Nov 30, 2022

By Jeremy Logan

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According to a new environmental scorecard, Canada’s largest cities score worse than the majority of its small and medium-sized communities, but a closer examination of the data reveals some unexpected results.

Using nine health-related characteristics, including air quality, heat and cold waves, U.V. radiation, access to green spaces, and other factors, the study, which was published on Tuesday in the journal Environment International, ranks 30 cities and towns.

Researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax have combined the findings in a new Canadian Environmental Quality Index.

The main cities in Canada, including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton, had scores that were rather low, according to the study’s senior author and professor at Dalhousie, Daniel Rainham, but some of their neighbourhoods, particularly in Toronto, had high scores.

Medium-sized and small cities scored the highest, including Victoria, Sherbrooke, Quebec, and the Ontario cities of London, Guelph, Barrie, Kitchener and Kingston with Regina, Halifax and Moncton, New Brunswick, also making the top 10.

On the other end of the spectrum, one small city, Kelowna, British Columbia, scored lower than the majority of the major cities, yet several of its neighbourhoods obtained the highest ratings.

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