Yesterday, the Conference Board of Canada released a report ranking the best places in Canada to live and work. 50 cities and towns were given a grade from A to D representing how attractive they are as destinations for skilled workers to choose.

The regions were assessed by the following factors: society, health, economy, environment, education, innovation and housing. The report notes, “Attracting skilled workers is crucial to the competitiveness of Canada and its cities. Communities that fail to attract new people will struggle to stay prosperous and vibrant.”

According to the Conference Board, only six cities in Canada receive top marks. Waterloo, Calgary, Ottawa, Richmond Hill, Vancouver, and St. John’s were all given the A grade as the country’s top place to live. That means, these regions are seen as destinations of choice for a mobile workforce, for reasons such as their strong economy, culture of innovation, or overall high quality of life.

Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, and Halifax all fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.

At the bottom end of the rankings 13 cities were given the D grade, receiving low marks for economy, innovation, society and education. Hamilton, Brampton, Greater Sudbury, Windsor, Barrie, St. Catharines, Brantford, Cambridge, Oshawa, Abbotsford, Trois-Rivières, and Saint John all showed little population growth or prospects for attracting new skilled workers.

The Conference Board’s complete list of Canada’s best and worst cities to move to for work:

A-List cities with a “strong magnetic pull”

B-list cities – the second tier for “magnetic appeal”

    Burnaby, BC
    Coquitlam, BC
    Edmonton, AB
    Halifax, NS
    Kingston, ON
    Markham, ON
    Toronto, ON
    Mississauga, ON
    Oakville, ON
    Quebec City, QC
    Regina, SK
    Saskatoon, SK
    Victoria, BC
    Winnipeg, MB

C-List cities with “room for improvement”

    Burlington, ON
    Gatineau, QC
    Guelph, ON
    Kelowna, BC
    Kitchener, ON
    Laval, QC
    Levis, QC
    Longueuil, QC
    Moncton, NB
    Montreal, QC
    Richmond, BC
    Sherbrooke, QC
    Surrey, BC
    Thunder Bay, ON
    Vaughan, ON

D-grade cities that are “struggling to attract”

    Abbotsford, BC
    Barrie, ON
    Brampton, ON
    Cambridge, ON
    Guelph, ON
    Hamilton, ON
    Oshawa, ON
    Saint John, NB
    St. Catharines, ON
    Sudbury, ON
    Trois-Rivieres, QC
    Windsor, ON

Read the full report: City Magnets: Attracting and Retaining Skilled Workers to Canadian Cities.

See also:

Canada’s hottest city for economic growth in 2014?
The places where Canadians are making the most money, by province
Canada’s best and worst cities for the fall hiring season
The Canadian Cities with the longest commutes

Peter Harris

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