How to Read the City Charts

Each spoke on the city's wheel represents how many points it received. Longer spokes are assets to build on.

Shorter spokes are areas to address. The number in the middle represents the total points accumulated by the city. 

Hamilton

Toronto

Oshawa

Ottawa

Mississauga

Kitchener-Waterloo

Sudbury

Sudbury

Montreal

Quebec City

St. John's

Halifax

Charlottetown

Moncton

Winnipeg

Yellowknife

Saskatoon

Edmonton

Calgary

Kelowna

Vancouver

Victoria

2019 Canadian Index Overall Rankings

Lethbridge

Toronto

Youth Population: 20.0%

 

It’s official: Toronto is the best place for Canadian youth to live, work and play in 2019. Ontario’s capital excels in our PLAY (#1) and LIVE (#2) themes, with a top-five finish in most attributes. Overall, it earns first place in SAFETY, CIVIC ENGAGEMENT and FINANCIAL SERVICES. Areas for improvement include AFFORDABILITY (#17), FILM (#16) and SPORTS (#16). This might come as a surprise, but on a per capita basis, Toronto’s film and sports infrastructure falls behind some of our smaller cities.

 

#1 Toronto

Montreal

Youth Population: 20.4%

Gap to #1: 11.22 points

 

Montréal earns the top spot in our LIVE theme, but suffers in the world of WORK (#5), with low scores in EMPLOYMENT (#19) and CITY ECONOMIC PROFILE (#18). Contrary to our suspicions, there are better cities to PLAY: the ‘sin city on the St. Lawrence’ takes third place in this category. A top five destination for MUSIC + NIGHTLIFE, FASHION and CREATIVE ARTS, it falters in FILM (#18) and SPORTS (#17). It comes out on top in DIVERSITY, TRANSPORTATION and GENDER EQUITY

 

#2 Montreal 

 

Vancouver

Youth Population: 21.5%

Gap to #1: 83.14 points

 

Vancouver is a great place to LIVE (#3) and PLAY (#7), but it struggles to keep up in WORK (#17). It lands in the top three in ENVIRONMENT, SAFETY and MUSIC + NIGHTLIFE, but fails to crack the top seven in any of the WORK attributes. It performs poorly in CITY ECONOMIC PROFILE (#19), ENTREPRENEURSHIP (#18) and SPORTS (#19). Better education and employment opportunities would make this scenic seaside metropolis a real contender for #1.

#3 Vancouver

Calgary

Youth Population: 20.0%

Gap to #1: 90.96 points

 

Calgary’s success in the LIVE theme propels it to fourth place, with a top five finish in DIVERSITY, HEALTH and CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. It’s not a standout in WORK: it takes second place in AFFORDABILITY and FINANCIAL SERVICES, but is dragged down by ENTREPRENEURSHIP (#21)  and EDUCATION (#18). Stampede aside, Cowtown’s weakest link is PLAY, where it fails to crack the top nine in any of the attributes.

 

#4 Calgary 

 

#5 Saskatoon

Saskatoon

Youth Population: 22.90%

Gap to #1: 110.46

 

You heard it here first: Stoon is one of the best places to PLAY. It earns a top ten finish in most of our PLAY attributes, excelling in FASHION (#1) and SPORTS (#3). It punches above its weight in WORK as a good city for EMPLOYMENT (#1) and ENTREPRENEURSHIP (#3). It’s not all good news, however: the Paris of the Prairies performs poorly in our LIVE theme, and takes a punch in AFFORDABILITY (#18).

Edmonton

Youth Population: 21.50%

Gap to #1: 114.33 points

 

Edmonton shines in WORK, with high scores in AFFORDABILITY (#1), CITY ECONOMIC PROFILE (#3) and FINANCIAL SERVICES (#3). There is room for improvement in GENDER EQUITY (#18) and ENTREPRENEURSHIP (#17). In the LIVE theme, it takes the top spot in DIGITAL ACCESS, but performs poorly in ENVIRONMENT (#18) and CIVIC ENGAGEMENT (#18). In PLAY, it cracks the top ten in MUSIC + NIGHTLIFE, PUBLIC SPACE and FASHION.

