We're moving on up.
As "Moneysense" magazine released its list of the Best Place to Live 2013, Lethbridge rocketed up the charts, from a 25th overall placing last year to ninth overall this year. What's more, the city ranked fourth in the top 10 mid-sized cities category, behind a pair of Ontario cities at the top, Burlington and Oakville, and British Columbia's Saanich in third.
The eighth annual list, released Wednesday, ranked Lethbridge just ahead of the only other Prairie cities on the mid-sized list, Saskatoon and Regina, as the Saskatchewan cities were fifth and sixth, respectively.
The report took into account a number of factors, which included weather, the local economy, housing and crime. In the Moneysense report, Oakville, Saanich and Lethbridge were separated only by a point, as the report stated the West's economic outlook played a large role in the Alberta and Saskatchewan cities' move up the rankings.
Looking at the numbers, Lethbridge's climate played a factor, as Moneysense reported the city experienced 58.5 days per year with rain and 191.5 days above zero degrees Celsius. Economic factors, with a jobless rate of 4.1 per cent, an average household income at $82,601 and an average home price of $183,491, also played a role.
Calgary took top spot as the best overall city in which to live, while St. Albert (second) and Lacombe (eighth) were the other Alberta entries in the top 10. In terms of our neighbour to the east, Medicine Hat, that city finished in 27th spot.