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Victoria, Island snubbed in ‘best Canadian cities to live’ rankings

Capital ranked a dismal 264th out of 415, in terms of most livable cities in Canada

Victoria and Vancouver Island residents often pride themselves on what a wonderful place it is to live – but, as they say, pride comes before a fall.

That fall took B.C.'s capital to a dismal 264th place out of 415 cities ranked, in the latest annual ‘best Canadian cities to live’ rankings by financial magazine MoneySense.

Victoria's suburban cities fared better, but not great, with Oak Bay in 95th place nationally, North Saanich ranking 125th, Colwood in 205th place, Central Saanich at 208 and Langford in 235th spot.

Oakville, Ontario was considered the top spot in the country to set up home, scoring high for a strong economy, great amenities and low crime. The top three were all Ontario cities, with Ottawa in second place and Russell in third. (We're sure it's a coincidence that MoneySense is based on Ontario.)

For comparison, Vancouver also fared badly but a little better, coming in 88th place.

Victoria and other Island cities didn't even do well when the results are isolated by B.C. cities only. Oak Bay did the best in eighth place, but Victoria was in a shocking 40th place, beaten by the likes of Williams Lake, Chilliwack and Kamloops.

MoneySense's top B.C. city to live was Fort St. John, followed by Whistler, Squamish, Delta, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Vancouver in seventh. However, even Fort St. John was only 15th overall, with no B.C. cities making it into the national top 10.

MoneySense’s rankings offer a cool interactive feature, in which you can create your own livability rankings depending on what matters most to you.

For example, Vancouver shoots up to the nation’s #1 spot if you prioritize a strong economy/wealth and great amenities, and de-prioritize housing affordability and low crime. No surprises there, then.

You can also delve deeper into a range of other rankings, from the best city for weather, to best for retirees, for young families, new Canadians and so on. Check them out here.