13th-best spot on MoneySense Magazine’s cross-Canada rankings still beats other Island municipalities by wide margin
From Gordon Head, to Gorge-Tillicum, Saanich is the number one municipality on Vancouver Island to call home.
That is, at least, if you listen to the editors at MoneySense magazine. The publication recently crunched some numbers to come up with the finding.
In its annual ranking of the best places to live in Canada, Saanich isn’t number one (that honour goes to Ottawa), but it is number 13, which is good enough to beat every other city and town from here to Port Hardy.
You have to scroll way down the list before getting to Comox at 71, Victoria barely ekes out a spot in the top 100 at 91st place. Nanaimo, Courtenay, Parksviile, Duncan and Campbell River are all way further down.
So what’s Saanich’s secret? Beachgoers on a sunny August afternoon at Gyro Park pointed to the way of life.
“We were just looking for a slower pace of life coming from Toronto, and greener grass, and bluer skies,” said Lila Shea.
“We use Mt. Doug Park a lot, for me its a really big draw,” said Rebecca Kaukinen. “I’m really close to work and close to the beach so we’re happy.”
“It’s very close to go get the groceries, the bus stop is right in front of my building, so everything is convenient,” said Brigitte Sobkin. “And of course my grandchildren are here, so that has something has to do with it too.”
All good reasons to love wherever you live, but the editors at Moneysense say their comparisons are all about cold hard stats.
“While we can’t gauge many of the elements that people enjoy in their cities, the nearness of family, the friendliness of neighbours or even great sunsets, we have measured what can be measured and compared what can be compared,” they write.
But while some Saanichers, or Saanichites depending who you ask, had quibbles with the magazine’s methods, none argued with the conclusion.
Their chief concern was that not too many more people find out.
“Its starting to get busier here,” said Shea. “I guess more people are starting to realize what a great place it is, so as it starts to get busier then who knows but right now we’re pretty happy here.”