Toronto is the saddest place in Canada: CSLS study

Toronto is the saddest place in Canada: CSLS study

According to a survey by the Canadian Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS), Toronto is the least-happy place in Canada. Yes, behind Edmonton and even Windsor. Before anyone starts bulk-buying antidepressants, there’s more to this story than meets the headline. According to the CSLS survey:

Based on a scale of 1 to 5, the average level of the happiness of the Canadian population 20 and over in 2007-8 was 4.26. At the provincial level, it ranged from a high of 4.33 in Prince Edward Island to a low of 4.23 in Ontario, a total range of 0.10 points (2.5 per cent) out of a potential maximum variation of four points. At the level of the 32 CMAs, average happiness ranged from a high of 4.37 in Sherbrooke, Quebec to a low of 4.15 in Toronto, Ontario, a range of 0.22 points or 5.5 per cent. At the level of the 121 health regions, average happiness ranged from a high of 4.42 in Kings County, Prince Edward Island to a low of 4.12 in the City of Toronto Health Unit, a range of 0.30 points or 7.5 per cent.

So even if you take the least-flattering numbers—and we’re a sad lot, so let’s—the difference between the happiest place in Canada and the saddest is 7.5 per cent, and Toronto would still easily be nearly as happy as could be, with more than 4 out of 5 on the happiness index. As the Ottawa Citizen puts it, with 92 per cent of Canadians saying they’re either “satisfied” or “very satisfied,” “Canadians are a stubbornly happy bunch.”

Some of the study’s other findings (a PDF of the summary is available here) are interesting, as well: larger social factors, such as wealth and location, had little to do with well-being, compared to such factors as health, happiness in marriage and level of stress. In fact, the study suggests affluence might even have an inverse relationship to being happy, a finding that makes us terribly, terribly sad.

• Happy days are always here for Canadians [Ottawa Citizen]
Be happy – move to Sherbrooke [Globe and Mail]
• Does Money Matter: Determining the Happiness of Canadians [CSLS—PDF]