Most LGBT friendly cities to live in Canada

Top 10 Most LGBT friendly cities to live in Canada with the Best quality of life – 2023

Canada is among one of the 30 countries in the world that recognize same-sex marriage. Over the course of the years, the Government of Canada has expanded their knowledge, resources, education, and acceptance of the LGBTQ community creating a sanctuary for citizens to truly be themselves. Regional organizations, Equal Rights Coalition and refugee protections for LGBT groups are among examples of ways Canada has shown its support towards the community. Upon Canada’s legalization of same-sex marriage, since 2005, Canadian cities have created their own neighborhoods, parades, festivities, resources, and communities to raise awareness for the LGBT community. In this way, to make your decision for your next move that much easier, we have created a list of the top 10 most LGBT friendly cities in Canada.

Top 10 Most LGBT Friendly Cities in Canada - infographic

Methodology

As written on the Government of Canada official website, Canada declares the protection and awareness of human rights for the LGBTQ+ community and in doing so promotes a safe environment for all. Canada actively promotes LGBTQ+ human rights with diverse forums, being members of Core Groups as well as refugee protection within the community. 

With that being said, it is fair to say Canada has actively taken part in protecting and comforting the LGBTQ+ community providing thousands of homes for the masses.  

In no particular order, we’ve consequently built our ranking of the top 10 LGBT friendly cities in Canada by evaluating criteria using information provided by Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC), Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Gay Pride Calendar meanwhile using Zumper.com and Numbeo.com to support these rankings, who considered the following criteria: community support, affordability, safety, and pride-readiness (pride festivals, gay bars and clubs, LGBT-friendly accommodations). 

(*Government of Canada)

MovingWaldo's list of the Most LGBT friendly cities to live in Canada

Widgets Magazine

1. Toronto, ON

1. Toronto - Top 10 LGBT Friendly Cities in Canada
Best for: Single individuals or couples
  • Population: Around 3.0M
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $2,279

Toronto, Ontario is best known for being Canada’s largest gay community, making it one of the most LGBT friendly cities in Canada. Not to mention Toronto’s crime and safety index pose as a reflection of this statement with a score of 46.14 and a high safety of 58.30. The Church and Wellesley Village is a part of Toronto’s most vibrant and populated LGBT friendly neighborhoods. The neighborhood acts as a safe space including community support and resources like the 519 Community Center or the Shelbourne Health Center. The Shelbourne Center helps the LGBT community by responding to any of their health needs including seeking information about health. 

In regard to affordability, according to Zumper.com, The 6ix offers its residence a rent of $2,279 per month. Toronto Pride is known worldwide for its grand celebrations and festivities celebrating the unity and acceptance of the LGBT community. If you are planning on moving to Toronto, you will be welcomed with extravagant nightlife and busy city-living making it perfect for single individuals or couples.

(*Sherbourne Center, Zumper, 519 Center, Numbeo & Pride Toronto)

Toronto, ON

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2. Montreal, QC

2. Montreal - Top 10 LGBT Friendly Cities in Canada
Best for: Dating Scene
  •  Population: 1 715 937
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1,558

Montreal has long been an advocate for the LGBT community with the Montreal Pride, the “Gay Village” and its abundant selection of same-sex bars and clubs. The Village on Rue Saint-Catherine is the hub for a strong vibrant neighborhood surrounded by pedestrian-only walkways to the Montreal Metro (known as the STM), bars, bakeries, apartments, antique shops, restaurants, and grocery stores. Since 1988, Montreal has been hosting the LGBTQ film festival which offers education, knowledge, and awareness about the community on health, resistance, history, and acceptance. Montreal also offers its residents a number of helplines for gender identity like Interligne and resource centres listed on The Montreal LGBTQ+ Community Centre website. 

Generally speaking, Montreal is known for its grand parks such as Mont-Royal where you can gather the family for a picnic and watch the sunset. Montreal is the place for you if you are looking to find your soulmate and settle down – the dating scene is intriguing! In addition, the safety index is among the highest with a score of 69.01 and a low crime rate of 30.99! Moreover, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,558 per month. An important element to note before moving to Montreal is how the city speaks both French and English, however French being the primary language – make sure to brush up on your languages before moving! 

