A Ranking Of The Best Cities For Students Just Dropped & Montreal Did Not Beat Kingston

It did beat everywhere else, though.

Staff Writer
A view of the city hall in Kingston, Ontario.

A view of the city hall in Kingston, Ontario.

The only city in Canada better than Montreal for students is apparently Kingston, Ontario, according to a ranking by HelloSafe, an insurance and personal finance comparison platform with strong opinions about student well-being and fun-having.

HelloSafe used 18 criteria to determine the best cities for students, creating national and provincial rankings based on excellence, student life, quality of life and attractiveness. No, not the attractiveness of the residents, you weirdo.

"Attractiveness" here is a measure of "the economic opportunities that a city can offer to a population of students who will find themselves on the job market tomorrow." This basically means the city's connectedness via transit to other cities as well as the economic potential offered by the job market (and its proximity to other job markets).

This is partially why Ottawa took first place in the Attractiveness category: it sits "at the crossroads of Quebec and Ontario," has a high average salary and plenty of opportunities for employment in the capital.

The winning city overall only placed third in terms of attractiveness, while Montreal ranked sixth. In somewhat of a shocking upset, Toronto doesn't make it in the top 10 in this category, despite a high ranking in terms of student life.

Embarrassingly, Toronto was beaten out by both Hamilton and Kingston in the overall rankings of best student city in Ontario. Toronto landed at number 10 in the national ranking, while Hamilton took ninth place and Kingston, as we know, completely dominated.

Even HelloSafe's editor-in-chief, Alexandre Desoutter, was surprised by Kingston's trajectory. "Kingston's rise to the top of the list of Canada's best student cities in 2023 will probably come as a surprise to many. I'm one of them!" he wrote.

"However, when looking a little bit deeper, Kingston is more than deserving of this first spot," Desoutter continued. "If the city does not particularly shine in one or another category, it presents an overall balance that allows it to rank well everywhere, whether in terms of academic excellence, student life, living environment or attractiveness."

He also shouted out the high rankings for Montreal, Sherbrooke and Quebec City. These "show that the Belle Province is more than ever a privileged destination for Canadian and international students," according to Desoutter.

Here's HelloSafe's list of the top 10 cities in Canada for students:

  1. Kingston
  2. Montreal
  3. Vancouver
  4. Sherbrooke
  5. Calgary
  6. Edmonton
  7. Quebec City
  8. St. John's
  9. Hamilton
  10. Toronto

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Willa Holt
Staff Writer
Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog, often found covering weird and wonderful real estate and local politics from her home base in Montreal.
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