North Cowichan is B.C.’s lowest ranked city to live in at 60th place. (File photo)

Best place to live in B.C.? Finance mag says Fort St. John

Report ranked hundreds of Canadian cities based on affordability and low taxes

The best place to live in B.C. is not Vancouver or Victoria or even Whistler. According to one Canadian finance magazine, it’s Fort St. John.

MoneySense released its list this week entitled Canada’s Best Places to Live 2018, ranking cities based on affordability and low taxes.

Fort St. John ranked 15th, with a population of about 21,000, an unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent, an average household income of $124,134, and an average value of primary real estate costing about $385,760.

Out of the top 50 cities, British Columbia only makes the mark twice more: Whistler in 20th and Squamish in 49th.

Vancouver placed 88th, and Victoria was 264th.

More than half of the top 50 cities are located in Ontario, with the city of Oakville in first. Oakville is also the best place for new Canadians, the third best place to retire, and the fifth best place to raise a family.

For those disappointed in their cities’ ranking, Moneysense said it’s difficult to rank cities based on categories that don’t take into account the “beauty of the sunsets or the passion of the local hockey team’s fans.”

The criteria it uses is based on the following categories: wealth and economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, and amenities and culture.

Each category is given a weight out of 100 points, with the most heavily weighted categories being economy and affordability, followed by health and weather.

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