Top-Rated Places to Live in Canada: Ultimate 2023 Guide

Explore our detailed guide highlighting the best places to live in Canada.

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the best places to live in Canada! Whether you're a local looking for a refreshing change of scenery or an expat seeking a new home, Canada has an array of fantastic cities and towns that could be your perfect fit. From bustling metropolises with thriving job markets to tranquil towns offering affordable living and a great quality of life - we've got you covered. In this blog, we'll dive deep into what makes these locations stand out, touching on aspects such as affordability, safety, major industries, accessibility to nature, and overall quality of life. So, let's embark on this exciting journey across the vast and diverse landscape of Canada to find your dream destination.

The 9 Best Places To Live In Canada

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Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, is a vibrant and dynamic city that offers an ideal balance between work and lifestyle. The city's strong and stable economy provides ample job opportunities, particularly in the government sector, making it a desirable destination for job seekers. The city is also home to a burgeoning tech industry, which further enhances its economic stability.

In terms of affordability, Ottawa strikes a balance by offering a high standard of living at a relatively lower cost compared to other major cities in Canada. According to Numbeo, Ottawa's Cost of Living Index is 72.16, which indicates a moderate cost of living compared to other cities globally.

When it comes to safety, Ottawa scores high, with a Safety Index of 69.98, indicating a high level of safety for its residents. This makes the city not only an excellent place for individuals but also a safe environment for families.

One of the standout features of Ottawa is its accessibility to nature. The city is known for its abundance of parks and bike paths, providing easy access to outdoor spaces for wellness and fitness activities. This feature contributes significantly to the high quality of life enjoyed by Ottawa residents.

Furthermore, Ottawa's cultural diversity, friendly community, and excellent transit system contribute to its overall quality of life. The city is clean, family-friendly, and is recognized as one of the most picturesque cities in Canada.

Quebec City, Quebec

Quebec City, Quebec, a city steeped in rich culture and history, is increasingly becoming one of the best cities to live in Canada. The city's unique blend of old-world charm and new-world opportunities make it an attractive destination for individuals and families.

The job market in Quebec City is thriving. According to Job Bank Canada, the city has seen an annual growth of 2.3% in jobs as of July 2023. This is largely due to the retirement of a significant portion of the workforce, creating opportunities across various sectors. Additionally, Quebec Metiers D'Avenir projects that nearly 27% of vocational jobs occupied in 2014 will need to be filled by 2024, indicating a promising job market outlook.

Affordability is another factor that makes Quebec City an excellent place to live. Compared to other major cities in Canada, Quebec City offers a high standard of living at a relatively lower cost, making it accessible to a broad range of income levels.

When it comes to safety, Quebec City does not disappoint. Its low crime rate contributes to the overall quality of life and sense of community within the city, making it a safe environment for both individuals and families.

Quebec City's accessibility to nature is yet another feather in its cap. The city is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, from the majestic St. Lawrence River to numerous parks and green spaces, providing residents with ample opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation.

The general quality of life in Quebec City is enhanced by its vibrant cultural scene. The city is renowned for its festivals, music, art, and food—elements that contribute to a lively and fulfilling lifestyle. It's not just the tangible aspects that make Quebec City a great place to live; the friendly community and slower pace of life add to its charm and appeal.

Calgary, Alberta

Calgary, Alberta, is a city that effortlessly combines urban living with the beauty of nature. This vibrant city, nestled in the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains, offers a high standard of living and a strong job market, making it an ideal place to live.

The job market in Calgary is robust, particularly in the oil and gas industry. The city is known as the energy capital of Canada, hosting the headquarters of many oil and gas companies. Calgary's economy is also diversifying, with growth seen in sectors such as technology and finance.

In terms of affordability, while the cost of living in Calgary is high relative to smaller towns in Alberta, it is quite reasonable compared to many other Canadian cities. This balance makes Calgary accessible to a wide range of income levels.

Safety is a key feature of life in Calgary and it has a high Safety Index of 62.32. This, along with low crime rates, ensures a secure environment for residents.

Calgary's proximity to natural wonders like the Rocky Mountains and Banff National Park offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration. The city itself boasts numerous parks and green spaces, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. Calgary is a connected, community-oriented place to build a life, nestled where the prairies and mountains meet.

The general quality of life in Calgary is exceptional. The city consistently ranks as one of the top cities in Canada for quality of life. Factors such as drinkable tap water, reliable public transit, and a clean environment contribute to this high standard.

Edmonton, Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta, the capital city of the province, is known for its diverse economy, affordability, and access to a plethora of outdoor activities. Its strong job market and high standard of living make it one of the best places to live and work in Canada.

