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Victoria and Kelowna, B.C., ranked top 2 small cities in Canada

FILE. Kelowna. Courtesy: Grant D. Stovel

Three of Canada’s top small cities are in B.C., according to a new ranking produced by a global marketing firm.

On Wednesday, Resonance Consultancy offered up the inaugural list of the “top-performing Canadian cities with populations under 200,000,”  based on 32 factors ranging from culinary experiences to flight connections and Instagram mentions to rank cities.

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Victoria and Kelowna took the top two spots respectively. North Vancouver was the only other B.C. city listed and it came in sixth.

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“As our cities and borders reopen, it is clear that cities have been changed by the pandemic — and so have Canadians,” Resonance president and CEO Chris Fair said in a press release.

“The headline-grabbing anecdotes about an urban exodus turned into tangible migration patterns and real estate appreciation. The collective trauma of the past two years has Canadians following those who have already sought a change to their pre-pandemic status quo.”

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Fair explained that Victoria, from an economic perspective, does a little bit better than Kelowna. And, in part, because of the percentage of the population that has a bachelor’s degree or above.

It also has a higher number of people that work in the creative class, another measure.

“But based on the growth we see in terms of population growth to Kelowna, that that could change in the next few years,” Fair said.

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Kelowna comes out strong in large part due to parks and outdoor activities, nightlife, theatres, shopping and restaurants, Fair said.

The number of direct connections that the Kelowna airport serves relative to other small cities also makes it quite competitive, and a relatively large portion of the population cycles to work.

 

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Those metrics, according to Resonance, map out which cities are positioned to thrive and why.

Based on each city’s performance in the 32 factors analyzed in 2022, these are Canada’s top 10 cities:

1) Victoria, B.C.
2) Kelowna, B.C.
3) Kingston, ON
4) Niagara Falls, ON
5) Waterloo, ON
6) North Vancouver, B.C.
7) Burlington, ON
8) Guelph, ON
9) Fredericton, NB
10) Lethbridge, AB

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