WINNIPEG – Winnipeg is a better place to live than Toronto and Vancouver, according to the results of a new list from MoneySense magazine, which ranked the top 200 best places to live in Canada.
Winnipeg placed fifth out of major Canadian cities (population 400,000 or more) in front of Toronto (seventh) and Vancouver (10th). Winnipeg also ranked 16th overall among 200 large, medium and small cities. Calgary was ranked the top major city.
The list rates cities large and small on 33 categories ranging from wealth to weather.
Winnipeg performed well in”‘access to health care” and for having healthy population growth. The Manitoba capital performed lower than average in crime , average household income (among major cities) and for having less than the average number of days above 0 C.
But that number was offset by a low number of rainy days (77). Vancouver had 166.
“It’s a bit of give and take,” said Mark Brown, managing editor of MoneySense. “It depends on what you prefer – cold and sunny or slightly warmer and dreary.”
When shown the list, many Winnipeggers appeared surprised their city cracked the top 20.
“I just thought (Winnipeg was) middle of the road,” said Greg Smith. “I thought there were other places that have a lot more to offer than Winnipeg.”
“(Winnipeggers) know that there are some sort of shortcomings and I think for some reason, we feel like we’re the only city that has them,” said Bill Morrissey, leader of Yes! Winnipeg. “But every other city has them.”
Rural Manitoba communities were also featured among the 200. Steinbach was second highest in Manitoba, coming in at 61st (66th in 2012). Brandon was 91st (sixth in 2012), Portage la Prairie was 160th (49th) and Thompson was 164th (103rd). Money Sense said stunted population growth was the reason for Brandon’s slide.