Many people have been wondering about the best places to live in Canada. No doubt, many foreigners have fallen in love with the country as it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It has breathtaking sceneries and uninhabited land, mesmerising rivers and lakes, majestic mountains, and even charming cities.
There are a lot of reasons why people flock to Canada. Aside from its spectacular environment, the country’s economy and quality of life attract expatriates.
But perhaps one of the best reasons is that each city in Canada offers a particular advantage that emigrants cannot resist. If you plan on migrating to Canada, finding the best city for you is a must.
If you want to find the best place to live in Canada, you must first define what the perfect life looks like for you. Reading about each city in Canada can help you narrow down the best ones that suit your life goals.
There are many cities in Canada, each with its strengths and weaknesses. It can be a bit overwhelming to do a lot of research on each Canadian city. Therefore, this article has listed the top 20 cities to live in Canada, listing the pros and cons of each place.
Read on to find out the best places to live in Canada and the reasons people choose these cities.
Victoria is British Columbia’s capital city, named after Queen Victoria. It is the best city to live in Canada, especially among senior citizens. This is because the place is best known for its beauty as well as the advantages it gives senior citizens.
The place has narrow streets and cobbled stones, with beautiful historical stone buildings built in the 19th century. The people living here are friendly and polite, which is why it is a warm place to live for senior citizens.
Moreover, the city has a lot of amenities to offer, like world-class universities, entertainment establishments, healthcare facilities, and more.
It is also an amazing city to live in Canada if you want physical activities, such as golf, biking, hiking, kayaking, and more. Meanwhile, residents and tourists who do not like physical activities can visit a lot of beautiful destinations, like museums, landmarks, cruises, and gardens.
You would also love the weather here because it is mild, perfect for seniors to live comfortably compared to other cities with harsher weather conditions.
The city only has 400,000 residents. This means it has a warm, small community where you can build close relationships with your neighbours. Many of the residents here are over 65 years old. Therefore, many people choose this as the perfect city to retire since a lot of people can relate to each other.
There is one downside, however, of living in Victoria. The place’s unemployment rate is high, about 9.3%. It makes perfect sense because the residents are mostly made up of retirees.
Winnipeg has become one of the best places to live in Canada due to its sunny days during the summer months. This is the best time to go for outdoor activities as the city is surrounded by many beautiful natural landscapes, such as lakes, caves, waterfalls, parks, and more.
Winnipeg is also the best place to live in Canada for people looking for work. There are many job opportunities across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, public administration, technology, and more. Most companies offer their employees a better work-life balance than others.
Moreover, the cost of living in this city is less expensive than in other areas. The house prices, renting options, and bills are relatively cheaper.
There are many things that one can do in Winnipeg, making it one of the best places to live in Canada. The city hosts a lot of art shows and festivals every year. Some of the major events people look forward to are Folk Festival, which is held at Birds Hill Provincial Park, and Folklorama, which is the largest and longest-running multicultural festival in the world.
Some of the main attractions in the city are the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Folks Market.
However, one downside of living in Winnipeg is its harsh winter season, which usually lasts from November to March. The average snow depth is 20 cm, with temperatures ranging from -22.8 degrees Celsius to – 12.7 degrees Celsius.
Because of its harsh weather conditions in the winter, the city is sometimes called “Winterpeg”. But if you can weather the harsh winter conditions, life in Winnipeg is worth it.
Quebec City is a great place to live in Canada if you are after rich culture and history. You can enjoy looking at old buildings in this city since it is an old, historical place in North America. So expect a lot of tourists to visit the place every year.
You can find beautiful architecture in this place. No doubt it is treated as a UNESCO Heritage Site! Many people visit this place due to its history, art, and culture. There are plenty of historical landmarks, museums, and parklands on cobbled streets.
The city also hosts many festivals like the Summer Festival, Winter Carnival, and the New France Festival. You can also go hiking, skiing, cycling, and snowshoeing in this city. Residents will never run out of something to do in Quebec City!
What’s challenging though is that not many residents can speak English. The main language used in the area is French. Therefore, you need to learn French to live here comfortably.
Unemployment is low, but the most thriving sectors in Quebec City are the hydropower, aerospace, pulp, and timber industries. Meanwhile, office jobs are quite limited in the area.
Nevertheless, the affordable cost of living is what makes it a great place to live in Canada. House prices, groceries, rent, and bills are much cheaper due to the winter isolation.
