Canada is often seen as a safe and peaceful country, especially compared to the United States. However, the concept of “safety” varies depending on where you choose to live.
Some cities are safer than others, considering factors like crime rates and neighbourhood demographics. Whether you’re starting a family, thinking about moving, or just wanting more security, finding a safe place is crucial.
In this blog post, we’ll highlight the top 10 safest cities in Canada. If you’re considering visiting this beautiful country but have safety concerns, keep reading to discover the safest places to go.
Top 10 Safest Cities in Canada
Various factors come into play when searching for the safest cities in Canada. Crime rates, neighbourhood demographics, and overall quality of life all contribute to the safety of a city. Through meticulous research and analysis, we have identified the top 12 cities that provide an optimal blend of safety, livability, and community.
Our ranking considers a comprehensive set of criteria, encompassing crime statistics, community amenities, and the overall quality of life in each city. Here are the 12 safest cities in Canada:
Guelph is a secure and welcoming city with a Crime Severity Index (CSI) below the national average, emphasizing its safety. For families seeking safety and a sense of community, neighbourhoods like Westminster Woods, Kortright Hills, and Grange Hill East offer a welcoming environment.
Meanwhile, downtown Guelph appeals to young individuals, providing a vibrant atmosphere with trendy cafes, restaurants, and pubs. This area is particularly advantageous for those starting out, offering numerous apartments and condominiums for rent or purchase.
Home to the prestigious University of Guelph, the city balances academia with a broader community, dispelling concerns of becoming solely a university town. Art enthusiasts will find Guelph’s robust art scene captivating, adding cultural richness to the city.
Guelph’s cityscape, reminiscent of European cities, contributes to its reputation as one of Canada’s safest cities. The consistently low crime rates and a decreasing CSI from 2020 to 2022 reinforce its status as a secure place to live. Moreover, the city boasts one of Canada’s lowest unemployment rates.
Montreal stands out as not only one of Canada’s safest cities, with a relatively low Crime Severity Index, but also as a vibrant hub of cultural richness and diversity. The city, boasting both French and English-speaking communities, creates a unique and welcoming atmosphere.
Consistently recognized as one of Canada’s safest and most livable cities, Montreal has earned a reputation for being bike-friendly and hosting top-rated restaurants. For families seeking a secure and family-friendly environment, neighbourhoods such as Westmount, Cote-des-Neiges, and NDG are popular choices. These areas offer excellent schools, ample green spaces and recreational activities, ensuring a high quality of life for families in Montreal.
Young professionals find their haven in neighbourhoods like Plateau-Mont-Royal, Mile End, and St-Henri, where culture, art, and nightlife thrive. Trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants, coupled with a bustling music and arts scene, characterize these areas.
Ottawa, known for its safety and tranquil community, is one of Canada’s safest cities, with a Crime Severity Index significantly lower than the national average. The name Ottawa, meaning “to trade,” reflects the city’s historical significance as a business and government affairs centre. Its diverse population fosters racial tolerance and inclusion, contributing to the city’s lower crime rates. With a Crime Severity Index of just over 54, Ottawa ranks as the second safest city in Canada, with notably lower rates of street robberies.
Beyond its safety, Ottawa offers proximity to government facilities, making it an ideal location for those seeking secure government jobs. The city’s emphasis on education is evident, with a highly educated population and a notable presence in the technology sector, where one in every seven people works in technology.
One of Ottawa’s beloved neighbourhoods is Westboro, celebrated for its chic stores, eateries, cafes, and beautiful parks. It’s particularly appealing to young families, offering a community that values family life, boasts low crime rates, and provides excellent schools. Another sought-after district, the Glebe, situated close to the city centre, exudes historic elegance, making it a favourite among young professionals and students for its vibrant vibes, lovely parks, and university proximity.
Barrie secures a spot in the list of Canada’s top 10 safest cities, boasting a Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 45.91, significantly lower than the national average of 73.68. This translates to a violent crime rate 33% below the country’s average, ensuring residents’ high level of safety
Situated along the shores of Kempenfelt Bay, Barrie combines friendliness with vibrancy and a rich arts scene. Despite its historical roots, the city is recognized as one of Canada’s fastest-growing due to its exposure to the tech industry.
The Allandale, Holly, and Painswick neighbourhoods are particularly popular among families, providing excellent schools, parks, and community centres, creating a friendly atmosphere ideal for raising a family.
Notably, Barrie is an appealing option for those seeking affordability compared to Toronto, hosting the renowned MacLaren Art Centre, a source of inspiration for the innovative Art City project.
5. Quebec City
Quebec City stands out as one of the safest cities in Canada, boasting a remarkably low Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 42.61, the lowest among Canada’s metropolitan areas. Being the safest city in the safest province in Canada, Quebec City offers a low crime rate and a high quality of life.
