|A cruiser navigates between boats and cruisers moored along the Rideau Canal in downtown Ottawa, Ont., Thursday August 11, 2011. (JOHN MAJOR/QMI AGENCY FILE PHOTO)
OTTAWA — Ottawa-Gatineau had the highest average total family income before tax of all the large cities across the country in 2010, according to Statistics Canada data released Wednesday.
Residents in the national capital region reported a median income of $90,790, according to data derived from personal income tax returns.
"It is reasonable to say that the employment situation in Ottawa for that year, things were relatively stable," said Francois Page, the manager in charge of income administrative data at Statistics Canada.
Ottawa-Gatineau led Calgary ($89,490) and Edmonton ($87,930) for the second straight year.
The national average in 2010 was $69,860.
Gains were made in Ontario: Guelph saw the biggest jump (+2.1%) in median total family income, followed by Thunder Bay (+1.8%).
Vancouver, on the other hand, saw the biggest decrease (-2.5%).
In 2009, St. John's had the highest annual increase at (+5.0%).
Greater Sudbury, though, in northern Ontario, netted the largest decline (-5.7%).
Tax filers in Wood Buffalo, Alta., which includes oil-rich Fort McMurray, had the highest median total family income at $169,790, followed by those in Yellowknife with $128,810.
Urban cores, such as Ottawa-Gatineau, need a population of at least 100,000 to form a census metropolitan area and at least 50,000 must live in the core, while census agglomerations need 10,000 people minimum.
"When you think about certain areas like Vancouver and Toronto, it's not hard to imagine that some of these areas might have wealthier individuals, but as a group, Ottawa, when you're looking at just the median, is the highest total census median family income," Page said.