A New Best Cities In The World Ranking Is Out & Montreal's Position Plummeted

We're 57th... Even Denver beat us...

Staff Writer
The Montreal skyline from Mount Royal in winter.

The Montreal skyline from Mount Royal in winter.

After ranking #8 in Wanderlust's list of the most desirable cities, Montreal is facing a much harsher judgment in this year's World's Best Cities list, published on November 11 by Resonance Consultancy.

Last year, Montreal barely made it into the top 50, ranking at No. 48, far behind Toronto, which landed at No. 18. This year, both cities have slipped down the list, with Toronto maintaining its lead at No. 24 and Montreal landing at a measly 57th place, following Denver, Colorado.

Resonance Consultancy says it compiles its annual ranking by "using a combination of statistical performance and qualitative evaluations by locals and visitors" in the world's biggest cities. Those evaluations fall into the six categories of place (or "the perceived quality of [a city's] natural and built environments"), product ("a city’s key institutions, attractions and infrastructure"), programming, people ("the educational attainment level of the city’s population and the percentage of people participating in the labour force"), prosperity (including GDP per capita and level of income equality) and promotion (the number of references to a city in the media and the number of online recommendations).

Despite what the company calls Montreal's "convivial-above-all" attitude (citation needed), it criticizes the city's health care network, pointing to the high number of COVID-19 deaths in senior residences, which the consultancy said has "exposed the ugly underbelly of an underfunded system."

It's tough criticism, but the list admits Montreal still ranks highly in income equality around the world, coming in at No.12. Resonance also credits Montreal's "smoldering indie music scene, digital placemaking and playful creativity on every street corner," which soothes the burn a little.

Toronto, the highest-ranked Canadian city on the list this year, doesn't suffer under the same critical eye, instead receiving praise for its "diversity and education," which Resonance Consultancy credits for the city's success in business and higher learning.

The next-highest ranked Canadian city, after Montreal, is (surprisingly enough) Calgary at No. 65. Although Calgary is criticized for its unemployment rate, "one of the highest unemployment rates among Canadian cities over the past year," according to Resonance Consultancy, its affordable real estate and high GDP compared favourably to the rest of Canada.

Maybe Montreal's charm will save us next year. Perhaps someday we may even beat Toronto.

Willa Holt
Staff Writer
Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused on apartments for rent and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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