Chatham-Kent continues to show the country why it’s a great community to live in.
In fact, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent now ranks 27th on Maclean’s list of Best Communities in Canada for 2021, an increase from 126th on the same list in 2019.
Of the 415 communities across Canada reviewed by Maclean’s, Chatham-Kent ranked 27th, with high scores for internet access, weather, and amenities. It also beat the national average for safe communities according to the Crime Severity Index. The national average receives a 73 rating, and Chatham-Kent sits three points back at 70.
Maclean’s methodology looks at a range of quality of life indicators, in partnership with Environics Analytics, to establish the ranking. This year, there were a few additions to the revamped ranking. Most notably, they also took into consideration the increased ability to work remotely.
The top three factors rating in Chatham-Kent’s favour were internet access, weather and access to amenities. According to Mayor Darrin Canniff, the recent investment in fibre for Chatham-Kent is paying dividends.
“More than $100 million on fibre is being spent or has been spent recently through TekSavvy – our local company – along with the other big players,” said Canniff.
He added he is hopeful that 90 percent of the people in Chatham-Kent will have access to fibre in the next two years.
Chatham-Kent was also noted as a community of families, recreation, business, agriculture, and opportunity. It is also a safe community that offers a high quality of life at a low cost of living. In fact, Chatham-Kent had an average home price of $310,244 in 2020.
“Chatham-Kent is a great community, a great place to do business and a great place to raise a family,” reads the report. “People seem to appreciate the simpler things in life.”
According to Statistics Canada, they estimate Chatham-Kent had a population of 106,620 in 2020, an increase of 4.5 percent from 2016 actuals of 102,042. The projections also show an 8.7 percent increase for the 15-39 years age cohorts.
Chatham-Kent has also gained increasing national coverage and rankings for being a great place to live. These rankings are indicators that Chatham-Kent is no longer an up-and-coming community but is a destination of choice for people to live in.
The rankings include: Ranking 9th on U-Haul’s Top Growth Cities in Canada list for 2020, increasing from 10th in 2019, 11th in 2017, and 13th in 2016, as well as being featured as a top Millennial Hotspot in 2018 by Point2Homes.
In hopes to continue the growth of Chatham-Kent, initiated in the fall of 2020 was “Work Anywhere, Live CK.” The campaign’s goal is to leverage the increasing opportunity for remote work and to take advantage of increased national migration trends toward smaller and more rural communities. The “Work Anywhere. Live CK” campaign promotes Chatham-Kent as a community that offers lifestyle advantages with the lifestyle amenities desired by individuals and families, such as affordable housing, no commutes, and accessible healthcare and education services.
The campaign is targeted to working professionals in the Greater Toronto Area who are able to work from home and will evolve to include those with families that are looking for more space to grow. The objective of the campaign is to attract people who are working from home in congested urban areas to live in Chatham-Kent for access to home ownership, a healthy lifestyle, and wider spaces.
“Chatham-Kent is growing, new possibilities are presenting themselves, and the younger generation is pushing for our community to thrive. This excites me and makes me want to be a part of the rejuvenation of the city that has been so good to me for so many years,” reads the report.
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News