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There are loads of reasons to settle down in Victoria, British Columbia. It’s big but not too big, it’s right on the ocean, the weather is mild in the winter and the island is beautiful year-round. And for women in particular, there’s now another factor to consider before laying down roots anywhere else in Canada. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives research institute has released a list of the top Canadian cities to live in if you’re a woman, and guess which is leading the pack.

That’s right, the top spot was awarded to the B.C. capital, which is the only city in Canada where more women are employed than men and where women make up nearly 50 per cent of senior managers and elected officials. Impressive, right?

“Statistics will never be a substitute for the full experience of lives lived. But as signposts they mark the spot where more attention is needed from our political leaders and policy-makers,” said Kate McInturff, a senior researcher at CCPA. “We hope they follow through.”

The 25 biggest urban centres in the country were measured for differences between men’s and women’s access to things like economic and personal security, health, education and leadership positions.

Gatineau, followed by two Ontario cities, Hamilton and Kingston, and then Vancouver rounded out the five best cities for women in Canada.

According to McInturff, Hamilton has a smaller gender gap in terms of who’s employed. A lot of women are also being promoted to senior management roles there.

“It’s not looking for which city is the wealthiest or the poorest but rather within a given city, do men and woman have equal access to the things that are available in that city,” explained McInturff.

The least desirable destinations in the nation for the female population? Windsor took the cake, coming in at 25th on the list, while Oshawa, Barrie, Regina and Calgary weren’t much further ahead.

Check out the complete ranking of the cities to find out how your hometown stacks up.

1. Victoria

2. Gatineau

3. Hamilton

4. Kingston

5. Vancouver

6. Quebec City

7. St. John’s

8. Sherbrooke

9. Halifax

10. Toronto

11. Ottawa

12. London

13. Kelowna

14. Abbotsford-Mission

15. Montreal

16. St. Catharines-Niagara

17. Winnipeg

18. Edmonton

19. Saskatoon

20. Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

21. Regina

22. Calgary

23. Barrie

24. Oshawa

25. Windsor

The next time a move is on the table, you may want to consider this list before signing a mortgage or lease in your new city of choice. It could totally change your life.

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