HAPPINESS INDEX

Now, let's find your happy place!

We live in one of the world's happiest countries. But where, exactly, are we happiest? To answer that question, we asked people in two of Canada's most vibrant cities—Toronto and Vancouver—which characteristics of their communities bring them the most joy, then ranked the top neighbourhoods based on their proximity to each.

TOP GTA NEIGHBOURHOODSTOP METRO VANCOUVER NEIGHBOURHOODS

HAPPINESS INDEX

59% say proximity to parks and other outdoor spaces is a big happiness booster

59%

Top 5 neighbourhoods for the outdoor enthusiasts

Study after study shows that spending time in the great outdoors can lower your stress levels and boost your mood.¹ So it's no surprise that the #1 priority for people looking to move to a new neighbourhood is proximity to parks and other green spaces.

1

2

3

4

5

Thistletown
Etobicoke

NEIGHBOURHOOD SPOTLIGHT

This historic GTA neighbourhood has been an oasis for outdoor lovers since its outset. Bordered by the Humber River, Thistletown is home to Etobicoke’s oldest park (Village Green Park, FYI) and a near-endless number of picturesque hiking and biking trails.

See homes for sale in Thistletown

The Elms
Etobicoke

Humberlea
Etobicoke

O'Connor-Parkview
East York

Sonoma Heights
York

say proximity to parks and other outdoor spaces is a big happiness booster

THISTLETOWN

THISTLETOWN

45% say living close to ample restaurants, bars, and coffee shops is crucial

45%

say living close to ample restaurants, bars, and coffee shops is crucial

Food and happiness go hand in hand. When you eat or drink something delicious, your brain releases dopamine—aka the “happy hormone”²—which ultimately means that living near lots of good food can, quite literally, improve your mood.

Top 5 neighbourhoods for the insatiable foodies

Milliken Mills West 
Markham

1

2

4

5

3

Little Italy
Toronto

Harbord Village
Toronto

Bickford Park
Toronto

Trinity Bellwoods
Toronto

NEIGHBOURHOOD SPOTLIGHT

MILLIKEN MILLS WEST

No matter what you’re craving, trust you’ll be satisfied by the delicious fare you’ll find just minutes from your doorstep in Milliken Mills West. For an authentic experience, head to one of the area’s top-rated Asian restaurants. Your stomach will thank you.

See homes for sale in Milliken Mills West

MILLIKEN MILLS WEST

21% say it’s necessary to have a selection of schools and childcare options nearby

say it’s necessary to have a selection of schools and childcare options nearby

21%

You know the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child"? Clearly, quite a few people agree—because more than one-in-five GTA residents rank proximity to multiple childcare and school options as a must-have when they're on the hunt for a new home.

Top 5 neighbourhoods for taking care of the kids

Bickford Park
Toronto

1

2

Banbury
North York

Little Italy
Toronto

3

4

Maple Leaf
North York

Oakridge
Scarborough

5

NEIGHBOURHOOD SPOTLIGHT

BICKFORD PARK

If you’re raising your kids in the big city (aka Toronto), Bickford Park is the place to be. On top of its pristine playgrounds and community centres, the family-friendly neighbourhood has no shortage of daycares, schools, and alt-ed programs for you to choose from.

See homes for sale in Bickford Park

BICKFORD PARK

FOOD & DRINK

rate as a top priority

45%

OUTDOOR SPACE

59%

rate as a top priority

rate as a top priority

21%

CHILDCARE/ SCHOOLS

THE GTA

Happiest neighbourhoods based on access to:

RECREATION

rate as a top priority

20%

20% want a neighbourhood with an endless supply of new activities to try

want a neighbourhood with an endless supply of new activities to try

20%

One of the best ways to avoid boredom and boost your mood is by living in an area with readily available recreational activities (like open sports or public art classes). Not only will you have more fun, but studies show you'll also be a lot happier.³

Top 5 neighbourhoods for more delightful downtime

Trinity Bellwoods
Toronto

1

2

Downtown Brampton
Brampton

Bracondale Hill
Toronto

3

4

Harbord Village
Toronto

Bickford Park
Toronto

5

NEIGHBOURHOOD SPOTLIGHT

TRINITY BELLWOODS

Outsiders recognize Trinity Bellwoods for its park, but the people who've settled down here stay for everything else the area has to offer, from its bustling arts scene and community cultural centres to its colourful streets lined with locally-owned shops.

