City Magnets III: Benchmarking the Attractiveness of 50 Canadian Cities

The Conference Board of Canada, 153 pages, September 18, 2014
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City Magnets III grades and ranks 50 Canadian cities according to features that make them attractive to mobile populations.

Document Highlights

  • An attractive city is attractive to everyone—despite the different weight migrants may attach to the various aspects that make cities appealing.
  • In deciding where to live, all migrants value cities that offer centres of innovation the most. For university-educated migrants, features related to society are second-most important, followed by a city’s economic strength. For migrants without a university education, it’s the environment.
  • But overall, the 6 “A” cities are at the top of the list regardless of education levels—Waterloo, Calgary, Ottawa, Richmond Hill, Vancouver, and St. John’s. Each offers a unique combination of attributes that add up to a great place to live.
  • The 17 overall “C” cities have poor grades for either economy or society, or in a few instances, for both.
  • The 13 “D” cities are struggling to attract migrants regardless of whether the migrants have a university degree. Most of these cities are in Ontario, and all but one are small or mid-sized.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

Chapter 2—Methodology

  • City Selection
  • Indicator Selection
  • Rankings for Each Indicator
  • Rankings for Each Category
  • Overall Rankings

Chapter 3—Society

Chapter 4—Health

Chapter 5—Economy

Chapter 6—Environment

Chapter 7—Education

Chapter 8—Innovation

Chapter 9—Housing

Chapter 10—Magnetic North: The Attractiveness of Canada’s Cities

  • “A” Cities: Strong Magnets
  • “B” Cities: Magnetic Appeal
  • “C” Cities: Room for Improvement
  • “D” Cities: Struggling to Attract

Chapter 11—Conclusion

Appendix A—Retrospective: Looking Back at City Magnets II

Appendix B—Bibliography

Appendix C—Indicators of Performance in Each Category, by City

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