| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 06:00 am
MoneySense Magazine has confirmed what locals have known all along – when it comes to small cities, St. Albert is the best there is. And if it weren’t for Calgary, St. Albert would be the best city in all of Canada.
St. Albert vaulted up the overall list of the magazine’s annual Canada’s Best Places to Live rankings, from 12th overall in 2012 to second in 2013, behind only Calgary.
The city was also ranked third best in Canada to raise kids, behind Calgary in first place and Blainville, Que.
“I think you have to be proud of the community,” said Mayor Nolan Crouse. “Those rankings are really the combination of many things over many decades, building the community.”
The MoneySense story describing St. Albert as the best small city pointed to the city’s abundance of activities, from the International Children’s Festival to the farmers’ market and the networks of trails and dozens of outdoor rinks. It even quoted St. Albert resident and former NHL player Chris Joseph saying, “Every weekend there is something going on. I love everything about St. Albert.”
“Whether it’s MoneySense, Macleans or (the Real Estate Investment Network), every magazine, every ranking gets St. Albert ranked in one of the top areas and I think that’s a tribute to the past,” said Crouse.
The magazine arrives at its rankings by examining several different elements such as weather, commute, demographics, crime, wealth and amenities, then ranks the cities both by population and overall.
St. Albert’s ranking has been on something of a rollercoaster since 2011 when it came in fifth. In 2012 it dropped to 12th before rebounding this year to second.
It was the second first-place finish for the city just this week. On Tuesday, just prior to the magazine’s publication, St. Albert also received an award for its botanical arts brand at the Garden Tourism Awards at the Garden Tourism Conference, held every other year.
Specifically the brand won the 2013 Initiative of the Year. Joan Barber, manager of marketing and research for the economic development division, was on hand to accept the award.
“I think it’s very exciting,” she said. “I think this award says our brand is authentic, that people are noticing the difference,” Barber said.
Instead of self-nominating, recipients have to be nominated by an outside party. The Garden Tourism Conference also has an international feel with guests visiting from other continents.
Barber was particularly pleased when, on Wednesday, the MoneySense results were announced while she was still at the Garden Tourism Conference.
“There were a lot of people saying, ‘Wow. I have to come visit.’”