 

#6 Edmonton 

Victoria

Youth Population:  18.1%

Gap to #1: 120.84 points

 

Victoria’s score tells the story of a well-balanced city, with top ten finishes in LIVE, WORK and PLAY. It’s the best place for students and artists, landing in first place in both EDUCATION and CREATIVE ARTS. That’s not all, however: high marks in DIVERSITY (#4) and SAFETY (#6) make it an attractive city for youth to live. Victoria can climb the ranks by investing in FINANCIAL SERVICES (#22), HEALTH (#20) and ENVIRONMENT (#17).

#7 Victoria 

 

KITCHENER/WATERLOO

Youth Population: 20.0%

Gap to #1: 127.55 points

 

Kitchener-Waterloo finishes in the top five in LIVE and WORK, but takes a hit in the world of PLAY (#20). It shines in GENDER EQUITY (#2) and performs well in many of our LIVE attributes, including DIVERSITY (#5), TRANSPORTATION (#6) and SAFETY (#7). In the PLAY theme, Kitchener-Waterloo only breaks the top ten in SPORTS and MUSIC + NIGHTLIFE. The road to improvement is paved with better film, food and festivals.

#8 Kitchener/Waterloo

 

#5 Saskatoon

Ottawa

Youth Population: 21.0%

Gap to #1: 129.35 points

 

The Capital is a good place to LIVE (#6) and WORK (#7), but opportunities to PLAY (#17) are minimal. Ottawa cracks the top five in most of our WORK attributes but takes a hit in ENTREPRENEURSHIP (#20). It performs well in many LIVE attributes, including TRANSPORTATION (#2), SAFETY (#5) and CIVIC ENGAGEMENT (#6). Investing in sports, music and film infrastructure would make the Capital more attractive for youth.

#9 Ottawa 

 

Hamilton

Youth Population: 19.0%

Gap to #1: 147.85 points

 

Hamilton does well in a number of key areas, finishing 7th in LIVE, 10th in WORK and 16th in PLAY. Its third overall finish in TRANSPORTATION comes a result of its high level of cycling infrastructure, as well as its accessible public transit and high number of carsharing options. Elsewhere, the city proves itself to be the fifth highest overall and second highest in Ontario in terms of AFFORDABILITY. This comes largely as a result of it having the third most affordable housing in the Index.

#10 Hamilton 

 

Kelowna

Youth Population: 18.2%

Gap to #1: 151.21 points

Gap to top 10: 3.37 points

This interior British Columbia city shines in PLAY (#4) and has a respectable finish in WORK (#13) and LIVE (#18). Its PLAY finish is helped out due to its close proximity to Bear Creek and Wrinkly Face Provincial Parks, its high number of sports teams and facilities relative to population, and its affordable prices for participating in and watching sports. In terms of WORK, Kelowna does well in Education, where it has the third highest number of post-secondary institutions, per capita, and in Entrepreneurship, where it has the fourth highest number of co-working spaces, per capita.

#11Kelowna 

 

Charlottetown

Youth Population: 20.6%

Gap to #1: 164.04 points

Gap to top 10: 16.19 points

 

Charlottetown’s strongest showing is in ENTREPRENEURSHIP, where it finishes #1. This comes from its high per capita number of entrepreneurship incubators (#1) and coworking spaces (#2). Charlottetown fares well in PLAY, coming in at #6. Charlottetown has the highest number of live music venues and the third highest number of art galleries, both per capita. It's also a great place to have a night on the town, coming in fourth on most affordable nightlife.

#12 Charlottetown

 

Halifax

Youth Population: 20.5%

Gap to #1: 182.20 points

Gap to top 10: 34.36 points

 

Halifax finishes strong in PLAY (#5) and among the middle of the pack in LIVE (#13). In PLAY,  it places fifth in the Fashion attribute, partly as a result of it being one of only seven cities with a fashion incubator, as well as its high per capita number of film festivals (#7). Other highlights include its highest relative per area green space, its highest per capita number of public washrooms and its low overall volume of annual waste (#2).

#13 Halifax

 

Quebec City

Youth Population: 18.6%

Gap to #1: 185.32 points

Gap to top 10: 37.47 points

 

Quebec City’s strongest overall finish is in LIVE (#11). The city finishes with the third highest number of languages to access voting information, the sixth lowest per capita break and enters and the seventh lowest per capita annual waste. In WORK, the city’s post-secondary students report the second lowest student debt totals and have the third lowest tuition rates, measured relative to an hour of minimum wage labour.

