Did you know that in North America, Canadian cities ranked among the highest for quality of living in the Mercer’s Annual Quality of Living Report 2018? In fact, we dominated the North American rankings with four of our favourite cities placing in the top 25. Thanks to a stable political environment, attractive social benefits, and a safe environment overall, our quality of living continues to remain high here at home. However, there is a noticeable growing trend that is beginning to reshape how these cities will continue to grow in the future – and that’s the cost of living.
Despite the attractive qualities of some major Canadian cities, being able to realistically afford a condo or property is now becoming more of a challenge than ever for first-time homebuyers. This is why other areas of Canada are starting to experience a rapid surge of emigration and growth. Take Edmonton, for example. As a city that has remained under the radar for many years, today, it’s undergoing unprecedented growth. With a surge in demand and development, buyers can find the type of luxury urban lifestyle they want for a quarter of the price in comparison to Toronto. Lower rates and a better quality of life are just a few of the influencing factors that are making cities like Edmonton the new ‘hot spot’ of Canada.
If you’re on the hunt for the best area to purchase and settle, here’s a brief comparison of which Canadian cities experience the highest quality of living and which ones are still affordable for the average first-time buyer.
This year, Vancouver ranked #5 in the world for the second year in a row on the Mercer’s Annual Quality of Living Report. No surprise here since it’s generally safer than many of the other cities in North America. It’s also a very clean city with excellent health care, environmental and educational services, and not to mention – the stunning, picturesque backdrop of the mountains and coastal views. Of course, if you’ve been tracking the Vancouver condo market lately, it doesn’t take long to recognize the drawback to this gorgeous city – the extreme cost of living. With homes and even condo prices starting closer to the million-dollar range, this city has become one of the most expensive places to live in Canada.
Another city that scored high on the Mercer Report was Toronto, coming in at the 17th spot. Thanks to its booming business sector, diverse and vibrant lifestyle, and a glowing reputation on the world stage, Toronto still remains a desirable, thriving metropolitan. But, with recent patterns showing a decrease in its score each year, what’s holding it back? The straight answer is a lack of planning for infrastructure and services, along with high rental rates and an overall cost of living that’s noticeably strangling the middle class. So despite the vibrant and exciting reputation that this city is known for, it’s becoming increasingly taxing on the quality of life for the average citizen.
Our capital city was another winner of the top 4 Canadian cities, placing in the top 25 countries with the highest quality of living. Ranking 19 out of 231 major metropolises around the world, Ottawa was praised for its ‘sanitation’, tying for 2nd place worldwide. This may not sound very important but sanitation and cleanliness play a key role when companies decide where to establish their offices abroad, making it an attractive location. Ottawa is also one of the safest and more affordable places to still live in Canada, with an established and growing reputation for being one of the top tech hubs in North America.
Ranking as the 4th best city in North America and the 21st in the world for quality of life, was our largest French-speaking city, Montreal. With its unique bilingual culture, exciting nightlife, and a glowing reputation for financial opportunity as the former “financial capital” of Canada — it’s deemed as one of the most comfortable places to live in North America. And, although it has experienced a lower cost of living, it’s quickly becoming the next hot spot for overseas investment in real estate because of the Ontario and B.C Foreign Buyer’s Tax. Over the course of last year, the city hit a 10-year high, which means that finding an affordable rate will become increasingly more difficult to find here.
Even though it still remains below the radar and excluded from the Mercer report, Edmonton has been rapidly gaining momentum and popularity in recent years. As Canadians and others worldwide search for more affordable alternatives that offer a better quality of life, this city has been quickly stepping up to meet that demand. Aside from ranking considerably high in comparison to Calgary and Ottawa on the Numbeo Quality of Life report, Edmonton’s scenic landscape, booming economy and affordable cost of living make it an attractive option for buyers who are looking to explore other areas of Canada.
As one of Canada’s youngest big cities, it’s attracting more of a working population, especially among young professionals. A large population of working-age citizens, a desire for more sustainable and walkable communities, and better opportunities for more entrepreneurial minds to thrive, make the outlook for Edmonton’s future very bright.
If you’re ready to improve your quality of life and plant your roots in a city that offers the type of luxurious lifestyle you desire, CX in Grandin could be just for you. With a variety of condos, lofts and townhomes to choose from, including over 20 different designs, finding your dream home has never been easier or more affordable.