Best places to live in Canada - house

Top 10 Best Places to Live in Canada - 2022

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.

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”.

Top 10 Best Places to Live in Canada

1. Deep River, Ontario

Best quality of life

1. Deep River, Ontario

Located in Renfrew County, along the Ottawa River, Deep River ranks 1st as the best place to live in Canada. The Deep River area provides stunning scenery and excellent boating on the broad river, as well as exciting hiking trails in the hills across the Ottawa River. The city is home to the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, so you might consider living in Deep River if you work in this field.

Deep River offers one of the most affordable housing markets in Ontario. Buying a house will cost you an average of $400,000 and renting a 1-bedroom apartment will cost you around $1,400.

In addition to being one of the cheapest places to live in Ontario, Deep River is also very safe. Its Crime Severity Index stands at 21.68, which is much lower than the national Index of 73.44.

Deep River, Ontario

2. Lévis, Quebec

Best for families

2. Lévis, Quebec

Lévis holds the 2nd position in the ranking of the best places to live in Canada. In the heart of three national parks, the city has excellent hiking trails. The cost of living in Lévis is 25% lower than the national average and buying a house costs about $263,500. Plus, Lévis is only 20 minutes away (about 18 km) from Quebec City. The city’s most in demand jobs are marine engineers and cooks.

With a Crime Severity Index of 26.77, Lévis is also one of the safest cities in Canada and in the province of Quebec. An index of 463 violent crimes per 100,000 people is registered in the city, while the province of Quebec has the double and Canada has nearly the triple.

Lévis, Quebec

(*Centris)

3. Trenton, Nova Scotia

Best for young workers

3. Trenton, Nova Scotia

Trenton is situated on the east bank of the East River of Pictou in Pictou County. The city is only 6 minutes away (3.5 km) from New Glasgow. If you like the idea of living in a town close to the beach then Trenton is a great place to be. Also, Trenton Park is considered one of Nova Scotia’s best parks. You won’t be disappointed with its 6.5 km of walking and hiking trails and its 565 acres of century-old trees. Trenton’s most in demand careers are: nurse and nurse aides, as well as transport truck drivers.

Trenton is one of the best places to live in Canada as well as one of the cheapest. The average home price in Trenton is around $124,586, which is 81% lower than the Canadian average. The average price to rent an apartment in Trenton is $664 per month. Trenton is also known for its high safety level. Crime rates in Trenton are 10% lower than Nova Scotia’s and Canada’s averages.

Trenton, Nova Scotia

4. Wellington County, Ontario

Best quality of life

4. Wellington County, Ontario

Wellington County is located in Southwestern Ontario and part of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Located less than one hour west of Toronto, the city ensures its residents a high quality of life and is certainly one of the best places in Canada. 

Above all, Wellington County is a safe place to live in, its CSI stands at 38.05. The city’s public safety is dedicated to building and maintaining a safe, healthy and vibrant community. In fact, Wellington County makes the top 25th percentile of all cities in the 3 following categories: low crime rates, low unemployment and a healthy growth population. The average cost of housing in Wellington County is $900 000.

Wellington County, Ontario

(*Zolo)

5. Quebec City, Quebec

Best for housing market affordability among urban areas

5. Quebec City, Quebec

Quebec City, the capital of the province of Quebec, offers its residents an unbeatable quality of life. What about taking a stroll at Les Chutes Montmorency or enjoying outdoor activities and sports at Les Plaines d’Abraham? Not to mention the famous Festival d’été de Québec attracting stars from around the world. Quebec City is looking to fill jobs with the following skilled workers: electrical and electronics engineers, interactive media developers and computer network technicians.

To talk numbers, the cost of living index in Quebec City is 25% lower than the national index and housing costs are 61% lower than Canada’s average! Quebec City is also extremely safe. It has indeed one of the lowest crime rates in North America and its CSI of 42.1 is actually the lowest index among Canada’s metropolitan areas.

