Thinking of moving to Canada? Stick with us, and you'll be in for an exciting journey! Canada is a vast and diverse land of opportunities, natural beauty, and cultural diversity.
Whether you're drawn to bustling city life, the tranquillity of small towns, or the stunning landscapes, Canada offers a wide range of places to call home.
In this guide, we'll take you on a tour of the best places to live in Canada. From the vibrant neighbourhoods of Toronto to the picturesque coastal towns of British Columbia, each destination has its unique charm and attractions. Whether you're a nature lover, a culture buff, a career-focused professional, or someone seeking a peaceful retirement, Canada has a place that's just right for you.
10 of the Best Places to Live in Canada
If you're considering making a move to the Great White North or are a Canadian wanting to make a change, keep reading to discover the best places to live in Canada and find the perfect spot to start your new chapter.
1. Quebec City, Quebec
Quebec City, the capital of Quebec, is one of Canada's UNESCO World Heritage sites known for its charming Old Town, historic architecture, and rich French culture. It's an excellent place for those who appreciate a slower pace of life.
Compared to other major Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver, Quebec City generally offers a lower cost of living. Housing costs can be more affordable, making it attractive if you have a family, are studying, or want to get on the property ladder in a vibrant Canadian city.
Best for: Culture enthusiasts, French speakers, families, students, and nature lovers.
Population: The estimated 2023 population of Québec City is 554,125.
Average cost of living: $2,877/month for a single person who rents (CareerBeacon).
2. Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver's breathtaking natural surroundings are sure to draw you in. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountain Range, the city is known for its stunning landscapes, including snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and picturesque beaches. You can have it all in Vancouver!
Vancouver also boasts a vibrant cultural scene with numerous museums, galleries, theatres, shopping districts, and music venues. The city hosts various festivals and cultural events throughout the year.
If you want to solidify your career, Vancouver is a major economic hub with a robust job market in various sectors. It's particularly strong in technology, film and television production, healthcare, and natural resources. For professionals seeking career opportunities, it offers a wealth of options.
We’ve already created lots of blogs about Vancouver. So if you’re interested in finding out more, take a look at our recommendations below:
- The best restaurants in Vancouver
- The most expensive areas to live in Vancouver
- The most expensive restaurants in Vancouver
- Vancouver’s most expensive Condos
- The most expensive houses in Vancouver
Best for: Nature lovers, tech professionals, students, and entrepreneurs.
Population: The estimated 2023 population of Vancouver is 2,657,000.
Average cost of living: $4,236/month for a single person who rents (CareerBeacon).
3. Deep River, Ontario
Deep River, a small town located in eastern Ontario along the Ottawa River, might not be as well-known as major Canadian cities. However, we promise you it's still an incredible place to call home. The town is nestled in a picturesque setting, surrounded by lush forests and the stunning Ottawa River. You'll find yourself in a paradise of hiking trails, boating, fishing, and wildlife observation.
Perhaps something Deep River does better than the bigger cities on this list is it offers a close-knit, small-town community where residents know each other, creating a strong sense of belonging. It's a place where people tend to look out for one another.
Best for: Retirees, nature lovers, families, and remote workers.
Population: The estimated 2023 population of Deep River is 4,296.
Average cost of living: $3,112/month for a single person who rents (CareerBeacon).
4. Montreal, Quebec
Montreal, the largest city in Quebec, is often considered one of Canada's best places to live, thanks to its vibrant culture, economic opportunities, and high quality of life. If you're an art and music enthusiast, Montreal will be a haven for you, as the city often hosts film and music festivals, such as the Montreal International Jazz Festival. This was listed as one of the best Canadian music festivals in our recent blog post, so make sure to take a look if you’re interested in the Canadian music scene.
Compared to other major Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver, Montreal also offers a more affordable cost of living. Despite this, the city has a diverse and growing economy, with strengths in aerospace, technology, finance, and healthcare. You can find a wide range of job opportunities at any stage of your career.
If you're still a student, you'll find the city is home to several world-renowned universities, including McGill University and the Université de Montréal.
