Happiness on the East Coast

Happiness is on the East Coast, at least that’s what recent research from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research says. A survey, designed to gauge the quality of life, as felt by the people themselves has listed the top 10 ‘happiest’ cities as follows:

1. Saint John
2. Quebec City
3. Charlottetown
4, 5. (tied) Moncton, N.B., Kitchener, Ont.
6. St. John’s
7. Saskatoon
8. Regina
9. Winnipeg
10. Halifax

I think it’s no coincidence that 3 of 5 and half of the top 10 most content cities in Canada are in the Atlantic provinces. Top contributing factors to this were the sense of community and trust in neighbors. Sense of community has been something I’ve mentioned numerous times, especially when it was lost, after arriving here in Ontario from PEI, over two years ago. The ability to walk down Queen Street in Charlottetown and know so many people, to just stop and chat with someone spontaneously is something that I’ll always miss. Trust in neighbors and the entire community was quite prevalent as well. Houses would be left unlocked, and not accidentally either.

It’s easy to note that none of the very large cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and so forth made it on the list. I figure large cities came about because they were focal points for industry and work. Unfortunately, the hectic lifestyle that accompanies the climbing of the corporate ladder isn’t very conducive to getting to know neighbors and developing a sense of trust. Making money may allow one to buy things, but it sure doesn’t seem to make people terribly content with their lives.

I’m somewhat surprised that Kitchener made it in the top 5 no less. Must be all the university students.


3 Replies to “Happiness on the East Coast”

  1. I agree. Completely and wholeheartedly.
    That aside I’ve decided to ditch my Sony Cybershot, or as I refer to it: my Sony Crapshot. It’s the worst camera I’ve ever touched. I’m going to go buy myself a nice, big, juicy Canon SD850 IS Digital Elph.

  2. Fantastic! A few years ago I longed for the anonymity of a big city, now I am quite content and have grown to love my new small town.
    You make some very intriguing points, some of which most definitely deserve more discussion (hint, hint).
    “I figure large cities came about because they were focal points for industry and work”. What is the future for cities?

    Especially as more and more focus is put on surveys like the one you have quoted here. In movements such as the “slow food movement” and a rediscovered appreciation for knowing the genealogy of half your community, people are beginning to see that bigger isn’t always better.

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