COVID’s Gift to Atlantic Canada: Top Ranks in Lifestyle Ratings

The long-overlooked cities of Atlantic Canada have shot to the top of the most desirable places to live, according to an article in MacLean’s Magazine.

Now that so many of us are able to work from home, people have migrated from Toronto and Montreal to places that offer more space, less gridlock and fewer COVID-19 cases.

In a ranking of 415 Canadian centres, Halifax took the Number 1 spot, thanks to its meld of affordable housing, accessible health care, exemplary Internet access and a diverse selection of restaurants and bars. Fredericton NB took second place, with its sister city of Moncton coming in at seventh and Charlottetown hitting number ten.

The human values were important, stresses the article: “Atlantic Canada’s famous friendliness and community spirit helped these cities score well in the community engagement category.”

Also, Atlantic Canada has seen lower COVID rates than the rest of the country.

As people drained out of the Central Canadian cities, they pushed up property prices in the Maritimes by buying sight unseen through virtual property tours .

This highlights the importance of broadband connections, which is a new category rating for the study. The broadband performance data is based on information from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) that has never before been released to the public. i-VALLEY uses CIRA data exclusively for its community broadband installations.

The challenge now for Atlantic Canada — in fact for all rural areas — is to translate the gains in its cities to improvements in its rural and remote regions. For that, broadband is a key factor, as is the ability to execute on a strategic development plan.

This trend is almost certainly true of similar regions in the United States. If you know of any, please send me a note.

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