Meanwhile, you will hate the weather if you are the type of person who is easily cold. Winters are longer, colder, and harsher, with a temperature of -7 degrees Celsius. This might be something to consider before migrating to the area.
Vaughan is a city situated just outside downtown Toronto, offering many amenities, like schools, universities, festivals, concert venues, sports events, and many more.
It is a city that attracts families as it is a family-friendly city. There is a lot of green space for kid-friendly activities, large homes for huge families, and child attractions.
This is also the best place to live in Canada for working singles or even young couples. There are condominiums for rent just around downtown. There are also many shopping malls and restaurants to explore.
You will also love the fact that commuting is made easier in Vaughan. You can easily travel from one place to another because of the city’s several transit options.
The only disadvantage is the city’s high cost of living. People even compare it to Toronto. However, you can afford living in this city as long as you find a high-paying job.
Halifax is the second fastest-growing city in Canada with over 6,000 expatriates migrating to the place in 2022. It is located between Bedford Basin and Dartmouth, which allows residents to easily access the two cities.
Outdoor lovers will surely vote for Halifax as one of the best places to live in Canada for its landscapes.
In winter, days feel shorter since the cold is less intense than in other Canadian cities. Although the place gets a fair amount of snow, its coastal position helps snow melt faster. The only downside during the winter season is that Halifax is a remote area, so people can feel lonely and unconnected to the mainland.
People also love Halifax because of its low cost of living. People have high disposable income while the rent, house prices, and other bills are relatively lower than in other areas. The average annual salary in Halifax is Can$ 60,000, which attracts a lot of working people.
However, you should note that the unemployment rate is a bit higher in this city. This is because the competition is high in the market. So those who move to Halifax are people who are either retired or are working remotely.
The services sector in Halifax has a lot of job opportunities for people. The same goes for the healthcare industry. So if you want to work in these fields, then Halifax could be a good place in Canada to live.
Ottawa is considered one of the best places to live in Canada located in the province of Ontario.
The city has become more and more bilingual as the number of immigrants grows. The main language spoken in Ottawa is English as 45.5% of the citizens only speak English. Therefore, you do not need to learn a new language to live comfortably in Ottawa.
Meanwhile, its second official language is French, since the place is situated on the border of Quebec, a French-speaking province.
Ottawa has become the best place to live in Canada for working singles. The place gives a lot of jobs and opportunities, especially in the government, tech industry, and health and education sectors. According to statistics, the city has the lowest unemployment rate in the country.
The place is also considered to be one of the biggest tech hubs where huge companies like GNX and Shopify emerged.
Ottawa is also the best place to live in Canada for students since it is home to many world-class research centres as well as two major universities: the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.
Another thing that makes Ottawa an appealing place to live in is its cleanliness. The city is very clean and green and bike-friendly, consistently topping the list for the cleanest places in Canada. Moreover, it offers a lot of outdoor activities, attracting people who have active lifestyles.
One of its best features is the Rideau Canal, cutting through the whole city. It gives way to numerous walkways, bike lanes, running paths, and trails. When winter comes, the water freezes, making it the world’s longest skating rink—a perfect winter activity!
If you want to live closer to nature, live in Burlington city. You can find it at the southwestern end of Lake Ontario and enjoy over 850 hectares of parkland. This means you can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities.
Burlington has exciting hiking trails, such as the local sections of the Niagara Escarpment and the Bruce Trail.
Canada is the best place for you if you have kids. You can enrol your kids to quality schools and colleges, and if they fall sick, you are confident the city has reliable healthcare facilities. There are also many things to enjoy here, including annual festivals and museums for everyone to enjoy.
However, living in this city can be expensive. Houses can cost four times higher than the average income. Therefore, you need to find a good paying job to be able to afford the living expenses.
To be fair, Burlington has a low unemployment rate and jobs with better pay. Moreover, Burlington’s economy is stable due to its broad economic base, which means you can find many job opportunities in various fields.
Edmonton is one of the best places to live in Canada, situated in the heart of Alberta with over 1 million population.
One of the advantages of living in this city is its low rental rates, accompanied by a reasonable cost of living and high minimum wage. It comes as no surprise why people choose to live in Edmonton. Moreover, data shows that residents have more disposable income than other Canadians.
This city is also one of the best places to live in Canada for families with kids as it is known for having one of the best school systems in the country.
Young singles also benefit from Edmonton since rent is decent. A single-bedroom apartment could cost Can$1,200 per month. It may not be the cheapest price in the entire Canada, but the price is affordable.
