Located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Vancouver is the most populous city in the province with more than 600,000 people. Vancouver is a coastal seaport city with some of the warmest year-round temperatures in Canada. It boasts a beautiful landscape of sea and mountains and is a popular place for outdoor and urban enthusiasts.
We know that Canadian’s truly celebrate the liveabililty factors of their neighbourhood – the qualities that give homeowners the true satisfaction of their home within the context of a neighbourhood. In fact a Leger survey conducted by RE/MAX revealed that 89% of Canadians recommend their neighbourhoods to others. Unlike your home, neighbourhoods cannot be changed, so it is important to assess what qualities are important to you before you purchase. Luckily, when it comes to Vancouver, there is a lot of celebrate in terms of liveability.
A survey of RE/MAX Brokers revealed that the best places to live in Vancouver are Main, West End and Kerrisdale rank as the top three neighbourhoods in Vancouver for access to green spaces and parks, walkability, retail and restaurants and the ease of getting around/public transit.
In the same Leger survey, six-in-10 Canadians put easy access to shopping, dining and green spaces at the top of their liveability criteria. Proximity to public transit (36 per cent), work (30 per cent) and to preferred schools (18 per cent), as well as cultural and community centres (18 per cent) fall out of the top five neighbourhood wants and expectations. So how does Vancouver stack up?
If you are searching for the best place to live in Vancouver, Main ranks as the top hidden gem neighbourhood, while Mount Pleasant, Downtown – Vancouver West and Renfrew-Collingwood rank as the top three neighbourhoods for affordability and good supply of housing inventory.
Interested in seeing how Vancouver compares to other cities across Canada? Explore the RE/MAX Liveability Report to learn more about the features Canadians value when it comes to the places they live.
Canadians genuinely celebrate the liveability factors — the qualities that give each homeowner the true satisfaction of his/her home within the context of a neighbourhood — when it comes to choosing a property to buy and live in. In fact, 89 per cent of Canadians would recommend their neighbourhood to others according to a recent RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger. The latest RE/MAX report examined a variety of quality of life factors and how they impact Canadians’ home-buying decisions.
“Housing is often a contentious topic in Canada, with affordability and inventory being persistent problems from coast to coast,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “However, when buyers are looking for a home, the search begins at the neighbourhood level. And the good news is that Canadians have lots of choice when it comes to ‘liveable’ cities and neighbourhoods.”
Six-in-10 Canadians put easy access to shopping, dining and green spaces at the top of their liveability criteria. Proximity to public transit (36 per cent), work (30 per cent) and to preferred schools (18 per cent), as well as cultural and community centres (18 per cent) fall out of the top five neighbourhood wants and expectations.
The proximity and availability of these liveability factors is so important that Canadians spend more than two-thirds of their time in their own neighbourhood. This rate is higher among Baby Boomers compared to Gen Z, Millennial and Gen X Canadians.
“While price and value are always top of mind for buyers, there are some aspects about a home that you can’t change,” says Alexander. “These liveability factors are what make your home more than just the place you live. They are at the heart of the Canadian experience, especially when you consider the survey results.”
RE/MAX brokers were also asked to tap into their neighbourhood expertise and rate their city on each liveability factor.
In the west, Calgary ranked high in seven out of 11 categories, including offering good access to employment opportunities, population growth, housing supply, housing affordability and easy access to bike lanes and/or walking paths. Confederation and Nose Hill Park are two of the most popular parks in the city and the Rotary Mattamy Greenway is the cycling equivalent to the ring road. Inglewood, Hillhurst and Charleswood rank as the top three all-around liveable neighbourhoods. Edmonton also ranked high in access to employment opportunities, number of top rated/preferred schools and easy access to bike lanes and/or walking paths.
“Despite reports of slowing economic conditions and a relatively flat real estate market in Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton shine as beacons of liveability,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “This is a promising sign for any buyers considering a purchase in either city as they continue to develop as liveable cities in their own right.”
Toronto ranked medium for access to green spaces and parks but high for availability of big and small retail stores, population growth and access to healthcare facilities. The neighbourhoods that rated highest for access to green space and parks – Rosedale, Leaside and The Beaches – are also the most expensive. Conversely, Toronto’s most affordable neighbourhoods include parts of Scarborough and East York.
Vancouver ranked medium for availability of big and small retail stores, population growth and housing supply. However, it ranked high in availability of public transit, where the Skytrain and bus system prove exceptional; and walkability, especially in Yaletown. Main, West End and Kerrisdale are the top three all-around liveable neighbourhoods in Vancouver while Mount Pleasant, Downtown and Renfrew-Collingwood are the most affordable.
Other regions include Ottawa, where The Glebe neighbourhood is the best for walkability and public transit; Halifax, where Clayton park boasted high inventory; Hamilton, where Beasley was best for affordability; Winnipeg, where Transcona is a hidden gem neighbourhood; Saskatoon, where Nutana is the all-around best neighbourhood for liveability; and Nanaimo, where Central Nanaimo is best for affordability.
“Liveability encompasses the many intangibles when buying and selling a home than an algorithm will never sufficiently capture. You need word of mouth and the on-the-ground expertise of a REALTOR® who has genuine locale knowledge like few others,” adds Ash.