VAncouver as 3rd Most Liveable CiTY (According to The Economist)

(August 21, 2014 )

Vancouver is third in the most liveable cities in the Economist's highly regarded annual ranking of 140 cities.  Does it surprise you?  I think many of us who live in Vancouver debate and try to defend why it shouldnt be first.  Others may be wonder why a city like Vancouver with traffic problems and high cost of living may make it on the list.  

The fact is, wherever you live, everyone has gripes and traffic may be one of them.  Having been to more than 60 cities in my lifetime around the world, and having come back from a wonderful vacation in England and France, I have come back with a better appreciation for our city.  While I loved eating at Parisian cafes or being on the beach in St Tropez, I started to miss our fresh air because everywhere we went, people smoked and the air was polluted with smoke or emissions.  My daughter was the first to say it, then it really started to seep into my perspective.  Smoking is still rampant in many other parts of the world that we have taken it for granted having non-smoking public places here at home (nothing against smokers).

The other thing we missed was feeling absolutely safe and not having the hustle and bustle of a busy city like London.  No fears of pickpockets, but people who are less rushed, and perhaps hard to light a fire under?  I like the Pacific Northwest vibe Vancouver has.  Its cozy and comfy.  Great for raising a family too and for work-life balance in general.

Speaking of expensive cities, it may surprise you that Vancouver real estate is not expensive compared to England or France.  London real estate has always been notoriously expensive and for the same price for an apartment in Notting Hill, you could get a very swanky house in West Vancouver with ocean views!  Or a small, older apartment in Nice, France is still 1.5x more expensive than a brand new condo here in Vancouver?  How is that expensive?

And last, we are glad to be home in Vancouver where eating out does not cost an arm and a leg.  Goodbye to C$100 lunches at small cafes not known for their food (and we didnt even drink!)  Glad to be back!

Here is the Economist's article:

Three Canadian cities are ranked in the top 10 of The Economist's annual ranking of the world's "most livable" cities. Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary are ranked third, fourth and fifth (tied with Adelaide, Australia), respectively, on the distinguished magazine's annual ranking of 140 cities.The magazine says its ranking "assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions" based on five categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.Melbourne, Australia, was deemed the most livable city, followed by Vienna. Vancouver and Toronto are a close third and fourth, respectively, while Calgary is tied for fifth with Adelaide.The top 10 cities are as follows:
  • Melbourne.
  • Vienna.
  • Vancouver.
  • Toronto.
  • Calgary (tied).
  • Adelaide​ (tied).
  • Sydney​.
  • Helsinki.
  • Perth, Australia.
  • Auckland.
In general, the ranking shows a broad trend that mid-sized cities in wealthy countries with low population densities score well. Seven of the top 10 cities on the list are in Australia or Canada, for example. "This can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure," the report says.Vancouver scored so well in part because of its good score on crime issues."Vancouver saw a record low number of murders in 2013, after a decade-long decline that pushed homicide rates down to 1.5 per 100,000 of population in 2012.," the report notes.Not surprisingly, cities currently experiencing violent uprisings were clustered at the bottom. Kyiv was ranked 124th, Tripoli was in 132nd place, and Damascas was in last place.
The full article can be seen at