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Infographic: What makes Torontonians happy? City Matters survey reveals

How’s it going, Toronto? According to a new survey, about a 7.7 out of 10.

In a survey conducted for Metro by MQO Research, we asked 600 Torontonians to rate the quality of life in their city.

The results were mostly the same for men and women and Torontonians of all different ages, but the Toronto seen through a wealthy person’s eyes is a slightly better place than the city seen by lower-income residents. Those making $75,000 a year gave the quality of life in Toronto an average of 7.8 out of 10, 0.5 higher than those making less than $25,000.

What makes you happy? Our survey results:

Having a good impression of your city and feeling connected to it matters, but people are generally poor at knowing measurable indicators of the quality of life in the city, according to John Helliwell, an economist who studies happiness and well-being in a social context, and is a professor emeritus the University of British Columbia.

In his research, people tend to overestimate the problems in their city, and have bad impressions of their city that are unjustified, he said. We tend to overestimate the crime rate, he says.

For example, one of his studies involved asking Torontonians what chance they think they’d have of getting their getting their wallet returned if they lost it somewhere, and they said, on average, about one in four.

He cited a Torstar News Service story where the paper dropped wallets with cash and fictitious family photos and a contact number inside, all over the city, and actually 80 per cent were returned.

“We know from our research that people who think their wallets are going to be returned are much happier than those who don’t because people like to think they live in a community where other people would reach out and help them,” he said.

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