Health Wellness
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Life satisfaction, population health, healthy lifestyle and access to health-care services: Those were the four categories the Conference Board of Canada looked at when compiling its findings for its first-ever City Health Monitor report. The board assigned grades to Canada’s 10 largest cities, essentially ranking the physical and socio-economic health of each one. And the city that took the top spot might surprise you–or not (if you live there).


That’s right, Saskatoon is considered to have the best life satisfaction and healthy lifestyle, followed by Calgary and then Winnipeg.

“All three of these metro areas score an A grade, with each near the top in at least two categories,” read the report. “Indeed, Saskatoon’s strength lies in a first-place ranking in the life satisfaction category.”

Montreal came in last place, receiving a D on its report card. Rather than shame cities, Greg Sutherland, principal economist and lead author of the report, told CBC the rankings are meant to “start a conversation about how healthy our cities are and where we can strive to make improvements.”

Saskatoon offers the best level of life satisfaction, meaning that its residents who are most satisfied with life in general feel healthy and have a sense of belonging to their community. Calgary, on the other hand, has the top ranking when it comes to managing stress, while Vancouver, which ranked sixth overall, came in first when it came to population health.

Halifax and Montreal, unfortunately, are doing pretty poorly. Both cities scored Ds when it came to health conditions, such as hypertension, cancer, risk of stroke and heart disease. The cities also got the same grades for life satisfaction while Ottawa, Quebec City and Toronto did just a touch better.

Sadly, Quebec City residents felt like there was no sense of community, while in Montreal, work stress and dissatisfaction with life in general was bringing them down.

As far as healthcare goes, Winnipeg was at the top. It has the most number of hospital beds for its population and leads the way in the number of specialists per 100,000 people. The Manitoba capital was followed by Edmonton, Quebec City and Ottawa. Last place? Montreal, once again.

The remaining six cities earned a B, with Quebec City, Ottawa-Gatineau, Vancouver, Halifax, Edmonton and Toronto each showing “decent” results in at least one category, though they weren’t that great in others.

The Conference Board of Canada points out the report isn’t meant for the cities to compete with one another; rather, the rankings highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each city to determine what needs improvement. But, let’s be honest, you know there’ll be some competition anyway.

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