There are also plenty of things to do here as there are film and music festivals to go to every year. It is no surprise that Edmonton is called the Festival City of Canada as it hosts 50 annual festivals.
Its summer festivals take place from May to September while winter festivals happen from November until March.
In winter, residents can take part in activities like tobogganing, snowshoeing, outdoor skating, and cross-country skiing.
Calgary is a Canadian city known for its exceptional quality of life. People love this place because of its stunning natural surroundings and captivating landscapes.
Situated between the Bow and Elbow Rivers, with the majestic Rocky Mountains as its backdrop, Calgary offers residents an unparalleled outdoor experience. The city takes pride in its meticulously maintained parks and green spaces.
This means you have a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities and recreation. With ongoing redevelopment projects, residents can always discover new and vibrant neighbourhoods, adding a sense of novelty and excitement to their lives.
Calgary is not just a city of natural beauty but also a hub of cultural events and artistic endeavours. Many art galleries, art fairs, and craft studios will allow residents to enjoy and express themselves through their creativity.
Calgary is also the home to the Calgary Stampede, a rodeo event that thousands of people look forward to. Lasting for ten thrilling days, the Calgary Stampede showcases the city’s rich western heritage and offers a memorable experience for visitors and residents alike.
Calgary is particularly attractive to young professionals and singles due to its abundance of job opportunities. The city boasts a diverse economy, with thriving sectors such as healthcare, financial services, tourism, aerospace, film manufacturing, and transportation industries.
Moreover, the living expenses in Calgary are cheaper. This means it is more affordable to find suitable accommodations, with one-bedroom apartments costing over Can$1,000.
Overall, Calgary has a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural events, job opportunities, and affordability. Whether you love adventure in the great outdoors or vibrant cultural experiences, you can definitely find it here in Calgary.
Mississauga is another great city that families can consider if they want to move to Canada. The place boasts great school systems, punctual transportation, and a diverse community.
Situated in Southern Ontario, the place has more than 722,000 residents, proving that the place is filled with diverse religions, cultures, and languages. Half of the city’s residents are of non-European descent, including South Asian, Black, Filipino, Arab, and Chinese.
Parents are confident that their children will find quality education in Mississauga. It is one of the best places to live in Canada for students due to its top-rated elementary and secondary schools. Moreover, most of these schools have A-level results in recent EQAO testing.
Students also have access to 20 libraries, including the downtown centre’s Hazel McCallion Central Library.
Aside from the diverse culture and quality education, families flock to Mississauga for the entertainment part. There are a lot of shopping malls and restaurants that show how diverse the city is.
The city also hosts hundreds of movies, festivals, and concerts—all for free! It is also home to the largest shopping centre in Canada: Square One!
As for families who love going outdoors, Mississauga offers beautiful places like Lakefront Promenade Park, Jack Darling Memorial Park, Rattray Marsh Conservation Area, and many more!
Golfing has also become popular in the area. Because of that, the city has Braeben and Lakeview Golf Course, Toronto Golf Club, and the Mississauga Golf and Country Club.
Many people choose Coquitlam to live in Canada because of its vibrant urban centre surrounded by many beautiful hiking trails. The place has a diverse population and a thriving business community, too. Everything you have been dreaming of is here!
Coquitlam is one of the friendliest places to live in Canada due to its warm, welcoming neighbourhood. With only over 61,000 residents, you can easily build deeper friendships in your community. Although it is a busy city, living in Coquitlam can give you that nostalgic “small town feel”.
This is also the best place to live in Canada for starting families. There are many green spaces in the city, combining the beauty of nature and city life. Residents can unwind as they get in touch with nature, whether they go hiking, walking, picnicking, and more.
The area also has many family-friendly amenities. You can find high-class schools, healthcare facilities, libraries, festivals, skate parks, and more. If you like physical activities, the place has a lot of establishments where you can enjoy swimming, bowling, golfing, ninja tag, and more.
However, living in this city has a disadvantage. Coquitlam can be a bit detached from Port Coquitlam, which is a different city. There is a staple train service called the SkyTrain, which goes throughout the Lower Mainland, but as of the last year 2022, it does not enter Port Coquitlam.
Therefore, you might want to consider living in a different city if you do not want to feel detached from other bigger cities.
As Ontario’s fourth-largest city, Brampton offers people a lot of diversity as most immigrants come from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Pakistan, and India. The residents here speak over 70 languages. However, you do not have to worry because almost everyone can speak English.
Brampton is the best place to live in Canada due to its cheap housing prices. There are cheaper apartments around, especially if you do not mind living further outside the city. Nevertheless, the housing prices are 40-45 percent less than in Toronto.
