Thunder Bay has been ranked as the most affordable place to live with the best quality of life in Ontario, and in 10th place overall in Canada by a digital moving concierge service called MovingWaldo.

The ranking was based on two criteria: the average housing price, and house and apartment rental prices based on figures from Statistics Canada, Canadian Real Estate Association, and Zumper. 

Also considered in the data was each city’s quality of life which accounts for health, pollution, green space and recreation, climate, education, and employment opportunities.

MovingWaldo’s report states that the average home price in Ontario is $835,090, a two-bedroom rental averages $2,638, and a one-bedroom rental averages $1,720. In Thunder Bay, the average house sale price is $302,200 and the average rental for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,315.

Philippe Tardif-Michaud, a business development advisor with MovingWaldo, explained the purpose of their annual report is to help people find a place to live based on their preferences, lifestyle and budget and to help them to better prepare and organize their transition.    

He says the funded company, through private equity funding as well as funding from federal, provincial and municipal levels, is a digital moving concierge service that was launched in Quebec in 2016. It offers technology-based property management to streamline moving procedures for individuals and families. They now operate Canada-wide and in parts of the United States.

“We’ll do different types of surveys and studies that can impact one’s decision of where they want to move,” Tardif-Michaud said. “For us, it’s a way to engage with an upper funnel audience of people that will be planning to move and we want these studies to help them make a decision not just on services they will use when moving but way beyond that — even where they will be moving based on their lifestyle.”

With many people reorganizing their life and deciding to move to different cities, Tardif-Michaud says they want to be able to engage with this audience of people who are concerned with the current economy which just might be a trigger for them to start looking for a new place to live. 

“Before the pandemic, individuals and families would move to remote cities like Thunder Bay to pursue work opportunities. It was not possible for most to even consider working away from metropolitan areas,” he told The Chronicle-Journal. “The current economy and changing workplace brings attention to Thunder Bay as an affordable place to live with a good quality of life while securing the benefit offered by jobs that before, were limited to those living in (larger centres). By promoting the affordability and quality of life, Thunder Bay could increase its population and economy to the benefit of local businesses and real estate.”

Tardif-Michaud added, doing a study on the most affordable place to live without compromising the quality of life was one of their top studies. 

“We’ve done it for the province and for Canada as a whole, and we’ve also done a study on safety because we’ve seen a lot of crime, especially in the metropolitan areas such as Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver,” he said. “People are more concerned about security so we wanted to be able to help them based on reliable sources such as Statistics Canada.”

LaSalle, Ont., is ranked as the safest place to live in Ontario while Thunder Bay didn’t make it to the list. 

By Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jan 19, 2023 at 18:35

This item reprinted with permission from   The Chronicle-Journal   Thunder Bay, Ontario

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