Vancouver is still rated Canada's "nicest" city

Even after the Stanley Cup rioters gave Vancouver a nasty black eye (and perhaps a few chipped teeth) earlier this month, the B.C. metropolis still easily topped the rankings in a nationwide survey that asked Canadians to name the country's "nicest" city.

In fact, despite the cruiser-torching, window-smashing, shop-looting rampage that followed the Canucks' disappointing defeat in Game 7 of the NHL finals, Vancouver's own residents helped lift the city to a solid first-place finish in the poll with their unwavering admiration for the place that they live.

The survey of more than 1,500 Canadians, commissioned by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies and carried out during the week of June 21, presented respondents with a list of nine major cities from coast to coast and asked them to name their first and second choice for "nicest city in Canada."

Twenty-five per cent of all Canadians picked Vancouver as No. 1. Quebec City drew the second most votes as Canada's nicest city, with 20 per cent of respondents nationally — and a strong majority of Quebecers — giving the provincial capital the nod.

The percentage of Canadians choosing other cities as nicest were: Ottawa (12 per cent), Montreal (nine per cent), Toronto (nine), Halifax (six), Calgary (four), Edmonton (three) and Winnipeg (two).

Another 11 per cent of those surveyed selected some other unnamed city as the nicest in Canada.

The overall results, noted association executive director Jack Jedwab, partly reflect the fact that Vancouver residents themselves overwhelmingly named their own city the nicest — with 94.7 per cent of those living there convinced there's nowhere better in Canada.

He said such "hometown patriotism," while evident to some degree among residents from each of the cities offered as choices, was strongest in Vancouver.

And people from other parts of the country — while less convinced than Vancouverites themselves about the merits of that city — were still more likely to put Vancouver at the top of the heap than other contenders.

For example, 28 per cent of Alberta residents picked Vancouver as Canada's nicest city, even ahead of Edmonton (18 per cent) and Calgary (16 per cent).

Vancouver also led the results in Ontario with 21 per cent of the first-place votes, more than Ontario's own Toronto (19 per cent) and Ottawa (17 per cent).

"I think it may have gotten a big boost from the Olympics — that extra pride in Vancouver. But it may also be from the Stanley Cup, despite the riots," Jedwab said. "I think that's creating a lot of unanimity around Vancouver being Canada's nicest city."

He said he expects the responses captured a blend of respondents' feelings about each city's urban amenities and natural features (including climate), as well as general impressions about the nature of the people who live there.

On Vancouver Island, just 35 per cent of respondents said Vancouver was Canada's nicest city. More than 50 per cent chose the unidentified "other" option, suggesting the island's residents favoured their own Victoria over any other Canadian city.

Source: Randy Boswell, Postmedia News

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