Calgary Ranked 34th in Annual Best Cities of the World Report

Written by: Gary Davies

Calgary was ranked 34th amongst 175 cities with a population of a million or more people in Resonance Consultancy’s annual Best Cities of the World report.


In the same survey, Toronto ranked 13th to lead all Canadian cities, followed Vancouver at 29th. Other Canadian cities in the survey include Montreal (41st), Ottawa (51st), and Edmonton (60th).

Chris Fair, CEO of Resonance Consultancy – publishers of the annual Best Cities in the World report – revealed the results during CMLC Community Day at the historic St. Louis building, as part of Best of Calgary Ideas Week.

A born and raised Calgarian, Fair now resides in Vancouver, but his company has been behind the branding of the CMLC development in East Village for the last decade, which has allowed him to keep his ties to the city.

In creating the survey, Resonance gathered information from 23 different data points to develop six categories that dictated the results: Place, Product, Programming, People, Prosperity and Promotion. Results were then tabulated within each category to arrive at the overall results.

During his talk, Fair also revealed Calgary’s position in each category:

1. Place: The perceived quality of a city’s natural and built environment – weather, safety, environment, etc. Calgary ranked 40th, with Vancouver leading the way for Canadian cities.

2. Product: Key institutions, attractions and infrastructure – museums, attractions, etc. Calgary ranked 106th out of 175, with Toronto ahead of all other Canadian cities.

3. Programming: The arts, culture, entertainment and culinary scene – restaurants, theatre, etc. Calgary ranked 94th, with Toronto again leading the way for Canada.

4. People: The immigration rate and diversity of the city. Calgary is ranked eighth, with Vancouver and Toronto leading the category – ranking number 1 and 2 – from a worldwide perspective.

5. Prosperity: The measure of a city’s employment and workplace. Calgary ranked 20th, leading all Canadian cities. “Calgary’s perception is largely shaped by its economy,” Fair says.

6. Promotion: Quality of stories, references and recommendations through travel media, social media, and online presence. While Toronto cracked the Top 20 in the category, Calgary came in at 82nd.

“Product, Programming and Promotion are weak areas for the city right now,” Fair says. “And areas for Calgary to work on."

“We’ve come to learn from our survey, that the more freely people and capital move around the world, the more important a city’s identity of brand becomes.”

Gary Davies is a co-founder of Best of Calgary

Kelsey Woods