RISING housing prices, persistent crime and sluggish employment combined to push Winnipeg down to No. 16 on MoneySense magazine's annual list of the best places to live in Canada.
That's down from No. 10 a year ago.
Sarah Efron, deputy editor of the Toronto magazine, said it's not as if Winnipeg suffered a catastrophic event in 2012, but its performance on a number of criteria suffered relative to other cities. A total of 200 cities were examined in the survey.
For example, the city's jobless rate of five per cent is excellent in isolation but ranks No. 60 when a multitude of cities in Alberta were churning out between three and four per cent unemployment.
"Sometimes, a city is doing a lot of things right but there's a boom in another part in the country," Efron said.
Calgary topped the list for the first time in the eight years it has been compiled, followed by St. Albert, Alta., and Burlington, Ont. Winnipeg was behind London, Ont., and ahead of Regina.
Four other Manitoba communities also made the list -- Steinbach (61), Brandon (91), Portage la Prairie (160) and Thompson (164). Lachute, Que..,was last.
As surprised as some Winnipeggers might be to hear their city has fallen from the Top 10 when there are so many positive developments -- the return of the NHL, the construction of a new football stadium and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights -- the more shocking decline was Brandon, diving to No. 91 from No. 6. Efron said Manitoba's second-biggest city fell because its population growth, which had been at around 10 per cent annually, has slowed to a trickle and its jobless rate rose to five per cent from four per cent.
MoneySense looked at 33 different criteria, including income, weather, housing, crime, alternatives to driving, rainfall, population growth, household income and the number of days where the temperature is above 0 C.
Winnipeg performed well on some measures, such as No. 25 for people using transit to get to work, but not so well on others, such as 120th on crime. Still others, of course, such as the weather and the number of days where the temperature is below freezing, will never change appreciably.