A recent edition of Canadian Family magazine rated St. John’s as the eighth best city in Canada to raise a family.
According to the magazine’s criteria, St. John’s has the greatest number of child and youth services per 100,000 of all the top 10 cities ranked, and finished second in the museums and galleries category.
The article profiled the family of Gillian and Tony Marx, who have two boys, 11 and 8.
Gillian cited a litany of attractions: “old-world charm, a bustling downtown, great coffee shops, waterfront, great dining and lots of choices.” The family also touted walking trails, and the multitude of festivals and activities in and outside the city limits.
This week, The Telegram is exploring an exclusive, comprehensive poll by MQO Research, in a series we call MetroView. And on the topic of family life, most residents of St. John’s and surrounding areas appear to concur with the Marx family.
The poll, which randomly surveyed 400 people in the capital city and adjoining communities, found fully two-thirds of residents rate the quality of life in the metro region as 8 out of 10 or higher. That figure rises to 87 per cent for the 7-10 range, where 10 means “excellent.”
The results are considered accurate within plus or minus 5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
By far, most people felt the capital region was an ideal place to raise a family — with 77 per cent giving it an A rating.
The MQO statistics suggest people are mostly or highly satisfied with the essential requirements of family life, such as living in a safe community and having adequate educational opportunities.
But some aspects of family life in metro fell much further down on the scale.
Only 11 per cent of those surveyed afforded top marks to affordable housing; almost a third gave the region a failing grade. Those numbers reflect a continuing housing crunch as the city responds to burgeoning economic growth.
Recreational facilities are also lacking, according to the poll. Only 40 per cent rated outdoor facilities in the 8 or higher range; that falls to 36 per cent for indoor facilities.
In today’s Telegram, reporter Bonnie Belec puts a face on the numbers by profiling three local families about the ups and downs of living on the Northeast Avalon. She also speaks to Yvette Walton, executive director of the Single Parents Association NL.
As well, Daniel MacEachern takes a look at our apparent penchant for travel, and Barb Sweet breaks down some of the statistics on lifestyle habits.
MetroView coverage can be found in the A section starting on page A1.