Canada is a huge country that stretches all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. It even extends all the way north to the Arctic Ocean, covering almost four million square miles in area in total.
If you’re considering a move to Canada, deciding between Canada’s ten provinces and three territories might feel like a daunting task. In this article, we’ll help you narrow down your options with our list of the 10 best places to live in Canada.
We’ll give you the bottom line on each location, plus some key stats and facts to help you zero in on the right destination for you.
Note: All costs and prices listed in this article are in Canadian dollars (CAD).
Let’s get started!
#1: Ottawa, Ontario
Best for: Green city living. Canada’s capital is known for its parks, beaches, rivers, and greenery that infuse urban life with natural beauty.
Population – 1,017,449
Median Household Income – $102,000
Average Home Cost – $394,000
Unemployment Rate – 6.3%
Notable Features That Draw People to Ottawa:
- You’ll find two universities in the city: the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. These two institutions attract plenty of young people—as well as a highly-educated workforce—to Ottawa.
- Ottawa is a bicycle-friendly city that has also has received high marks for its walkability. If you’re itching to spend less time in your car, Ottawa could be a great destination for you.
- Ottawa also has a strong multicultural feel. English and French are both spoken prominently, and the city is a significant destination for immigrants from all parts of the world.
#2: St. Albert, Alberta
Best for: Families who crave small-town life with nearby access to plenty of amenities and cultural opportunities.
Population – 69,789
Median Household Income – $131,000
Average Home Cost – $569,164
Unemployment Rate – 6.6%
Notable Features That Draw People to St. Albert:
- St. Albert is the kind of place where neighbors get to know each other—and throw annual block parties together. If that kind of camaraderie is up your alley, St. Albert will be a good choice for you.
- Parents will find plenty to keep their kids busy in St. Albert, including arts programs, sports clubs, festivals, outdoor trails, and a large public library.
- Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta, is only about a half-hour from St. Albert by car, for a quick and easy taste of city life.
#3: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Best for: Soaking in gorgeous coastal views while enjoying a more relaxed pace of life.
Population – 460,232
Median Household Income – $60,764
Average Home Cost – $569,100
Unemployment Rate – 4.9%
Notable Features That Draw People to Halifax:
- Halifax combines the best of both worlds: the resources and opportunities of a mid-sized city along with a stunning natural landscape that offers plenty of opportunity to explore the outdoors.
- The city has embraced its identity as a multicultural hub, as well as its reputation for being a friendly, welcoming place to live.
- Halifax is a place that makes it easy to operate at a slow, unhurried pace—perfect if you’re looking for a more laid-back location.
#4: Calgary, Alberta
Best for: Those looking for a high quality of life in an urban setting. Calgary consistently ranks especially high in culture, environment, and education.
Population – 1,372,178
Median Household Income – $105,060
Average Home Cost – $512,720
Unemployment Rate – 9.5%
Notable Features That Draw People to Calgary:
- In 2022, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Calgary as the third most livable global city—tied with Zurich, Switzerland. Calgary has ranked in the top ten in the EIU Liveability Index since 2008.
- Living in Calgary means access to a lively arts scene, with plenty of annual festivals, a roster of live music and dance venues, and dozens of theater groups that call the city home.
- If you’re looking for a place to boost your professional career, Calgary is a good place to start. The city’s key industries include aerospace and logistics, energy, financial services, life sciences, creative and digital media, agribusiness, and technology. Additionally, Calgary has the highest personal income per capita across Canada—promising for job seekers.
#5: Toronto, Ontario
Best for: Embracing all the perks of urban life in this diverse metropolis, which is also Canada’s most populated city.
Population – 2,794,356
Median Household Income – $98,174
Average Home Cost – $1,019,100
Unemployment Rate – 4.9%
Notable Features That Draw People to Toronto:
- Toronto offers you the full urban experience, including plenty of cultural resources, entertainment options, fine dining outlets, a symphony orchestra, museums, art galleries, and more. In other words, Toronto has it all.
- Toronto is a significant economic hub for the country, so it can be a great place to find a job, especially if you plan to work in finance, real estate, or technology.
- Finally, if the cost of living in Toronto feels daunting, consider one of the nearby areas, like Hamilton, Oshawa, Vaughan, or Barrie. These areas might feel more livable, while offering easy admission to all that Toronto has to offer.
#6: Vancouver, British Columbia
Best for: Those who want to enjoy coastal living—and the warmer, gentler winters that come along with it.
