Canadian cities have regularly dominated the charts for this study. Last year, Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary ranked 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively. For 2012, Toronto is the only North American city to rank in the top 10. The next North American city is Washington D.C., following at a distant 14th place.
This year, additional factors were introduced such as green space, pollution, internationality, cultural assets, and urban sprawl. These significantly changed the way in which rankings were calculated. According to the new ranking scheme, Toronto scored high for green space, pollution, and internationality. It scored lower for urban sprawl and cultural assets, which was defined by the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in or near its borders.
This new ranking did not surprise Councillor Michael Thompson, who chairs the city’s economic development and culture committee. “There are so many rankings and ratings, (and) in all the rankings I’ve seen, Toronto always fares well.”