Houses for sale in Ottawa

Canadians are highly satisfied with their neighbourhoods, with 86 per cent expressing satisfaction with their quality of life and liveability, and 50 per cent liking it a lot, Re/Max’s 2024 Liveability Report found.

Prairie province cities, like those in Alberta and Manitoba, lead the list with some of the most liveable neighbourhoods in Canada. Their relative affordability, combined with access to amenities like green spaces, restaurants, schools, health services and cultural spaces, boost their liveability rankings. According to the report, in the next three to five years, 24 per cent of respondents believe their neighbourhood’s liveability will improve, 55 per cent believe it will remain steady and 15 per cent think it will decline.


Liveability preference changes


Comparing the 2024 findings with the 2020 Liveability Report, Canadians’ criteria for liveability have shifted significantly due to social, political and cultural changes since the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, affordability (44 per cent), neighbourhood safety (10 per cent), walkability and the age of homes (each six per cent) are the top liveability factors. Neighbourhood safety and the age of homes are new additions to the 2024 list, while the importance of proximity to work and walkability has decreased since 2020.

“Quality of life continues to be an important consideration for Canadians when choosing a place to live. Our survey shows that many have found a place they love, but we also know that ongoing affordability crises and housing shortages are severely impacting many Canadians and have become a barrier to home ownership in regions across the country,” says Christopher Alexander, president of Re/Max Canada. “By rethinking design, relevant government policies and zoning bylaws as applicable in existing and new neighbourhoods, we can achieve a more effective and comprehensive national housing strategy that supports long-term liveability and greater affordability for Canadians.”


Top liveable neighbourhoods in Canada


The Liveability Report ranks the top neighbourhoods in 21 of Canada’s biggest cities, the highest of which include:

  • Downtown West End, Calgary
  • Daniel McIntyre, Winnipeg
  • Oliver, Edmonton
  • Heritage, Regina
  • Sandy Hill, Ottawa
  • Quinpool Areas, Halifax
  • Westmount, Saskatoon
  • Le Sud-Ouest, Montreal
  • Old Town, Toronto
  • Corktown, Hamilton

In Greater Montreal, Metro Vancouver and Greater Toronto, the most liveable neighbourhoods are typically near the city centre and were often designed to be more walkable, before cars were introduced. While they’re highly liveable, they score lower in affordability. However, prairie cities are usually the country’s most affordable and ranked high for overall liveability since affordability was a highly rated factor.

“When searching for a home, homebuyers may need to make certain concessions to their personal liveability criteria to get the most of what they deem important in a neighbourhood, in addition to what they can purchase within their means,” continues Alexander.

“This is true, not just for first-time home buyers, but for all buyers, especially as affordability continues to be top-of-mind for many Canadians. That’s why working with a professional realtor who can help navigate the market for what’s realistic and advise on what neighbourhoods best suit the needs of the buyer is key. They also act as a local guide, shedding light on the ins-and-outs of different neighbourhoods and how they fit within one’s goals.”


Homebuyer lifestyles and regional highlights


RE/MAX also identified neighbourhoods best suited to specific lifestyles based on liveability factors, including:

  • City dwellers with kids
  • City dwellers without kids
  • Families/move-up buyers in the suburbs
  • First-time homebuyers
  • Retirees
  • Luxury seekers
  • Climate-conscious buyers
  • Arts and culture lovers
  • Foodies
  • Health and wellness lovers

The top locations for city lovers with no kids, first-time buyers and suburban/move-up buyers were Winnipeg and Edmonton, Montreal was best for proximity to arts and culture (though affordability remains a challenge) while the prairie cities ranked high on affordability and liveability due to high salaries relative to housing costs.

Neighbourhoods in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver fared well for luxury seekers, while Regina, Edmonton and Calgary, among others, were top for retirees. Calgary and Edmonton, along with Montreal, were ranked best for health and wellness lovers, and climate-conscious buyers scored Vancouver, Ottawa and others at the top of their lists.


Review the full report, including regional deep dives, here.


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