Monday, April 4, 2011

Liveability is Almost Top 10% Out Here

Out of 180 Canadian cities Lethbridge, Alberta, out here too is apparently #19 in "liveability" - as recently ranked by MoneySense.  That's just slightly behind Calgary at #16 and Edmonton at #8(!), while St. Albert placed a well-deserved 5th in the nation.  (#1 was Ottawa-Gatineau, although I've never heard Ottawa referred to as hyphenated herebefore, and always thought Gatineau was in Quebec, a separate nation in the minds of those who live there - and many who don't.  Maybe MoneySense is doing some election campaign schmoozing.)  Of course, there's lots to argue about in a survey like this.  For instance, have you ever been in Winterpeg (#10) in January - or in black fly season for that matter?  And it's hard to understand the weather in Edmonton and St. Albert being ranked ahead of Lethbridge, a place that perennially has a lock on more hours of sunshine than anywhere in the country.  Other minutiae gleaned: Lethbridge ranked the highest in Alberta for "job prospects" (again almost in the top 10% of all Canadian cities) but only 158th in "new cars on the road" (2008-2010 model year vehicles as a percent of total vehicles as per Canadian Demographics).  I figure survey staff must have been there during the annual Street Machine Weekend.  It's interesting to note too, that the city of my birth ranked only middle-of-the-pack in "access to health care", and being able to "walk/bike to work".  It turns out that the survey doesn't really mean "access to health care", they just counted the number of doctors and other health professionals resident in the city and forgot to adjust for medical school teaching staff in those cities that have them.  As for being able to "walk/bike to work", I guess that killer coulee hill dividing the city into east and west is just too much for anyone trying to arrive at work smelling like anything but a prizefighter that just went nine rounds.