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Canada's best city to live in: It's not where you may think

Leeanna McLean
Digital Reporter

Friday, June 5, 2015, 12:22 PM - Despite Montreal's harsh winter weather, the city's suburb of Boucherville, Quebec is the best place to live in the country, according to a 2015 MoneySense report.

Boucherville is a predominately French-speaking community with a population just over 43,000. It is located northeast of Montreal just across the St. Lawrence River.

MoneySense used a combination of Environics Analytics, Statistics Canada and other census data to rank a total of 209 cities. Factors considered included: job prospects, affordability, value of real estate and the number of hot days per year.

Topping the list of a recent Statistics Canada city satisfaction poll is another Quebec city. People in the community of Saguenay, Que., have a life satisfaction score of 8.245 out of 10. On a global scale, Canada is the fifth happiest country, according to a new UN ranking.

Boucherville sees approximately 33 days above 24oC per year, according to MoneySense. This year during winter months the city's average high was about -3oC and snowfall amounts totaled 150 cm. The city satisfied most of the criteria on the list with low unemployment, high average income, affordable housing, high population growth, bike friendly streets and a strong arts and sports community.

Boucherville, Quebec

Total annual rainfall: 844 mm

Days with precipitation greater than or equal to 0.2 mm: 168

Days with rainfall greater than or equal to 0.2 mm: 125

Days with daily minimum temperature greater than 0°C: 228

Days with daily maximum temperature greater than 20°C: 112

“I love Montreal, but I think Boucherville is better for my kids. It’s a beautiful place to live,” Boucherville resident Valerie Beaulieu told Money Sense.

Top five cities ranked:

1) Boucherville, Quebec

2) Ottawa, Ontario

3) Burlington, Ontario

4) St. Albert, Alberta

5) Blainville, Quebec

Our nation’s capital was beat by Calgary in 2013 after claiming the top spot for several years. This year, Ottawa is ranked the second best city to live in.

Ontario cities located in the Greater Toronto Area high up on the list are Burlington and Oakville, taking third and sixth spots. Overall, Ontario has 68 communities ranked on the list, more than any other province. 

While Calgary and Strathcona County in Alberta have dominated the annual report in recent years, this year both cities took a tumble falling to 18th and 19th on the list. Other noticeable drops include Edmonton, falling from eighth to 33rd and Saskatchewan plummeting from ninth to 44th. Although a Quebec city took the top spot, Victoriaville, Quebec had the most dramatic descend this year, sinking from 57th to 156th. 

Bottom five cities ranked:

1) Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

2) Bay Roberts, Newfoundland

3) Port Alberni, British Columbia

4) Truro, Nova Scotia

5) New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

Source: MoneySense | The Weather Network 

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