The Best Canadian Cities To Live In

Montreal, Canada

Canada has so much to offer, so it is not a surprise that the country has one of the highest per-capita immigration rates globally.

There are breathtaking views, beautiful national parks, and friendly locals all across Canada.

The country often ranks at the top of lifestyle lists. It offers employment opportunities and a decent standard of healthcare and education.

If you are planning to move to Canada, one of the most difficult choices will be deciding where you want to settle down.

In this guide, we share some of the best places to live in Canada for new immigrants.

12. Burlington, Ontario

Burlington is a perfect place for those who want a big city lifestyle in close proximity to the great outdoors and nature.

The lifestyle available is great with plenty of healthcare facilities, schools and colleges available to residents.

Burlington offers a great balance between fun activities and family-oriented ones. If you want to go out, there’s good nightlife, but also great shops and restaurants in the downtown core.

Finding a job is fairly easy. The leasing industrial sectors are food processing, transportation, business services, electronics, chemical and environmental sectors.

The city is also one of the most expensive Canadian cities in the ranking. However, this city earns high marks for low unemployment, pleasant weather, low crime and high incomes.

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11. Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winnipeg, Canada view

Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, is another great Canadian city to consider living in.

With over 180,000 immigrants in the city, it has a multicultural and diverse population.

Winnipeg offers beautiful landscapes, lakes and sandy beaches. One to add to your list of places to visit is the famous Lake Winnipeg which is the eleventh largest freshwater lake in the world and offers stunning views.

The city is culturally rich with many museums, concerts and festivals to enjoy, namely the popular Winnipeg Folk Festival which takes place each Summer.

Winnipeg is a great place for families to relocate and have a great quality of life.

It offers affordable housing when compared with other major Canadian cities.

In April 2023, the Manitoba government introduced a maximum childcare fee of $10 a day at regulated non-profit child-care centres.

If you are thinking about relocating to Winnipeg, it is important to consider the cold temperatures in the winter months with temperatures dropping as low as -18°C/-0.4°F in January.

10. Oakville, Ontario

Bayfront Park in Hamilton, Ontario

Oakville is a great city located halfway between Hamilton and Toronto. Its population is approximately 234,000 people.

Oakville has consistently been ranked as one of the best places to live in Canada, and here are some of the reasons why.

One of the many things that draws people in is its proximity to Toronto.

Oakville is only 33km away and is well-connected to Toronto via GO Transit and the highways.

It is a lovely suburban town in Southern Ontario that allows its residents to experience both small-town life while not being detached from bigger urban areas.

The city allows easy access to the amenities and job market in both Toronto and Hamilton while maintaining the benefits of a smaller town.

The prices of real estate are affordable and the weather is the best in Canada.

Oakville is a popular location for life science companies, specializing in eldercare and pharmaceuticals.

Register for your WHC Jobs Kit for lists of the top ski resort employers in BC and Alberta, our working holiday jobs search tool and much more!

9. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax, Canada

Halifax is the capital city of Nova Scotia. The city is one of the fastest-growing in Canada and also one of the best in which to live.

Halifax has a strong job market with some of the biggest job industries being in the health, financial services, IT, and marine industries.

There are various activities to enjoy in Halifax such as a visit to the Maritime Museum to learn about the rich history of Halifax, or take in the scenery at Peggy’s Cove.

If you are interested in outdoor activities, Halifax offers numerous hiking trails with something to suit everyone.

You will also be surrounded by numerous beaches if you choose to relocate to Halifax, meaning you will never be too far away from a sunrise swim or water sports activities.

Find out more about Halifax: The top 10 reasons to move to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

8. Edmonton, Alberta

Edmonton, Canada

Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta, and it is a desirable city to relocate for various reasons.

Firstly, it offers a strong job market and a low unemployment rate of 6% as of September 2023, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The top job industries in Edmonton include the oil and gas, energy, tourism, financial and technology industries.

Housing is also more affordable in the city when compared to other big cities such as Vancouver and Toronto.

If you choose to relocate here, you can be sure to have many festivals to attend in your spare time as Edmonton is also known as the ‘Festival City of Canada’ due to it being home to various unique festivals annually.

And that’s not all! Edmonton boasts a strong cultural scene with various theatres, galleries and music venues.

You can also enjoy some retail therapy at one of the largest shopping malls in the world, West Edmonton Mall – with over 800 stores, an indoor waterpark, an amusement park, mini golf, and more!

7. Hamilton, Ontario

Dundas Valley In Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Another one of the best cities to live in Canada is Hamilton, located 58km away from Toronto. It is one of the largest areas in Ontario.

There is a lot to do in Hamilton. A multi-cultural background is starting to be created as more people move there, so there are niche artisan stores, themed bars, restaurants, galleries and unique stores.

The rent prices are lower than in Toronto and there is a growing community of younger people, and McMaster University is in the downtown core.

The economy is growing in Hamilton, creating a lot of job opportunities.

It’s a safe community and a great location for families with lower rent prices.

There is an abundance of natural areas and the city has a lot more space than people.

There are over 100 waterfalls and beaches. There are plenty of hiking and walking opportunities as Hamilton is connected to the Bruce Trail.

