Weyburn has a few bragging rights after being ranked as best city to live on the Prairies by Money Sense Magazine.
Nationally, the small southwestern Saskatchewan city comes it at number 33 based on a variety of categories including wealth and economy, home affordability, crime rate, health accessibility, amenities, arts and community and even nice weather.
Weyburn Mayor Marcel Roy is quite proud of that ranking, which is miles ahead of Saskatoon at 60 and Regina at 97. He said it is a reflection on the citizens and the work of city hall and city staff to make ‘The Opportunity City’ such a great place to live.
“We’ve got a very safe city, it’s a very low crime area out here, but we also have a tremendous amount of other facilities here,” Roy said when asked what he thinks makes Weyburn so attractive.
“We’ve got fairly stable economics. Although oil has been in a slump, it’s coming back. Agriculture is very heavily based here so that’s very stable.”
The mayor also noted the city is getting a brand new elementary school and building a new community centre complete with an indoor soccer field and walking track.
Roy said he thinks people who move to Weyburn are often surprised by what they find compared to their initial expectations.
“We’re no longer viewed as just this little smaller rural town, but we are a thriving town of 12,000 population that really has a lot to offer,” he commented.
Roy said rent and house prices are fairly economical and there are lots of opportunities in the city. He added that proximity to a major centre like Regina is also helpful because people are within an hour’s drive of extra shopping opportunities and the airport.
“You come back an hour south of Regina and now you’ve got a wonderful community that you can live for 98 per cent of the time and meet 98 per cent of your needs down here,” he said.
When asked what he thinks about cities in the east dominating the top 30 list (which also includes a few in B.C. and Alberta which ranked separately from the rest of the prairies), Roy admitted that it’s hard to compete with the manufacturing heartland of Canada, particularly when the weather in Saskatchewan is so cold.