Six B.C. cities have been included in a ranking of the top 25 small cities in the country.
The Resonance Consultancy group has released three separate rankings of the best small cities in Canada, the top urban centres in the world, and the leading places in the United States of America.
The company used six categories to determine its rankings, including everything from the city's people (its immigration rate and diversity), to its online promotion (the number of stories, references, and recommendations shared online), to its key attractions and infrastructure, and more.
In regard to the best cities in the world, only one Canadian city, Toronto, made the top 100 list. Canada's largest city landed in the 24th spot and was praised for its economic growth, which is boosted by its embrace of "skilled immigrants."
Top small cities in Canada
B.C.'s capital city, Victoria, ranked at the top of the list of Canada's top 25 small cities, celebrated for its temperate climate, "artisanal" spirit, proximity to sprawling rainforests, and rich history. Tourists can enjoy everything from traditional high tea to sprawling parks that provide awe-inspiring views of the surrounding area.
Report authors note that tourism has also driven the economy as much as government jobs, with the "BC Ferries, two Washington State boats, an armada of summer cruise ships, and the #9-ranked airport among Canadian small cities" contributing to annual revenues of around $2 billion.
Another B.C. city, Kelowna, cinched the second place spot, lauded for its fertile land, lifestyle, and "relative post-pandemic affordability." Surrounded by orchards and vineyards, the prosperous economy has resulted in a population spike over the past two-and-a-half years.
"City boosters claim that the 14 per cent population growth rate makes Kelowna the fastest-growing metropolitan area in Canada. We have it ranked at a still very impressive #5," note the report authors.
North Vancouver was the third B.C. city to make an appearance on the list, placing sixth. Lower Lonsdale, the city's downtown core, is described as an accessible and "magnetic gathering place" that offers spellbinding views.
Kamloops was the fourth B.C. city to appear on the list, taking the 18th spot. Described as a formerly "secret outdoor playground," the central interior city is now a thriving metropolis that is home to several popular wineries, luxury guest ranches, fly-fishing retreats, and even the most golf courses per capita in the country.
Nanaimo, the second-largest city on Vancouver Island and the fifth B.C. city to make an appearance on the list, ranked 20th overall. The city was praised for having the best air quality in the country, "with massive city green spaces like the 90-acre Bowen Park right downtown and mystical mountain lakes a short drive, bike or transit ride away."
Lastly, Saanich was the final B.C. city to make this year's rankings, placing 23rd and lauded as "smart, sustainable, and self-sufficient." The report authors note that many of the city's residents are self-employed and that it's economically diverse.