Lacombe ranks 5th of 415 in survey of Canada's best places to live
Smaller cities, towns top list of best places to live
It's not temperate like Vancouver or glitzy like Toronto. It's not even well-known outside of Alberta.
But Lacombe, Alta., with a population of 15,000 located 125 kilometres south of Edmonton, is the fifth-best place to live in the country, according to an analysis by moneysense.ca.
"I like to tell people we're one of Alberta's smallest cities, but we still have a small-town feel," said Lacombe mayor Grant Creasy on CBC's Radio Active on Wednesday.
Indeed, the smaller centres seemed to shine on the MoneySense list — Lacombe was edged out of fourth place by Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Que., a suburb of Montreal, and stands one place ahead of Milton, Ont.
Oakville, Ont. placed at the very top of the list. Meanwhile, other Alberta communities that cracked the list of top 25, included Canmore, Camrose, Red Deer, and St. Albert.
The analysis considered factors such as health, weather, crime and culture. But the category given the most weight was the economy.
"Like all of Alberta, we were not immune to the last several years (of economic downturn) but I guess we're in the enviable position of having our economy spread out among several different industries," Creasy said, noting the city hosts both the agriculture and energy industries, along with federal and provincial jobs.
Lacombe's No. 5 ranking is a huge jump from its ranking of No. 299 last year.
The website noted it had changed its methodology. For example, it now includes data on the median wait times for various medical procedures.
Alberta's largest cities, Calgary and Edmonton, ranked 30th and 68th respectively, out of 415 cities across the country.
- An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Calgary's ranking.Aug 02, 2018 8:38 PM MT