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Best Places to Live 2020: Canada Liveability Report

Local pride will be more important than ever in restoring liveability

While Canadians from coast to coast to coast isolate themselves from the many local enjoyments they derived from their neighbourhoods prior to COVID-19, their genuine love for their local community offers many glimmers of hope in the months ahead. In its latest report, RE/MAX explores some of Canada’s best places to live, what makes them so.

According to a Leger survey conducted on behalf of RE/MAX prior to the outbreak, 82 per cent of Canadians say they would sacrifice at least one desirable attribute in order to live in the neighbourhood they believe meets their liveability “must-haves” and 90 per cent of Canadians love the neighbourhoods they live in.

Liveability is about quality of life at a local level. A neighbourhood’s dynamism, or lack thereof, involves a delicate convergence between independent small businesses, public institutions, arts and culture, green spaces and housing, to name a few. The COVID-19 tragedy will impact neighbourhood ecosystems differently across the country, just as the virus itself has. Yet, civic/local pride has been proliferating throughout this crisis in inspiring ways, giving Canadians hope that micro-economies, including real estate, have the resilience to be restored in the near and mid-term.

“For the benefit of local small businesses and the capacity of residents to restore a high quality of life, or liveability, to their respective communities, the degree of local pride should give us all optimism,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “We have to remind ourselves that this underlying pride and the remarkable local relief efforts in aid of small businesses are ultimately what we believe will help our neighbourhoods return to the dynamism we have all come to highly appreciate, and I’m confident we’ll be successful.”

Alexander adds, “While we’ve seen transactions across the country drop considerably in the last six weeks, I am hopeful that housing prices and demand will remain steady with the help of local resilience and local activity in the months ahead.”

The 2020 RE/MAX Liveability Report explores the qualities that give each homeowner the true satisfaction of living in their neighbourhood, such as access to green spaces or restaurants and entertainment. According to the report, 91 per cent of Canadians have at least one important liveability factor that’s very important to them when it comes to the neighbourhood they live in now or would like to live in, in the future.

Not surprisingly, housing affordability came in at the top at 61 per cent, followed by:

  • Walkability (37 per cent)
  • Proximity to work (34 per cent)
  • Low density neighbourhoods (30 per cent)
  • Proximity to transit (30 per cent)
  • Access to green spaces/dog parks (30 per cent)

With affordability as the top liveability criteria for Canadians, this lowered the overall liveability score for neighbourhoods in hot markets such as Vancouver and Toronto, despite both having high liveability rankings in other categories.

Canadian homebuyer lifestyles were also considered in determining the best neighbourhoods for their specific needs and tastes, based on a specific set of liveability factors. Location scores provided by Local Logic, a Montreal-based data analytics company who partnered with RE/MAX for this report, were leveraged to determine the top neighbourhoods in Canada for each lifestyle based on the liveability factors that Canadians deem most important to them.

Looking to buy or sell a property in the Vancouver area? Please contact Pam Allen – 604-790-8464

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