Vancouver has been named Canada’s most walkable city in Walk Score’s 2017 ranking of the most pedestrian-friendly places in the country.
Vancouver received a walkability score of 78 on the Seattle-based company’s index, indicating that the city is “very walkable” and that “most errands can be accomplished on foot”. Walk Score, which employs a patented system that measures the walkability of cities on a scale of 0 to 100, also noted that Vancouver’s Downtown, West End, and Strathcona neighbourhoods are the city’s most accessible by foot.
“Gorgeously situated between the mountains and the coast, Vancouver is a diverse international city that has a lively downtown, terrific neighborhoods, easily accessible natural playgrounds all year round, and a thriving economy,” writes Walk Score, which rates over 3,000 cities in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. “Improvements recently made to the city to accommodate the Olympics made it even more appealing—it’s Canada’s most walkable city.”
Vancouver beat out runner-ups Toronto, Montreal, Mississauga, and Ottawa. It ranks eighth in North America behind New York, Jersey City, San Francisco, Boston, Newark, Miami, and Philadelphia.
In terms of transit, Vancouver earned a score of 73, signifying that "transit is convenient for most trips." The city came third in this category nationally, behind Toronto and Montreal, and sixth in North America. Burnaby also proved Canada's fouth most transit-friendly city with a grade of 64.
Walk Score’s methodology considers an area’s walking routes, distance to nearby amenities, population density, and road metrics to determine its walkability number. It also uses data from Google, Education.com, Open Street Map, and other sources. According to the company, walkable neighbourhoods are “one of the simplest and best solutions for the environment, our health, and our economy.”
Walk Score debuted its list of Canada's most walkable cities in 2012, which Vancouver also topped. The city successfully defended its ecofriendly title in 2013, though annual rankings have not been published by the website in subsequent years until now. To see the walkability results in full, click here.