Top 10 Canadian Cities to Live
9 May, 2018 / by Glenn Carter
We know that time changes just about everything, which is why we decided it’s time for us to update our list of best places to live in Canada. If you’re thinking about where to live in Canada, you may be considering a variety of factors ranging from the proximity of amenities to the health of the economy.
Regardless of where your priorities are, this break-down of the top cities in Canada will help you make the right choice the next time you move.
Top Canadian Cities: Ottawa
Ottawa is best known as the capital of Canada, but it is also considered by many to be the best place to live in Canada. In fact, MoneySense recently rated it the best place in Canada to live.
The Ottawa metro area currently has a population of just about 1.25 million people and is the fourth most populous city in Canada. Even with such a massive population, the city’s unemployment rate is only 5 percent — about 1 percent lower than Canada’s national average. The median income in Ottawa is the highest in the country, at nearly $95,000.
What’s more, big changes are constantly underway in the thriving metropolitan region of Ottawa. In fact, there’s currently a multibillion-dollar light rail project that’s slated to begin service this year.
There are many reasons why so many people have chosen Ottawa when they consider where to live in Canada. The city is more than just a center for political affairs — it has also attracted some of the most notable and sophisticated tech companies in the country.
When it comes to employment opportunities, safety, culture, affordability and so much more, Ottawa truly is one of the top cities in Canada.
Top Canadian Cities: Oakville
Routinely ranked as one of the best places to live in Canada, Oakville is a primarily suburban city in Ontario with a population of just under 200,000 people. The city has been experiencing steady growth in recent years as a result of its high quality of life.
The city offers a variety of retail, shopping and entertainment amenities and is among the wealthiest cities in Canada. Oakville is also a notoriously good place to raise children, a fact that may be attributed to a low crime rate, availability of quality educational resources and a solid median income, among other benefits.
Oakville is also considered one of the top places to live in Canada for retirees and immigrants. Many families who are immigrating from other countries choose Oakville because of its low unemployment rate and accessibility of economic opportunities. Although it’s worth noting that Oakville has become more expensive in recent years and rental rates are expected to continue increasing, the region is still a relatively affordable place to live.
Top Canadian Cities: Vancouver
Vancouver has always been one of the top cities in Canada because of its thriving cultural scene and vibrant economy. One of the most exciting developments in Vancouver is the growth of its technology sector. It is considered to be the best place in Canada for tech startups, which makes it an attractive city for entrepreneurs, innovators and tech professionals.
The city also offers residents unparalleled natural beauty. The city borders the ocean, and people can drive from downtown Vancouver to the beach in just a few minutes. For many, the ability to live in a city with a thriving economy and beautiful natural attractions is too good to resist. However, it is also an expensive place to live, which prevents many people from making the move.
Top Canadian Cities: Montreal
With a low cost of living and thriving housing market, Montreal is one of the most appealing places to live in Canada. This city has gotten quite a bit of attention for its high concentration of university students, as well. Montreal has the most students per capita of any city in North America and is home to McGill University, the top-ranked university in Canada.
Montreal is considered to be one of the best places to live in Canada for students and young people in particular. In fact, the city was recently ranked ahead of Paris as the best city in the world for students.
The city has earned popularity among young people in part because of its diversity and commitment to tolerance. Montreal has made clear its commitment to welcoming and supporting members of the LGBT communities, as well as immigrants.
Top Canadian Cities: Waterloo
Waterloo has a place on our list of top cities in Canada because of its popularity among people who are making the move to Canada. The city has a population of just over 100,000, but it has successfully brought in a large number of new arrivals thanks to its high median income and the availability of resources and amenities. The quality of education is just one of the characteristics that has drawn young families to the city.
Waterloo is also known for the sense of community experienced by its residents. In addition, it is quickly gaining traction in the tech industry, as many companies have decided to locate to the city. While it’s still leagues behind tech leaders like Toronto, economic growth is promising, especially for people who are thinking about where to live in Canada.
