We're #3!

snberk103

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 22, 2007
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An Island in the Salish Sea
... and #4, #5!

In the Economist's recent annual ranking of liveable cities, Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary placed in the top 5. Only Australia managed to place more cities in the top 10 liveable cities than Canada, with Melbourne sitting in the #1 spot.

On a personal note, I've lived in Vancouver (still live nearby) and grew up near Toronto. Sorry, but Calgary was never my favourite city. I'd pick Montreal over Cowtown any day.

Link

That is all...
 

firedept

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Jul 8, 2011
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You have to be kidding. Maybe from an economic view and I am not even sure about that, but for no other reason. I lived in Toronto for 20 years and Vancouver for 5 and was never impressed by either one. As for Montreal, lets not even go there. And I have friends in Calgary and am there quite a bit, but it still does not impress me. Do not take me wrong they are all good cities but not impressive. Currently live in Central Alberta (9 years) in a small town of just over 23,000 people and love it. The reason I like small town is because I can go out and almost never run into someone I don't know and always enjoy a pleasant conversation with them. I would never live in the big city again and even do not like to go to the city if I do not have to. The biggest city that even came close to impressing me was Quebec City and I lived there for a year. And that was because of the architecture of the city. A lot of it is old and very pretty.
 

snberk103

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Oct 22, 2007
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..... Do not take me wrong they are all good cities but not impressive. Currently live in Central Alberta (9 years) in a small town of just over 23,000 people and love it. The reason I like small town is because I can go out and almost never run into someone I don't know and always enjoy a pleasant conversation with them.....
I see (in the poker sense) your small town of 23,000 and un-raise you. :) Now we live in a community that is less than half that size. And we love it too. There is no such thing as a "quick trip into town".... any errand run inevitably leads to having coffee with someone. You feel like you really belong to the community, and that you can have a seriously positive impact on it's well-being.

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I posted this more along the lines of some national chest thumping, that we Canadians are sometimes accused of not doing enough of. They didn't rank cities for "fun" or "excitement", but as places where people could live (and work). Their criteria were "stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure." Link to the original article
 
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firedept

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Jul 8, 2011
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I did read the article before I commented. It looks good on paper but have the writers actually lived there. Toronto and Vancouver I do not understand. These 2 city have struggled for the past couple of years both in economics and image. Bar none they do have some of the best healthcare in the world and if you live on the outskirts of town it is fine. Our health care in Alberta is currently struggling with its image but still has some of the best health care in the world as well. Calgary I could understand as the oil companies head offices are mostly based there and it is a booming area even with the economic downturn we have faced over the last couple of years. It is a clean welcoming city as well. Yes it feels great to be Canadian even though I am a transplanted American but I honestly think the writers could have chosen better cities for Canada. Kudos to us for having 3 of the top 10 spots. So lets pound our chest and hope the editors pick some better cities the next time.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
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I always wondered how they come up with these rankings. It seems they only pick well known cities. Shouldn't it include any area classified as a city by a countries government. I know there are plenty of areas that have lower crime rates.

Take Simi Valley in California for instance. It is constantly ranked one of the safest cities. But has never made one of these lists.

Then they also add politicking with factors like health care. Is that based on the most health care available for free or the best medical care for people that can afford it?

I'm sure there must also be many unknown cities with far higher average incomes, average education levels, with a very clean environment.

Heck every major city I've been to has been filthy, felt unsafe, are noisy and I never cared for the culture. While some of the unknown places trumped them on all counts.
 

firedept

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Jul 8, 2011
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I always wondered how they come up with these rankings. It seems they only pick well known cities. Shouldn't it include any area classified as a city by a countries government.
Yeah I don't understand either. Especially since not a single U.S. city was mentioned. But if healthcare is one of the considerations then I could understand. Canada has on of the best healthcare systems in the world as well as some of the most advanced healthcare facilities in the world. And as much as most foreigners believe it is free to us, do not kid yourself, we pay through our taxes for this benefit.
 

snberk103

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Oct 22, 2007
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...
Take Simi Valley in California for instance. It is constantly ranked one of the safest cities. But has never made one of these lists.

Then they also add politicking with factors like health care. Is that based on the most health care available for free or the best medical care for people that can afford it?
...
Heck every major city I've been to has been filthy, felt unsafe, are noisy and I never cared for the culture. While some of the unknown places trumped them on all counts.
Yeah I don't understand either. Especially since not a single U.S. city was mentioned. But if healthcare is one of the considerations then I could understand. Canada has on of the best healthcare systems in the world as well as some of the most advanced healthcare facilities in the world. And as much as most foreigners believe it is free to us, do not kid yourself, we pay through our taxes for this benefit.
I think what brings the US cities down is the uncertain economic climate of late, which is widening the gap between the poor and the rich. And - American cities are not safe, compared to the rest of the industrialized world. The 'safest' American city still has more violent crime (per capita) than the Canada's most dangerous city. And Canada itself doesn't rank high on global scale.

About health care. I don't think they are measuring the cost of health care, I think they are measuring the access to health care. We Canadians may pay for it through taxes, but virtually every Canadian is guaranteed (in theory, if not in always in practice) full and complete access to primary health care which includes having a family doctor, getting tests done, being admitted to hospital, having procedures done, etc. All of this with no or minimal extra cost.

Between the Health Care and Safety issues, US cities will have a hard time ranking higher in this particular list.

