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Abbotsford ranks in top ten list of Canadian university towns

Company looked at factors like affordability, opportunities and the cost of having a beer in a pub
An interactive map of Canadian university towns lists Abbotsford at seventh out of 94. Chilliwack just missed the top 10 at 11th place. (Preply graphic)

Abbotsford has been ranked as one of the top 10 university towns in Canada in a recent study.

The rankings were put together by an online learning platform called Preply, and looked at 94 cities across the country. Abbotsford fell into seventh place, based on three categories: wallet friendliness, social environment, and economic opportunity.

Regina placed first, Prince George ranked fourth, Chilliwack ranked 11 and Squamish ranked in last place.

Preply said they looked at things like affordability for rent, fitness clubs, or just to have a beer. They also looked at salaries for graduates and unemployment rates.

In total, they considered 18 different variables of cities with university students. Each town has a total score using data points, with the best score being 100, representing the quality of the university town for students to live and work after graduation.

Abbotsford’s highest category was “social environment” with a score of 77.2 and “wallet friendliness” at 64.5.

In a press release, Preply said it makes sense that Abbotsford has a high social score as there are plenty of things to do for entertainment and respite. Situated on the banks of the Fraser River, they said, Abbotsford is a destination filled with outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and golf.

A student looking to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Abbotsford will pay on average $1,392. For those looking to start a career here, earning potential is good, with an average monthly salary of $2,894.14 and the employment rate at 61 per cent. A meal out will cost $18 and the average monthly fitness club fee is $37.50.

Colleges in Abbotsford include the University of the Fraser Valley, Columbia Bible College, Ashton College, Summit Pacific College.

“It’s great to see this recognition of Abbotsford as a desirable place to learn and live,” said Craig Toews, vice-president external at UFV. “Students coming to UFV have quickly discovered Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley offer a rich, diverse, and economically vibrant environment – one that provides excellent career opportunities after graduation. With mild temperatures, favourable housing costs, world-class outdoor recreation, and the attractions of urban living, Abbotsford gives students the best of all worlds. As UDistrict comes online, the area will become even more sought after.”

Regina ranked top of the list, where a one-bedroom apartment runs for about $1,016, and you can enjoy a beer for $6. For those looking to start work after graduation, the employment rate is high at 66.30 per cent and the average monthly salary is $3,734. It ranked highest of all towns for economic opportunities.

Squamish earned just 32.2 out of 100, and with a score of under 40 for social, affordability, and economic opportunity.

Although great for mountain biking and hiking, it isn’t the most affordable place to live and offers little opportunity. Rent is exceptionally high for a one-bedroom apartment at $1,724 and a beer at $7.25 ($1.25 more than Regina). Earning potential is also relatively low, with the average monthly salary after tax at $2,461.

“If you’re looking for the best cities to study in Canada, then the top 10 schools in our ranking are a great place to start,” said

Amy Pritchett, Student Success Manager of Preply. “In addition to the school tour, take a walk around the campus’s city. Sometimes students and parents become so focused on the school and its campus that they don’t take the time to explore the nearby town during a visit.”

To view ‘Canada’s 10 Best & Worst University Towns’, visit Preply.

READ MORE: University of Fraser Valley holds two online anti-racism events


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Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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