Montreal also offers a wealth of fantastic eateries that you can try. Take a look at our blog exploring the best restaurants in Montreal.
Best for: Students, young professionals, art and culture enthusiasts, families, and foodies.
Population: The estimated 2023 population of Montreal is 4,308,000.
Average cost of living: $3,061/month for a single person who rents (CareerBeacon).
5. Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, a place nicknamed the 'Limestone City' due to its stunning 19th-century architecture, is a paradise for any history buffs among you! It's rich in history, boasting a wealth of well-preserved historic buildings, including Fort Henry and the Rideau Canal. Fully immerse yourself in Canada's past by coming to Kingston.
As one of the cities situated on the shores of Lake Ontario and surrounded by the picturesque Thousand Islands, Kingston offers many outdoor activities, from sailing and kayaking to hiking and cycling.
Kingston also consistently ranks as one of Canada's safest cities. Its friendly and welcoming community makes it ideal for families and solo movers!
Best for: Academics and researchers, students, history buffs, retirees, and families.
Population: The estimated 2023 population of Kingston is 597,124.
Average cost of living: $3,279/month for a single person who rents (CareerBeacon).
6. Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, has a mild coastal climate you might not typically associate (but definitely welcome!) with Canada. As a resident, you can enjoy access to verdant gardens, beautiful parks, and picturesque beaches year-round.
Despite its relatively small size, Victoria also boasts a vibrant cultural scene. It's home to numerous theatres, art galleries, music venues, and festivals, including the Victoria International JazzFest and the Victoria Film Festival.
Victoria consistently ranks as one of Canada's safest and cleanest cities. Helping with that image is a strong sense of community and neighbourly spirit. Residents often participate in local initiatives, community events, and volunteer work, giving this city a close-knit atmosphere.
Best for: Families, retirees, tech professionals, and nature lovers.
Population: The estimated 2023 population of Victoria is 398,000.
Average cost of living: $3,909/month for a single person who rents (CareerBeacon).
7. Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, is a political and cultural hub with a wealth of historic landmarks, government institutions, and national museums and galleries.
As a political hub, there's a significant presence of government agencies, technology companies, and research institutions. The city offers diverse career opportunities for you as a resident, especially in fields like government, technology, healthcare, and education.
Ottawa also consistently ranks as one of Canada's safest and most livable cities, but also one of Canada’s most expensive cities. It offers excellent healthcare services, a clean environment, and a high standard of living.
Best for: Public servants, tech professionals, students, families, and culture enthusiasts.
Population: The estimated 2023 population of Ottawa is 1,437,000.
Average cost of living: $3,628/month for a single person who rents (CareerBeacon).
8. Winnipeg, Manitoba
If you're moving on a budget, consider Winnipeg - it consistently ranks as one of Canada's most affordable cities. The cost of housing, utilities, and everyday expenses is relatively low compared to major urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver, making it an ideal place for you or your family if you're looking to manage your budget effectively.
The city boasts a diverse economy, meaning you can kickstart or further a career in manufacturing, agriculture, finance, healthcare, technology and more.
Winnipeg is known for its multiculturalism, with a diverse population representing various cultural backgrounds. The city celebrates this diversity through incredible cultural festivals, restaurants, and cultural organizations, offering you a rich tapestry of experiences in a place you can proudly call home.
Best for: Families, young professionals, students, and entrepreneurs.
Population: The estimated 2023 population of Winnipeg is 841,000.
Average cost of living: $3,174/month for a single person who rents (CareerBeacon).
9. Calgary, Alberta
Calgary, nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, can be a beautiful place to call home. Firstly, it has abundant parks and green spaces, including the stunning Banff National Park. In this unspoilt wilderness, you can participate in activities like hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing.
When it comes to jobs, Calgary is known as the 'Energy Capital of Canada' due to its role in the country's oil and gas industry. As it has a diverse and robust economy, you'll also find jobs in the technology, finance, and healthcare sectors.
