By QMI Agency
Finance magazine MoneySense has turned against longtime favourite Ottawa to anoint Calgary the best place to live in Canada.
Ottawa had topped the magazine's annual list of best places to live for the past three years but it plunged to sixth in this year's rankings, released Wednesday.
"I don't think it's that big a drop, all things considered," said Ottawa Tourism spokeswoman Jantine Van Kregten.
With such prolonged dominance at the top, it's "only fair" to let others share the limelight, she said.
Canada's capital city barely edged out Saanich, B.C. and was bumped from the top five by Toronto-suburb Oakville.
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MoneySense's number-crunching uses "hard data such as employment, housing prices, crime, weather and household income" to create the rankings.
"High incomes and an abundance of jobs fuelled by the boom in the energy sector are among the reasons (Calgary) jumped from No. 14 last year to No. 1 this year," the magazine wrote.
Ottawa lost out in average household income, the number of rainy days--a sodden 119 versus Calgary's 68--and in overall population growth.
Burlington, Ont., another Toronto suburb, is MoneySense's third-ranked place to live.
And the number two spot goes to St. Albert--the suburb located at the northwest corner of Edmonton.(Edmonton itself placed 11th overall.)
Gatineau--the other half of the National Capital Region-- finished 62nd out of the 200 places to live MoneySense evaluated.
But it ranked ninth in the list of best places to have kids, based on factors like child care spaces and average daycare cost.
When it came down to the country's major cities, Ottawa fared well, finishing in second ahead of Edmonton, London and Winnipeg.
With its many neighbourhoods, craft beer festivals, Bluesfest, Westfest, and high-end cuisine scene, "it's a fun time to live in Ottawa," Van Kregten said. "People should follow their own bliss."
BEST CITIES OVERALL
2) St. Albert, Alta.
3) Burlington, Ont.
4) Strathcona County, Alta.
5) Oakville, Ont.
7) Saanich, B.C.
8 )Lacombe, Alta.
9) Lethbridge, Alta.
10) Newmarket, Ont.
13) Halton Hills, Ont.
14) Stratford, Ont.
15) London, Ont.
This story was posted on Thu, March 21, 2013
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