Few Canadian cities of any size hold a fiddle to this distilled shot of urbanity on the far-flung eastern edge of the country. Newfoundland & Labrador’s capital features a storied street grid that weaves up its hillsides, providing spectacular views of one of the world’s most coveted natural harbours, in use today as it has been since the early 1500s when the oldest European city in North America became a strategic maritime port. The sense of place hits you instantly. The air is clean (ranked #5), with the country’s #6-ranked park spaces surrounding the historic city, from the four-kilometre Quidi Vidi Lake Trail—which sends you out right from downtown and back in time for lunch—to Middle Cove, 15 minutes from town and an ideal perch for bonfire-heated picnics as 10,000-year-old icebergs float by. Back in town, cultural icons like The Rooms power the city to a #5 Museums ranking. Equally culturally vital is the nightlife of St. John’s, ranked #2 in the country among small cities, where the highest density of bars per capita of anywhere in North America anchors on George Street. With such magnetism, the region is experiencing the biggest inward migration in half a century, inspired by remote work and rare, affordable urban real estate.