Weyburn is the only Prairie community to make the top-50 list of the Best Communities in Canada, as compiled by Maclean’s magazine for 2019.
The Prairies boasts a number of communities that manage to find that rare balance of economic opportunity and housing prices the average person can actually afford. But high crime and cold winters keep most of the Prairies’ towns and cities out of the top of Maclean’s Best Communities ranking, with just 40 per cent of the region’s municipalities ranking better than the median in Canada.
Weyburn, a town of 12,000 about 100 kilometres southeast of Regina, came in 45th overall. Thanks to Weyburn’s rare mix of high average incomes and low housing prices, the community ranked fifth in Canada in the affordability category. It also did well in the wealth and economy category, with a low unemployment rate of 4.7 per cent. Those are the two most heavily weighted categories, helping Weyburn rise to the top of the ranking for the region, according to a Maclean’s spokeswoman.
Regina came in second in the Prairies and 74th across the country, scoring well in population growth, commute, amenities and culture. Regina was Canada’s 33rd-fastest-growing community in 2019, adding 12.7 per cent more residents over the past five years.
Maclean’s annual Best Communities in Canada ranks 415 cities across the country based on 10 categories: wealth and economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, amenities and culture.