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Every year, Canadian publication MoneySense releases their ranking of the most liveable cities in Canada. This year, Oakville, Ontario took the top place, if you’re curious. Many people wonder exactly what the publication looks at when deciding what makes a Canadian city liveable. Here’s what they take into consideration:

Wealth and economy: Are jobs plentiful in multiple sectors? Is the average income at or higher than the nation’s average as a whole?

Affordability: Can most people own homes? Are living expenses reasonable? Is there plentiful affordable rental opportunities for young people and growing families? 

Population growth: According to MoneySense’s rubric, a growing population that welcomes young professionals, growing families and newcomers is a big factor in determining liveability.

Taxes: Looking at taxes, and whether they take up a significant portion of most residents’ living costs, is also part of the study.

Commute: Access to public transit, bike lanes, major highways, as the well as the proximity to major commercial hubs are also taken into consideration.

Crime: The study looks at a number of different crime rates, including property crime, violent crime, auto theft and more. It goes without saying that cities with a lower crime rate per citizen rank higher.

Weather: Seasonal temperatures apparently play a part in the rankings too, although for the last few years, cities based in Ontario have taken top honours, despite being known for harsh winters and humid summers.

Access to healthcare: Particularly important considering Canada’s growing population of baby boomers, the study looks at cities’ hospital capacity, as well as the number of clinics and outpatient resources.