Another great advantage of living in Hamilton is that it is known as one of the cheapest places to live in Canada.

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6. Calgary, Alberta

Calgary, Canada

Calgary is considered one of the best Canadian cities. The city has some of the most breathtaking views in North America.

It is a great choice for you and your family if you like the big city with various amenities on offer.

The relocation company Movinga evaluated 150 major cities and Calgary was named one of the best cities in the entire world to live in for families.

The city is well known for being attractive, especially for engineers, minors, mechanics and entrepreneurs.

Housing is affordable and car ownership is necessary since it is a sprawling city.

The progressive school system and abundance of parks and playgrounds make it the perfect place to raise children.

The crime rate in the area is low and unemployment is slowly improving as more and more new immigrants relocate to work and live in Calgary.

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5. Quebec City, Quebec

Quebec City, Canada

Quebec City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a beautiful, historically rich town.

Quebec City has all the amenities that go along with urban living but is also one of Canada’s least expensive cities, as well as one of the lowest crime rates in the country.

French is the predominant language of conversation in Quebec city and the surrounding region. The people here are known for their respect for diversity, friendliness and conviviality.

The city has plenty of access to nature and a very international feel. In addition to its beauty, Quebec City also offers a great quality of life for newcomers.

Prices for day-to-day amenities are very competitive, while tuition fees are affordable and healthcare is free of charge.

Every year, people from around the world decide to unpack their bags here, simply because Quebec is a great place to live.

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4. Montreal, Quebec

Montreal is a predominantly French-speaking city in Canada, and it ranks highly as a preferred destination for immigrants.

Montreal has Canada’s second-largest economy and is also one of the best places in Canada to raise children. Kids in Montreal are highly likely to grow up speaking two languages.

Montreal is the second-largest city in Canada and a multicultural centre. It is often considered the cultural capital of Canada. There are numerous options that you can choose from if you are looking for things to do or places to hang out.

Compared to Vancouver and Toronto, Montreal offers affordable property both for purchase and rental purposes. A home in a Montreal neighbourhood can be rented for as little as CAD $400 per month and some one-bedroom apartments starting at CAD $550-$600.

Living costs in Montreal are more affordable than in other Canadian cities. The city has a convenient metro and bus service that adequately serves the needs of all inhabitants.

Household utilities are generally charged per month and are quite reasonably priced.

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3. Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is a famous destination for immigrants moving to Canada due to its diverse cultures and natural landscape. Approximately 52% of its population are not native English speakers.

Vancouver has the Pacific Ocean and breathtaking mountain views, which make it great for a wide range of outdoor activities such as whale watching, surfing and skiing.

Vancouver is family-friendly and full of fun things to do with your loved ones in British Columbia. The city offers world-class education and healthcare facilities as well as a multicultural environment which makes it one of the best cities in Canada to live and raise children.

Vancouver is known as one of the warmest cities in Canada and it is often deemed the most beautiful city in Canada.

The fact that more than half of the population speaks English makes it ideal for English speakers to relocate to the country.

The multicultural nature of the city makes its people highly tolerant of other nations and their unique cultures. Settling down in the city is therefore quite easy with plenty of places to interact with people.

Register for your WHC Jobs Kit for lists of the top ski resort employers in BC and Alberta, our working holiday jobs search tool and much more!

Vancouver has a strong economy and plenty of employment opportunities in a number of industries such as mining, hospitality, tourism, telecommunications, construction, technology, finance and forestry.

The average income and style of living in the area are high, but the cost of living and housing prices compared to other places are high as well.

However, it is important to know that Vancouver is one of the most expensive Canadian cities.

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2. Toronto, Ontario

Toronto, Ontario

Toronto is the biggest city in Canada and it is the fourth largest in North America in population.

There are many great reasons for immigrants interested in living in Canada to choose Toronto as their new home.

It is often considered as one of the happiest places to live in the world.

Toronto is Canada’s financial capital and has a very high quality of life. It is often listed as the best city in Canada. The city demonstrates excellence in health, safety, security and innovation.

The cost of living in Toronto is high compared to other regions and the city has the most expensive property prices in Canada and even in the world.

The city has an extensive public transportation system and moving around the city is very easy.

The unemployment rate is very low and there are a variety of job opportunities in Toronto.

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1. Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa, Canada’s capital, is rated as one of the most beautiful cities in Canada and is often voted as the best city to live in Canada.

Ottawa is becoming more and more popular as a destination in Canada among expats from all around the world, as it often ranks as the best place to live in Canada.

It is multicultural and home to many technology start-ups. The cost of living is higher than average but is still quite affordable.

Ottawa constantly ranks high as the best community to live in the world for the quality of life it offers, cleanliness, and low crime rate.

The unemployment rate is relatively low and stands at 4.4%.

There is a large number of young people attracted to the city by its cultural diversity and two universities – Carleton University and the University of Ottawa.

English is understood everywhere, but learning French might benefit you in terms of getting a certain type of job or integrating faster into the community.

Ottawa is a youthful and vibrant city with stunning architecture, lovely neighbourhoods and a prosperous city centre.

The city is also known as one of the most educated cities in the country as it is home to high-profile universities.

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