Hey, remember last week when I made fun of your city but it was all in good fun and oh God please don’t drown me in your water I’m sorry THEY WERE JUST JOKES? If not, click here to see part 1 of the best places to live in Canada.
Unfortunately for people west of Ontario, I didn’t get around to making fun of any western Canadian cities. That all changes today, friends. And stay tuned until the end, where I’ll reveal Canada’s best city. You’ll want to start packing your bags now.
Pros: Warm during the winter, mountains and ocean nearby
Cons: Everybody is high 24/7, crazy riots, expensive real estate, it never stops raining
First up today is Vancouver, the place you go when you never want to see sunshine ever again. This could be a plausible explanation why everybody is high all the time, actually. Much like Toronto, Vancouver’s downtown is an odd mix of modern and historic, making it a nice place to spend an afternoon. Except when you accidentally wander onto East Hastings and some heroin addict stabs you with a dirty needle for making eye contact.
Whatever you do, don’t even go outside when the Canucks lose. Unless it’s cold and you’d like to warm up your hands over a nice police car fire. That’s kinda a moot point anyway, since real estate is so expensive in Vancouver that you’re forced to live in Burnaby or Surrey, suburbs 16 hours away from downtown.
Pros: Everyone makes a billion dollars, potential random meeting with Nelson
Cons: Good luck finding a place to live, winter is terrible, urban sprawl
You know how downtown Toronto is filled with Bay Street douchebags? Calgary’s version of that is an army of middle managers working at oil company head offices, who are always eager to point out their Audis and Mercedeses whenever they go out to 17th avenue to impress the ladies. Calgary ladies eat this crap up, because apparently the next best thing to having some soul-crushing corporate job is landing some dude with a soul-crushing corporate job.
Winter is only made tolerable by the occasional chinook, where the wind blows so hard you just want it to be cold and calm again. Calgary has no culture of any sort, the hockey team is ran worse than a chimp running a banana plantation, and it takes four hours of driving just to get across the city. Why do I live here again?
Pros: Uh… Well…
Cons: Coldest city in the history of ever, screwy-ass street names, crap hockey team, generic and boring
Next up is Edmonton, which has to be the worst city in Canada. If you’ve ever invited to visit, I suggest running away as fast as you can and shrieking like a girl. Where do I even begin?
The weather is terrible. Edmonton makes Calgary seems like a tropical paradise. Hell, Edmonton makes Siberia look like Cancun. At least Calgary gets chinooks. Edmonton gets nothing. When it warms up to minus 25 in the winter everyone takes their coats off and promptly freezes to death. You’d think homeless people would avoid this place, but no, they’re pretty much everywhere.
The hockey team has gotten the first overall draft pick (awarded to the crappiest team from the year before) for THREE STRAIGHT YEARS, and they’re well on pace to make this year four. Oh, and for some reason the streets start at 100th street and 100th avenue, because starting at zero would just make sense. You can either work for the government or for an oil refinery, since those are the only two employers in the whole city. Edmonton is unremarkable in every way.
Pros: Kinda rhymes with… hmm, never mind
Cons: It’s in Saskatchewan, crap football team, middle of nowhere
Have any of you ever drove into Regina? My God, it might be the worst drive of all time. There is nothing between the Alberta border and Regina, and yes, I’m including Moose Jaw. Every 20km there’s a sign for some jerkwater town with 53 inhabitants, (along with 2948294 cows, probably) and for some reason these towns won’t just die. This is terribly inefficient, Saskatchewan.
Regina yearns to be taken seriously yet the rest of the country still can’t do it, even in the midst of the greatest oil boom of all time. Their football team has won three championships in 100 years in an eight team league. You have to try to be that bad. There’s a ten square block area surrounding the football stadium which is comparable to Compton or Harlem for violence and drugs. I guess you get really mad when the only thing your city has is a football team and it sucks.
Pros: Kinda near America making escape easier, hockey team is back
Cons: THE WEATHER, floods every year, it’s Winnipeg, hockey team still sucks
How do any of you live in Winnipeg?
Winnipeg at least used to have cheap housing going for it. Even as the rest of the country’s real estate prices shot up, Winnipeg’s were still reasonable. You could still buy a house for $150k there. Now? That same house is $250k, and all $150k gets you is a place condemned by a meth lab explosion.
And then there’s the weather. Winnipeg gives Edmonton a run for it’s money for the coldest place in the country, and then it gets brutally hot in the summer. The river floods every spring, paving the way for swarms upon swarms of mosquitos in the summer, and yet nobody moves. Winnipeg is full of masochists.
At least the hockey team is back! Oh wait, it still sucks.
I think this sign from The Simpsons summarizes everyone’s feelings about Winnipeg.
Which city wins the coveted title of the best places to live in Canada? Should you drop your bags and move to Vancouver? Or Hamilton? Just kidding. Nobody should move to Hamilton.
And the winner is… MEDICINE HAT
Okay, the winner isn’t really Medicine Hat. It’s just that The Hat has reasonably priced real estate, plenty of jobs, big city amenities, civilized commute times, easy access to nature, and less crime. So do cities like Lethbridge, Windsor, London, Fredericton, or Kamloops.
If you want to do the big city thing while you’re young and single, by all means. But when it’s time to settle down, medium sized cities offer the best of both worlds. Canada has plenty and the U.S. is full of them. They offer some of the best overall living experiences.