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Home » Immigration, Travel

Best places to live: Canada’s Top 10 cities

Submitted by on May 6, 2010 – 9:01 am7 Comments

Ottawa sign img_1628-1Most new­com­ers to Canada set­tle in the country’s largest urban areas: Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.

Yet accord­ing to the MoneySense 2010 Best Places to Live survey — which rated 179 Canadian cities and towns on such fac­tors as cli­mate, pros­per­ity, access to health­care, home afford­abil­ity, crime rates, and lifestyle — some of Canada’s smaller cities came out on top.

And the nation’s cap­i­tal, Ottawa, earned this year’s #1 spot.

The preva­lence of gov­ern­ment and uni­ver­sity jobs has made Ottawa more recession-​​proof than other com­mu­ni­ties, and salaries there are high, while hous­ing costs are rel­a­tively low.

Here’s the MoneySense Top 10 list:

  1. Ottawa-​​Gatineau, ON
  2. Kingston, ON
  3. Burlington, ON
  4. Fredericton, NB
  5. Moncton, NB
  6. Repentigny, QC
  7. Brandon, MB
  8. Victoria, BC
  9. Winnipeg, MB
  10. Lévis, QC

Among Canada’s other large(er) cities, London, ON ranked #12, Halifax, NS was #14, Edmonton, AB was #16, and Quebec City came in at #18.

While Vancouver fre­quently tops many lists of the world’s most live­able cities, it lost points in the MoneySense poll because of the high cost of hous­ing, earn­ing a rank­ing of #29.

Toronto and Montreal have much less expen­sive hous­ing options than Vancouver, but the reces­sion has caused unem­ploy­ment rates in both those cities to rise about the national aver­age. Toronto ranked #85 in the MoneySense sur­vey, while Montreal was #120.

MoneySense even pub­lished a com­pan­ion arti­cle about why Toronto will never be Number One on their list.

However, since MoneySense this year sep­a­rated out sub­urbs with more than 50,000 res­i­dents, some Toronto and Montreal sub­urbs scored far bet­ter than the cities them­selves, includ­ing Burlington, ON at #3 and Laval, QC at #13.

Here’s the link to the com­plete list of the MoneySense 2010 Best Places to Live.

Ottawa photo ©Carolyn B. Heller


  • Joanna says:

    Hi, my hus­band and I are think­ing of going to Canada to study in one of the uni­ver­si­ties but Canada is such a huge and beau­ti­ful coun­try an we can­not make up our minds as to which province to go to. I used to study in Edmonton, Alberta some 20 years ago and loved it there but am not sure if it’d be suit­able for us. We have a 12year old and have to con­sider a school for her as well. We are not expect­ing to find the per­fect place but some­where that is safe, the cost of liv­ing won’t be too high, and the edu­ca­tion received will be good. Also we love the cold and hate the heat as we have that enough from where we come from. We’re really hop­ing to relo­cate by next year so HELP!!! thanks . Btw, WE LOVE CANADA and truly believe it’s par­adise on earth.

    • jr says:

      Alberta is great — cold win­ters, lots of sun­shine year round, great edu­ca­tional sys­tem and post sec­ondary — Calgary and Lethbridge are awe­some! My three sons and I went thru the sys­tem here from school to post sec­ondary and have lived all over the world. Our Alberta edu­ca­tion pre­pared us well.

  • Sitamshu Marahatta says:

    Ottawa got voted the best Cty to live in Canada in 2010. I dont know why cause Hollywood north(Vancouver)is the best. I live in Edmonton,AB but i love Vancouver . only one thing bad about Hollywood north is it rains toooooooo much. Only L.A., N.Y.C and Las Vegas can beat Vancouver when it comes about celib­ri­ties and songs. You dont have to shovel your dri­ve­way cause it snows only about 0.49 meters each year. Vancouver is not much pol­luted cause they have big rep­u­ta­tion of walk­ing and biking.Infact Vansterdam is the 2nd city with many peo­ple using bikes and sail­boats to travel.I swear a slomen oath that Vansterdam(Vancouver) will be voted the best city in Canada 2011 — with my fin­gers crossed.-)Saskatoon cal­gary, edmon­ton and Victoria are also pretty good city to live in

  • Summer camps Switzerland says:

    Canada is a great place. What we need to avoid is health tourists or peo­ple from any­where who use Canada as a part time res­i­dence to get free health care. In the end, this will drive up taxes and make health care expen­sive for the Canadians.

    • Carolyn B. Heller says:

      Thanks for your com­ment. To get health insur­ance in Canada, you must be a Canadian cit­i­zen or per­ma­nent res­i­dent. If you have a valid work or study per­mit in Canada, you are usu­ally eli­gi­ble for health insur­ance as well.

      You can read more about the Canadian health care sys­tem and how to apply for cov­er­age in these links:

      Living Abroad in Canada: Health Care

      Health Canada: Information for Immigrants

      Also note that, as Citizenship and Immigration Canada cau­tions: “Canada does not pay for hos­pi­tal or med­ical ser­vices for vis­i­tors. Make sure you have health insur­ance to cover any med­ical costs before you come to Canada.”

  • Tim says:

    I would find it help­ful if your rat­ings included new res­i­dent retention.Brandon for exam­ple has had a lot of peo­ple re-​​locate there but few stay longer than 5 – 6 years.