03/12/2014 01:27 EDT | Updated 03/12/2014 03:59 EDT

Best Places To Live In Canada, And The Worst, According To MoneySense


The suburbs and Alberta are the big winners in MoneySense’s new ranking of the best places to live in Canada.

The Edmonton suburb of St. Albert took the crown as the best place to live in the country, based on a criteria that includes the unemployment rate, household income, house prices, weather and crime.

“So exactly how does a small city with 64,000 people on the fringe of Edmonton beat out every other city in Canada?” MoneySense asks.

“Take your pick. Unemployment sits at just above four per cent, incomes are among the highest in the country, crime rates are steadily falling, and while [St. Albert’s] winters can be skin-splittingly cold, it’s sunny all year round.”

MoneySense argues smaller suburban cities are becoming better places to live.

“Satellite communities around major centres are evolving to deliver small-town flare with big-city conveniences. In that way, many of these communities aren’t just great places to live: they’re Canada’s best-kept secrets,” the magazine reports.

Having a red-hot resource economy helps, too. All three of the top spots in this year’s ranking went to Alberta cities, likely another reflection of the economic divide growing between that province and the rest of the country.

And the worst place to live in Canada? That would be Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, which ranked 201st out of 201 municipalities surveyed.

Notable jumpers this year: Quebec City, which soared to 10th place from 51st a year earlier, and St. John’s, Newfoundland, which rocketed up the charts to 37th this year, from 148th place last year.

St. John’s has been benefitting from the province’s resource boom, so much so that BMO recently mused whether it might not be time to reverse the flow of people moving from Atlantic Canada to Toronto. (Our own take is, um, no, not yet anyway.)

Here are the best and worst places to live in Canada. Read the whole report at MoneySense.

Photo gallery Best, Worst Places To Live In Canada, 2014 See Gallery