Delta is the 59th best place in Canada to live, according to Maclean’s magazine’s annual ranking of the best communities in the country.
The city ranked higher than all other Lower Mainland communities with the exception of West Vancouver, which came in 42nd.
Other communities in the region placed as follows: City of North Vancouver (75); Vancouver (112); Port Moody (119); Surrey (140); Coquitlam (142); Pitt Meadows (160); New Westminster (162); District of North Vancouver (168); Richmond (173); Burnaby (175); Abbotsford (189); Maple Ridge (192); Langley Township (201); Port Coquitlam (214); White Rock (236); Chilliwack (245); Mission (263) and Langley City (366).
Salmon Arm was the only B.C. city to crack the top 10, landing at number 6.
According to Maclean’s, the quality of life test ranks communities based on wealth and economy (20 points); affordability (20 points); demographics (6 points); taxes (7 points); commute (10 points); crime (7 points); weather (10 points); health (11 points); amenities (2.5 points); culture and community (5 points).
There are a number of sub-ranking categories that give points to a community based on suitability for families; best place to retire and best for new Canadians.
Delta ranked 41st among places in Canada to retire, 5th in the Lower Mainland behind the City of North Vancouver (8), Vancouver (11), West Vancouver (23) and New Westminster (40).
Delta also placed 12th in Canada (5th in B.C.) for new Canadians. The only Lower Mainland community to score higher was West Vancouver (5).
Maclean’s highlighted culture and community as Delta’s top feature, followed by its weather and amenities.
Information provided by Maclean’s on Delta’s positioning notes that only 1.9 per cent of the population walks to work; 0.5 per cent of people bike to work and 6.6 per cent of the population takes transit.
Under the weather factors, Delta has an average of 155 days per year with rain or snow; 344 days where the temperature is above 0 C and 64 days with the temperature above 20 C.
The city has 72 doctors’ offices — 88 doctors per 100,000 people — and 2.1 per cent of the population is employed in arts and recreation.
Delta’s population of 108,065 (up 4.3 per cent over the last five years) has a median household income of $104,554, with a regional unemployment rate of 4.9 per cent.
The average value of real primary real estate in the municipality is $1,146,307 and Deltan’s pay an average of $2,921 in annual property tax, 1.9 per cent of the average income.
The estimated average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the city is $1,185 per month.
Maclean’s also estimated the city’s five-year average for Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index to be 54, 19 index points below the national average of 73.
The CSI is a national measure of police-reported crime. Unlike the traditional crime rate, which only counts the number of crimes in a jurisdiction, the CSI is a comprehensive measure that takes into account the seriousness of crime — a higher score indicates a greater number and/or greater severity of crimes, and a low CSI rate generally indicates that a community is relatively safe.
The top-ranked communities in order of ranking, are: Burlington (ON), Grimsby (ON), Ottawa (ON), Oakville (ON), New Tecumseth (ON), Salmon Arm (B.C.), Brant (ON), Niagara-on-the-Lake (ON), Russell (ON) and Tecumseh (ON).
The website allows users to re-rank communities by placing more or less emphasis than the magazine did on individual criteria. The full list can be found at macleans.ca/best-communities-canada-2019.
The magazine also released its list of Canada’s 100 richest communities, with Delta sitting at number 29, with an average household net worth of $1,263,460. Delta also ranked as the tenth richest community in B.C.
Topping the list — both for B.C. and Canada — was West Vancouver at $4.45 million. Among communities south of the Fraser, the Township of Langley ranked 21st at just over $1.4 million; Richmond ranked 29th at just over $1.27 million; White Rock ranked 40th at a little under $1.18 million and Surrey ranked 49th at just under $1.08 million.
Property values remain the driving force behind a household’s net worth, the article notes.
— with files from Aaron Hinks and Grace Kennedy