I just returned from the most marvelous week off over March Break. I went on two trips that were so drastically different, they pretty much represent what many parents in Canada struggle with. Where the heck should we raise our kids?
I spent the first four days with my husband in New York City (with no kids). The energy of Manhattan paired with great weather made us feel like living in a big city is the way to go. The culture, the transit, the walkability, the restaurants, the great parks ...as a born and raised Torontonian, suburbs to city girl, there's a comfort in always being able to find something exciting to do.
We flew back, got a bit settled (read: laundry was done) and then I headed to Southampton, Ontario with the kids to a friend's cottage. On the shores of majestic Lake Huron, I relaxed and enjoyed seeing my kids run free without worry. They played in nature, got dirty, breathed plenty of fresh air.... As a life-long urbanite, I started to see the benefits and the magic of small-town living. I went from "I could see us living in Manhattan" to "I think we should raise children and chickens in the country" in the span of a week!
And lo-and-behold, MoneySense just published their annual list of Best Places to Live in Canada, with a separate list just for families. Here are the top 10:
1. Strathcona County, Alberta (near Edmonton)
2. Burlington, Ontario
3. Calgary, Alberta
4. Red Deer, Alberta
5. St. Albert, Alberta
6. Winnipeg, Manitoba
7. Regina, Saskatchewan
8. Brandon, Manitoba
9. Ottawa, Ontario
10. Edmonton, Alberta
The list skews heavily in favour of Alberta, with larger cities and towns seeming to win out for having more resources.
What do you think? Do you have a preference of where to raise your kids?