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2012-03-21 at 15:56

Falling down

By Jeff Labine,
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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.


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We've improved our comment system.
Soilwork says:
The magazine obviously has no clue. Ottawa is the WORST city in Canada to live in. I speak from experience.
3/21/2012 4:41:06 PM
Bartholomew says:
Then explain why.
3/22/2012 10:39:19 AM
TBDR says:
"MoneySense Online Manager Don Futton said the main reasons for Thunder Bay’s decline were that other western cities were doing exceptionally well."

--yet this won't stop the whiner brigade from blaming somebody.
3/21/2012 4:44:59 PM
Arch Stanton says:
Biggest surprise has to be Winnipeg in #10 spot... Can all the negatives there really be offset by cheap housing???
3/21/2012 5:40:52 PM
tbayguy009 says:
Crime is spread out over a larger population and bigger geographical area.
3/22/2012 2:14:17 PM
Qbean says:
The only reason we are not waaaaay down on this list is that housing is cheap and that our average number of hours of sunlight per year is high.

I'll give you a clue: One of the reasons our housing affordability index is so good is because of the crime issues in large parts of the city.
3/21/2012 6:33:52 PM
mr. realist says:
interesting...on my way to work this morning-the radio failed to mention that we were 20th last year!!! hahaha
3/21/2012 7:12:39 PM
passlake says:
who cares what the magazine says? I love it in Thunder Bay and surrounding area.
3/21/2012 10:15:11 PM
Bartholomew says:
You can love your city and still acknowledge its problems. The only way we can improve things is by confronting the issues present, understand the root causes, and work toward bettering our city and people from there. This is true of any city.

I like it here too, but we DO have some serious issues here. Many seem to react to reports like this by getting defensive and putting their heads in the sand - and that doesn't help anything.
3/22/2012 10:46:39 AM
wayne says:
TBDR, I can hear the whiner brigade And I bet that they will agree 100% with the ranking and stats because it reinforces their
3/21/2012 10:21:29 PM
tbayguy009 says:
No. It is just that people outside of the city seem to have more of a 'right' to judge us as they see fit by comparing this area with other municipalities. Here locally, people want to remove that right to have an individual opinion. If it opposes their own personal aggenda, it must be put down and silenced by neighbours, community members and the even the local media.

Meanwhile the 'rose coloured glasses brigade' will not budge on their own opinion of themselves. They only put things into context by what they think they know from inside their bubble world.

The best way to fix a problem, is to first admit that you have one.

With every outside report that is published, it is not our 'business' to discredit. That is living in denial. Nor is it any good to cherry pick stories.

It is not what you think of yourself that matters, but what others think of you. Here, the 'rulers' of Thunder Bay can't beyond themselves.
3/22/2012 2:35:36 PM
abby says:
Good thing we have that money pit Marina!!! Its sure to attract tourism and growth! Just follow Arthursimpsonfortwilliamcumberland
3/22/2012 7:53:50 AM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
...For me, the only thing this town has going for it, is what's outside of the City Limits. Contemplating $200/month satellite internet, just to move farther away, to the other side of the mountain...
3/22/2012 8:08:24 AM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
...actually tho'...we are well-serviced in the food sector, great health food stores, small delis, slow-food places, big chain competition, all within a maybe 4-mile radius...
3/23/2012 10:29:53 AM
hughie says:
so much for thunder bay being on the rise according to ruberto hobbs rydholm mckinnon. thunder bays downward spiral continues and will get worse eventually leading it to fall out of the top 100 and eventually the list all together.

Our local leaders don't know how to tackle the crime issue, they come up with foolishness by handing out awards and buttons,just a waste of taxpayers money.

The city comes up with this clean green and beautiful nonsense and when anybody takes a good look at this city the slogan should be 'dirty brown and rundown'.
3/22/2012 9:53:17 AM
kayakjay says:
i agree. It sounded like Hobbs had a good thing going during the campaign, but every time someone tries to make a change (or suggest one) someone cries about it being too expensive or racism. Many of the people that live here don't call this their home. They want to go "home" but this is where the services and health care are. When my grand mother is ready for long term care she will HAVE to come here. This will never be her home, but she probably doesn't have the energy to break in to cars and start fires.
3/26/2012 5:08:35 PM
youngintbay says:
hey abby you forgot Water st too.
3/22/2012 9:54:46 AM
PurpleLeaves says:
TBDR & Wayne:

It doesn't matter what you, me or Hobbs thinks about these rankings, its the readers from outside the city who hold the power here. You guys and Hobbs can hide in your blankies and rah-rah "We're Number One!" but if someone was on the fence of moving their business, family, livelihood to this city, a 46 ranking isn't going to entice.
3/22/2012 9:55:11 AM
jubjub says:
Relax people. 46 out of 190 is actually pretty good (if you are taking these rankings seriously.) We still beat out Toronto, Sault St Marie, Sudbury, Montreal and 144 other cities. They should have reworded the headline to "Thunder Bay in top 25% of best Canadian Cities to live in".

I don't think anybody with half a brain would make a decision to live somewhere by reading an article. I doubt people will stop moving to 150th placed Montreal because of this article. Most people move because of a job, everything else can be dealt with.
3/22/2012 1:04:59 PM
TBDR says:
the problem as is clearly demonstrated in the comments, is that many of the doomsayers in here don't half that half brain...
3/22/2012 7:05:57 PM
abby says:
.... is that many of the doomsayers in here don't "HALF" that half brain???? did you mean have? lol
3/22/2012 10:00:28 PM
wayne says:
PurpleLeaves, you just don't get it. But that's fine. You can join the Facebook group, "Why I hate Thunder Bay, but still live here"
3/22/2012 10:56:21 PM
PurpleLeaves says:
What am I missing then big fella? Your's and Hobbs' optimism? Have you not noticed that our population is on a decline? Do you know what a decline in population means to an economy? Wayne, I moved to Alberta for 2 years and have been back now for 12, so I do love this town but it is broken and needs to be fixed. Again, hiding in your blankie is not bringing people to this city.
3/23/2012 12:51:22 PM
The Wolf says:
How serious can you take any poll where you can swing so violently from 127th to 20th to 46th etc etc within a 5 year span when virtually nothing has changed????????????????????????
3/23/2012 12:41:54 AM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Because things have been changing lots ELSEWHERE ELSE...Thunder Bay is frozen in time, and pieces are starting to crumble, paper mills, lumber yards, smart people...they patch up the holes with gov't welfare money and crony-enriching feel-good stuff n' such.
3/23/2012 10:36:48 AM
yellowsnow says:
I would hope that a magazine article wouldn't sway someone from considering moving here, and that they would do more research. Hopefully they don't come to this site and read all the negativity though. That would definately turn someone off...
3/23/2012 8:30:31 AM
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