#14 Quebec City

 

Mississauga

Youth Population: 21.0%

Gap to #1: 187.83 points

Gap to top 10: 39.99 points


 

Mississauga's 10th place overall in LIVE is boosted by the second overall most equitable council, in terms of gender parity, its high relative volunteering requirements in secondary school (#3), its fourth lowest per capita break and enters, and its second highest score for accessible transit.

#15 Mississauga

 

St. John's

Youth Population: 21.5%

Gap to #1: 202.79 points

Gap to top 10: 54.95 points

 

St. John’s highest theme finish comes in PLAY, where it benefits from offering local creatives a dedicated art/design school, and both the 5th highest number of art galleries and live music venues, per capita. Its poorest theme is WORK, where it comes 20th overall. Still, the city presents locals and those new to the city with relatively affordable housing, finishing 10th overall. In LIVE, St. John’s places 15th, it has the 3rd youngest average-age city council, and the 6th highest level of gender parity in its elected officials.

#16 St John's

Winnipeg

Youth Population: 20.7%

Gap to #1: 203.45 points

Gap to top 10: 55.60 points

 

Winnipeg’s strongest finish comes in LIVE, where it places 12th. Here it has the highest overall number of car sharing options, which brings it to 5th overall in transportation. In PLAY (#18), it has the 3rd highest number of indigenous arts and culture festivals, the 4th highest number of fashion incubators, per capita, the 6th highest overall number of arts and music festivals, and the 12th highest number of music festivals, per capita. It also boasts a dedicated film school and a film incubator.  

#17 Winnipeg

 
 

Sudbury

Youth Population: 19.8%

Gap to #1: 218.49 points

Gap to top 10: 70.65 points

 

Sudbury’s 12th overall finish in PLAY comes as a result of the city’s burgeoning film culture, with its high number of film festivals (3rd), high number of films shot in the city (4th), high number of film screens per capita (8th) and its relatively low cost movie tickets (2nd). Elsewhere, the city finishes with the highest per capita number of sports facilities/fields and the highest per capita number of public libraries.

#18 Sudbury

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Lethbridge

Youth Population: 22.2%

Gap to #1: 231.17 points

Gap to #10: 83.33 points

 

Lethbridge lands in the middle of the pack for WORK (#11) and PLAY (#11), but achieves a low score in the LIVE (#21) theme. The city with the scenic coulees breaks the top five in SPORTS, AFFORDABILITY, FILM and FINANCIAL SERVICES. Lethbridge can climb the ranks by investing in some of the areas identified in our LIVE theme, including HEALTH (#22) and ENVIRONMENT (#22).

#19 Lethbridge

 
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#18 Charlottetown

Moncton

Youth Population: 19.4%

Gap to #1: 244.76 points

Gap to top 10: 96.91 points

 

Moncton’s WORK (#16) ranking reflects high scores in GENDER EQUITY (#3) and ENTREPRENEURSHIP (#4). In LIVE (#19), it enters the top ten in ENVIRONMENT and DIGITAL ACCESS, but gets low marks on SAFETY (#21) and CIVIC ENGAGEMENT (#19). It’s not the best destination for those looking to PLAY (#21), landing in the bottom five in many of our attributes.

#20 Moncton

 

Oshawa

Youth Population: 19.0%

Gap to #1: 270.08 points

Gap to top 10: 122.23 points

 

Youth in Oshawa can cheer about its 14th overall rank in LIVE, which comes from its high secondary volunteerism requirements (t-1st), its low per capita annual waste (5th), and its high level of transit accessibility (t-2nd). While its low overall WORK finish (21st) presents many areas for improvements, the city still does well in affordable housing (7th) and affordable health and wellbeing (5th).

 

 

#21 Oshawa

 

Yellowknife

Youth Population: 19.4%

Gap to #1:286.41 points

Gap to top 10: 138.56 points

 

Yellowknife takes the top spot in WORK, with high scores in CITY ECONOMIC PROFILE (#1) and ENTREPRENEURSHIP (#2). The Northern city has some work to do in the LIVE (#22) and PLAY (#15) themes. Areas of improvement in the LIVE theme include SAFETY (#22) and DIGITAL ACCESS (#22). Yellowknife would be a better place to play if youth had more options to explore in SPORTS (#20) and FASHION (#20).

#22 Yellowknife

 

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