It is also the most convenient place to live in Canada due to its transportation system. The city has major transit routes, such as 401, 403, 410, and 10. Downtown Toronto is also accessible from Brampton as it is only a 30-minute drive away.
As for work opportunities, many well-established companies in the city offer jobs to immigrants. Plenty of the jobs in the area are related to data communications management, lodge farms, pharmaceuticals, and more.
Brampton is a great place to live in Canada due to its diverse culture. Residents can enjoy different cuisine, especially with its annual seasonal outdoor market. This event is hosted from June to October, allowing residents to purchase a wide variety of baked goods, prepared food, artisan goods, and more.
The city is also the best place to live in Canada for sports lovers. It has 100 sports organisations, so whatever sport you like to play, there is always something for you.
Art and culture are also one of the major things residents are after in Brampton. It hosts annual world-class shows, breathtaking multicultural performances, and all kinds of entertaining events.
Toronto is considered a populated city. WIth over 2.8 million residents, no wonder it is the fifth-largest city in North America! Many immigrants live here, making it the best place to live in Canada if you want cultural diversity.
Living in Toronto is expensive. However, it is still 27% lower than New York City. And although the average housing price in Toronto is pricey—over Can$1.3 million—there has been a decline in the past few months.
However, jobs in Toronto pay well, which makes it a good place to live in Canada. As of October 2021, the minimum wage is set to Can$14.25 per hour.
You should also bear in mind that the houses and apartments in this city may be unfurnished. This means that you would have to add the furniture costs to your expenses.
Nevertheless, Toronto is still one of the best choices if you want to live in Canada. Life here is of high quality, especially if you find a job that easily combats the high cost of living.
Many things can keep you entertained in Toronto. There are a bunch of festivals hosted almost every weekend. But for sports and outdoor lovers, the place offers bike paths all year round.
Dining in the city also ensures satisfaction for taste buds looking for diversity. You will love Toronto if you have a passion for a wide variety of cuisines. There are plenty of bars serving food as well. You can spend a great time with your friends by enjoying a couple of drinks and a satisfying meal at a good price.
Going over the southwest area of Quebec, you will see Laval, an island beside the island of Montreal. It is a suburban region of the Greater Montreal Metropolitan Area, occupying 247 square kilometres in total or about 95 square miles.
The major population totals over 401 thousand people, which mainly consists of French and Canadians living in harmony. A lot of immigrants here are from abroad. This means that a lot of outsiders see it as a great place to live in Canada.
Most of the residents here migrated from French-speaking countries, like Eastern Europe, North Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East.
Laval is much cheaper compared to its larger neighbours, making it a cheap place to live in Canada. The city boasts low taxes and cheap natural gas prices, and most of its basic amenities are per the Canadian average.
As for the housing prices, you can find a single detached home for just Can$230,000! That is much cheaper than in other larger cities like Quebec and Montreal.
Laval also has a high employment rate of 90%. You can also find higher-paying jobs here. This means you have better opportunities building your career in this city.
The only downside is that many of the people in Laval communicate in French. So, if you want a job in Laval or migrate here, you must either know the language or learn it.
Because of the city’s low cost of living and better-paying jobs, you can save a lot of money. Moreover, you can enjoy the quality of life Laval has to offer.
People consider Burnaby as one of the best places to live in Canada because of the many amenities they find here. The Metropolis at Metrotown gives you world-class fine dining, museums, and large shopping malls.
Meanwhile, if you love physical activities, you can still have a great time living in Burnaby. If you are after beautiful natural parks, you can visit Burnaby Mountain, a forest area that overlooks the beauty of Burrard Inlet.
This is also the best place to live in Canada for cyclists and hikers. You can find the best network of trails here, such as Kensington Park, Robert Burnaby Park, Taylor Park, and Central Park, which is designed after New York City’s Central Park.
However, the place’s cost of living is 22% higher than other cities due to the high percentage of housing prices. This is because of the area’s desirability. The higher the demand is for houses in Burnaby, the higher the prices are.
Properties in Burnaby are 58% more expensive than in other places. For instance, single detached homes usually cost over Can$1 million. Meanwhile, townhomes and condominiums cost Can$400.
Although the housing prices can be a drawback, the city has a strong local economy. It is also a great place to live in Canada because it offers high-paying jobs. There are almost 20 corporations in various fields located just a few kilometres away from Vancouver.