Top Canadian Cities: Orillia
The city of Orillia might not seem like much at first, but this burgeoning community is considered one of the most entrepreneurial cities in Canada. It has a thriving real estate market that has steadily landed the city on lists of the best places in Canada for investment in housing and rental markets.
The growth in its housing market is one of the reasons why Orillia has been able to make so many investments in its public amenities and infrastructure. The city is in the process of constructing a waterfront recreation facility that will provide residents with a variety of community resources.
Top Canadian Cities: Regina
Next on our list of the top cities in Canada is Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan. Regina might not be the biggest city in Canada, but it is experiencing an exciting period of growth. Currently, the city is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas by population.
Regina is also home to an overwhelmingly young population. The city is the fourth-youngest city in Canada by median age, with 87 percent of its population below 65. The city has a low unemployment rate of just 5.2 percent and is one of the most welcoming cities in Canada for immigrants. As far as experts can tell, Regina will continue to grow significantly in the coming years — and that’s good news for its economy.
Top Canadian Cities: Calgary
There are several reasons why Calgary is widely regarded as one of the top cities in Canada. Although it’s difficult to put a number on Calgary’s livability and appeal, The Economist ranks it as the fifth most livable city in the world. Part of its appeal comes from its booming energy industry. However, while Calgary’s economy is largely based on its thriving energy sector, it has successfully drawn in a diverse array of business interests in recent years. It is home to some of Canada’s top corporations and ranks highly when it comes to GDP, employment rate and median income.
The industry in Calgary is not the only example of the city’s diversity. The area has welcomed people from many different backgrounds, including immigrants and refugees, who are looking for an area with a promising economy and broad employment opportunities. Calgary is also well known for its fast-paced and energetic atmosphere. Many people who visit even liken it to New York City, with a wide range of options when it comes to entertainment, culture and nightlife.
Top Canadian Cities: Halifax
With the perfect combination of downtown attractions and close-knit community connections, Halifax is one of the best places to live in Canada for everyone from Millenials and young families to older professionals and retirees.
There are several large universities (five to be exact), as well as a large selection of bars and nightclubs for people who are interested in an active nightlife. Halifax has also experienced an impressive level of economic growth, exporting a staggering 90 percent of Nova Scotia’s products. It also has a flourishing life sciences industry, with an impressive number of new companies starting up — and more expected in the coming years.
Halifax is an excellent option for women who are looking to relocate within Canada. A study out of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that women are more employed than men in Halifax, despite the fact that the wage gap is relatively close to the national average. The city also has many different offerings for tourists and sightseers. It has lots of beautiful beaches, public parks and events and festivals taking place throughout the year.
Top Canadian Cities: Kingston
Finally on our list of best places to live in Canada, we have Kingston. Located in eastern Ontario, the city has a population of about 125,000 and has a history that dates back to the 17th century, when it was established as a French trading post and Canada’s first capital city.
Despite its age, Kingston is a hotspot for Canadian millennials thanks to its relative affordability and continued economic and community growth. And, because of the small population, many residents of Kingston find it easy to make connections and meet new people in professional and personal contexts alike.
In addition to the close community atmosphere, residents can also find some of the same resources and amenities present in larger cities. You will find thriving nightlife, innovative businesses and industries and community gatherings and events, all within the same area. Kingston offers a wonderful mixture of cultural and historical attractions and growing corporate industry in its downtown region. One can go from exploring modern retail and entertainment destinations to touring one of Kingston’s many historical landmarks — without missing a beat.
Choosing your new Canadian home city
There you have it: an updated list of the best places to live in Canada. Regardless of which city on this list appeals to you the most, you are almost certain to find a wealth of economic opportunities, entertainment and attractions, community amenities and unique local features to draw you in.
The most important thing to remember when you decide it’s time to make a move is that you need a professional team behind you to make sure you find the right home and obtain the right financing. Be sure to consult the right professionals to ensure your transition is as smooth and financially beneficial for you and your family as possible.