Calgary is brimming with neighbourhoods full of exclusive amenities, lush landscapes and fantastic Calgary restaurants and eateries. Discover the best neighbourhoods in Calgary to find the perfect place to call home.
Best for: Energy professionals, outdoor enthusiasts, families, students, and entrepreneurs.
Population: The estimated 2023 population of Calgary is 1,640,000.
Average cost of living: $3,481/month for a single person who rents (CareerBeacon).
10. Lévis, Quebec
Lévis, located just across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City, is a picturesque waterfront community with a serene and idyllic city backdrop. It's conveniently connected to Quebec City via the Quebec-Lévis Ferry and several bridges, making it an ideal choice if you want to work or study in the provincial capital.
When you're not ferrying across to Quebec City, Lévis's waterfront parks, hiking trails, and recreational facilities provide a range of opportunities for outdoor activities. Nearby, Parc des Chutes-de-la-Chaudière offers stunning waterfalls and nature trails.
The city constantly ranks as one of the safest places in Canada. If you're after a secure and family-friendly environment, you'll find it here.
Best for: Families, Quebec City commuters, retirees, students, and history buffs.
Population: The estimated 2023 population of Lévis is 150,179.
Average cost of living: $1,433/month for a single person who rents (livingcost.org).
Make Your Dream Canadian Move a Reality With Help From Spin Genie
Overall, Canada is a beautiful place to call home, with a seemingly endless list of towns and cities to choose from. Hopefully, we've helped you to settle on your perfect province!
Take a look at some more of our recommendations from the Ask Genie blog for living a life of luxury in Canada:
- Most Expensive Houses Ever To Be Sold In Calgary
- Top 10 Most Expensive Hotels in Canada
- The Best Cities in Canada to Enjoy a Luxury Getaway
- 12 Most Expensive Neighborhoods In Edmonton, CA
- What Are The Most Expensive Cities In Canada?
- What Are The Most Expensive Houses In Vancouver?
- 10 of the Most Expensive Houses in Winnipeg, Canada Revealed!
- Where Can You Buy the Most Expensive Sushi in Toronto, Canada?
- 13 Most Expensive Neighbourhoods in Canada
- The Most Expensive Restaurants In Edmonton For Your Next Meal Out!
Which Canadian Province Has The Lowest Tax In Canada?
Alberta has the lowest taxes out of all the Canadian provinces. It has one of the highest basic personal amounts in the country, meaning if you live in Alberta, you'll be taxed on your income only when you make more than $19,369, compared to the federal basic amount of $14,398.
Alberta also doesn't have a provincial sales tax, meaning as a resident or a business in the area, you won't pay an additional tax on top of the federal goods and services (GST) tax of 5%.
Which Province Has The Best Healthcare In Canada?
British Columbia is known for its quality of care. British Columbia has received praise for providing universal healthcare coverage to its residents, including hospital and medical services, prescription drugs, and preventative healthcare.
This province also emphasizes mental health services, even taking measures to make healthcare more accessible, especially for those living in rural or remote areas.
Which Canadian Cities Have The Most Affordable Cost Of Living?
The most affordable Canadian cities include:
- Quebec City, Quebec
- Regina, Saskatchewan
- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Red Deer, Alberta
- Windsor, Ontario
- Fredericton, New Brunswick
- Montreal, Quebec
What Are The Best Canadian Cities To Live In?
Canada is known for its high quality of life and offers a variety of great cities to live in, each with its own unique charm. The best Canadian city for you depends on your preferences, career goals, lifestyle, and priorities. Here are some of the best cities to consider:
- Toronto, Ontario
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Calgary, Alberta
- Ottawa, Ontario
- Edmonton, Alberta
- Quebec City, Quebec
- Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Victoria, British Columbia
Other Canadian cities worth mentioning include Montreal, Regina, Saskatoon and Hamilton.
What Major Canadian Cities Are On The Shores Of Lake Ontario?
The Canadian cities of Hamilton, Kingston, Mississauga, and Toronto are located on Lake Ontario's northern shorelines, while the American city of Rochester is on the south shore.