Canada Liveability Report (Fall 2020)

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Local pride is key to restoring post-lockdown liveability

One-third of Canadians concerned about the future liveability of their neighbourhood

Canadians have spent the last six months social-distancing and isolating, and with varying degrees of a second wave of COVID-19 now happening from coast to coast, the majority of Canadians continue to love where they live, but one-third have expressed concerns about the future liveability of their neighbourhood.

In a follow-up to the Liveability Report that was released in the spring, which explored Canada’s best places to live, a new Leger survey conducted  between August 28-30 reveals that nearly 80% of Canadians are happy in their current neighbourhood, after spending more time at home due to COVID-19. However, 34% of Canadians said they are worried that the liveability factors they love about their neighbourhood will change significantly due to the pandemic, such as access to independent businesses and green space. Only 6% of survey respondents reported feeling “very worried.” Urban residents (versus suburban or rural residents) and renters (as opposed to homeowners) were significantly more likely to be concerned about a change in liveability factors.

Liveability is a contributing factor in the best places to live, based on quality of life at a local level. A neighbourhood’s dynamism, or lack thereof, involves a delicate convergence between independent small businesses, public institutions, arts and culture, green spaces and housing, to name a few.

Being under lockdown has also prompted a recent shift in home-buying trends, which includes growing interest in larger homes and properties in suburban and rural areas across the country.

Liveability & Housing Market Insights For Ontario

In Ontario since the start of the pandemic, more time spent in the home has caused people to reflect on the kind of lifestyle they want, which has impacted their perceptions of “liveability.” People want more space in and around their residences, and easy access to local stores close to home. Access to parks and walkability, while always important, have also recently been in higher demand.

Fall 2020 Liveability Survey For Ontario

68% of Canadians would like to see more green/public spaces and dog parks, especially among young Canadians under age 35.
• In Ontario, 74% would like to see more green/public spaces and dog parks

49% of Canadians would like to see more public transit options available in their neighbourhood.
• In Ontario, 53% would like to see more public transit options available.

Since the re-opening of local economies across Canada, 86% of Canadians say that they are making more of an effort to support local businesses in their neighbourhood than they were prior to COVID-19 lockdowns, with 27% stating they always do this. This sentiment is echoed across age, region, area and living situation.

The survey also reveals that 47% of Canadians would like to see more independently owned businesses in their neighbourhood, as opposed to big box stores and chains, which only 28% of Canadians would like to see more of close to home.

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