LIVABILITY, LIVABILITY, LIVABILITY
The search for home begins in the neighbourhood.
Image: Inglewood, Calgary
"The people that you meet when you’re walking down the street in your neighbourhood” come from all walks of life. But, at the risk of offending Sesame Street, those people have one thing in common.
The 2019 Livability Report from Re/Max found that 89% of Canadians would recommend their neighbourhood to others. The real estate firm used 11 criteria to rank Canadian cities. These included the availability of public transit, access to green spaces and parks, housing affordability, and access to health-care facilities.
The study presents a window into how people make real estate decisions. “When buyers are looking for a home, the search begins at the neighbourhood level,” says Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president, Re/Max of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. ”And the good news is that Canadians have lots of choice when it comes to ‘livable’ cities and neighbourhoods.”
For Calgarians, the good news starts at home. The city ranked high in 7 of the 11 categories and tied with Brampton, Ont. as the most livable in Canada. The report gave Calgary top marks for employment opportunities, access to green spaces, walking paths and bike lanes, population growth and top-rated schools. Inglewood, Hillhurst and Charleswood ranked as the top-3 neighbourhoods. In each case, the report singled out access to green spaces, walkability, the presence of stores and restaurants and the ease of getting around/public transit.
Assessing the livability of neighbourhoods also reveals some of the city’s hidden gem neighbourhoods. Re/Max puts North Haven Upper, Renfrew, Chinook and Meadowgate Park in this category. Of course, affordability remains a big issue. “While price and value are always top of mind for buyers, there are some aspects about a home that you can’t change.” Alexander says. “These liveability factors are what make your home more than just the place you live.” The study found 62% of Canadians say access to shops and restaurants is the most important livability factor. Access to green spaces and parks ranked second at 40%.