Best places to live in Canada

Top 6 Best places to live in Canada with the Best quality of life – 2024

Canada

Home to a population of more than 40 million people, Canada has a lot to offer — from the wide-open spaces of the great plains to the hockey games, Niagara Falls, the Canadian Rockies and maple syrup. Canada is well-known for its cultural diversity and can be a home for anyone!

Before moving to Canada, it is suggested to research the cost of living in Canada so you have a better understanding of your potential new home. The country’s diverse culture, amenities, parks, housing options, and safe areas enhance its residents’ quality of life.

Lots of families are looking for a place that is safe and affordable to move to, making the bigger cities less attractive to many. These smaller cities and towns offer outstanding quality of life for those looking for a fresh start.

Read on to discover the top 6 places to live in Canada with the best quality of life in 2024.

infographic map of best places to live in canada

Methodology

Based on “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 quality of life. 

Our safety ranking method relies on a thorough analysis of the Crime Severity Index, sourced from Statistics Canada’s 2022 records. This index encompasses all Criminal Code violations, encompassing traffic offenses, drug violations, and other federal statute breaches.

It assesses the gravity of crimes reported to law enforcement, considering both their frequency and severity. Using a baseline of 100 set in 2006, it indicates whether crime severity has increased or decreased since then.

Here’s how to interpret the Crime Severity Index values:

  • Below 70: Indicates low crime severity
  • 70 to 99: Suggests moderate crime severity
  • 100 to 139: Indicates high crime severity
  • 140 and above: Reflects very high crime severity

Affordability takes into account the prices of housing and renting. Statistics come from Realtor.ca for the average cost of buying a property and Zumper for the average cost of rent for a 1-bed apartment.

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, environment (cleanliness), as well as availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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1. Wellington County

Apartments in Wellington County
  • Crime Severity Index: 27.80
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,738
  • Average property buying cost: $861,528

Wellington County is located in the southwestern part of the province of Ontario and is part of the greater Golden Horseshoe region. What makes Wellington County unique, as noted by many locals, is its strategic location, providing easy accessibility to Brampton, Mississauga, Kitchener, and Downtown Toronto. In this case, owning a car is necessary, as there is limited public transportation in Wellington.

The city’s public safety services are dedicated to building and maintaining a community healthy, dynamic and safe. In fact, Wellington County excels in all 3 categories: low crime, low unemployment rate, and healthy population growth. Wellington County also has a low crime severity index of 27.80 making it a safe environment.The region is home to a variety of parks and green spaces, like Elora Gorge and Victoria Park. Many of the residents of Wellington County enjoy cycling and hiking, so be prepared to get outside!

As of November 2023, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,738, and the average property price is $861,528.

Statistics Canada (Nov 2022), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Realtor.ca (Nov 2023)

Wellington County, ON

2. Oak Bay

oak bay bc
  • Crime Severity Index: 29.18
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $2,108
  • Average property buying cost: $685,542

Oak Bay is a unique municipality located in British Columbia, filled with local beaches and parks. This region is known for its stunning views overlooking the Oak Bay Islands Ecological Reserve, where residents can enjoy whale watching. Oak Bay is also renowned for its Edwardian architecture, which can be found throughout the municipality.

Locals love relaxing at Willow Beach, hiking at Cattle Point or playing golf at the Victoria Golf Club. It offers a serene natural beauty setting with a walkability score of 67. Home to many schools, a few being Oak Bay High School and St. Patrick’s Elementary School, and a crime severity index of 29.18, the area provides a strong sense of security.

As of November 2023, the average property price is $685,542, with a 1-bed apartment renting for around $2,108.

Statistics Canada (Nov 2022), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Realtor.ca (Nov 2023)

Oak Bay, BC

3. LaSalle

Apartment in LaSalle
  • Crime Severity Index: 30.18
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,342
  • Average property buying cost: $879,017

LaSalle, Ontario, is a small town in Essex County. With 40 km of paved biking trails and over 100 acres of parkland, you can walk, jog or ride your bicycle through LaSalle without worrying about your safety, with a low crime severity index of 30.18. The town also hosts Night Markets featuring music, vendors and food at the Civic Centre on the last Sunday in May, June, July and August.

