Photo: Perry Quan

What makes a livable city? According to MoneySense magazine, affordability, population growth, weather and culture all have a role to play in creating a desirable home. And when taking all these factors into account, one Canadian city comes out on top.

In the magazine’s annual “Best Places to Live” ranking, Oakville was named number one, edging out two-year frontrunner Ottawa.

The ranking gathers data on 415 cities across the country, and measures them in 10 categories: Wealth and economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, amenities and culture.

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“This year, Oakville knocked Ottawa…off its throne,” reads the report. “It was close, but Oakville managed to beat out Ottawa by scoring high in a broad range of the areas examined by the Best Places to Live ranking, placing in the top 25 per cent of all cities in six out of 10 categories.”

So how will the ranking affect the city’s housing market? According to Oakville-based realtor Dan Cooper, it’s bound to have some positive effect.

“Oakville has always done well for itself when it comes to real estate, because it’s a lakeside community and a reasonable driving distance from Toronto,” he tells Livabl. “I think there are a lot of people who want to be able to buy homes in communities where they can drive to work.”

Cooper says that, as home buyers have become priced out of the Toronto market, many have opted to buy in Oakville instead, where prices are slightly lower.

He also notes that, while the city experienced the same dip in sales as the rest of the country this January, he’s seen a pick up in activity over the last month.

“We saw the same slump everyone did, but I do expect sales to build again over the fall and into next year,” he says. “A slow steady path to recovery seems likely.”

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