Canada, the Land of the Maple Leaf. Land of the Free. The second-largest country globally; an absolute must for tourists and ex-pats alike. Finding places to live in Canada can take time, but the effort will be worth it when you may decide to move.
Despite its vast territories, Canada only has approximately 38 million people. This small population means there are tons of living opportunities out there if you're looking. Whether you're moving to Canada for the first time or making a move to a different city, you will be astounded by the living options available in this beautiful country.
Want to learn about the best places to live in Canada? Below, we share the ultimate guide on Canada's top cities in 2022, breaking down everything from the quality of life and taxes to job opportunities and entertainment possibilities.
1. Vancouver, BC – Supreme Quality of Life
Vancouver has consistently ranked as the third best city in the world. It has become a hotspot for young professionals after evaluating metrics across 30 different factors, such as access to healthcare, schools, safety infrastructure, and sustainability.
Vancouver is often called the Hollywood of the North due to the film and production studios set up in the region. It also prides itself on its environmental initiatives, with many buildings going for Green LEED certification.
What is impressive about this rainy city is its scenic nature. There are many outdoor activities possibilities with the Pacific Ocean on one side and breathtaking mountains on the other.
Why Should I Move to Vancouver?
Worried about the weather? If you’re scared of moving to an area with cold winters, BC has some of the best climates in the country. It doesn’t snow much, and the summers are beautiful (watch out for the rain, though).
Looking for high-quality neighbourhoods? From luxury condos to suburban charm, you will have your pick of well-maintained neighbourhoods. Despite soaring rent prices, it is possible to find safe, pleasant, and even affordable areas in this city.
Looking to find work? The average salary in Vancouver is higher than in other cities in Canada. It comes in at $129,000, but the cost of living is higher. As a result, there is high demand for work, especially in the tech industry. Vancouver is known as the Silicon Valley of the North, so you’ll have options in startups and established enterprises.
In the last five years, the annual inflation has varied from 4.8 to -0.8%. Overall, The Big Smoke is the option if you’re looking for an outstanding work-life balance.
2. Edmonton, AB – Renter Haven
As the capital city of the province of Alberta, Edmonton has that classic Western charm. Known as the “Gateway to the North,” its strategic location for oil sands projects and diamond mining keeps the oil and gas industry booming!
Its wide-open spaces, affordable housing, and recovering job market make it appealing to prospective movers. However, the city also has the friendly atmosphere of a small town. The slower-pace community feeling is ideal for young families.
The city also has a long, hard winter. As a result, it is prone to extreme colds, but the good news is – Edmonton experiences an average of 325 sunny days a year! Thus, the dry climate and intense sun make the cold more bearable.
Why Should I Move to Edmonton?
Looking for excellent healthcare? Alberta is home to many top-rated hospitals and specialized clinics. Access to healthcare involves registering yourself into the local healthcare system.
Looking to rent? Edmonton offers low monthly renting costs, compared to the size and urbanity of the city. A two-bedroom apartment typically goes from $800 to $1800, which is a steal compared to other Canadian metropolises!
Looking to save money? In addition to the low rent, Edmonton also offers lower tax rates (despite having the highest average household income). Not to mention, gasoline and diesel prices are the lowest in the country.
Looking for entertainment? Edmonton has gained fame as the ‘Festival City.’ It is home to over 30 annual festivals and over 100 events – each year! The performances are world-renowned, and boredom will be a thing of the past!
If the sunny days don’t entice you, this city’s easygoing and amiable nature sure will! So you’ll benefit from high quality of life without inflation and markups. Win-win!
3. Quebec City, QC – Get Your Culture Quota
There’s nothing quite like the French-Canadian charm. The accent, food, lifestyle, and architecture make it ideal for those wanting to move to the other side of the world. If culture is a priority for you, you’ll have your fill of rich history and lots of museums.
The small stone shops and winding cobblestone streets remain a World Heritage Site. There are also lots of festivals year-round. Our favourite is the city’s transformation into a winter wonderland for the holidays!
Quaint environments aren’t the only thing making Quebec City compelling. It also boasts lower housing costs, affordable hydro, and scenic beauty.
Why Should I Move to Quebec City?
Looking to prioritize safety? Quebec has repeatedly ranked as one of the safest provinces in Canada. Quebec City fared particularly well, with the lowest CSI (crime severity index) out of all the Canadian metropolises.
Looking for a reasonable cost of living? The average selling price for a home here is $260,000, compared to the $1.5 million in Vancouver or $870,000 in Toronto. Rental costs are also cheap, as is the price of the day-to-day expenses like groceries and transportation.
Looking for work? The city boasts a booming economy. Over 66,000 new jobs have been created by the government, which has led to some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Expect to find work opportunities in public administration, manufacturing, and tourism here.
