Best Small Towns In Canada – While Vancouver and Toronto steal all the attention when it comes to Canadian real estate, there are plenty of smaller cities across the country where life is good and real estate is exciting. From a quaint seaside village on the coast of Newfoundland to a beautiful mountain town in BC. Inland, there are some small towns worth considering when looking to move around.
Located on the shores of beautiful Kootenay Lake, this city of about 10,000 offers a relaxed lifestyle with a wonderful quality of life, especially for those who enjoy hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and other activities. which are set in the great outdoors. With a thriving arts community and an abundance of organic food and farmers markets, the community has made extensive efforts to preserve its heritage buildings, with a number of beautiful Victorian-era homes to be found.
Best Small Towns In Canada
, which is an apt description for this beautiful town of less than 1,000 residents. Sitting in a bay with access to more than a hundred islands, Mahon Bay, the town thrives in the summer with tourists, who flock there to take in the 19th-century architecture, as a center of the wooden shipbuilding industry. A throwback to the city days. .
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Dating back to its origins as an important fishing port in the 1700s, Trinity has a beautiful harbor and rich history. With a full-time population of less than 200, the constant flow of tourists confirms the town’s importance as a cultural and historical landmark thanks to its rich history, natural beauty and beautifully preserved heritage houses.
Thanks to the Gold Rush of 1898, Dawson City experienced a boom that saw it, at one time, become the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Winnipeg. Today, the population has dwindled significantly – around 3,000 – but remains a tourist favorite for its carefully preserved heritage buildings and historic sites.
This charming Ontario town of about 5,000 hosts a series of summer festivals and remains a popular destination for tourists on walking tours to see the town’s historic limestone buildings and carefully preserved heritage homes. are busy
Home to the annual Summerside Lobster Carnival, the word “picturesque” doesn’t even begin to describe this stunning seaside town on Prince Edward Island and its charming harborfront town of 15,000.
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Filled with heritage attractions and such tourist attractions as the Jardins Secrets de Lark-en-Cilles gardens, the magnificent Manoir Seigneurelle Fraser—a sprawling 19th-century estate—this charming town is home to some 20,000 in the Quebec countryside.
Nicknamed the “Paris of the Prairies,” this historic Saskatchewan town of just 1,000 people boasts some stunning European architecture due to its Francophone roots and rich cultural heritage.
First settled by Icelandic settlers in the late 1800s, this charming lakeside town of around 200 permanent residents maintains strong ties to its Icelandic roots, with some stunning heritage architecture and old houses to be found.
Natural beauty abounds in this town of about 4,600, located in Alberta’s beautiful Jasper National Park. Boasting a laid-back atmosphere and an array of outdoor activities, Jasper’s alpine-inspired architecture is as quaint as it gets – and you might even spot the occasional caribou roaming the streets!
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And if you’re not ready to buy yet, check out these 20 underserved Canadian towns that are totally worth a visit.
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Jennifer Broadwell and her family were ready to say goodbye to San Antonio. After years of living with city traffic, stress and limited green space, they wanted to trade it for a small town that instead offered access to mountains, lakes and safe streets where children could play. . As her husband finished studying to become an orthodontist, a colleague based in Alberta asked to look north of the border.
However, Alberta has one major drawback: it’s cold. Then they investigated the BC. Internal: Approaching. Finally, they received an email alert for an orthodontic practice for sale in a small town in British Columbia with a funny name: Salmon Arm.
After several visits to the town with a population of 19,000, Broadwell was smitten. In 2013, they packed up the kids, then ages five and seven, and made the big move to a small mountain town in the Thompson-Okanagan region about an hour and 15 minutes east of Kamloops.
“I tell my friends from home that it looks like we’re losing quality of life for our kids, riding bikes on the street, walking to the neighbor’s house, going out all day,” says Broadwell. We are back.” . “In all seasons, it’s beautiful here. There’s no bad time of year to see it. We love to be outside year-round, and it certainly gives us the opportunity to mountain bike and ski in the summer.” remained in the water.
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Broadwell’s experience mirrors the results of our Open Best Communities in Canada ranking. We compared 415 municipalities across the country. More than a third of the top 50 are cities with fewer than 40,000 people, such as Salmon Arm (sixth best place to live in the country and top in BC). Contrary to the popular image of the war-torn small town, these communities have risen to the top of the rankings due to their high incomes, strong population growth and access to thriving regional economies. These locations are either all within driving distance of major population centers or are hubs of local economic activity in their own right. They are small towns and residents don’t have to compromise—they have access to the same amenities a suburb has to offer, the natural beauty of the countryside and the opportunities of an urban center.
Anyone trying to decide where to live in Canada is faced with a paradox. Toronto and Vancouver generate many of the country’s highest-paying jobs, but the cost of home ownership in these cities has put them out of reach for many. The average Toronto household needs to save its entire household income for 8.8 years to buy a home outright, while Vancouver homes cost 12.7 times the median household income, according to data from Environmental Analytics used to compile our rankings. Toronto came in 19th in the rankings, with Vancouver significantly worse. It landed at 112, largely due to the dubious distinction of being the least affordable community we ranked. These cities may be the powerhouses of Canada’s economy, but they are difficult places to live if you don’t earn a high-powered salary.
Supercharged mini-towns offer an attractive alternative, both for high-paid urban workers who want to keep commuting in exchange for the comfort of a larger home, as well as those looking to work in the city itself. .
It is true that small towns in rural and remote areas struggle with problems such as slow job growth, lack of internet connectivity and difficulty accessing health care. People who work in Canada’s remote areas earn about 30 per cent less than workers in urban centres, according to the 2015 Empowering Rural Canada report.
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But smaller, more remote cities—like the ones at the top of our rankings—don’t face these challenges. Vicki Mayham, the mayor of Magog, Que., has for years struggled with the idea that all small towns struggle. Its community — the 110th best community in Canada and the 10th best community in Quebec, according to our rankings — may be small, but it’s an hour from Montreal, two from Quebec City and 30 from the U.S. border. minutes
“Magog has all the services I need – hospitals, schools, kindergartens, local businesses. I have almost everything I need here without the traffic problems and the pollution,” says Hamm, a former president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. “If, for example, your headquarters are in Montreal, and you have to go there once or twice a week, why wouldn’t you live here by the lake?”
Proximity to a lake isn’t part of our ranking methodology, but low crime, community involvement and affordability are all factors where these small towns fare better than their big-city neighborhoods. Many of the intangibles that determine the quality of life cannot be measured and quantified, but many of the tangibles can.
Using data provided by Environmental Analytics as well as publicly available data from various sources, we weighted the categories based on how important each would be to the average person and ranked each municipality by municipality. . Local economic strength and affordability are the most heavily weighted categories at 20 percent of the total score, followed by health care, weather, commuting, crime, taxes, population growth, culture and availability.
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