Population – 662,248
Median Household Income – $72,585
Average Home Cost – $1,273,225
Unemployment Rate – 4.7%
Notable Features That Draw People to Vancouver:
- The city is surrounded by water on three sides. The oceanic climate not only makes for gorgeous seascapes but also keeps the city among the warmest in Canada.
- In addition to the myriad cultural opportunities in Vancouver, you’ll also have the surrounding waters and the mountains to enjoy. In other words, sailors, skiers, snowboarders, and hikers can find plenty to keep them occupied in and around the city.
- Vancouver is also one of the most popular filming locations in North America. Estimates suggest that more than 60,000 jobs are supported both directly and indirectly from film and TV production in British Columbia, the majority of which occur in the Vancouver metropolitan area. If you work in the industry, living in Vancouver will keep you busy.
#7: Montréal, Québec
Best for: Those excited to embrace all the cultural opportunities this bilingual city offers. (65.9% of Montréal residents report that French is the language they speak most often at home!)
Population – 662,248
Median Household Income – $82,589
Average Home Cost – $570,000
Unemployment Rate – 4.9%
Notable Features That Draw People to Montréal:
- Montréal has been dubbed Canada’s “cultural capital,” with fantastic and plentiful opportunities in visual and performance arts. The city also hosts more than 100 festivals each year, including events that celebrate comedy, fireworks, filmmaking, French-language music, beer, Japanese animation, and much, much more.
- The city is Canada’s second largest. However, Montréal offers a more affordable cost of living on average than Toronto.
- Montréal is the third-largest aerospace center in the world, with more than 60,000 workers employed in the industry. If aerospace is your sector, you’ll be perfectly positioned to find a job in Montréal.
#8: St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Best for: A lower cost of living—plus good availability of jobs across industries and incredible beauty. St. John’s is an excellent, all-around choice in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Population – 110,525
Median Household Income – $82,540
Average Home Cost – $331,800
Unemployment Rate – 6.0%
Notable Features That Draw People to St. John’s:
- St. John’s got its start in the 17th century as a fishing hub, as well as a center of commerce and government. Its historical charm is still evident in its architecture, including its cobblestone streets and signature colorful row houses. Today, the area is dotted with National Historic Sites to explore.
- As a coastal city surrounded by stunning beauty, you’ll never be far from a gorgeous vista. You’ll spot whales and icebergs, and you can even hike to a majestic fjord nearby.
- The unemployment rate in St. John’s is often lower than in Newfoundland and Labrador overall, so living in and around the area offers some of the best job prospects in the province.
#9: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Best for: Those looking for a low cost-of-living location, combined with stunning natural beauty.
Population – 282,900
Median Household Income – $79,001
Average Home Cost – $346,730
Unemployment Rate – 4.3%
Notable Features That Draw People to Saskatoon:
- The Conference Board of Canada has projected that Saskatoon will be a hub of economic growth for Canada in 2022, with oil and gas playing a large role in the area’s employment opportunities.
- Saskatoon has more than 60 neighborhoods to choose from, each with its own Community Association. With so many to options, you’re sure to find the perfect fit.
- The area has been inhabited for more than 8,000 years, starting with the First Nations people who first settled the area around the South Saskatchewan River. If you find local history fascinating, you’ll love exploring the area’s cultural heritage.
#10: Victoria, British Columbia
Best for: A little bit of everything: city life, coastal views, a rich history, plenty of cultural resources—all with an aura of friendliness.
Population – 91,867
Median Household Income – $70,197
Average Home Cost – $1,204,900
Unemployment Rate – 4.3%
Notable Features That Draw People to Victoria:
- Must love boats: Victoria is located on Vancouver Island, so trips to and from this charming island mean a ferry ride or an airplane ticket.
- If there’s one downside to living in Victoria, it’s the housing costs in the immediate metro area. However, if you’re willing to live a little outside of the city, you might be able to find something more in line with your budget. Royal Oak, Brentwood Bay, Langford, and Colwood are good places to start your search.
- Victoria is one of the most picturesque cities in Canada. Gardens are abundant—especially in the English style—as are historical buildings, the most famous of which are the Empress Hotel and Legislature Buildings.
Live Your Best Life in Canada
Nearly 300,000 people move to Canada each year. If you decide to make the country your home, you’ll be in good company. Plus, with this list in hand, you’ll be well-positioned to find the perfect place to enjoy your best life in the Great White North.
Need some help moving your belongings to Canada? With tens of thousands of international moves under our belts, we can make it a safe, easy, and affordable experience for you. Just reach out to one of our experts to get started with a complimentary quote.
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