Quebec City offers an exceptional quality of life with relatively affordable housing costs. Residents can indulge in outdoor activities at Les Plaines d’Abraham, explore Les Chutes Montmorency, and partake in the renowned Festival d’été de Québec, attracting global stars.
The city’s aesthetic charm aligns with its safety, characterized by efficient law enforcement and an effective justice system. Its diverse population encompasses various ages, ethnicities, and cultures, with a generally well-educated community, many holding post-secondary degrees.
Despite being the 17th largest city in Quebec by population, Blainville boasts a remarkable safety record. In 2019, Blainville, Quebec, earned the prestigious title of the best city to live in, according to L’actualité magazine. The crime rate in this city is 42% lower than the provincial average, and its Crime Severity Index is an impressive 57% lower than the national index.
What makes Blainville stand out is its commitment to providing residents with quality education, efficient public services, and a well-developed public transit system. The city offers a high standard of living, characterized by exceptional schools and childcare services, along with numerous outdoor spaces for children to enjoy.
As a suburb of Montreal, Blainville not only allows for easy commuting into the city but also provides access to a variety of natural spaces, ensuring a blend of urban convenience and outdoor recreation.
7. Oak Bay
Nestled in British Columbia, Oak Bay stands out as a community that delivers a high quality of life and ensures excellent safety and security, reflected in its impressive Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 29.81—half of Canada’s average.
Despite its small size, Oak Bay earned the title of the best place to live in British Columbia in 2017. Renowned for its luxury, the city offers breathtaking ocean views and a robust economy while maintaining affordability.
This secure and luxurious community is conveniently located, providing easy access to various amenities. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the renowned Victoria Golf Club, one of Canada’s most well-known golf courses, while those seeking stunning ocean views can revel in the city’s prime location along the Pacific Coast.
Lévis, one of the safest cities in Canada, is situated across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City and is renowned for its economic vitality and social vibrancy. Named after François Gaston, Duke de Lévis, a prominent figure in Canadian history, has a crime index lower than many Canadian cities, contributing to its well-deserved reputation for safety.
Lévis’s strategic location in the province of Quebec, like Blainville and Quebec City, ensures affordability, excellent schools, and efficient public transportation, contributing to its low crime rate.
Nature enthusiasts are drawn to Lévis, situated at the crossroads of three national parks, providing access to exciting hiking trails and numerous camping sites, creating a haven for outdoor activities and breathtaking views.
Burlington, situated in the Greater Toronto Area, is known for its cleanliness and good air quality. It is also one of Canada’s safest cities, boasting a remarkably low Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 23.95 and a crime rate well below the national average.
Beyond its safety, Burlington’s location provides residents with many outdoor recreational activities. The city offers various options for nature enthusiasts, from walking along the Waterfront Trail to hiking the renowned Niagara Escarpment.
The city’s appeal is heightened by its proximity to two major bodies of water, Lake Ontario and Niagara Falls, ensuring scenic views and excellent hiking trails, some of which are horse-friendly. Burlington’s cultural scene also thrives, with frequent concerts catering to music lovers.
LaSalle, located in Ontario, is one of the safest cities in Canada, showcasing an impressively low Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 19.15, a remarkable 74% lower than the national average.
The city prioritises safety and offers a high income, with a low unemployment rate of 3%. It also adds vibrancy to its community by hosting Night Markets at the Civic Centre, featuring music, vendors, and food on the last Sunday of May, June, July, and August.
What is the Safest City in Canada?
The safest city in Canada is LaSalle. LaSalle, Ontario, stands out as the safest city in Canada, holding the top spot with an impressively low Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 20.69, a remarkable 72% lower than the national average.
LaSalle’s safety is highlighted by Numbeo’s latest 2024 data and statistics from the Canadian Centre for Justice, revealing that it is the safest place to live in Canada. The violent crime rate per 1000 people is exceptionally low at 0.42, and property damage is 25% less than the national average.
What is the Safest Province in Canada?
Overall, Quebec emerges as the safest province in Canada, boasting the lowest crime rate nationwide. The province’s commitment to safety is reflected in its cities, including Quebec City, Blainville, and Lévis, which consistently rank among the safest in the country. This dedication to public safety, coupled with a rich cultural heritage and diverse population, makes Quebec a preferred destination for those seeking a secure and vibrant living environment.
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Final Thoughts on Safest Cities in Canada
Exploring the safest cities in Canada has been an enlightening journey, unveiling the secure havens that our beautiful country has to offer. From the low crime rates to the welcoming communities, each city has its unique charm that adds to the overall safety quotient.
Whether you’re considering a move, planning a visit, or simply curious about the safest places in Canada, this guide has equipped you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.