British Columbia

Vancouver no longer world's most livable city

Vancouver has been knocked out of top spot as the world's most livable city because of a highway closure, according to the magazine that does the ranking.

Calgary, Toronto make Top 10

After a decade of being ranked the world's most liveable city by the Economist, Vancouver is now third, the CBC's Kirk Williams reports 2:22

Vancouver has been knocked out of top spot as the world's most livable city because of a highway closure on Vancouver Island, according to the magazine that does the ranking.

Top 10 most livable cities:

  • Melbourne.
  • Vienna.
  • Vancouver.
  • Toronto.
  • Calgary.
  • Sydney.
  • Helsinki.
  • Perth.
  • Adelaide.
  • Auckland 

The Economist Intelligence Unit, a division of Britain's Economist magazine, says Vancouver has slipped to third place behind Melbourne, Australia, and Vienna.

The demotion is the result of the Malahat Highway, on Vancouver Island north of Victoria, being closed for 22 hours in April after the crash of a fuel tanker truck.

But many Vancouverites are wondering why a highway closure on Vancouver Island — about 60 kilometres away — would affect the city's score.

Jon Copestake of the Economist Intelligence Unit told CBC News the ranking reflects what he calls "regional" traffic issues.

"When we look at the survey, we don't just look at the immediate urban environment of a city. We do look at the area around the city, and Vancouver Island ... we see as being part of the same sort of broad region," he said.

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"The closures on the highway were quite high-profile, they caused quite a lot of inconvenience to people I think, and that was one of the factors that we had fed back to us. It was supposed to be ... the most high-profile example of raised congestion levels in and around Vancouver."

Copestake said the scores are based on information fed back to them by correspondents in each of the 140 cities that are surveyed. The identities of those correspondents is not revealed, as per the Economist's policy.

The Economist says the Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver in June came too late to affect the city's ranking, but the city's future score could be affected by the violence.