Sudburians a happy lot, study finds – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – April 22, 2015)

Sudburians – Suzanne from We Live Up Here on Vimeo.

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Life ain’t all bad in the Nickel City. In fact, it’s great, judging by a new report from Stats Canada. A study released this week shows Sudbury is at or near the top of Canadian cities when it comes to citizen contentment.

Data for the report — titled How’s Life in the City? — was compiled through surveys conducted from 2009 to 2013, with respondents asked to rate their level of life satisfaction on a scale of 0 to 10.

Of the 33 metropolitan areas sampled in the study, Sudbury boasted the highest percentage — 45% — of individuals who rated their life satisfaction as 9 or 10.

Vancouver, often touted as Canada’s prettiest city, ranked way down at the bottom of the same category, with just a third reporting their life satisfaction as a 9 or 10.

The average happiness score among Sudburians — roughly 8.2 — was fourth highest, behind the Quebec communities of Saguenay and Trois Rivieres, and St. John’s, Nfld.

Least happy, on average, were — again — Vancouverites, with Torontonians only marginally more content.

While some media commentators were scratching their heads over the figures on Tuesday — “This makes no sense at all … Someone at Stats Canada must be into the happy sauce,” wrote the National Post’s Kelly McParland — the news came as no surprise to Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger.

“I think it’s a reflection of the community,” he said. “You really get that balanced lifestyle living in Sudbury.”

The mayor, who himself moved back to the city after a stint in southern Ontario, said many are locating here because of the city’s liveability compared to costlier and more congested centres.

“What we found when we did the GS 2025 kickoff is that a lot of people have moved to Sudbury even just recently, and these are the people telling us how much we should really appreciate Sudbury,” he said.

People who have remained in Sudbury, meanwhile, have done so for good reasons, he added.

“Going to summer camp, enjoying the lakes, fishing and hunting and snowmobiling — all these things we can enjoy here are just not as accessible in many parts of Ontario,” he said. “And we’re recognized for just how friendly our citizens are when people come from out of town.”

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