Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com
Traffic heads down Dawson Road on March 21, 2012.
Thunder Bay is now off the map for best places to live in Canada.
MoneySense magazine ranked the city in the top 25 best places to live for the past two years. With the top 25 ranking, Thunder Bay was placed on an interactive map on the magazine’s website.
But this year the city ranked No. 46 of the 190 Canadian cities included in the survey, which means it was not part of the magazine’s interactive map feature.
The slip is hardly the city’s worst showing the MoneySense ranking. In 2007 Thunder Bay was given its worst ranking of no. 72.
This year Thunder Bay was ranked 96 for biking and walking opportunities, 25 for housing prices, 144 for crime severity and 72 for transit.
Ottawa was declared by the magazine as the best Canadian city to live in.
MoneySense online manager Don Futton said the main reasons for Thunder Bay’s decline were that other western cities were doing exceptionally well.
“We measure what we can but we don’t quantify what makes a town great in some people’s eyes,” Futton said.
“We do take hard data and we compare and we rank. There’s been a great boom in the commodities area and that means there’s great work in western cities. The population is growing and the income is growing.”
Another element that’s holding the city back is that the population is slowing down, he said.
Futton added that Thunder Bay still looked like a good place to live because of great housing prices, good health care and good climate.
Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs said no matter what a publication says the city is No. 1 to him.
“I think (the city) is number one and that’s all that matters,” Hobbs said.
“If our citizens believe we’re number one then we’re number one. Every city has their component of violence. The difference is we’re doing something about it with our Crime Prevention Council and this Respect Campaign. I’m going to look at the positive, the glass is half full and we’re making a difference.”
Neebing ward Coun. Linda Rydholm shared Hobbs opinions and said she didn’t put much stock into statistics like the one in MoneySense. She said every city has problems but they’re taking steps to make the city a better place.
“Factors can vary from year to year,” Rydholm said. “To me, it is the same as the rankings for best universities in Canada. It really depends on what the individual is looking for. One university can be excellent or one municipality.”
The full list of the best places to live can be found on the MoneySense website.