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I will also note that this is one of the 1st times in a decade that Vancouver didn't top this list.
 

firedept

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I do get it. As a dual citizen (American & Canadian) it is almost two different worlds. You are bang on snberk103. The American health system is inferior for the poor unlike here in Canada. Whether you are rich are poor you will receive the same treatment. I am a p/t EMT so I get to see it in action on a regular basis. As for the safety issues, I believe our gun laws (as much as they can be a pain in the ***) are a big difference maker. I also believe our extremely diverse cultures makes us more tolerant to most issues. Even with the issues currently going on in the US, I am still surprised that a US city did not make it or for that matter a European, Asian, South American, etc... city. Still kudos and even more so for the Aussies.
 

r3m1

macrumors regular
Apr 7, 2012
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I do get it. As a dual citizen (American & Canadian) it is almost two different worlds. You are bang on snberk103. The American health system is inferior for the poor unlike here in Canada. Whether you are rich are poor you will receive the same treatment. I am a p/t EMT so I get to see it in action on a regular basis. As for the safety issues, I believe our gun laws (as much as they can be a pain in the ***) are a big difference maker. I also believe our extremely diverse cultures makes us more tolerant to most issues. Even with the issues currently going on in the US, I am still surprised that a US city did not make it or for that matter a European, Asian, South American, etc... city. Still kudos and even more so for the Aussies.
It depends what source you are using and what is measured - the rankings by Mercer, Monocle and others seem to be more realistic - see tables below:

Monocle's Most Livable Cities Index 2012
City Country 2011
1 Zurich Switzerland (02)
2 Helsinki Finland (01)
3 Copenhagen Denmark (03)
4 Vienna Austria (06)
5 Munich Germany (04)
6 Melbourne Australia (05)
7 Tokyo Japan (09)
8 Sydney Australia (07)
9 Auckland New Zealand (13)
10 Stockholm Sweden (11)

Mercer's quality of living ranking: http://www.mercer.com/qualityoflivingpr#city-rankings
 

snberk103

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Oct 22, 2007
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It depends what source you are using and what is measured - the rankings by Mercer, Monocle and others seem to be more realistic - see tables below:

Monocle's Most Livable Cities Index 2012
City Country 2011
1 Zurich Switzerland (02)
2 Helsinki Finland (01)
3 Copenhagen Denmark (03)
4 Vienna Austria (06)
5 Munich Germany (04)
6 Melbourne Australia (05)
7 Tokyo Japan (09)
8 Sydney Australia (07)
9 Auckland New Zealand (13)
10 Stockholm Sweden (11)

Mercer's quality of living ranking: http://www.mercer.com/qualityoflivingpr#city-rankings
Ummm - the link you posted points to a page with different results than the list above. I see Vancouver as #5 in the linked list.

Ottawa and Toronto are 14 and 15, and Montreal 22. Australia doesn't fair as well in this list it appears. Europe dominates this list and Honolulu comes in at 29.
 
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cerote

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Mar 2, 2009
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Even with the issues currently going on in the US, I am still surprised that a US city did not make it or for that matter a European, Asian, South American, etc... city. Still kudos and even more so for the Aussies.
I think it said US didn't show up till #13 with Hawaii.
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
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It depends what source you are using and what is measured - the rankings by Mercer, Monocle and others seem to be more realistic - see tables below:

Monocle's Most Livable Cities Index 2012
City Country 2011
1 Zurich Switzerland (02)
2 Helsinki Finland (01)
3 Copenhagen Denmark (03)
4 Vienna Austria (06)
5 Munich Germany (04)
6 Melbourne Australia (05)
7 Tokyo Japan (09)
8 Sydney Australia (07)
9 Auckland New Zealand (13)
10 Stockholm Sweden (11)

Mercer's quality of living ranking: http://www.mercer.com/qualityoflivingpr#city-rankings
I definitely agree with this list more.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,414
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Location Location Location
It depends what source you are using and what is measured - the rankings by Mercer, Monocle and others seem to be more realistic - see tables below:

Monocle's Most Livable Cities Index 2012
City Country 2011
1 Zurich Switzerland (02)
2 Helsinki Finland (01)
3 Copenhagen Denmark (03)
4 Vienna Austria (06)
5 Munich Germany (04)
6 Melbourne Australia (05)
7 Tokyo Japan (09)
8 Sydney Australia (07)
9 Auckland New Zealand (13)
10 Stockholm Sweden (11)

Mercer's quality of living ranking: http://www.mercer.com/qualityoflivingpr#city-rankings

I don't know how much weight I'd put in Monocle's opinion, since it speaks to such a specific audience. It's the magazine that follows the trends of ultra-refined (read: snooty), upper- and upper-middle class yuppies, mostly with no children (because otherwise, they'd have far broader concerns in life than what is described in the magazine) that places its emphasis on bike-riding in the city, the density of good cafés in the city, and the local design and manufacturing of hand-made goods. And generally, they're only concerned with the inner-most part of the city.

Sure, I ride my bike, and I have a job, I live in central Melbourne, and I probably fit their target demographic in terms of age and salary, but that magazine really doesn't speak to a lot of people, regardless of their readership.

And fyi, and as a Canadian living in Australia, I am very familiar with several of the Canadian and Australian cities on those lists. Toronto and Sydney shouldn't be in the Top 10. Sydney should never rank above Melbourne for livability, and Perth being on The Economist's Top 10 is a huge surprise. It's somewhat nice, but I don't see how it's liveable. Adelaide is far more liveable, yet only ranks a few points ahead?
 
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