(*MTL.org, Gay Pride Calendar, Zumper & CCGLM.org)

Montreal, QC

3. Vancouver, BC

3. Vancouver - Top 10 LGBT Friendly Cities in Canada
Best for: Luxurious lifestyle
  • Population: 637 234
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $2,500

Located around Davie Street and Commercial Drive in Grandview is the majority of Vancouver’s LGBT community. Vancouver is known to be an inclusive and accepting city with many amenities to offer such as safety. According to Numbeo.com, the crime index is at a low of 38.25 and the safety index is at a high of 61.75. Moreover, Davie Street is home to the Qmunity also known as the Center which provides youth and senior programs, Trans ID clinic, employment support and counseling programs.

Vancouver also offers residence LGBT friendly beaches like Wreck Beach, grand parks like Queen Elizabeth Park, the Downtown Strict which includes shopping and restaurants or if you fancy a night out you can find all the famous bars on Granville Street in the Entertainment District. In regard to affordability, Vancouver is renowned for being expensive, so budgeting is an essential tool as the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,500 per month. 

(*Zumper)

Vancouver, BC

4. Ottawa, ON

4. Ottawa - Top 10 LGBT Friendly Cities in Canada
Best for: Safety
  • Population: 1 423 000
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1726

The Canadian Capital, otherwise known as Ottawa, is one of the most LGBT friendly cities in Canada. Ottawa is known for its music festivals, ice-skating rinks and hiking trails. If you are looking for an extremely safe place to live and raise a family, Ottawa is the place for you. The crime index score is at an extreme low of 27.27 and the safety index stands at an impressive 72.73!

The most vibrant neighborhood to reside in would be Ottawa’s Gay Village, a few blocks away from Parliament Hill, where 40% of the population identifies as LGBT. The average price for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,726 per month. Not to mention, just like Montreal and Toronto, Ottawa also holds an annual Pride celebration featuring a parade, festival and amenities throughout Pride Week.

(*Zumper.com, Ottawa Front Runners & Numbeo.com)

Ottawa, ON

5. Edmonton, AB

5. Edmonton - Top 10 LGBT Friendly Cities in Canada
Best for: University students
  • Population: 958 677
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1,039

Canada’s Festival City otherwise known as Edmonton, Alberta, is one of the most LGBT friendly cities in Canada. Edmonton’s community support and pride readiness comes to play with the Pride Centre of Edmonton – a welcome space for all LGBTQ+ members to provide resources, opportunities, and counseling. If you are looking to move to a one-of-a-kind neighborhood, you should consider joining Edmonton’s Jasper Avenue – where you will find a plethora of businesses run by LGBT members, same-sex bars and clubs and other Pride festivities. In Edmonton, the average cost for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1039 per month. 

As for the safety and crime index, Edmonton carries a low crime index at 44.56 with a safety index of 55.44. Edmonton also has some of the most acclaimed schools in Canada like Mount Pleasant School and Windsor Park School making it perfect to raise a family. 

(*Numbeo.com, Zumper & Pride Centre of Edmonton)

Edmonton, AB

6. Winnipeg, MB

6. Winnipeg - Top 10 LGBT Friendly Cities in Canada
Best for: City-living
  • Population: 833 000
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1,950

Winnipeg has a history since 1998 when it comes to LGBT recognition as being one of the first North American cities to elect an openly gay major. Winnipeg shows its community support by having resource groups for specific audiences including Rainbow Resource Centre, Queer People of Color (QPOC) and the Manitoba LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.

In regard to affordability, a 1-bedroom apartment averages at $1095 per month making it budget-friendly for residents. Winnipeg has a slightly higher crime rate than other cities at 58.93 and a safety index of 41.07. As for pride-readiness, Winnipeg also holds a Pride parade along with festivities including their first in-person Pride Parade of 2022 since the pandemic. Moving to Winnipeg would mean skyline views and city-living. 

(*Numbeo, Zumper, Pride Winnipeg & Gay Pride Calendar)

Winnipeg, MB

7. Calgary, AB

7. Calgary - Top 10 LGBT Friendly Cities in Canada
Best for: Families
  • Population: 1 611 000
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1,550

With the glorious biking and hiking trails Calgary has to offer, it is no wondering Canadians love this city! Although there isn’t one specific place for the LGBT scene, there are, however, streets dedicated to the LGBT community. More specifically in the Beltline Area between 14th and 13th Avenue where you can find a 1-bedroom apartment can cost you $1550 per month. 

