Lloydminster ranked in third place in MoneySense’s “Canada’s Best Places to Live - Reader’s Choice” contest with 73 votes. They finished behind Trois-Pistoles, Que., which got 78 and St. Albert, Alta., which led with the pack with 359.
The city was submitted to the MoneySense website by the crew at the Lloydminster Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), in an effort to bring more exposure to Lloydminster as a good place to settle down.
“It certainly made us happy,” said CEO of LEDC, Ward Read, of the ranking. “It’s nice to have some awareness and recognition and to do well amongst our peers.”
The Reader’s Choice contest is a new feature this year that gives MoneySense readers a chance to show support for their favourite communities. It accompanies their general contest that, according to their website, internally ranks municipalities on criteria like job prospects, affordability, weather and dozens of other factors to get the big picture of each place’s overall livability.
This year, 209 communities were ranked in the general contest and of those, Lloydminster came in 148th, which Read says was quite a bit lower than last year.
“I think we were certainly below 100, I think in the 70s or 80s, if I recall,” he said of 2014’s survey. “So we’ll have to have a good look at the ranking system to see why that happened.”
There are many factors that Read thinks makes Lloydminster a great place to live, including the opportunities that come from straddling the border of two provinces. This gives residents a chance to link into more sporting, cultural, and economic options they might not get living in a traditional city.
He says people can be more confident that they’ll find work here, earn income and support their families as well as give themselves more opportunities for things to do for fun and grow.
“It’s really second to none,” he said. “When you put those things together, the economic activity and family and personal opportunity, it’s a great place.”
It’s common knowledge to many that Lloydminster has a high population of transplants from other communities near and far. Read himself is from south of Saskatoon and his team at LEDC come from places like Maidstone, Turtleford and as far away as Ontario, none of them being born and raised right in Lloydminster.
He says he also knows of many others that moved to town a long time ago and “just never left.”
“It being a first-rate place to run a business, a number of people I interact with are business owners and I’ve certainly heard that without question. But beyond that it’s really been the sense of community, and to sort of compare ourselves to our friends to the north in Wood Buffalo, our real strength is, of course, the economy but some of the community features aren’t there as strongly,” he said.
“Like here for instance, in Lloydminster you can do kindergarten right through to a bachelor’s degree without leaving the community. Not many communities have that opportunity. And with athletics, sports and culture it’s kind of off the map with how strong that is.”
The group at the LEDC plans to enter the Border City into the contest again next year, but this time with with a bit more preparation in hopes of improving the town’s placing.
“We will definitely take any opportunity where we can to work and try to make sure both people inside of our community recognize it as great and that we show and tell others that are not in Lloydminster,” Read said. “If MoneySense chooses to offer this, we will definitely jump on it and try to be more co-ordinated and see if we can catch that top spot.”