Looking for universal healthcare? If you become a Quebec City resident, you’ll become eligible for Quebec’s provincial healthcare plan. The province has universal and free coverage, which covers essential care at no extra cost.
Quebec City offers a unique blend of modernity, history, culture, and nature. It is also a safe and healthy place for families to settle down or individuals to thrive professionally.
4. Burlington, ON – Family-Friendly Fun
Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, beautiful Burlington is ideal for families looking to settle down. It offers a vibrant mix of small-town charm but is located close enough to the urban buzz of Toronto for excitement. The city boats fabulous scenic beauty too, with lots of opportunities for natural exploration.
The overall effect of Burlington is a comfortable, well-balanced lifestyle. You’ll be able to enjoy lots of recreational opportunities and the charms of a rural lifestyle.
Why Should I Move to Burlington?
Looking for a well-connected area? Burlington has convenient and easy access to many major Greater Toronto Area highways. It also has three GO stations and is within an hour’s travel time of two major airports. Thus, if you commute or travel for work, this will be your city.
Looking for recreational activities? The city has lots of family fun activity opportunities. There is a beautiful and spacious waterfront and lots of boardwalks, walkways, and parks. The Royal Botanical Gardens is also a major draw!
Looking for family-friendly neighbourhoods? Burlington has quiet residential areas perfect for growing a family. There is also a wide selection of homes for every price range. The average rent price is $1,300.
Looking for schooling options? The Halton District School Board offers high-quality elementary and secondary education options. This makes it perfect for families and students alike! There are also many universities nearby, such as the University of Toronto, McMaster University, and the University of Guelph.
Burlington continues to draw more families each year. The award-winning restaurants and boutique shops also make it one of the best cities in Canada.
5. Boucherville, QC – A Rural Oasis with Employment Opportunities Galore
If you’re seeking a tranquil life surrounded by the great outdoors, Boucherville will be the choice for you. The city is the best escape for those tired of the urban sprawl.
There is so much nature to enjoy, from the overgrown wilderness and vast farmland to national parks and hiking trails. However, it is also situated close to Montreal, so it has a high population.
It boasts a strong art and sports community too. There are opportunities for biking, golf, volleyball, snow hiking, and more. And if you’ve been looking to learn French, this is your chance! About 90% of the Boucherville population speaks French, while only 2% speaks English. Thus, you will need to know French if you plan to move here.
Why Should I Move to Boucherville?
Looking for a career change? Boucherville has a large industrial park, with over 600 businesses providing employment. Thus, unemployment rates are low, and salaries are relatively significant. In addition, the city is one of the largest aerospace centers in North America.
However, there are also many opportunities in software, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and transportation. If you’re interested in exploring options in different fields and careers, Boucherville will be excellent!
Looking for a high standard of life? Boucherville was recently ranked as the best place to live in Canada! The ranking is based on weather, housing prices, healthcare, unemployment rates, and more. In addition, the community feel and cost of living also make the town very appealing.
Looking for affordable homes? Boucherville has some of the most affordable home purchase rates in the country. The average house price is $350,000, which is very reasonable when considering salaries! The median household income rests are $96,000.
Boucherville isn’t your average sleepy suburb. It has a thriving economy with many industries taking up homes here and is perfect for those looking for jobs in a rural setting.
6. Victoria, BC – For a Warm and Moderately Tropical Climate
Victoria has the warmest weather in Canada! The temperature very rarely goes below zero degrees. The coldest it gets is around 1.5 degrees in the winter! If living in Canada is daunting due to the cold, this is the city for you!
Victoria also has a high standard of living, excellent economy, and competitive wages. Living here is described as a small, “big city feel.” You get all the amenities of a world-class city, such as lots of universities, a downtown core, and entertainment options. But at the same time, it has the friendliness and charm of a small town.
The City of Gardens is environmentally friendly too. It has over 55 acres of gardens and greenery, which means you’re never too far from natural beauty.
Why Should I Move to Victoria?
Looking for a job? The tech scene is booming here, and Victoria is starting to attract many employers. The provincial government has also been an employment generator. There are also lots of jobs in the hospitality industry in the region.
Looking for schooling options? The University of Victoria and Camosun College are highly distinguished post-secondary institutions in the country. There are also lots of secondary schooling options and great school districts.
Looking to immerse yourself in the community? The locals make Vicotria an excellent community environment. The locals are amongst the friendliest in Canada – which is saying a lot! You’ll benefit from quick immersion and great friends.
Victoria is the fair-weather capital of Canada. From gardens to island feels, the city has many sights and employment opportunities that make it worth considering.
7. Calgary, AB – Soulful Living
The “Heart of the New West” has captured hearts across the country! As the largest city in Alberta, Calgary is a bustling city home to over 1.5 million people.
