Calgary - The Canadian city most attractive to people



    OTTAWA, Dec. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Calgary stands tall among Canadian census
metropolitan areas (CMAs) as the city that is the most attractive to people,
according to the Conference Board of Canada's first-ever metropolitan
benchmarking study.
    "Labour shortages are already beginning to affect some Canadian cities.
Attracting highly skilled workers-and the business investment they
encourage-is crucial to Canada's economic competitiveness in the decades
ahead," said Mario Lefebvre, Director of the Conference Board's new Centre for
Municipal Studies. "The paradigm of 'people go where the jobs are' is changing
to 'businesses going where the people with skills and talent want to live.' In
other words, places attractive to people will also attract business
investment."
    City Magnets: Benchmarking the Attractiveness of Canada's CMAs compares
the performance of 27 Canadian cities in seven different domains: Economy,
Innovation, Environment, Education, Health, Society, and Housing. Each CMA is
given a report-card style ranking on each indicator, and an overall grade on
attractiveness.
    Overall, the results show that size matters. Five of the top six spots
belong to big cities, with Toronto ranked second and Vancouver third.
Edmonton, Victoria, and Ottawa-Gatineau also score an "A" grade and rank
fourth through sixth. Montréal, in 14th spot and at the bottom of the "Bs",
has a lot of catching up to do.
    Five mid-sized CMAs appear in the top half of the overall rankings.
Included in this list are three provincial capitals: Victoria, Halifax, and
Québec City. The other two mid-sized CMAs are Kitchener and Oshawa.
Kitchener-Waterloo is a centre for high technology and research, while Oshawa
is unique in Ontario in that it posted strong economic results during the past
five years and outperformed all but three other Canadian CMAs in terms of
growth.
    Of the 14 bottom-ranking positions, seven are Ontario CMAs. The once
robust and now shrinking manufacturing sector has caused serious economic
downturns in most Ontario CMAs, pulling down their overall scores. Thunder
Bay, ranked 27th, has been hit by the double whammy of no employment growth
and very low income growth, as well as scoring low in the Health domain.
    In addition to leading all Canadian CMAs, Calgary held its own when
compared with 27 major cities in the United States. Thanks to its red-hot
economy, robust employment growth and young labour force, Calgary ranks just
behind first-place Washington and second-place Austin as the only overall "A"
cities. In general, Canadian cities trail their U.S. counterparts on key
economic measures and on higher education, but offer more affordable housing,
better commuting options, healthier lifestyles and better student-teacher
ratios. As well, the stronger employment growth recorded by many Canadian CMAs
over the past five years is a promising sign.

    Rankings of Census Metropolitan Areas and Overall grades:

    
    1 Calgary                 A
    2 Toronto                 A
    3 Vancouver               A
    4 Edmonton                A
    5 Victoria                A
    6 Ottawa-Gatineau         A
    7 Halifax                 B
    8 Oshawa                  B
    9 Kitchener               B
    10 Abbotsford             B
    11 Québec City            B
    12 Sherbrooke             B
    13 Saskatoon              B
    14 Montréal               B
    15 Hamilton               B
    16 St. John's             B
    17 Regina                 B
    18 London                 C
    19 Winnipeg               C
    20 Kingston               C
    21 Greater Sudbury        C
    22 Trois-Rivières         C
    23 Windsor                C
    24 St. Catharines-Niagara C
    25 Saguenay               D
    26 Saint John             D
    27 Thunder Bay            D
    




For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, (613) 526-3090
ext. 448, corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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