Best places to live in Canada

Top 10 Best places to live in Canada with the Best quality of life – 2023

Canada has some of the best cities in the world in terms of quality of life. In the past years, the crime rates and real estate cost are on the rise everywhere in Canada. Lots of families are looking for a place that is safe and affordable to move to making the bigger cities less attractive to many. With that in mind, we compiled this list of the top 10 best places to live in Canada that have low crime rates and an affordable real estate market. These smaller cities and towns offer outstanding quality of life for those looking for a fresh start.

Best Places to live in Canada - infographic

Methodology

“Best” being a subjective word, below is our methodology to compile the best places.

Using our existing ranking of the safest and cheapest places to live in Canada, we based our ranking on 3 criteria: safety, affordability and access to recreational facilities and parks

Safety is measured with the Crime Severity Index* (CSI) and the crime rates collected from governmental and police sources. In 2020, the Crime Severity Index in Canada stood at 73.44. Cities with a CSI below 60 are therefore considered amongst the safest.

Affordability takes into account the prices of housing and renting. According to CBC, the average Canadian house price is $720,850.

Finally, we used the following data to rank the 10 best places to live in Canada while also taking into account their quality of life. Health, pollution, green spaces and recreation, climate, education and employment are the criteria involved to determine the quality of life.

*According to Statistics Canada, the Crime Severity Index is “a measure of the severity of police-reported crime. The CSI includes all Criminal Code violations including traffic offenses, as well as drug violations and other federal statute offenses. In the CSI, all crimes are assigned a weight based on their seriousness”.

MovingWaldo's list of the Best places to live in Canada

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1. Edmundston, New Brunswick

TOP-10-CITIES-EDMUNDSTON-NB
Best for employment opportunities: nurses, doctors and civil engineers
  • Population: 16,781
  • Average cost of a house: $150,622
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $545
  • Average monthly cost of living: $1,286 

Edmundston is listed as first place for the best place to live in Canada. It is a town located in Madawaska Country, New Brunswick. From art galleries to outdoor activities, Edmundston has an endless number of activities to offer. A city rich in history and culture, it is also the largest city with a French-speaking majority outside Quebec. As the most densely populated city in the region, Edmundston is at the heart of the area’s commerce and services. Nurses, doctors and civil engineers are the most in-demand jobs in Edmundston.

The price of the average house is around $150,622, while renting a 1-bedroom apartment costs around $545 per month. The high levels of security achieved by the City of Edmundston also contribute to its ranking among the best places to live in Canada. The crime rate in Edmundston is 24% lower than that of the province. 

(*Numbeo, AreaVibes)

Edmundston, New Brunswick

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2. Saguenay, Québec

TOP10CITIES-CA-Best places to live in Canada-Saguenay, Québec
Best for first-time buyers
  • Population: 144,723
  • CSI: 50
  • Average cost of a house: $257,644
  • Average monthly rental of a 3 ½: $650
  • Average monthly cost of living: $2,732

Saguenay is the second best place to live in Canada. It is a “québécoise” city with no traffic jams, Saguenay is an affordable place. Buying a residence in Saguenay costs around $257,644, while the average price for renting a 3 ½ apartment will cost you an average of $650 per month. The City of Saguenay offers its citizens a complete program of courses and leisure activities covering various fields of interest. In addition, it has been designated the cultural capital of Canada. If you are a computer engineer, Saguenay is a place for you since we are looking to fill positions in this field.

In addition to offering some of the most affordable housing in Canada, the City of Saguenay is very safe. It has a crime rate 11% lower than that of Quebec and its Crime Severity Index, for its part, is 50.

(*CareerBeacon, Numbeo)

Saguenay, Québec

3. Lévis, Québec

TOP10CITIES-CA-Best places to live in Canada-Lévis, Québec
Best for families
  • Population: 152 058 
  • CSI: 27.04
  • Average cost of a house: $329,700
  • Average monthly rent of a 1-bedroom apartment: $758

Lévis holds the third position in the ranking of the best places to live in Canada. Located in the heart of three major national parks, the city has a large number of hiking trails. Buying a house in Lévis will cost you approximately $329,700. In addition, Lévis is only 20 minutes (about 18 km) from Quebec City. The most in-demand jobs in the city are naval engineers and cooks.

