One of the many things that Canada can boast about is the livability of its cities. Generally cleaner and safer than their American counterparts, major Canadian cities are often heralded as excellent locations for living. For nearly a decade, Vancouver, British Columbia has been able to brag that it is the most livable city in the world!
That is, until now. Yesterday, on The Toronto Star‘s website, Petti Fong revealed that a new survey released by The Economist magazine has dropped Vancouver down to number three on the ranking system. Melbourne, Australia and Vienna, Austria have taken over the one and two positions respectively.
Toronto – home to the headquarters of Synergy Merchant Services – came just behind Vancouver in fourth place. Fong notes that 150 cities were surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit to create these rankings. Vancouver, as always, ranked very highly, but somehow lost its bragging rights as the world’s most livable city.
Explains Jon Copestake of the Economist Intelligence Unit: “It’s a tiny difference between Melbourne and Vancouver. Vancouver’s score is 97.3 out of 100, almost perfect. You can’t ask for much more than that. There’s only a 0.2 percentage point difference between Vancouver and Melbourne.” Toronto, by the way, scored 97.2 per cent.
So what caused Vancouver to lose top spot? Fong writes that its lower infrastructure ratings were a factor. Between construction and an incident on the Malahat Highway that closed it down for hours last April, Vancouver was unable to keep this ranking at its normally high levels. It was, however, still better than Toronto’s infrastructure ratings, reports Fong.
Vancouver Board of Trade interim president and CEO Grayden Hayward takes issue with this, noting that the Malahat Highway is not even in the city of Vancouver. It is actually on Vancouver Island, some 60 kilometres away. Said Hayward: “Maybe we shouldn’t have been bragging so much if the criteria is that flimsy.”
Perhaps Hayward does have a point. But then again, at least he’s not living in Douala, Cameroon or Karachi, Pakistan. These two cities were ranked among the worst livable cities in the world. Lagos, Nigeria and Algiers, Algeria were also included with the bottom feeders on this list.