Whether discussing moving into a smaller home or contemplating relocation to a smaller city, the word “small” appears to be all the craze when it comes to real estate in Canada. Size truly does not matter when it comes to living in a small town with big benefits. And as always, it comes down to location, location, location.
Money Sense magazine recently reported on the best places to live in Canada and small cities won out big time. The report takes into account for more than thirty different factors such as employment, wealth, housing prices, medical care, crime, public transportation, and weather. Smaller cities are offering amenities and the convenience of proximity to big cities while retaining small town charm.
Based on the report’s findings, there is a big list of 140 small cities to consider calling home. With populations less than 100,000, each city has vast qualities to consider. Here are the top small cities in British Columbia as ranked by Money Sense, more than twenty-five in all for BC. Listed in order, with the best rankings at the top:
North Vancouver, B.C.: The District Municipality and the City ranked in as the 11th and 12th best small cities on the list. With close proximity to Vancouver and the amenities and services, the urban area has to offer, this is a great small city to retreat to at the end of a workday.
West Vancouver, B.C.: Much like North Vancouver, this small city offers big city perks right next door. It also offers the highest average household income (just over $180,000).
Maple Ridge, B.C.: With an almost 30% decrease in crime rate over the past five years; this small city gets safer every year.
Port Coquitlam, B.C.: This city is located at the confluence of the Fraser River and the Pitt River and is within close proximity to Metro Vancouver.
Salmon Arm, B.C.: If access to medical care is important, Salmon Arm may just be the right place with an average of 2.36 medical offices per 1,000 residents.
Port Moody, B.C.: Experiencing a population growth of more than 14% from 2008 to 2013, this may be the fastest growing small city in British Columbia.
Dawson Creek, B.C.: With the smallest population (just 12, 452 inhabitants) amongst the other cities on the list, this town truly earns the small city prize.
Victoria, B.C.: With the lowest property tax percentage at 1.6%, this small city wins out on the average property tax dollar amount paid and the average based on household income. An astonishing 23% of people walk to work in Victoria.
Fort St. John, B.C.: This small town boasts the smallest unemployment numbers, at just fewer than 6%. The mildest climate of all the small B.C. towns ranked in the report may have something to do with that.
Courtenay, B.C.: Despite being a small city, Courtenay ranked high on the percentage of the population that commute by foot or bike to work, with almost 7% and 4%, respectively.
Terrace, B.C.: Perhaps one of the more affordable small cities in B.C., Terrace has an average house price of $178,000.
New Westminster, B.C.: This small city has the highest percentage of residents taking public transportation to work, with more than 25% commuting this way.
Vernon, B.C.: A draw for the medical community, Vernon has just over 4% of residents employed in healthcare and almost three doctors per 1,000 residents.
Squamish, B.C.: With zero days per year that are below minus 20 degrees Celsius, this is the city where the ocean meets the mountains.
Cranbrook, B.C.: Receiving the least amount of rainfall for a small city in B.C., this town is collecting just under 280 mm per year.
Penticton, B.C.: One of the least rainy small towns on the list for British Columbia, Penticton sees just less than 120 days with precipitation per year.
Prince George, B.C.: This small city has one of the higher averages for discretionary income amongst the list of B.C. small towns.
Langley, B.C.: With a pedestrian oriented downtown core and easy access to Vancouver, this small city has the best of both worlds.
Quesnel, B.C.: While it takes an average of 9 years to buy a home in West Vancouver, here in Quesnel it takes just over two.
Duncan, B.C.: At only 512 acres, this is the smallest city by area in the nation.
Powell River, B.C.: Located on the northern Sunshine Coast, this city offers an abundance of water activities such as fishing, kayaking, and scuba diving.
Chilliwack, B.C.: Surrounded by mountains and recreational areas, this city is slowly becoming more urban.
Campbell River, B.C.: A coastal city on the east coast of Vancouver Island, Campbell River is often touted as the salmon capital of the world.
Parksville, B.C.: Behind West and North Vancouver, Parksville has one of the higher average household net worth at more than $586,000. Crime has also dropped by more than 40% in the past five years in this small town.
Williams Lake, B.C.: This small city has seen a decline in population, which may mean it is a perfect opportunity to house hunt and move in now.
Prince Rupert, B.C.: A rainier small city, this is the perfect location for someone who prefers many days with a lot of precipitation.
Port Alberni, B.C.: An affordable waterfront community in the heart of the west coast.
Whether you are considering a move to help your bank balance from shrinking, or if you are at a time in your life where you want to slow down, and enjoy a quieter paced life – our team of professional movers can help you pack, move and store your belongings throughout the lowermainland, BC and across Canada. Get in touch with us for a free quote.