See homes for sale in Trinity Bellwoods

TRINITY BELLWOODS

Viktor Bystrov via Unsplash

COMMUNITY

rate as a top priority

7%

7% prioritize living in a place where their neighbours feel more like family

prioritize living in a place where their neighbours feel more like family

7%

We're social creatures, which is why community connection (ideally the in-real-life kind) has the power to significantly raise our spirits. It's science!⁴ So naturally, being able to bond with their neighbours is a top priority for many people when they move.

Top 5 neighbourhoods for community connection

Humber Summit
North York

1

2

Milliken Mills West
Markham

Amesbury
North York

3

4

Humbermede
North York

Seaton Village
Toronto

5

NEIGHBOURHOOD SPOTLIGHT

HUMBER SUMMIT

What started as a pioneer settlement has since developed into a diverse yet incredibly close-knit community. Humber Summit’s residents come from countless ethnic and religious backgrounds, most with their own local cultural centre and place of worship.

See homes for sale in Humber Summit

HUMBER SUMMIT

55% say proximity to parks and other outdoor spaces is a big happiness booster

55%

Top 5 neighbourhoods for the outdoor enthusiasts

Study after study shows that spending time in the great outdoors can lower your stress levels and boost your mood.¹ So it's no surprise that the #1 priority for people looking to move to a new neighbourhood is proximity to parks and other green spaces.

1

2

3

4

5

West Point Grey
Vancouver

NEIGHBOURHOOD SPOTLIGHT

Whether you’re a fan of sand, swimming, or sunbathing, West Point Grey is where it’s at. One of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods, this beachfront community (which is just a quick commute from the big city) is beloved for its serene, small-town sensibility.

See homes for sale in West Point Grey

Port Haney
Maple Ridge

Albion
Maple Ridge

Citadel
Port Coquitlam

University Endowment Lands
Vancouver

say proximity to parks and other outdoor spaces is a big happiness booster

WEST POINT GREY

WEST POINT GREY

Christian Bowen via Unsplash

50% say living close to ample restaurants, bars, and coffee shops is crucial

50%

say living close to ample restaurants, bars, and coffee shops is crucial

Food and happiness go hand in hand. When you eat or drink something delicious, your brain releases dopamine—aka the “happy hormone”²—which ultimately means that living near lots of good food can, quite literally, improve your mood.

Top 5 neighbourhoods for the insatiable foodies

Golden Village
Richmond

1

2

4

5

3

Windsor
Burnaby

Downtown Vancouver
Vancouver

West End
Vancouver

Grandview - Woodland
Vancouver

NEIGHBOURHOOD SPOTLIGHT

GOLDEN VILLAGE

Go on a gastronomic journey across East Asia from the comfort of home in Vancouver's Golden Village. And for a special treat, head north of the neighbourhood to Richmond's iconic summer Night Market to sample the best of all its local eats (and drinks!).

See homes for sale in Golden Village

GOLDEN VILLAGE

18% say it’s necessary to have a selection of schools and childcare options nearby

say say it’s necessary to have a selection of schools and childcare options nearby

18%

You know the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child"? Clearly, quite a few people agree—because almost one-in-five Vancouver residents rank proximity to multiple childcare and school options as a must-have when they're on the hunt for a new home.

Top 5 neighbourhoods for taking care of the kids

Ranch Park
Coquitlam

1

2

Central Coquitlam
Coquitlam

Saunders
Richmond

3

4

Eagle Ridge
Coquitlam

Steveston North
Richmond

5

NEIGHBOURHOOD SPOTLIGHT

RANCH PARK

Parents come to Ranch Park for its unrivalled mountain views but stay because it’s one of Metro Vancouver’s best places to raise a family, thanks to a wide range of educational and childcare programs, large lot sizes, plentiful parks, and top-notch transit system.