It is located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and the meeting point of two rivers. This makes Calgary a haven for natural beauty, but it is also a vibrant and thriving urban environment. The city is undergoing massive redevelopment, which means new neighbourhoods to explore and widespread availability of housing options.
Outdoor spaces are exceptionally well developed, and amenities and facilities are continually updated. The city is amongst the fastest growing in all of Canada, thanks to the oil industry in the region. However, the area also boasts jobs in agriculture and tech, which means everyone has options.
Why Should I Move to Calgary?
Looking for an easy commute? Calgary has the least traffic and congestion of all of Canada’s metropolises. This is due to the massive walking and biking path network around the city. The well-developed and connected transit lines also help. However, parking remains limited and comes at a premium.
Looking to go local? If you love supporting the local community, Calgary is your spot. Residents prefer to shop at small businesses rather than at big conglomerates. This makes it appealing for budding entrepreneurs too.
Looking for lots of living options? The city of Calgary has a wide range of neighbourhoods to choose from. There are four quadrants to the town, each with a different living feel. For example, one is student-friendly, the other is full of young professionals, and the third is industrial and commercial employment opportunities. At the same time, the last quadrant has a low cost of living due to its proximity to the airport.
Thus, something for everyone!
8. Charlottetown, PEI – An up and Coming Destination
If you’re looking to get ahead of the curve and move to a city on the rise, Charlottetown is your place. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, with massive redevelopment projects along the way.
Its low cost of living has attracted many ex-pats and Canadian residents alike. It also gives you an excellent bang for your buck without compromising the quality of life and the standard of facilities and amenities.
While the population is relatively low, the town has a great mix of the old and new. The historic architecture juxtaposed with modern facilities gives it a unique atmosphere.
Why Should I Move to Charlottetown?
Looking for adorable housing? Real estate in the city is currently amongst the cheapest in all of Canada! A decent-sized home costs around $200,000, making it a perfect place to live. Considering that the median household income is $53,000, most residents can invest responsibly in their future.
Looking for beautiful scenery? You’ll be right in the middle of the fantastic ocean views and the white sand beaches of Prince Edward Island. There are lush forests, sandstone cliffs, and beautiful beach sunsets to enjoy. If you’ve been craving the great outdoors, this is your spot.
Looking for a low cost of living? Charlottetown was ranked as the sixth most affordable city in Canada. Housing costs start at $400 to rent, while commuting, eating out, and utilities are lower than average too.
Charlottetown will be ideal for enjoying quiet and friendly town living. The natural beauty is a definite plus too!
9. Toronto, ON – City Living at Its Finest
Of course, Toronto had to make it on this list. Ontario is the hotspot for new immigrants, and thus Toronto offers lots of appealing reasons to move.
It is one of the most diverse cities globally, and you’ll have everything at your fingertips here. Property tax rates are meagre, though, especially considering the city’s fantastic amenities and services. However, the home prices do have a reputation for being higher.
Why Should I Move to Toronto?
Looking for community? Toronto is the poster child for blended and happy communities. People with different ethnicities, faiths, and beliefs intermingle very well here. Thus, if you’re looking to be close to your community, Toronto is your spot.
Looking for an economic opportunity? Toronto is one of the most significant contributors to the economy. The top five banks of Canada live here, as does the country’s financial district. As a result, you’ll find plenty of employment opportunities in various industries.
Looking for stuff to do? There’s an endless list of things to do, from Ripley’s Aquarium to the Hockey Hall of Fame and Casa Loma. Of course, there are also lots of festivals and fairs, not to mention, most significant concerts and sports games take place here.
10. Halifax, NS – Affordable and Friendly Living
Halifax is famously known as the least expensive city In Canada. It is also an affordable, mid-sized city, with friendly and welcoming residents and a laidback atmosphere.
You’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery and a balanced lifestyle to boot!
Why Should I Move to Halifax?
Looking for reasonable housing prices? The cost of a three-bedroom apartment in bang central downtown Halifax will cost you around $500,000. That is almost unheard of, especially compared to bigger cities!
Looking for friendly neighbours? Haligonians are courteous, happy, and always willing to make friends. You’ll be able to build a tight-knit community with ease here and get the support of locals behind you.
Looking for a safe place to live? Halifax is a great place to raise kids as it has one of the lowest crime rates in Canada.
So Many Places to Live In Canada: Which One Will You Choose?
There you have it – the ten best places to live in Canada!
The country is truly unparalleled in its options for places to live. There is something here for everyone, from quiet, family-friendly cities to towns boasting unique and vibrant culture. Whether you’re moving from within Canada or planning to move internationally, you’ll benefit from the high quality of living, innumerable job options, and community-based living.
All the best for the big move!
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