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Vancouver, gulp, is less green than Lethbridge or Guelph: survey

City ranked eighth as Canada’s greenest city, with Kelowna taking the top spot
Vancouver earned a 54.4 out of 100 score for being green. | Chung Chow

Despite a decades-long drive to become “Canada’s greenest city”, Vancouver has been ranked in eighth place out of 10 as the greenest city in the country in a Toronto-based survey.

The survey, by Greater Toronto Home Pros, is meant to establish Canada’s greenest cities to live in. Data was collected from several sources, with different metrics such as walkability score, parks, green space and transit into a 10-point index.

The top green city, the study found, is Kelowna, B.C., with an index reading of 70.63.

“Kelowna ranks as the greenest city in Canada. Blessed with abundant natural beauty, it’s not surprising that the city ranks No. 1 on this list. A major contribution to this is the city’s pedestrian-friendly and cycle-friendly scoring. On the index, it scored a perfect 10 for both,” the survey states.

Vancouver, on the other hand, was ranked No. 8 with a green score of 54.45.

“Vancouver has a public transit score of 9.09, as with any big city. It has a strong public transport infrastructure. On the index, it has a walkability score of 8.13, a cycling score of 7.01, and an air quality score of 22.77,” the survey noted. 

Ahead of Vancouver was No.7 ranked Guelph, Ontario. The index ranks it as 9.69 as pedestrian friendly and 9.10 as a cycling-friendly city. It has 34 hiking trails, when put against its population of 143,740, scores it on the index 5.63 out of 10. Guelph has a combined air quality of 18 helping finalize its green score of 56.16. 

Also leading Vancouver was Lethbridge, Alberta, with a 66.53 score and a No. 2 ranking.

“Lethbridge, populated at 98,406, ranks second as Canada’s greenest city. Lethbridge has a lot of park space which helps to position it on this list. The city is blessed with an abundance of green beauty, with 23.3 per cent parkland of city land and 30 hectares of green space per 1,000 residents. Lethbridge is considered somewhat walkable scoring 3.44 on the index however cycling is a little better, scoring 4.93. The city has 48 hiking trails alongside six community gardens/urban farms alongside a combined air quality index score of 28.73,” the survey found.

The complete rankings for the greenest cities were:

• No. 1 Kelowna,

• No. 2 Lethbridge

• No. 3 Fredericton

• No. 4 North Vancouver

• No.5 Halifax

• No. 6 Waterloo

• No. 7 Guelph

• No.8 Vancouver

• No. 9 Saanich

• No. 10 Thunder Bay.