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Burlington ranks high on low unemployment/crime, high incomes, population growth, good weather, arts/sports

Bike with the councillor night, last summer, organized by the city's cycling committee.
Bike with the councillor night, last summer, organized by the city’s cycling committee.

City of Burlington press release

MoneySense Magazine has named Burlington Canada’s best mid-sized city and the second best city overall in Canada, according to the magazine’s  Canada’s Best Places to Live 2016 rankings.

Burlington scored high with:

  • Low unemployment
  • High incomes
  • Healthy population growth
  • Low crime
  • Good weather
  • Strong arts and sports community

Canada’s Best Places to Live 2016 measured 219 Canadian cities. The data was provided by Environics Analytics, Statistics Canada, IHS Automotive, drive by Polk, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. and Environment Canada.

My Take: In effect, the MoneySense rankings are a measurement of wealth. We have high incomes and low unemployment, yet over half or our residents must leave the city to work. I hear from many residents that they’d like the opportunity to both live and work in Burlington. That’s a goal in our new strategic plan. We also have residents of lower incomes in Burlington, and we need to ensure folks of all incomes are welcome and can contribute here. That’s getting tougher as housing prices continue to rise. And good weather? Well, no one can take credit for that. I’ll be writing a more detailed article on where we stand in the rankings in areas of liveability, and areas more under the jurisdiction of city council, where these are measured by MoneySense.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

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  1. I agree. The city scored low on “affordable housing”, “low taxes”, and “easy to walk, bike, and take transit”, and high on “high incomes” and “low unemployment rate”. Given that Burlington isn’t exactly a stand-alone community but is surrounded by other cities in close proximity, it basically adds up to needing to be able to get a good enough job to afford a home and a car here, otherwise you have to move to Hamilton or Mississauga or something. The rating system, by stating that low unemployment and high income reflect favourably on a community, seems to imply the causation of “live here -> good job with good pay” rather than the other way around. This isn’t to say that Burlington isn’t a great place to be — it is — but the city has work to do in terms of making it easier for people to live here without having a high income, like improving the transit system and encouraging more affordable housing options.

What's your take?