By Mike Williscraft
Grimsby and Lincoln mayors have been all smiles over the last week after hearing their communities are among the nation’s elite, according to Maclean’s Magazine.
Grimsby came in at #2 while Lincoln was spotted at #21. West Lincoln came in at #121.
The annual study sees considerable fluctuation year-to-year as no Niagara communities were in the top 25 in 2018.
In outlining its methodology, the magazine states, “Many intangible things that determine quality of life can’t be quantified and measured, but a lot of tangible things can be. We gathered data on 415 towns and cities across the country and compared them in the following categories: wealth and economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, amenities and culture. Environics Analytics was an invaluable partner, providing a significant amount of data about each community that can’t be found anywhere else.”
However the results were arrived at, Grimsby Mayor Jeff Jordan will take it.
“I have always been proud of the town and its people. It is amazing that our community has improved 81 places from 2018,” said Jordan.
Noting those who live in town see the benefits daily, it is nice to see some external recognition, Jordan added.
“Grimsby is a vibrant and unique town that was established over 230 years ago. Our location determined that. Grimsby’s natural and manmade heritage all contribute to our excellent ranking. We are a town that is moving forward in an open and transparent manner.”
For Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton, seeing Lincoln’s placing on this list is affirmation the lengthy business plan started on years ago is the right direction.
“Those of us who live here and are choosing to live here know it, but
it certainly is nice to be highlighted in an iconic magazine like Maclean’s,” said Easton.
“We have had significant growth in our employment rate, median and average household income and net worth. We have 2.3 per cent tax as a percentage of household income – fourth lowest in Niagara and matching many communities higher on the list. Our vision for Lincoln is, ‘Grow, Prosper, Belong’ and Maclean’s agrees we are meeting our goals.”
“We are very proud to see the Town of Lincoln on the list.”
So, too, are those in the business community.
Gary Bruce, president of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce agreed with Easton’s sentiments and noted the Chamber is doing its part to keep the business community integral to the community’s growth.
“As Lincoln develops, we have seen the Chamber develop right along with it. All our meetings are vital and active with many new members coming out to gain some exposure for their operations and network with the business community,” said Bruce.
“There is a lot of sharing of information and friendly advice to be found if needed. We are here to help business grow and develop, just as is the Town of Lincoln. That is why we have a strong partnership.”
Geoff Willis, president of the Grimsby & District Chamber of Commerce said the recognition for the community is a source of pride.
“The Grimsby & District Chamber of Commerce is extremely proud to hear of the recognition from Maclean’s magazine. Our diverse yet close-knit business community, engaged residents, and dedicated municipal government all work together to make Grimsby a fantastic place to work, live, and play,” said Willis.
“To be recognized at a national level is an incredible honour, and the entire community should be proud of this designation.”
The study also cites, “Ontario towns and cities account for 28 out of the top 50 and there are 16 municipalities from B.C. among the top spots. Those two provinces have an advantage because of their strong economies and good weather compared to the rest of the country. Ontario also has Canada’s lowest health care wait times and its small towns have the least crime in the country, while B.C. benefits from low income and sales taxes.”