With only one other Island community taking higher billing – Saanich – the town of Comox received its second top-100 ranking in a row in the annual MoneySense list of Canada’s Best Places to Live.
Last year, while the town found its spot at the 25th place for the first time, it has now dropped to the 71st spot on the list, yet the listing noted the change difference not as a decline, rather as ‘new.’
“I don’t think anything has gotten worse,” explained Mayor Paul Ives. “The crime rates are low … it’s a good place to invest, we’re surrounded by beautiful geographic features, the town’s invested in infrastructure and our debt is low.
“It’s a nice place to live.”
The list weighs dozens of factors to get an overall health of 219 communities across the country, using reports from Statistics Canada, Environics Analystics and other data providers.
It considers factors such as job prospects, affordability, weather, crime rate and taxes. The categories most heavily weighed are other (crime, taxation, amenities and culture), demographics and wealth/income.
Ives added in addition to the fact that Comox does not have any “smokestack industries” it’s a reasonably affordable place to live.
The list breaks down a variety of statistics about each spot, including the median household income for Comox ($77,909, up about $5,000 from 2015), average value of primary real estate ($380,603, up about $20,000), total annual rainfall (1,096.45 mm) and doctors per 100,000 people (2.6, down from three).
Ottawa, Ont., took the top spot on the list, with New Glasgow, NS, (unchanged from last year) finishing at the bottom.
In comparison, the City of Courtenay, which placed 98 on the list in 2014 and 129 in 2015, dropped to 162nd spot, while Campbell River, which rose from 175 in 2014 to 166 last year, dropped to 192nd spot.