City 9th best place to live: Mag – Metro US

City 9th best place to live: Mag

Neither Karni Sweeney nor Mike Caron based their decisions to move to Halifax on ratings.

“I kind of left my heart here when I went out west,” says Sweeney, who recently returned to her home province after spending six years in Calgary, which she found busy and impersonal.

Caron, who works in the financial sector, accepted a transfer to Halifax from Toronto last September, and says the city is the “perfect size,” with natural beauty instead of traffic snarls as a defining characteristic.

According to recently released MoneySense magazine ratings, living here is not quite as desirable as it used to be.

In the publication’s annual list of Canada’s Best Places to Live, Halifax slipped this year to ninth from second of 154 cities. Ottawa took top spot. The ratings were based on prosperity, affordable housing, weather, air quality and lifestyle.

“Is it a matter of importance? Not really,” Mayor Peter Kelly said. “It’s a point to note, and we strive to do better.”

In particular, Kelly says the crime rating, in which Halifax placed 126th, is being addressed in the budget approved this week. Council bumped the proposed police budget by $1.5 million to increase the number of officers addressing violent crimes.

Kelly added density-bonusing built into the Regional Plan should help boost Halifax above its current 73rd-place ranking in affordable housing.