The happiest city in Canada is . . . Sudbury – by Robin Levinson King (Toronto Star – April 22, 2015)

Sudburians – Jason from We Live Up Here on Vimeo.

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

Many assume that wealth is a sign of happiness — but early research shows that health and community belongingness are better at predicting life satisfaction.

Sudbury has the most happy people out of any city in the country. But Heather McTaggart already knew that.

Although she left the town in her early 20s, she moved back in 2012 to study midwifery at Laurentian University. “I keep moving away,” she said. “But I had to come back to Sudbury.”

With its giant smokestack and remote location at the top of Georgian Bay, few would consider Sudbury a must-see destination.

But the city of about 160,000 has the most happy people in the country, according to Statistics Canada. About 45 per cent of Sudbury’s residents rated their life satisfaction as a nine or a 10. Toronto ranked second last, behind Vancouver, with only 34 per cent ranking their happiness as a nine or a 10.

McTaggart, who grew up in the city but moved to Ottawa a few years ago, said that when she came home she was welcomed back into a vibrant community filled with young people excited to build their lives.
“It’s definitely the sense of community,” she said.

McTaggart can go on at length about the places she likes to visit in Sudbury — cookies at Cafe Petit Gateau, picnics at Ramsey Lake with friends or cocktails at her brother’s speakeasy-style bar.

The way she describes it, Sudbury might not have the same quantity of things to do as bigger cities, but what it has, people actually use.

“We have a lot of organized runs, a lot of people congregate around the boardwalk,” she said. “In the summer Sudbury is so beautiful, everybody’s out.”

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