Small Canadian cities rank high on environmental scorecard with some surprises

A new environmental scorecard says Canada’s largest cities have lower scores than most small and medium-sized municipalities, but a closer look at the data reveals some surprises.

The study, published Tuesday in the journal Environment International, rated 30 cities and towns on nine health-related indicators, including air quality, heat and cold waves, ultraviolet radiation, access to green spaces and other factors.

The results are compiled in new Canadian Environmental Quality Indexcreated by researchers Dalhousie University in Halifax.

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The study’s senior author and Dalhousie professor Daniel Rainham says Canada’s largest cities – Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton – posted relatively low scores, but some of their neighborhoods scored at the high end, especially in Toronto. .

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Mid-sized and small cities scored highest, including Victoria, Sherbrooke, Que., and the Ontario cities of London, Guelph, Barrie, Kitchener and Kingston — with Halifax, Regina and Moncton, NB, also ranked in the top 10. are making.

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At the other end of the scale, a smaller city — Kelowna, BC — received lower scores than most larger cities, but some of its neighborhoods were rated at the top of the scale.

“It’s not easy to tell a story,” Raynham said in an interview. “Even though the average values ​​can tell you one thing, there is a lot of variability within those cities.”

As an example, he said Toronto has some of the unhealthiest neighborhoods in Canada, although the city ranks near the top of large cities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on November 30, 2022.

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