Maclean’s magazine has put towns across the country to the test in a pioneering examination of municipal efficiency and effectiveness, in their first ever study of the  “Best and Worst run cities.”

Sherbrooke ranked in at sixth place scoring its highest marks in recreation and culture (16th overall), transportation (23) and economic development (24). It is interesting to note that the overall scoring for the city’s taxation and safety and protection was not shown in the results.
Burnaby, British Columbia came in first place as a model city. Noted in the study for being lean, green and debt-free, the city was awarded top marks for recreation, culture, environmental health, and economic development, according to a recent press release.

In total, the western province could boast three cities (Surrey and Vancouver) that made a spot on the top ten list. Quebec can share that bragging right with Longueil and Quebec City earning a top ten spot with Sherbrooke.

Just two Ontario cities, London and Toronto, made the top list with Saskatoon coming in second place and Saint John, New Brunswick coming in eighth.

Kingston Ontario, Fredericton and Charlottetown came in on the worst list with the lowest ranks.
A broad list of public interest criteria such as fire services, road conditions, garbage collection, policing, public transit and taxation levels, was used for the study that was conducted by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.

Quebec City was found to have the best fire services, Longueuil has the lowest taxes and St. John’s can claim the lowest transit costs per capita. A more dubious claim is that of Thunder Bay, Ontario, which employs the most civil servants.

Interactive maps and tables of each city are available on Maclean’s website at or at