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Lethbridge cracks Top 10 in ranking of Canada’s small cities

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Lethbridge cracks top 10 in ranking of Canada’s small cities
Lethbridge is the top Alberta municipality in a new ranking of the best-performing small cities in Canada. Making the list at No. 10, local officials feel the designation proves what’s long been evident to those in the city. Erik Bay has more. – Jul 7, 2022

A new report of the best-performing small Canadian cities from Resonance Consultancy has Lethbridge coming in at number 10.

The ranking measures cities with a population of less than 200,000 people on 32 factors, taking into account the features that make municipalities attractive places to live, vacation or invest in for businesses.

President Chris Fair says Lethbridge performed well in a number of areas.

“You have the second-most days of sunshine of any city in Canada, so that stands out,” Fair said. “You also have great air quality so in our place category, Lethbridge does particularly well in that area. (The city) also does well when you think about family-oriented activities.”

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“(It’s) always good news when a report confirms what we already know, that Lethbridge is awesome,” Economic Development Lethbridge CEO Trevor Lewington said. “That helps prove to the outside world that here’s an independent third-party telling people to explore more in Lethbridge.”

Victoria took the number one spot, while Lethbridge was the top performing city in Wild Rose Country, followed by St. Albert at 14 and Airdrie, which finished 22nd.

Coun. Jenn Schmidt-Rempel believes there’s many attributes that give Lethbridge an edge.

“We’ve got some great recreation and park spaces throughout our city and we’re easy to navigate,” Schmidt-Rempel said. “A lot of multi-modal transportation we’re starting to get around here. We see e-scooters, people on bikes, walking. Our paths system is great.”

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But according to Fair, maintaining a high ranking can be a balancing act.

“That really is kind of the secret sauce in this for cities, is think how do we maintain our attractivity and quality of life, but also maintain some degree of affordability at the same time?” Fair said.

One priority for Lewington when it comes to improving is ensuring there’s a talented workforce to fill jobs in the city.

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“We’re always most interested in understanding what kind of skills and what kind of people we can attract to the city, but also the gaps that businesses are seeing,” Lewington said.

Kelowna and North Vancouver were the other western Canadian cities to crack the Top 10.

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