The job market in Edmonton is robust and diverse. According to the Alberta Occupational Outlook, the labor market is expected to remain balanced over the next decade. Employment has been increasing consistently, with the province adding 11,800 jobs in July 2023 alone. Additionally, Alberta gained 24,500 jobs in December, indicating a steady upward trend. These opportunities span across various sectors, including the city's significant oil and gas industry, healthcare, education, and retail sectors.

Edmonton is also notable for its affordability. Compared to other major Canadian cities, Edmonton offers a lower cost of living, making it an attractive choice for individuals and families alike. This affordability extends to housing, groceries, and entertainment, contributing to the overall quality of life.

In terms of safety, Edmonton has been making strides to improve community safety and well-being. The city has implemented various community-based programs and initiatives to promote safety and foster a sense of community.

One of the standout features of Edmonton is its accessibility to nature. The city boasts the largest stretch of urban parkland in North America, known as the "Ribbon of Green," along the North Saskatchewan River. This provides residents with numerous opportunities for outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and bird watching, thereby promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

The general quality of life in Edmonton is enhanced by its vibrant cultural scene, excellent healthcare facilities, and high-quality educational institutions. It also offers a variety of recreational and leisure activities, ranging from sports events to music festivals, contributing to a lively and fulfilling lifestyle.

Toronto, Ontario

Toronto, Ontario, situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, is the largest city in Canada. It boasts a vibrant job market, a diverse cultural scene, and a range of lifestyle opportunities. However, it's important to note that these benefits come with a higher cost of living compared to other Canadian cities.

The job market in Toronto is one of the strongest in the country. As the financial capital of Canada, Toronto hosts many national and international corporations, providing ample job opportunities in sectors like finance, technology, media, and healthcare. According to the City of Toronto, there has been significant growth in jobs in the last decade, citing over 1.5 million jobs in Toronto in 2021.

One downside, Toronto does have a high cost of living. According to Numbeo, the average cost of living (excluding rent) for a single person is around $1,000 per month. Rent prices vary by neighborhood, with downtown Toronto being the most expensive. Despite this, many residents find the cost manageable due to the high average salaries and the quality of life the city offers.

Safety in Toronto is comparable to other major Canadian cities. While there are areas with higher crime rates, overall, the city is safe, and the Toronto Police Service works diligently to maintain public safety.

Toronto is also known for its accessibility to nature, despite its urban setting. The city boasts numerous parks, including the expansive High Park and the scenic Toronto Islands. Additionally, it's just a short drive to stunning natural areas like Niagara Falls and the Bruce Peninsula.

The general quality of life in Toronto is high, thanks in part to its diverse cultural scene. The city is home to a multitude of cultural institutions, including museums, art galleries, and theaters. It hosts numerous cultural and arts festivals year-round and is known for its culinary scene, featuring cuisines from around the world. Despite the higher cost of living, the opportunities and experiences that Toronto provides earns its place on our list of best cities in Canada.

Montreal, Quebec

Montreal, Quebec, is a city that effortlessly blends old-world charm with modern innovation. Known for its vibrant culture, excellent food scene, and strong job market, Montreal stands out among the best places to live in Canada.

The job market in Montreal is robust and diverse. With a particular strength in industries like technology and design, the city offers numerous opportunities for career growth. Montreal has been named a UNESCO “City of Design”, which is reflective of its thriving creative sector.

Montreal is also recognized as an affordability city to live in Canada. The cost of living is moderate, with an impressive selection of affordable properties for sale and rent. This affordability extends to everyday expenses, making the city accessible to a wide range of income levels.

When it comes to safety, Montreal prioritizes community well-being. The city is generally safe, and local authorities continually work to uphold public order and security.

Nature and outdoor activities are easily accessible in Montreal. The city boasts numerous parks, including the famous Mount Royal Park, offering residents opportunities for leisure and recreation amidst green, scenic landscapes.

The general quality of life in Montreal is exceptional. The city took the 4th spot for the best city in North America (21st in the world) for quality of living, based on an annual report from Mercer. Contributing factors include a vibrant cultural scene, high-quality healthcare, and excellent educational institutions. The city's food scene is particularly noteworthy, featuring everything from traditional Quebecois cuisine to international delicacies. Moreover, Montreal's lively festivals, such as the world-renowned Jazz Festival, contribute to a vibrant and dynamic lifestyle.

Milton, Ontario

Milton, Ontario, recognized as one of the safest small cities in Canada, offers its residents a high quality of life along with world-class infrastructure. Its blend of small-town charm and proximity to larger urban centers makes it a unique and desirable place to live.