Quebec City, Quebec

6. Saguenay, Quebec

Best for first-time home buyers

6. Saguenay, Quebec

Saguenay ranks as the 6th best place to live in Canada. Free of heavy traffic, this city in Quebec is also an affordable place to live in. Buying a home in Saguenay costs about $202,000, while the average rent for a studio can be as inexpensive as $475. Saguenay offers citizens a complete program of courses and leisure activities throughout many fields of interest and was named the Cultural Capital of Canada. Also, if you’re a computer engineer, Saguenay is a place for you since they’re looking to fill jobs in this field.

Besides having some of the most affordable housing options in Canada, Saguenay is also a very safe city to live in. With a CSI of 43.9, the city records the lowest crime rate among census metropolitan areas (CMA).   

Saguenay, Quebec

7. Barrie, Ontario

Best for families and art lovers

7. Barrie, Ontario

Located on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay, the western arm of Lake Simcoe, Barrie is ranked as the 7th best place to live in Canada. It is also a wonderful place to get affordable housing in Ontario. You’d particularly enjoy living in Barrie if you are an art lover. In fact, the Ontarian city is home to Kempenfest, one of the largest outdoor arts and crafts celebrations in the province. 

Barrie also offers an incredible abundance of amenities for families to stay entertained. $450,000 is the average cost to buy a home in Barrie. Whereas the average rent for a studio in Barrie is $1,200. Database analysts and software engineers and designers are most in demand jobs in Barrie. The city is located approximately 80 km north of Toronto. 

On top of it all, Barrie is part of the safest cities in Canada with a CSI of 44.9 and averages a crime rate 34% lower than the national rate.

Barrie, Ontario

8. Thetford Mines, Quebec

Best for the outdoorsy

8. Thetford Mines, Quebec

Situated in the Appalaches Regional County Municipality, Thetford Mines is considered one of the best places to live in Canada. With a CSI of 47.58 and a crime rate of 2,794 crimes per 100,000 people, Thetford Mines is a relatively safe city to live in. The city is located an hour and a half from Sherbrooke.

Thetford Mines offers an abundance of lakes and rivers, providing many opportunities for outdoor activities. In winter, families of the region love to go skiing in Mont Adstock. During the warmer months, the favorite activities of the residents are kayaking or swimming in one of the many lakes and rivers of the town. The average home price in Thetford Mines is around $140,000. You can even rent a 3-bedroom apartment in Thetford Mines for as low as $517. Industrial mechanics are in high demand in Thetford Mines.

Thetford Mines, Quebec

9. Edmundston, New Brunswick

Best for job opportunities: nurses, physicians & civil engineers

9. Edmundston, New Brunswick

The 9th best place to live in Canada is Edmundston, a city in Madawaska County, New Brunswick. From Art Galleries to outdoor activities, Edmundston offers a countless number of activities. Rich in culture and history, it is also one of the most Francophone towns outside the province of Quebec. As the most densely populated city in the area, Edmundston is a major hub for regional business and services. Nurses, physicians and civil engineers are the most in demand jobs in Edmundston.

The average home price in Edmundston is around $150,622, while renting an apartment will cost you about $546 per month. The high level of safety ensured by Edmundston also contributes to its ranking among the best places to live in Canada. The Crime Severity Index in Edmundston is as low as 51.91 and crime rates are 11% lower than Canada’s rate.

Edmundston, New Brunswick

10. High River, Alberta

Best for tranquility and the outdoorsy

10. High River, Alberta

To complete the ranking, High River appears in the Top 10 best places to live in Canada. Situated within the Calgary Metropolitan Region of Alberta and about 45 minutes away from Calgary, High River hosts annual events all year round but is particularly known for its old-fashioned outdoor parade during Christmas festivities as the entire town lights up. Besides, the city has many craft fairs, art studios and galleries. Besides, food service supervisors are in high demand in High River.

In High River, you’ll find some of the cheapest places to live in Alberta: the average cost of buying a house is $419,000 and the cost to rent a 1-bedroom apartment is around $1400. Moreover, High River has a CSI of 58.66, which is relatively low compared to the national Index of 73.44. The Albertan city records an average of 753 violent crimes per 100,000 people, this is 22% lower than Canada’s violent crimes rate.

High River, Alberta

(*Zolo & Nuroa)

Conclusion

Canada is a great place to live and to work and many are wondering what are the best places 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.

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