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Calgary, Vancouver And Ottawa Among Cities Most Attractive To Newcomers

Posted on October 13, 2014
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A new report from the Conference Board of Canada says that six Canadian cities — Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, Waterloo, Richmond Hill and St. John’s — are worthy of an “A” grade when it comes to attracting skilled immigrants to Canada. The report ranked 50 cities under criteria that included health, economy, environment, education, innovation, society and housing.

Calgary came out on top overall, ranking first for both economy and innovation. A westward shift in Canada’s economic activity in recent years has led to Alberta’s largest city becoming more attractive for newcomers. The pace of growth in Calgary means that some poorer results in areas such as teacher-to-student ratios and the number of hospital beds per capita were expected, as aligning public services with the pace of growth proves to be a challenge.

The Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill, where visible minorities make up a significant proportion of the population, ranked third in the study. Richmond Hill scored high in education, innovation and society, and was ranked as the third-most diverse city in Canada. It also has the highest number of engineering, science and mathematics graduates per capita.

Vancouver’s high quality of life was illustrated by strong results in environment and society. “Graced with a beautiful setting and temperate climate, Vancouver is one of the key destinations for new Canadians, including a young demographic,” said the report.

Waterloo, home to a large number of startups, was recognised as a hub for innovation. Waterloo ranked first in education, second in innovation, and third for its economy. The city “shines as one of the top cities for migrants, thanks to its well-earned reputation for innovation and education,” said the report.

Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, fared well in the society, education, innovation and economy categories, coming second overall. Ottawa benefits from a highly educated public workforce, which has “helped to incubate creative ideas and to seed private-sector innovation,” according to the report.

Perhaps the most surprising city to get an “A” grade was St. John’s, Newfoundland, which performed exceptionally in health. St. John’s oil wealth also allowed for a strong showing under the economy category.

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