As noted by many residents, LaSalle has accessibility to amenities due to its easy access to Windsor – an 18-minute drive by car. The town also has sporting facilities like the Essex Golf and Country Club or the Seven Lakes Golf Course. LaSalle is known to be a great place to raise a family, as it is a tight-knit community with well-maintained infrastructures.

As of November 2023, the average property price is approximately $879,017 with 1-bed apartments renting for around $1,342.

Statistics Canada (Nov 2022), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Realtor.ca (Nov 2023)

LaSalle, ON

4. Lévis

Apartment in Lévis
  • Crime Severity Index: 30.17
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,568
  • Average property buying cost: $402,480

Lévis is located in Canada’s second most populated province, Quebec and sits right across Quebec City. Be prepared to experience all the seasons when living in Lévis, as winters can be rough and summers can be very warm. If you love spending time outside, Lévis is the perfect area for you, as it is located in the heart of three national parks with camping sites, wildlife, and hiking.

If you are thinking of moving to Lévis, it is important to note that most of the population is french speaking, and not everyone will understand English. It is strongly recommended to know basic French when going to Quebec in general. Nonetheless, Lévis is a great place to live with a low crime severity index of 30.17.

As of November 2023, the average property price is around $402,480, and renting a 1-bed apartment costs approximately $1,568.

Statistics Canada (Nov 2022), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Realtor.ca (Nov 2023)

Lévis, QC

5. Burlington

Apartment in Burlington
  • Crime Severity Index: 31.04
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,834
  • Average property buying cost: $861,528

Burlington, Ontario is the perfect blend of a small town with big-city amenities as it is located halfway between Toronto and Niagara Falls. The waterfront city is assuredly one of the best places to live in Canada with a crime severity index as low as 31.04 and a crime rate lower than the average.

Located in the Greater Toronto Area, Burlington is an excellent choice if you’re seeking professional opportunities. Many locals have noted Burlington’s quality, multiple amenities and welcoming community, making it easy for anyone to integrate. Residents can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking the famous Niagara Escarpment or taking a walk along the Waterfront Trail on the shore of Lake Ontario.

As of November 2023, the average property price is $861,528, and the cost of renting a 1-bedroom apartment is around $1,834.

Statistics Canada (Nov 2022), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Realtor.ca (Nov 2023)

Burlington, ON

6. Edmundston

Apartment in Edmundston
  • Crime Severity Index: 64.78
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $875
  • Average property buying cost: $234,834

From art galleries to the Grey Rock Casino, you won’t be disappointed by the variety of activities you can enjoy in Edmundston. What makes Edmundston unique is that it is one of the most Francophone towns outside the province of Quebec. Over 90% of the population in Edmundston are French speaking, as their first language.

Edmundston is not only known as a university town but as the business centre for Madawaska. Locals appreciate that the city is located right next to the United States border, making Maine easily accessible by car. It is also conveniently close to the province of Quebec, making day trips to Quebec City possible. Residents have noted that the city is a great place to raise a family, thanks to educational institutions like Saint Mary’s Academy and École Notre-Dame.

The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $875, and the average property price is $234,834 as of December 2023.With a reported crime severity index of 64.78, it provides a sense of security.

Statistics Canada (Nov 2022), Zillow (Dec 2023) & Realtor.ca (Dec 2023)

Edmundston, New Brunswick

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Conclusion

If you are planning to move to Canada, a beautiful country, take the time to explore these cities and find the one that best aligns with your lifestyle and preferences. Always consider factors such as amenities, proximity to the city centre, safety, and the unique characteristics of each area.

Canada offers a unique experience that blends the warmth of a friendly community. To ensure a smooth and stress-free relocation, it’s advisable to research the best moving companies in Canada ahead of time.

 

Last year’s ranking (2023)

  1. Edmundston
  2. Downtown Saguenay
  3. Lévis
  4. Deep River
  5. Trenton
  6. Quebec City
  7. Thetford Mines
  8. High River
  9. Barrie
  10. Wellington County

 

Our rankings are meticulously curated, considering affordability and quality of life. It’s important to highlight that certain places were excluded from last year’s lists due to insufficient rental data. Moreover, entries with higher average housing pricing in the previous year were excluded from the current rankings. We encourage readers to weigh these rankings in light of their individual needs and preferences for a more informed decision-making process.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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