The job market in Milton is thriving and diverse. Given its close proximity to Toronto, many residents enjoy the benefits of working in the bustling city while living in a quieter, more relaxed environment. In addition, Milton itself is home to several notable businesses and industries, providing local employment opportunities. It's also worth noting that Milton is a rapidly growing town, which indicates potential future growth in job opportunities.

While Milton may not be the most affordable city in Canada, it offers good value for money considering the quality of life it offers. Housing prices are generally lower than in larger cities like Toronto, and residents enjoy access to excellent amenities and services.

Safety is a standout feature of life in Milton. Milton has been recognized as the safest small city in Canada, which contributes significantly to its appeal as a place to live.

For those who love nature, Milton is an excellent choice. The town is nestled amidst beautiful countryside views and offers easy access to outdoor activities. There are numerous trails and parks for residents to explore, contributing to an active and healthy lifestyle.

The general quality of life in Milton is high. Residents enjoy a strong sense of community, excellent educational facilities, and a range of recreational activities. Despite being described as not a "hot spot of activity" (New Canadian Life), many residents appreciate the quieter, slower pace of life that Milton offers. This, coupled with its safety, accessibility to nature, and the opportunities provided by its proximity to larger cities, makes Milton, Ontario a great place to live.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a coastal city that offers a unique blend of maritime charm and modern urban living. Renowned for its great quality of life, growing job market, affordable living costs, and easy access to beautiful beaches and nature, Halifax is indeed one of the best places to live in Canada.

The job market in Halifax is expanding, with growth being seen across various sectors. Key industries in the city include healthcare, education, finance, trade, and information technology. Halifax's diverse economy and supportive business environment make it an attractive destination for professionals and entrepreneurs alike.

When it comes to affordability, Halifax stands out among Canadian cities. The cost of living index in Halifax is 70.94, which is relatively moderate compared to many other cities in Canada. This affordability extends to housing, with prices generally lower than in larger Canadian cities.

Safety in Halifax is considered moderate, with a safety index of 58.69. The city's commitment to community safety and well-being is reflected in various initiatives, such as the Nova Scotia Quality of Life Initiative, which aims to measure and improve the well-being of residents.

Nature lovers will appreciate Halifax's stunning natural beauty and accessibility to outdoor activities. The city is surrounded by picturesque coastlines, beautiful beaches, and numerous parks, providing ample opportunities for recreation and relaxation.

The general quality of life in Halifax is high, characterized by a slower pace and endless Maritime friendliness. Life in Halifax is slower than in most cities, offering a great work-life balance. The city's warm hospitality, diverse community, and cultural richness further enhance the quality of life, making Halifax a wonderful place to call home.

Edmundston, New Brunswick

Edmundston, New Brunswick, offers an exceptional quality of life characterized by affordable living costs and a safe, welcoming community. It's no surprise that Edmundston has been recognized as one of the best places to live in Canada.

One of the most impressive aspects of Edmundston is its affordable cost of living. The city offers a 6% lower than the national average cost of living, extending to housing costs, making it an attractive place for families, retirees, and young professionals alike. (ERI Economic Research Institute)

When it comes to safety, Edmundston stands out with a crime rate maintained below 5,000 per 100,000 people. This low crime rate contributes significantly to the high quality of life experienced by residents and makes the city a secure place to raise a family.

The job market in Edmundston, while perhaps not as bustling as larger cities, is stable. The city’s location in Madawaska County places it near several major industries, including forestry, manufacturing, and healthcare. This variety provides a range of employment opportunities for residents.

In terms of nature and outdoor activities, Edmundston doesn't disappoint. The city is home to two provincial parks, offering plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, and exploring the great outdoors.

The general quality of life in Edmundston is high. Despite the city's small size, it offers a robust range of amenities and services. The community is friendly and tight-knit, and while nightlife may be limited, there are plenty of family-friendly activities and events. Moreover, Edmundston ranked sixth in livability among cities in New Brunswick and 210th in Canada, performing better than 99% of areas.

Ready to Relocate To Canada?

Canada is a land of endless opportunities with a diverse array of cities and towns to call home. Whether you're drawn to the vibrant urban landscapes or the serene beauty of smaller towns, there's a corner of this great country that will feel like home to you. Now that we've explored some of the best places to live in Canada, it's over to you! To make your explorations even more exciting, why not create your own interactive map using Proxi? With Proxi, you can plan your journey, add your favorite cities, and dive deeper into what each location has to offer. Start your Canadian adventure today - your future home awaits!

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