Toronto, Ont. (R.M. Nunes/iStock)
There are certain things people looking for a place to live tend to research in detail, such as the quality of the local schools, access to transportation and the safety of the neighbourhood. Something it’s easy to forget about until it’s too late, however, is the quality of health care they will be able to access when they really need it.
Health care access varies significantly between cities, and the health care category in Best Communities considers a variety of metrics to help you evaluate access to this crucial public service. We examine health care wait times for various procedures at the regional and provincial level, awarding the most points to communities where residents spend the least time on waiting lists. Finding a doctor can be a challenge, so we look at how many family doctors, specialists and doctors’ offices there are per capita. Finally, we evaluate something you might be very glad you considered in the event of an emergency: Whether there’s a hospital with an emergency room within an hour’s drive.
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When you consider those metrics, the result is clear: If having plenty of family doctors and close proximity to specialized hospitals are important to you, then Toronto is an especially impressive choice.
The city has excellent hospitals, an ample amount of health care professionals, with 321 specialists per 100,000 residents, and access to specialized treatment facilities within short driving distance. It has the highest number of doctors’ offices in the country, with 3,145 to choose from.
Ontario is also the clear winner when it comes to health care wait times nationwide. And if you’re thinking about retirement, Toronto is the place to be. In fact, Toronto took the top spot in our ranking of the best communities to retire, largely thanks to its excellent health care services.
Maclean’s Best Communities in Canada ranks 415 cities across the country based on 10 categories: Wealth and economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, amenities and culture. For more information, please see the methodology page.
*Health region median