It's official - Ontario has some of the best communities in the country! Maclean's Magazine released its national rankings of the best places to live in Canada. Burlington, Ontario, tops that list with other communities in the province helping to round out the top 10.
Maclean's looked at 415 communities across Canada and ranked them based on 10 categories:
- Wealth and economy
- Population growth
- Access to health care
Burlington was crowned in the No. 1 spot this year, with its top features being amenities, low crime rate, and its culture and community.
"We have a little bit of everything and I think that's what makes it so special," Marianne Meed Ward, mayor of Burlington, told Narcity.
The city has a population of just about 200,000 and gives people the feeling of being in a city without, you know, people having to actually be in a big city.
There are also plenty of local job opportunities which means hardly any commuting.
Burlington's appeal is hugely boosted by its geographical location, placed as it is between Toronto and Hamilton and not too far from the border with the USA. There are also natural landscapes like the Niagara Escarpment and a sandy Lake Ontario beach right in the downtown core.
"All of that [is] packaged up with a small-town feel where we know our neighbours," said Meed Ward.
Burlington is not the only Ontario location that fared well in these rankings, though. Provincial communities take up 16 of the top 20 spots and more than half of the top 50. If these rankings are anything to go by, Ontario might just be the best province to live in.
"What was really interesting to me was how many smaller towns made it on the list," said Meed Ward.
Smaller Ontario towns like Grimsby, Niagara-On-The-Lake, New Tecumseth, and Russell rounded out the top 10.
Larger cities aren't as prominent on the rankings as small communities are. Toronto, for instance, is only at spot number 19 with its top-three features being amenities, commutes, and health care.
The city of Burlington seemed pretty excited about its ranking and even received kudos from its neighbours.
Maclean's added that Ontario and B.C. have most of the best communities because of the provinces' strong economic and climatic advantages over the rest of the country.
So, what's Meed Ward's favourite thing about Burlington? It's not a really good restaurant or a museum or that sandy beach right downtown.
It's the people.
"I love serving the people of Burlington as their mayor because they're just great people. We have people who just look out for each other," she said.
Meed Ward is planning to enjoy this news for the entire year and hopes that Burlington can come out on top again next year.
If you want to see if your community made the rankings, you can see the full list here.