific category like foreign nationals. But if you're asking for a ranking as a specific person, there are much bigger things that affect a specific person such as employment. If a person is 25% more likely to find a decent job in their field in city A than city B, then city A is likely to have a higher quality of life for her on average, but it only really matters if the person actually gets the job or not. The fact that the odds were higher has no relevance.

Same thing with housing. If a person really wants to live in a historic house in charming neighbourhood and city A has many more in his price range than city B, that doesn't really matter if he manages to beat the odds and find one in city B. Or the same with commuting. If city A has terrible traffic and it's hard to commute any significant distance, but you find a job really close to where you live, whereas in city B the traffic is better but the closest job is across town, city A is the best option.

If I were to assume all aspects of my personal situation were basically the same (income, job satisfaction, commute time, quality of housing, etc.) and focus on only the city itself such as how appealing the natural setting and built form is, the climate, culture, etc. then that would be easiest. The problem being that on average, there actually are likely to be big differences in my personal situation.
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  #5  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 1:10 AM
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Your own criterias.
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PROVINCE OF QUEBEC ==> 8 236 000
MONTREAL ==> 4 027 100
QUEBEC CITY ==> 799 600
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  #6  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 1:32 AM
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Although I prefer bigger cities, I would expect that the older mid-sized cities would do well here (Quebec, Halifax, Victoria, etc). Dense, walkable older cores, they all seem to punch above their weight culturally, and culinary, likely due to their being capital cities that attract a lot of government business as well as tourism.
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  #7  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 1:36 AM
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Still with the average Canadian and his or her likes and wants, Quebec City would rival Calgary in my books if it was English-speaking.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 1:58 AM
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Originally Posted by FrAnKs View Post
Your own criterias.
Then I'm going to take the easy route and cancel out all aspects of my personal situation other than my personal tastes in cities. I'm going to assume the same income, adjusted for the cost of living in the various cities combined with a travel top-up for more distant cities to cancel out the benefit of family proximity. I'm also going to assume I'm commuting to my workplace across a proportional distance (let's say, across 1/2 the radius of the metro area, although this is awkward given the non-circular nature of some). I'm also canceling out linguistics, because not being fully bilingual would be a challenge in some cities, but that's a characteristic of me rather than the cities.

1.) Montreal. I find the built form the most interesting and engaging, I love the energy, culture, history, and the charisma. And also the bicycle and public transit activity. Downside: wintertime cold and snow, horrible suburban morphology.

2.) Vancouver. I love that it's mild, that it's dense, I love the architecture of the eastern parts of the central city, the progressiveness, the proximity to nature, and the decent size. Downside: rain

3.) Victoria. Mild temperatures, colourful city centre, outdoor recreation opportunities, attractive setting. Downside: Size

4.) Halifax. Progressive, local culture, setting, history/built form, uniqueness, options for day and weekend trips in the region. Downside: Small

5.) Saint John/ St. John's (tie). Built form, setting, history, uniqueness, strong sense of place. Downside: Small

Runner up: QC. Impressive built form and density, especially given its size. Beautiful setting.
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  #9  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 2:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csbvan View Post
Although I prefer bigger cities, I would expect that the older mid-sized cities would do well here (Quebec, Halifax, Victoria, etc). Dense, walkable older cores, they all seem to punch above their weight culturally, and culinary, likely due to their being capital cities that attract a lot of government business as well as tourism.
I was going to say that Halifax, Quebec and Victoria would all do astonishingly well.

They're beautiful, historic cities in a great natural setting with a very good cultural life.
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  #10  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 2:08 AM
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I'm not sure why one would want to limit it to cities over 100,000 but I guess for me it would be:

1) Vancouver
2) Ottawa
3) Toronto
4) Montreal
5) pretty much any of the other 20 largest metros in Canada. If I had to have a #5, I'd be torn between Calgary and Victoria.
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 2:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
Then I'm going to take the easy route and cancel out all aspects of my personal situation other than my personal tastes in cities. I'm going to assume the same income, adjusted for the cost of living in the various cities combined with a travel top-up for more distant cities to cancel out the benefit of family proximity. I'm also going to assume I'm commuting to my workplace across a proportional distance (let's say, across 1/2 the radius of the metro area, although this is awkward given the non-circular nature of some). I'm also canceling out linguistics, because not being fully bilingual would be a challenge in some cities, but that's a characteristic of me rather than the cities.

