Vancouver, Montréal and Toronto are the most walkable cities in Canada in 2020, according to new data from American company Walk Score.
Burnaby, B.C. and Longueuil, Québec were also in the top five, in fourth and fifth place.
Walk Score, owned by residential brokerage Redfin, rates the walkability of cities (and neighbourhoods) with populations of more than 200,000. Cities where daily errands do not require a car score 90 points and above, a score of 70 to 89 points means most errands can be accomplished on foot and a score of 50 to 69 indicates that some errands can be completed on foot.
Car-dependent cities Markham and Vaughan were ranked as least walkable with a score of almost 35.
Vancouver earned a Walk Score of 79.8. According to Redfin Vancouver market manager Brooks Findlay well-built properties in walkable areas often sell for a premium.
“Over the past 10 years, Vancouver has placed a strong emphasis on development that supports walkability. Many of the new developments are focused on areas that are close to transit—specifically our monorail system,” Findlay said. “The city itself has also been very focused on building new walking and bike paths, allowing for a green commute and discouraging single-driver vehicles. Many young professionals in Vancouver don’t even consider owning a car. Developers have created mini villages in high-traffic areas, meaning you don’t have to travel more than five or six blocks to get anything you need.”
Toronto earned a Walk Score of 61
“A lot of Toronto is connected underground, so when it gets cold in the winter, there are still ways to get around. Then there’s the boardwalk, which allows people to walk across much of the city right on the waterfront,” Redfin Toronto market manager Blair Anderson said. “One thing people don’t always realize about Toronto is that there are lots of nature walks and trails right in the city. If it was just a concrete jungle, people wouldn’t be so inclined to walk places, but since it’s so beautiful, walking is appealing. Plus, city traffic is less than desirable these days, so being able to get around on foot is very advantageous.”