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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.

Organizations: Canadian Family magazine, The Telegram, Single Parents Association NL.As

Geographic location: Canada, Northeast Avalon

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Recent comments

  • Turry from town
    October 15, 2012 - 18:17

    Does John Smith know how to read? Nobody is saying they want something for nothing.I have been working all my life and still am.It is just the greed from one or two industries that are making it hard on everyone.Atleast John Smith,I have an opinion,you have a criticism.But then again,this is a free country,and a wise man has something to say,and an idiot has to say something.And you said something John.

  • John Smith
    October 15, 2012 - 15:13

    Read the comments below...these are the same dupes who would be whining and complaining if the oil had never been discovered. Then it would be something else to complain never wants free housing, and the other wants free something or other. You think St. John's is expensive lol go to any other city in NA, it only goes up from here...

    • david
      October 15, 2012 - 19:51

      Dear John: Government should try paying some attention to the predictable, widespread social injustices, inequities and societal problems spawned by an oil boom economy ---- the same, predictable things that have occurred in every other previous place ---- and they should spend much less time taking our province's entire oil legacy fund and rolling the dice on its one, ludicrously unjustifed casino bet called Muskrat Falls. Seriously, just shut your obsequious, ginormously ignorant pie hole.

  • Turry from town
    October 15, 2012 - 11:19

    The oil industry is the cause of rising costs in the city.Oil companies and companies that service them pay well,but if your not in that industry you do not benifit.Also,real estate agents and developers are cashing in on that money by overinflating the value and cost of houses.The demographics of our population has changed.We have an aging population that means more retirees on fixed incomes,and more single parent families who are below or at the poverty line. Good place to live sure,if you can afford it.

  • Virginia Waters
    October 15, 2012 - 10:32

    Sure, St. John's is a great place to live - if you have money. The average couple in St. John's earns about a hundred grand. There are many of course who earn double that. And then there are the thousands who earn little more than minimum wage or are seniors trying to survive on a fixed pension income that hasn't changed in decades. The latter group have benefited little from this province's new found 'have' status. Indeed many of them have been forced out of the City - unable to keep up with rapidly rising rents, home prices, municipal taxes and utility charges. The city has not been very friendly to these families. It isn't as though there haven't been warnings that this would happen as a result of offshore oil and gas. Governments pledged at the outset to take steps to prevent it. But of course it has consistently failed to honour that pledge. How the benefits of oil and gas are distributed within the economy is an issue that has been given short shrift by politicians of all stripes and all three levels of government. The academics at Memorial University have barely scratched the surface. Adding to the dilemma is the fact that government has continued to run large deficits - despite these unprecedented government revenues. A close examination of those deficits would probably demonstrate that, again, higher income earners are benefiting more from that deficit spending than the lower income strata. This is particularly true in St. John's where the City is spending enormous monies on infrastructure for high priced new homes at a huge cost in higher taxes to existing home owners. The lack of affordable housing/senior care facilities and the soaring rate of violent crime should tell us that these glowing portrayals of contented citizens amount to statistical fraud. They just aren't asking the right people.