1.) Montreal. I find the built form the most interesting and engaging, I love the energy, culture, history, and the charisma. And also the bicycle and public transit activity. Downside: wintertime cold and snow, horrible suburban morphology.

2.) Vancouver. I love that it's mild, that it's dense, I love the architecture of the eastern parts of the central city, the progressiveness, the proximity to nature, and the decent size. Downside: rain

3.) Victoria. Mild temperatures, colourful city centre, outdoor recreation opportunities, attractive setting. Downside: Size

4.) Halifax. Progressive, local culture, setting, history/built form, uniqueness, options for day and weekend trips in the region. Downside: Small

5.) Saint John/ St. John's (tie). Built form, setting, history, uniqueness, strong sense of place. Downside: Small

Runner up: QC. Impressive built form and density, especially given its size. Beautiful setting.
Yeah, I think Victoria gets underrated. All the mild climate and nature advantages of Vancouver (better actually) plus affordable housing.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 3:01 AM
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No Saguenay or Trois-Rivieres?

Interesting note that Vancouver has the lowest life satisfaction in this recent survey, with Toronto being second lowest:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle24039777/
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  #13  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 3:20 AM
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Yeah, I think Victoria gets underrated. All the mild climate and nature advantages of Vancouver (better actually) plus affordable housing.
Victoria...

So

Many

Old

People!
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 3:27 AM
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The cities that seem to have the best balance of urbanity, culture, beauty, general things to see & do, affordability, economy/employment, transportation/traffic/ease of getting around, safety, and climate would be Halifax, Quebec City, Victoria, and St. John's. Generally smaller/mid-sized, older, healthy cities are all-around pleasant places to live - still urbane, but a lot "easier" than their larger counterparts.

For me personally, my only real choices are Toronto, Montreal, or maybe Vancouver, but there's no denying that living in these kinds of places require making some sacrifices on the quality of life front.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 3:32 AM
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Yeah, I think Victoria gets underrated. All the mild climate and nature advantages of Vancouver (better actually) plus affordable housing.
I absolutely agree with Victoria. A lovely city with a nice climate, vibrant downtown, beautiful architecture, and an easy going atmosphere. However it's biggest drawback is it's housing costs. Saying it is cheaper than Vancouver is like saying a Lexus is cheaper than a Mercedes. Anyone east of BC would faint at the cost of Victoria housing.

Vancouver and Toronto have an incredible amount to offer but they're outrageous cost of living {esp Van} and horrid traffic really cuts into their quality of life with Montreal somewhat less so. Western and Northern Ontario cities are all hurt by their high crimes rates which are uniformally the highest in the country.

My list would be {although not in any particular order} ......

1}Quebec, 2} Victoria, 3} London 4} Halifax 5} Guelph

Notable mentions for Kingston, St.John's, Calgary, Ottawa and Nanaimo.
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  #16  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 3:35 AM
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The answer to the question is highly dependent on what the individual considers quality of life and also on the job/revenue -- do we assume a fixed income (annuity) and you're free to live where you want with it, or should we instead suppose that we're making whatever the average wage in each city is?

Assuming 1) a fixed annuity that doesn't vary with location and 2) my own tastes, I would say Trois-Rivières would offer the most bang for the buck in the quality of life dept. Maybe Windsor, Ontario, as well.
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  #17  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 4:20 AM
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In thinking about this, I think we should remember that the vast majority of people are largely indifferent to hoity toity matters like urban form, etc. that dominates our discussions on here.

For a pretty significant majority of Canadians, this is what makes a place to live desirable for them:

- plentiful jobs
- affordability of housing and other essentials (relative to what those jobs tend to pay)
- acceptable climate (by Canadian standards)
- tolerable traffic
- decent education and health care systems
- acceptable taxation levels
- reasonably plentiful entertainment and recreation options
- low crime
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  #18  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 4:53 AM
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^ But are we supposed to be talking about the average person or are we supposed to be talking only about ourselves?
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  #19  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 6:43 AM
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^ But are we supposed to be talking about the average person or are we supposed to be talking only about ourselves?
Just reread the original post in this thread - should answer your question.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 7:20 AM
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Just reread the original post in this thread - should answer your question.
Obviously it doesn't. Think about the statement in the post above: "I think we should remember that the vast majority of people are largely indifferent to hoity toity matters like urban form, etc. that dominates our discussions on here."

If it's supposed to be our own criteria, as in things we personally view as contributing to a high quality of life, then what difference does it make what the vast majority of people think? Unless of course it's what we personally think make for the best quality of life for the average person.
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