See homes for sale in Ranch Park

RANCH PARK

FOOD & DRINK

rate as a top priority

50%

OUTDOOR SPACE

55%

rate as a top priority

CHILDCARE/ SCHOOLS

rate as a top priority

18%

METRO VANCOUVER

Happiest neighbourhoods based on access to:

RECREATION

rate as a top priority

19%

19% want a neighbourhood with an endless supply of new activities to try

want a neighbourhood with an endless supply of new activities to try

19%

One of the best ways to avoid boredom and boost your mood is by living in an area with readily available recreational activities (like open sports or public art classes). Not only will you have more fun, but studies show you'll also be a lot happier.³

Top 5 neighbourhoods for more delightful downtime

Queensborough
New Westminster

1

2

Uptown
New Westminster

Willowbrook
Langley

3

4

Burnaby Heights
Burnaby

Riley Park
Vancouver

5

NEIGHBOURHOOD SPOTLIGHT

QUEENSBOROUGH

Historically a hub for new immigrants, Queensborough has always put its diversity on full display. Long-standing community and cultural centres are the backbone of the area, which is quickly becoming one of Metro Vancouver's most popular places to live.

See homes for sale in Queensborough

QUEENSBOROUGH

10% prioritize living in a place where their neighbours feel more like family

prioritize living in a place where their neighbours feel more like family

10%

We're social creatures, which is why community connection (ideally the in-real-life kind) has the power to significantly raise our spirits. It's science! So naturally, being able to bond with their neighbours is a top priority for many people when they move.

Top 5 neighbourhoods for community connection

Sunset
Vancouver

1

2

Douglas-Gilpin
Burnaby

Oakridge
Vancouver

3

4

Victoria-Fraserview
Vancouver

East Cambie
Richmond

5

NEIGHBOURHOOD SPOTLIGHT

SUNSET

This South Vancouver neighbourhood (aka the most ethnically diverse area of the city) is a mosaic of multiculturalism. Everyone is welcome here! Especially in the heart of Sunset: its Community Centre, complete with a gym, playground, dance studio, and more.

See homes for sale in Sunset

SUNSET

COMMUNITY

rate as a top priority

10%

ADDITIONAL FINDINGS

We asked the same people across the GTA and Metro Vancouver (the majority of whom report loving where they live⁵, by the way) how much the following factors contribute to their happiness at home.

Health really is wealth! According to the survey, being close to activities that promote a healthy lifestyle has a huge positive impact on people’s happiness.

More than half of survey respondents said having cultural or social ties to their neighbourhoods is essential in boosting their happiness levels.

Activities for living a healthy life

Social and cultural connections

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2

82%

GTA 
residents

74%

Vancouver
residents

59%

GTA
residents

61%

Vancouver
residents

GTA residents

Vancouver residents

GTA residents

Vancouver residents

2. Social and cultural connections

1. Activities for living a healthy life

METHODOLOGY

In partnership with Maru/Blue, we surveyed 1,624 residents (aged 18+) in Ontario and British Columbia from June 1-3, 2022 to understand the impact that "access to activities that promote a healthy lifestyle" and "cultural/social ties to their neighbourhood" has on their happiness, as these were identified as key indicators of happiness by the World Happiness Report. We asked these same respondents to rank which factors (or "happiness indicators") contribute most to their happiness at home.

With the top happiness indicators identified, we pulled data points from multiple sources⁶ and merged those with our neighbourhood boundaries⁷ to determine the number of neighbourhood features (e.g. the number of playgrounds) available per neighbourhood. These data points were then normalized against the total number of properties in the corresponding neighbourhoods (based on sold properties over the past 20 years). Neighbourhoods with less than 1,000 properties were removed.

Once normalized, the data points were converted into rankings by calculating the distance between each data point and the median of all the points across neighbourhoods. A collection of neighbourhood features that best support each happiness indicator were weighted to create an index of neighbourhoods, which were ranked for each happiness indicator.

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Ready to find your happy place?

Browse the latest local listings and discover your dream home using Properly Home Search.

1. https://time.com/5539942/green-space-health-wellness
2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181227111420.htm
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2863117
4. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/ is_social_connection_the_best_path_to_happiness

5. Based on a survey of 797 residents of the Greater Toronto Area and Metro Vancouver, conducted from June 1-3, 2022, 62% of GTA residents and 65% of Vancouver residents are happy with where they currently live
6. Data sourced from StatsCan, Open Street Maps and SafeGraph
7. Neighbourhood boundaries informed by Precisely