REGINA – Saskatchewan’s two largest cities are no longer among the top 20 spots for Canadians to live, according to MoneySense magazine.
Its annual ‘Best Places to Live’ list was released Monday, measuring the quality of life in dozens of cities across the country.
In 2014, Regina came in ninth while Saskatoon placed 13th – but this year, both cities fell well beyond the top ten at 44th and 51st, respectively.
Cities were ranked on 34 criteria in all, including the number of doctors in a city for every 100,000 people, household net worth, crime severity index and average daily temperatures.
In the case of other western Canadian cities, such as Calgary plummeting from second to 19th, MoneySense senior editor Romana King said a drop in oil prices and other economic factors played a role.
Regina Mayor Michael Fougere was quick to say he doesn’t put much stock into the list.
“I don’t think we need a magazine to tell us how great of a city we live in,” he said. “Things are happening in our city that we haven’t seen in years.”
Fougere pointed to a strong economy and building of a new football stadium, but suggested one thing that sets Regina and Saskatchewan apart: people.
“You can have all the buildings you want in the world, but it’s the people that matter,” Fougere said. “We see a lot of new people moving here from all over the world, making it a dynamic place, a multicultural place.”
In addition to Regina and Saskatoon, the list of 209 cities includes Moose Jaw, Yorkton, North Battleford, Estevan, Swift Current and Prince Albert.
Saskatchewan city highlights
- Saskatoon, North Battleford, Swift Current and Prince Albert placed in the top 25 percentile for access to health care
- No Saskatchewan city ranked highly in the categories of affordable housing, low taxes, low crime or good weather
- Only Saskatoon was highly rated for ease of walking, biking or taking public transit
- Yorkton was the only city to place in the top quarter of cities for having strong arts and sports communities
- Population growth was considered healthiest in Yorkton, Estevan and Prince Albert
- Only Estevan was in the top 25 per centile for high incomes
With files from Global’s Melissa Ramsay