Toronto and Vancouver may be in the spotlight when it comes to well-known Canadian cities, but it turns out Calgary is the best place to live — at least this year.
The annual ranking of the world’s most livable cities has been released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and the 2022 Global Liveability Index, and Canada was the biggest winner, with the three largest cities taking a spot in the top 10.
Cowtown, as it’s affectionately known, not only takes the honors of being the top-ranked Canadian city on the list, but also comes in at #3, worldwide.
The ranking rates 172 cities around the world on more than 30 factors, including access to health care, amount of green space, cultural and sporting activities, crime rates and infrastructure.
“The concept of livability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world offer the best or worst living conditions,” states the Economist report. A score of 1 is “unacceptable,” according to the EIU, while 100 is “ideal.”
Each year, the list usually features many North American and Western European cities claiming the highest honors, and this year is no exception. Vienna, Austria claimed first place, followed by Copenhagen, Denmark. Zurich, Switzerland and Calgary share third place. Vancouver followed just behind and claimed fifth position.
However, factors such as war, turmoil and the ability to cope with COVID played a role in the rankings, meaning there were some significant shifts when comparing this year’s ranking with the 2021 list.
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Calgary, Canada’s third-largest city, has risen 15 places since 2021, fueled by the city’s early easing of pandemic restrictions. The city achieved a score of 96.3.
Vancouver, which had fallen out of the Top 10 in 2021, was close behind Calgary with a score of 96.1.
Toronto found its way back to a top spot, dropping out of the top 10 all but eight in 2021.
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Auckland, New Zealand, dropped to 33rd place this year – a sharp dip from last year’s first place, which was achieved when the country closed its borders due to the pandemic and allowed residents to lead fairly normal lives. .
Similarly, while Australia claimed four places in the top 10 last year due to its excellent quality of life and limited restrictions during the pandemic, three of those cities – Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth – fell out of the top 10 COVID restrictions as much of the world this year. cancelled.
“Western European and Canadian cities dominate the top of our rankings,” the report said. “Life is almost back to normal in these cities due to the high vaccination coverage against COVID-19 and the easing of restrictions.”
The ranking also notes that Kiev, Ukraine was not rated this year due to the geopolitical turmoil caused when Russia invaded in February. The Russian cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg also fell low in the rankings due to “censorship” and the impact of Western sanctions.
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However, The Economist warns that no rankings last forever and next year’s rankings could look very different due to rising inflation, fuel costs and unstable food supplies.
“The welcome rise in quality of life this year may be short-lived,” the publication wrote.
TOP 10 CITIES
1. Vienna, Austria
2. Copenhagen, Denmark
3. Zurich, Switzerland (tie)
3. Calgary, Canada (tie)
5. Vancouver, Canada
6. Geneva, Switzerland
7. Frankfurt, Germany
8. Toronto, Canada
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
10. Osaka, Japan (tie)
10. Melbourne, Australia (tie)
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