Calgary is one of the safest places for families with a safety index at a skyrocketing rate of 63.18 and an immensely low crime rate of 36.82. In regard to community support, Calgary offers a wide range of centers like Center of Sexuality and Calgary Outlink to provide education, encouragement and referrals to the community. 

(*Numbeo, Zumper & CMHA.ca

Calgary, AB

8. St John's, N.L.

8. St John's - Top 10 LGBT Friendly Cities in Canada
Best for: Affordability
  • Population: 67 094
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $975

St John’s is one of the most LGBT friendly cities in Canada with its unique colorful buildings and elderly streets as well as its awareness towards the LGBT community. Affordability is one of St John’s advantages with the average cost of a 1-bedroom apartment being anywhere between $975. As for the safety and crime rates, the safety rate is at a median of 53.01 and the crime index is ranked 46.99. 

In regard to pride readiness, St John raises awareness for the LGBT community by hosting a grand Pride Parade, having their own St. John’s Gay Men Chorus, groups for Parents of Trans & Gender Diverse Kids including inclusive sports teams like the Odds & Ends LGBT+ Curling team. Above all they expose their citizens to resources for individuals within the community like the MUN LGBTQ+ Resource Centre and the MUN Intersections Resource Centre. St Johns is the perfect opportunity to start a family with amenities of the greater Canadian community, rich history, and community support. 

(*Numbeo.comZumper.comViolence Prevention Avalon East

St John's, N.L.

9. Halifax, N.S.

9. Halifax - Top 10 LGBT Friendly Cities in Canada
Best for: Walkability
  • Population: 417 000
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1,895

Besides its historical charm, community spirit, fantastic seafood and natural landscapes, Halifax is also known for its LGBT-friendly atmosphere. Since 2004, Halifax has openly and actively accepted same-sex marriage making it the sixth canadian authority to do so. Moving to Halifax would entail a plethora of job opportunities, an energetic environment, walkability, and amazing educational institutions. 

As for affordability and safety, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Halifax is $1895 per month. On top of this, the safety index is at a great height of 58.84 with a low crime rate of 41.16. The North End of Halifax is home to many members of the LGBT community along with artists and multi-colorful homes for all to enjoy. As previously mentioned, Halifax residents prefer to walk or bike as a main source of transportation with the walk score being 63 and the bike score being 59.

(*NumbeoWalk ScoreZumper Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC)

Halifax, N.S.

10. Nelson, BC

10. Nelson - Top 10 LGBT Friendly Cities in Canada
Best for: Nature lovers
  • Population: 11,106
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1,102

Moving to Nelson, British Columbia will entail stunning mountains and lakes for all to enjoy. Nelson has ranked behind Vancouver in regards to livable; consequently, the price of a 1-bedroom apartment averages at $1,102 per month. If you are looking to move to a small-town atmosphere where everyone knows their neighbors – Nelson is the place for you. 

They have one resource center for the LGBT community known as the LGBT Resource Center including counseling support. Just like all the cities mentioned above, for over 20 years, Nelson has organized its own Pride parade, and instead of celebrating for a single day, they extend the celebrations for an entire weekend known as the Kootenay Pride Weekend. Nelson is also home many same-sex clubs, bars, restaurants, and shopping malls for its residence to enjoy. However, you will typically see Nelson residence enjoying a hike and taking in the sun surrounded by nature. 

(*Nelson Kootenay)

Nelson, BC

Conclusion

The LGBT community is rapidly growing and earning a place in all cities around Canada. MovingWaldo has provided a list of the top 10 most LGBT friendly cities in Canada to assist the community in making an effortless and clearer decision when choosing your next move with high regard to community support and resources. 

Are you moving soon? Find out the Safest Cities in Canada with the Best Quality of Life! Thinking of moving to the USA? Discover America’s safest cities for people of the LBGTQ+ community.

MovingWaldo's list of the Most LGBT friendly cities to live in Canada in 2022

1. Toronto, ON
2. Montreal, QC
3. Vancouver, BC
4. Ottawa, ON
5. Edmonton, AB
6. Winnipeg, MB
7. Calgary, AB
8. St John’s, N.L.
9. Halifax, N.S.
10. Nelson, BC

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