Whether residents find a job in Burnaby or Vancouver, they can rest assured that their salary can take care of the high expenses.
Vancouver is probably the third best place to live in Canada. It offers great community engagement, culture, and low crime rate. It is the largest island on North America’s west coast, with over 500 communities. In here, you will find plenty of shopping districts, healthcare facilities, schools, and transportation systems.
You will love Vancouver Island for its natural beauty. It has many forests, lakes, mountains, and beaches. With over 120 provincial parks, it has become a great place for outdoor activities.
Vancouver Island can offer you a lot of great outdoor activities. You can go hiking, snorkelling, surfing, and kayaking during summertime. Meanwhile, you can go skiing and snowboarding in winter. All these activities make it a great place for families who are looking to live a relaxing yet adventurous lifestyle.
However, you must consider the city’s high cost of living. There are rural and urban cities on Vancouver Island, so the property market will vary depending on where you want to live.
For instance, a family home in the suburbs can cost over Can$1 million. Properties on sale are sold fast and renting can also be expensive, so finding the perfect house can be competitive.
To be fair, Vancouver Island is one of the best places to live in Canada as it offers higher-paying jobs to job seekers. Building your career here is also easier than anywhere else. So if you can secure a job in Vancouver, you’ll easily find an affordable home that suits your needs.
Montreal is situated in the province of Quebec, with over 1.8 million people. No doubt, it is the biggest city second to Toronto.
If you are looking for the best place to live in Canada with a low cost of living, choose Montreal. It is considered one of the most affordable expat havens compared to Toronto and Vancouver. The real estate costs and apartment rents are lower, too. Even food and entertainment costs will meet your budget goals.
People usually find a lot of job employment in Montreal in contrast to other cities. Add the benefits of low living costs, this place is one of the best to live in for working professionals, young adults, and even students.
Montreal is also the best place to live in Canada for arts and music lovers. The city is rich in museums and community events involving unforgettable live performances. So if you love cultural and social events, including music festivals, theatre productions, and more, then this city might be the perfect place for you.
Aside from entertainment, the city boasts its unique architecture, where old buildings meet the modern French style. The whole place has a strong resemblance to French towns in Europe. It’s as if you have time travelled back to the olden days. Therefore, the place has also become a prominent tourist location.
As for the language, French is the only official language of the city. If you want to live in this city, fluency in French would benefit you—or even at least start learning it.
Nevertheless, Montreal is an ethnically diverse city. Its community offers a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds, allowing new perspectives and ideas to flourish. That is why Montreal seems more innovative compared to other places.
Do you want to live a comfortable life yet away from the high cost of living? Then Surrey could be the best place to live in Canada for you.
This city offers many housing options, like single-detached homes, apartments, and condominiums. But the best part is, the properties are less expensive than in other Canadian cities. However, expect single detached homes to cost over $1 million dollars.
If you are not starting a family yet, you can rent an apartment instead of buying a house. This is much cheaper and more realistic for working singles.
You will find plenty of things to do in Surrey. It is the best place to live in Canada for those who love grand events. The city celebrates the Tree Lighting Festival, Children’s Festival, Fusion Festival, Canada Day, and Party for the Planet. These yearly events are a great way to spend time with families.
If you love wine and dining, Surrey offers the best restaurants with diverse cuisine. It is also the best place to live in Canada if you love local wine!
For those who love outdoor activities, Surrey has 600 parks and 277 trails to enjoy. You can also enjoy hiking, biking, bird watching, and other outdoor sports. Surrey is home to huge golf courses as well.
Living in Surrey does not have a lot of disadvantages. Even the weather is perfect. The place experiences mild winters with rare snowfalls. When it is summertime, it is the best place for outdoor activities, with an average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius.
But get ready for rainy days though as they are common. Therefore, you must always have an umbrella and waterproof gear, especially when having outdoor activities.
Canada is a wonderful place to live, whether you are living independently or starting a family. But before you dive in and move out, you have to ensure that it is a place that suits your needs.
Your lifestyle goals should not only include the amount of money you are making but also the fun activities that the city can offer you. This comprehensive list of the best places in Canada should be able to help you easily find the one that you are truly looking for.
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Quebec is probably the cheapest city to live in Canada, especially in Trois-Rivieres. The average monthly expense—if they are not paying rent—would be $670. Meanwhile, a one-bedroom apartment could be $560 monthly.
Some of the Canadian cities that offer the best quality of life are Ottawa, Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.
If you compare all the other cities in Canada, you will find that Quebec City has the lowest crime rate in the country.