Published by DLC Marketing Team
Love Where You Live.
Canadians genuinely celebrate livability within their neighborhood when it comes to choosing a property to buy and live in. These are the qualities that give each homeowner the true satisfaction of his/her home. They are generally determined by a delicate balance of available green spaces, arts and culture, public institutions and local small businesses, as well as housing options.
The 2020 RE/MAX Livability Report further explores these qualities to determine the most important livability factors for Canadians today.
It turns out, livability is so important to Canadians that 8 in 10 (82 percent) would sacrifice at least one desirable attribute to live in a neighborhood that most meets their livability “must-haves”. This report also revealed that 9 out of 10 Canadians (90 percent) love where they live!
Livability is all about living life at the local level. Not surprisingly, the most important criteria for respondents when it comes to these factors is affordability, at the top 61%. While this is nearly double the value of other criteria, Canadians also consider walkability (37%) and proximity to work (34%), as well as proximity to transit, access to green spaces or dog parks, and low-density neighborhoods (all at 30%) to be important livability criteria factors.
Affordability has become a major factor in recent years due to rising house prices and increased financial awareness across the country, due to situations such as COVID-19 requiring a hard look at our personal finances. This report also looked at other personal factors beyond affordability, such as city lovers, suburban families, retirees and luxury seekers to determine the top neighborhoods in the country.
Top Neighborhoods Based on Livability Criteria
If you are someone who has affordability as one of your top livability criteria, hot markets like Vancouver and Toronto are no longer at the top of your list. In fact, if you have been priced out of the city and are looking for an affordable compromise, some of the top neighborhoods include: Boyle Street in Edmonton, Beltline in Calgary and Dartmouth Commons in Halifax, as well as Orleans Chatelaine Village (Ottawa), Clairville (Toronto) and Austin Heights (Vancouver). Some other areas in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Ontario are also suitable for individuals wanting an affordable compromise.
For those Canadians still focused on luxury with proximity to restaurants and bars as well as access to green spaces, Vancouver and Toronto still rank high. Top neighborhoods in Toronto include West Don Lands and City Place with the top spots in Vancouver being the West End and the Downtown area. Other considerations include Downtown Halifax, Downtown East Village in Calgary and Downtown Edmonton.
City Lovers (no kids):
So you love the city and you have no kids, so you are free to do what you like! If you fall into this category, the major livability factor is proximity to work, transit, restaurants and entertainment, as well as vibrancy and high-density neighborhoods. For these buyers, the top neighborhoods in Canada include: Beltline in Calgary, Downtown Edmonton and Centretown in Ottawa as well as Ryerson (Toronto), Barrington South (Halifax) and Downtown Vancouver.
City Lovers (with kids):
If you have kids but aren’t quite ready to let go of the city, your top livability factors for 2020 included walkability, access to green spaces as well as proximity to good schools and public transit. The top neighborhoods for these factors included: McCauley in Edmonton, Downtown West End in Calgary and Dartmouth Commons in Halifax. Other neighborhoods for consideration are Lowertown (Ottawa), Corktown (Toronto) and Uptown New Westminster (Vancouver).
For those of you who prefer a more suburban lifestyle, Winnipeg and Edmonton both rank high for low-density neighborhoods, proximity to transit, access to green spaces and affordability. The top neighborhoods included: Bellevue in Edmonton, Greenview in Calgary and Thornhill Park in Halifax. Additional neighborhoods suitable for suburban family living are Orleans Chatelaine Village (Ottawa), Clairville (Toronto) and Mayfair/Pacific Reach (Vancouver).
Lastly, when it comes to retirees, Edmonton and Halifax are considered the best options due to their vibrancy, green spaces and walking paths, proximity to health care or pharmacies and quietness. Some neighborhoods among the top for retirees include: Mill Woods Park in Edmonton, Melville Cove in Halifax and Belcarra in Vancouver. Additional mentions for retirees include Bridle Path (Toronto), Parkland (Calgary) and Beaverbrook (Ontario).
Top Neighborhoods in Canada’s Major Cities
This report also broke down the top neighborhoods in Canada’s major cities. The results were:
Victoria: Downtown, North Park and Burnside are among the top neighborhoods due to their abundant green spaces and dog parks, as well as shopping, locally owned restaurants and good schools.
Vancouver: Downtown, Strathcona and Fairview are all notable for their proximity to public transit, green spaces and social spots such as bars, restaurants and shopping. The added outdoor activities available in Vancouver also factors into the livability of these top neighborhoods.
Edmonton: Downtown, Cromdale and McCauley are among the top neighborhoods in Edmonton thanks to their green spaces and dog parks, walkability and proximity to bike lanes, transit, shopping and shorter work commutes.
Calgary: Beltline, Downtown East Village and the Downtown West End are among the top neighborhoods and offer good walkability and bike lanes and access to green spaces and dog parks.
Saskatoon: Central Business District, Kelsey-Woodlawn and Caswell Hill are among the top neighborhoods due to their green spaces, parks, walkability and proximity to retail.
Winnipeg: River Heights, Norwood Flats and Osborne Village are the top three neighborhoods for Winnipeg, boasting proximity to green spaces, parks, transit and retail as well as affordability.
Toronto: Corktown, Kensington Market West and Don Lands are among the top liveable neighborhoods when considering factors such as vibrancy, proximity and green spaces. When it comes to affordability, the top Toronto neighborhoods are Trinity Bellwoods, East York and The Junction.
Halifax: Dartmouth Commons, Kempt Road and Penhorn are among the top neighborhoods for livability, as well as North End Halifax, Downtown Dartmouth and Clayton Park. Each of these options have high walkability and proximity to work and retail.
Saint John (New Brunswick): Millidgeville, East Saint John and Uptown are the most livable and most affordable neighborhoods.
St. John’s (Newfoundland): Churchill Square, Airport Heights and Clovelly Trails are among the top for livability with Galway, Rivers Edge and Grand Meadows in Paradise having the best affordability. All have access to green spaces and close proximity to retail.
Charlottetown: Parkdale, Sherwood and Spring Park are among the most livable neighborhoods in Charlottetown with improvements expected in the next three to five years for accessibility to walking paths and added bike lanes.