With a Crime Severity Index of 27.04, Lévis is also one of the safest cities in Quebec.

(*TVA News)

Lévis, Québec

4. Deep River, Ontario

TOP10CITIES-CA-Best places to live in Canada-Deep River, Ontario
Best for outdoor activities
  • Population: 4,175
  • CSI: 21.68
  • Average cost of a house: $370,000
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1,400
  • Average monthly cost of living: $2,793

Located on the course of the Ottawa River in Renfrew County, Deep River is ranked number 4 in the ranking of the best places to live in Canada. The Deep River area has stunning scenery and wide rivers, so it’s the perfect place to go boating. The area also offers hiking trails, which are found across the Ottawa River. Also, the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories are located in this city. Therefore, living in Deep River could be very interesting if you work in the scientific field.

Deep River is one of the most affordable real estate markets in Ontario. Buying a residence costs an average of $400,000, while renting a 1-bedroom apartment costs around $1,050 per month.

Besides being one of the cheapest places to live in Ontario, Deep River is a very safe town. Its Crime Severity Index is 21.68, well below the national index of 73.7.

(*AreaVibes, Point2Homes)

Deep River, Ontario

5. Trenton, Nova Scotia

TOP10CITIES-Best places to live in CA-Trenton, Nova Scotia
Affordable cost of living
  • Population: 2,407
  • Average cost of a house: $182,400
  • Average cost of living: – 20% than the national average

Trenton is the fifth best city to live in Canada. It is located on the east bank of the East River of Pictou in Pictou County. The town is only 6 minutes (3.5 km) from New Glasgow. If the idea of living in a small town near the beach appeals to you, Trenton is the perfect place. Plus, Trenton Park is one of the best parks in all of Nova Scotia. Its 6.5 kilometers of mountain walking and hiking trails and its 565 acres of century-old trees will not disappoint you. The jobs most in demand in Trenton are: nurses and orderlies, and transport truck drivers.

Trenton is one of the best places to live in Canada, as well as being one of the cheapest. The average cost of buying a home in Trenton is $182,400. You will be happy to learn that the cost of living is very affordable since it is 20% less expensive than the Canadian average. Trenton is also recognized as a safe city. The city’s crime rate is 9% lower than that of the province.

(*AreaVibes and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

Trenton, Nova Scotia

6. Québec City, Québec

TOP10CITIES-Best places to live in CA-Québec City, Québec
Best for housing affordability and urban areas
  • Population: 549,459 inhabitants
  • Average cost of a house: $325,000
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $839
  • Average monthly cost of living: $2,579

Quebec City, capital of the province of Quebec, offers its residents an unbeatable quality of life. How about a walk in Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, or outdoor activities or sports on the Plains of Abraham? And that’s not to mention the famous Festival d’été de Québec, which brings in stars from all over the world. Quebec City is looking to fill the following skilled worker positions: electrical and electronics engineers, interactive media developers and computer network technicians.

In terms of figures, the monthly cost of living in Quebec is $2,579 and the average cost of a residence is $325,000. On the housing rental side, you can live in a 1-bedroom apartment for about $1,000 per month in Downtown and about $839 per month outside of Downtown.

(*CareerBeacon, Numbeo)

Québec City, Québec

7. Thetford Mines, Québec

TOP10CITIES-Best places to live inCA-Thetford Mines, Québec
Best for nature lovers
  • Population: 26,072
  • Average cost of a house: $200,000
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): from $455
  • Average monthly cost of living: $2,520

Located in the regional county municipality of Appalaches, the City of Thetford Mines is considered to be one of the best places to live in Canada. With a crime rate of 2,794 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, Thetford Mines is a relatively safe city. The city is located an hour and a half from Sherbrooke.

