Study shows Montreal is a great place to live — despite a lagging economy

A new study suggests something many Montrealers already know — our quality of life is fantastic, even though its economy lags behind other major North American cities.

The Institut du Québec has come out with its third annual ranking of 15 North American cities based on five factors: economic vitality, human capital, innovation, quality of life and attractiveness.

The study, done in conjunction with Montreal's Chamber of Commerce and the group Montreal International, shows Montreal ranks 2nd out of 15 in terms of quality of life, behind only Minneapolis, and just ahead of Toronto and Seattle, tied for third.

Our city also ranked 7th in terms of attractiveness. Toronto, Seattle and Vancouver placed one-two-three in that department.

But in terms of Montreal's economic factors, we're well behind other major North American centres — next to last in terms of economic growth and activity.

The Institut du Québec's associate director, Jean-Guy Côté, says Montreal's plusses and minuses have changed little over the three years the survey has been running.

"You will not have the money that you have in Silicon Valley, but the quality of life is pretty interesting," he says. "The cost of rents is so low, the criminality is low, too, especially compared to cities in the United States."

He does suggest, however, the city is improving bit by bit, and he hopes the city continues to play to its strengths.

The survey compared Montreal with Toronto, Vancouver, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego.

-CJAD 800's Emily Campbell contributed to this report.