The happy medium for Canadian weather is southern Ontario, where residents experience all four seasons—most of B.C. is too dry or wet. And although you might want to live in a city like Edmonton or Toronto, the housing is often just too expensive. Without awarding points for flowery tourist attractions and mountain scenery, MoneySense (a fellow Rogers publication) gives these tips and more as it gets down to the nitty-gritty of what makes communities livable in its fifth annual ‘Best Places to Live 2010.’ The survey analyzes climate, affordable housing, prosperity, ease of travel, health care and healthy growth patterns to determine the best communities for Canadians looking to settle down. It found that because salaries have stagnated while house prices continue to soar, Victoria, B.C. is becoming too expensive, dropping it from the best city in Canada last year down to eighth, while Moncton, Fredericton and Brandon Manitoba are all great places to buy, if you can stand the cold winters. The survey also looked at joblessness and affluence to determine what communities carry the albatross of poverty and unemployment around their necks, finding that while Montreal and Toronto are suffering, provincial capitols and university towns full of bureaucrats and professors are more or less recession proof. Crime, growth and even the loss or reclamation of green spaces were also analyzed along with cultural and recreational life to create an accurate picture of Canadian living. In the end the survey found that, for its third non-consecutive year, Ottawa-Gatineau is the best place to live in Canada, even though it isn’t as warm as B.C., as big as Toronto or as friendly as the Maritimes.
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