If you’re one of the fortunate residents of the Waterloo, Ontario area you already know – this is the best place to live! If you aren’t, then you should know what you’re missing. Canada’s Personal finance magazine, MoneySense, voted Waterloo one of Canada’s Best Places to Live. If our area isn’t on your short list of homeownership prospects, it’s time to add it!
A great community is more than just the average rainfall, the bricks and mortar, the streets and government offices. There’s so much that goes into a truly great place to buy a home, raise a family and live your life. Arts, culture, how you work and play all have roles in creating a hometown of stellar quality. The quality of your life is largely dictated by where you choose to spend your time so you have to be careful in choosing a place to live. This is not something you want to leave to chance.
Residents of Waterloo and the surrounding communities all have their own favourite thing about this smaller city with its “big city” features and country panache. It might be their friendly neighbours, an incredible farmers market, that quirky bistro on the corner, an art gallery or a quiet residential street. The folks at MoneySense can’t quantify those things that make Waterloo feel like home. They can, however, explain statistically some of what makes Waterloo a great place to live. Here’s an explanation of what they found when the numbers were crunched.
MoneySense ranks towns and cities by size from small to large. Waterloo is ranked in the category of medium. It’s not too big and it’s not too small. That means you can get a lot of amenities that the bigger metropolitan areas boast, like cultural events and nightlife, without so many of the big city challenges like traffic and pollution. You get the quiet, country feeling without being so isolated and removed from the conveniences of the city. As Goldilocks would say, “it’s just right!”
One of the key metrics for MoneySense’s estimation of a great place to live is the unemployment rate. Our area’s estimated unemployment rate is barely 5%. This is considered to be low in their rankings.
It’s always important to know that the place you live or might choose to move to is thriving economically. However, unemployment is also reflected in a lot of other areas. When unemployment is high, home ownership typically drops and property values may suffer. Studies show that in areas with higher unemployment rates, neighborhood upkeep tends to also suffer and crime rates tend to skew upwards. Having a high rate of employment is a good sign that a town is healthy and thriving.
Income levels are also thriving in Waterloo. MoneySense rates us as having high household incomes with a median income of $83,595. The median discretionary income is listed as being just over $53,594. This is quite good compared to many other areas of the country of a similar size.
Walking, Biking and Using Public Transportation to Work
This might not seem that significant to some but it’s a telling number. About 5.6% of our regional population report regularly walking to work. The number for biking is 2.1% and public transportation usage comes in at 5.4%.
If you’re comparing these numbers to a densely populated metropolitan area, they might look a little puny side-by-side. Yet, if you take into consideration the fact that our area is much less densely populated and it is spread over a large rural community, the numbers start looking a little more impressive.
Strong Arts and Sports Community
The arts and outdoor activities are what add color and depth to our lives. Work needs to be balanced with play and ambition should be countered with culture. Waterloo is ranked very well in this area.
Just over 2% of our population is employed in the arts and recreation field in some way so you can tell that residents support their endeavours. MoneySense gives us a checkmark in the column for a strong arts & sports community.
Waterloo is an excellent choice for your hometown. If you don’t believe those of us who already live here, take a look at MoneySense’s rankings and see what they’ve got to say. When you see how Waterloo stacks up in this national ranking, you’ll come around to our way of thinking too.