Thetford Mines abounds in lakes and rivers, multiplying the number of outdoor activities that can be practiced there. In winter, families living in the region head to Mont Adstock to go skiing. When the warm weather returns, the favorite activities of its inhabitants are kayaking and swimming in the many lakes and rivers found in the city. You can rent accommodation in Thetford Mines starting at as little as $455 per month, which is 69% cheaper than the Quebec average. Industrial mechanics are in high demand in Thetford Mines.

(*Centris & Kijiji)

Thetford Mines, Québec

8. High River, Alberta

TOP10CITIES-Best places to live in CA-High River, Alberta
Best for tranquility and the outdoors
  • Population: 13,712 
  • Average cost of a house: $370,982
  • Average monthly rent (2-bed): $1,030

High River is located in the Greater Calgary Alberta area approximately 45 minutes from the City of Calgary, the City of High River hosts annual events throughout the year. The city is particularly known for its old-fashioned holiday parades as the whole city lights up. In addition, the city has a large number of craft fairs, galleries and art studios. Additionally, supervisors in the food industry are in high demand in High River.

High River is one of the cheapest places to live in Alberta: buying a house there costs about $370,982, while renting a 2-bedroom unit there costs about $1,030 per month. The crime rate is 39% lower than in Alberta.

(*Zolo, AreaVibes)

High River, Alberta

9. Barrie, Ontario

TOP10CITIES-Best places to live in CA-Barrie, Ontario
Best for art enthusiasts and families
  • Population: 147,829
  • CSI: 45.91
  • Average cost of a house: $705,000
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1,593
  • Average monthly cost of living: $3,508

Located on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay, the western arm of Lake Simcoe, Barrie is the seventh best place to live in Canada. It is also a great place to find affordable homes in Ontario. You will definitely love living in Barrie if you are passionate about the arts. In fact, this Ontario town is home to Kempenfest, one of the province’s largest outdoor arts and crafts celebrations.

Barrie also has an abundance of facilities for families to enjoy. $705,000 is the average price of a house in Barrie. Renting a 1-bedroom apartment costs an average of $1,838 per month in Downtown and it will cost you $1,593 per month outside of Downtown. Data analysts and software engineers and designers are the most in-demand jobs in Barrie. The city is located about 80 km north of Toronto.

On top of all that, Barrie is one of the safest cities in Canada with a CSI of 45.91.

(*Numbeo)

Barrie, Ontario

10. Wellington County, Ontario

TOP10CITIES-Best places to live in CA-Wellington County, Ontario
Highest quality of life
  • Population: 241,026
  • Average cost of a house: $915,427
  • Average monthly rental: – 48% of Ontario average
  • Average monthly cost of living: -12% of Ontario average

Wellington County completes the ranking of the best places to live in Canada. It is located in the southwestern part of the province of Ontario and is part of the greater Golden Horseshoe region. Located less than an hour’s drive from Toronto, the city offers its residents an excellent quality of life, and it is certainly one of the best places in Canada.

Above all, Wellington County is a safe place and has a 38% lower crime rate than Ontario. The city’s public safety services are dedicated to building and maintaining a community healthy, dynamic and safe. In fact, Wellington County is among the top 25 percentiles of any city in all 3 categories: low crime, low unemployment, and healthy population growth. The average cost of a home in Wellington County is $915,427 and you’ll find rental accommodation 48% cheaper than the Ontario average.

(*Zolo, AreaVibes)

Wellington County, Ontario

Conclusion

Canada is a great place to live and to work and many are wondering what the best places are to live in this large country. With this ranking of the best places to live in Canada, you should be able to make a choice. If you are moving soon, you might also want to find out about the 5 best long-distance moving companies in Canada.

MovingWaldo's list of the Best places to live in Canada in 2022

1. Deep River, Ontario
2. LĂ©vis, Quebec
3. Trenton, Nova Scotia
4. Wellington County, Ontario
5. Quebec City, Quebec
6. Saguenay, Quebec
7. Barrie, Ontario
8. Thetford Mines, Quebec
9. Edmundston, New Brunswick
10. High River, Alberta

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