A photo of Ottawa; two people walk down a street surrounded by historic buildings

The top four best places to live in Canada are apparently in Ontario

The lack of housing affordability in Toronto has made the city unliveable for some residents, prompting a potential exodus to more affordable regions. But affordability is a concern throughout Canada as well, making the hunt for the best place to live a challenging one. However, it turns out we won’t have to flee too far — according to a new report ranking the best places to live in the country, six of the top 10 places are right in Ontario.

The report from Zolo looked primarily at home prices to make the list, along with other quality of life considerations including household income, population growth, unemployment, crime, walkability and access to a healthcare provider. With all those factors in mind, it was Ottawa that took the top spot, followed by three more Ontario regions — Simcoe & District, Guelph & District and Barrie & District.

Two other Ontario regions made the list: Tillsonburg District took spot number 8, and Kitchener-Waterloo took number 10.

With housing affordability becoming a rising concern for Canadians everywhere, it was the combination of affordable home prices and high household income that helped these Ontario cities hit the top of the list. The average home price in Ottawa is $643,700, along with a “low crime severity index and good household income.”

In the Simcoe area, region of Guelph and region of Barrie, the report noted all three have “higher-than-average household incomes and lower-than-average unemployment rates [and] are also less densely populated.” Simcoe’s average home price is just $563,500, while Guelph and Barrie are slightly higher at $821,200 and $809,400. 

Guelph topped another list just a few months ago — Wellington County, the region in which Guelph is located, took top spot for the best places to live in Canada with the best quality of life. 

While Ontario overwhelmingly dominated this list, a few other Canadian provinces were represented — Saskatoon, Sask. took fifth place and Edmonton, Alta. took sixth, followed by Halifax-Dartmouth, N.S. in spot number 7 and Winnipeg, Man. in spot number nine.

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