Lifestyle

Best Places to Live in Canada in 2024

Best Places to Live in Canada in 2024

Table of contents

    Canada is filled with beautiful places to live and work from coast to coast, yet there’s no doubt that affordability varies considerably between cities and even provinces. 

    The Globe and Mail recently published their top 100 most liveable cities list. This list was compiled to help Canadians find communities that contained what they valued most, including safety, housing costs, and other economic factors. 

    Of course, there are other important things to consider when choosing a place to call home, so we’ve also included some extra information on the top 10 cities below to help you decide where to move if you’re considering relocating in the new year.


    Key Takeaways 

    • British Columbia dominates the top 10, with 6 cities making the list. 
    • The rankings are based on factors that include the local economy, cost of housing, and safety of the communities. 
    • The most affordable cities on the list when looking at home affordability are Winnipeg and Regina.

    Are you a first-time buyer?

    #1 Victoria, British Columbia

    The capital of British Columbia, Victoria, is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and boasts abundant parks and trails to explore. The area is known for having one of the mildest climates in Canada, making it a great place to live for those not into Canadian winters. 

    Best City for: Those who prefer a mild climate 

    Worst City for: The budget-conscious 

    Population  95,384
    Population density (per km2) 4,638
    Average household income  $93,598
    Unemployment rate  3.8%
    Average house price $862,357
    Average monthly rent  $1,704
    Estimated cost of living (single person, with rent) $3,238.60
    Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 5,819
    Median age 42.7
    Average yearly rainfall 475.9mm
    Average yearly snowfall 33.4cm
    Temperature high and low 19c to 3c

    #2 North Vancouver, British Columbia

    Located on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, North Vancouver is known for its many hiking and skiing trails. North Vancouver is close to top attractions, including Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Grouse Mountain, both receiving Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for 2023. 

    Best City for: Those who love the outdoors

    Worst City for: Those who hate traffic

    Population  161,469
    Population density (per km2) 559
    Average household income  $157,772
    Unemployment rate  3.3%
    Average house price $1,451,417
    Average monthly rent  $2,007
    Estimated cost of living (single person, with rent) $3,450.40
    Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 2,561
    Median age 44
    Average yearly rainfall 2522mm
    Average yearly snowfall 75.8cm
    Temperature high and low 23c to 2c

    #3 Winnipeg, Manitoba

    Winnipeg is the capital and largest city in Manitoba. It’s Canada’s sixth-largest city and eighth-largest metropolitan area. The city is one of the most affordable in Canada and has the third fastest-growing economy among major Canadian cities.  

    Best City for: Employment opportunities and affordable housing

    Worst City for: Crime rate

    Population  797,004
    Population density (per km2) 1,660
    Average household income  $107,532
    Unemployment rate  5.6%
    Average house price $348,932
    Average monthly rent  $1,354
    Estimated cost of living (single person, with rent) $2,710.60
    Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 6,088
    Median age 38.1
    Average yearly rainfall 366.8mm
    Average yearly snowfall 148cm
    Temperature high and low 27c to -19c

    #4 Regina, Saskatchewan

    Regina, the capital city of Saskatchewan, is the second largest city in the province. The city is one of the fastest-growing Canadian cities due to its relatively low cost of living and higher incomes. The city is known as the sunniest capital city in Canada, with an average of 322 days of sunshine a year. 

    Best City for: Affordable living

    Worst City for: Those who love to travel

    Population  247,200
    Population density (per km2) 1,343
    Average household income  $115,421
    Unemployment rate  3.8%
    Average house price $325,960
    Average monthly rent  $1,192
    Estimated cost of living (single person, with rent) $2,532.30
    Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 5,257
    Median age 36.2
    Average yearly rainfall 249.7mm
    Average yearly snowfall 100cm
    Temperature high and low 26c to -19c

    #5 Burlington, Ontario

    Located on the northwestern shores of Lake Ontario between Toronto and Niagara Falls, Burlington is the perfect mid-sized city to raise a family. The city has many outdoor attractions and parklands, with the UNESCO-designated Niagara Escarpment and Bruce Trail and The Royal Botanical Gardens, the largest botanical gardens in Canada.

    Best City for: Family-friendly neighbourhoods

    Worst City for: Cost of living and real estate

    Population  201,028
    Population density (per km2) 1,060
    Average household income  $150,373
    Unemployment rate  3.4%
    Average house price $984,880
    Average monthly rent  $1,439
    Estimated cost of living (single person, with rent) $2,730.80
    Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 2,776
    Median age 42.5
    Average yearly rainfall 976mm
    Average yearly snowfall 118.1cm
    Temperature high and low 26c to -8c

    Red hot rates impacting your housing market experience?

    With nesto, you can get a low rate with a 150-day hold.

    #6 West Vancouver, British Columbia

    Located on the northern shore of English Bay, West Vancouver is one of the main ports connecting mainland British Columbia with Vancouver Island. The area is great for those who love the outdoors, with Cypress Mountain close by, but still want the perks of urban living. 

    Best City for: Outdoor enthusiasts

    Worst City for: Transportation and traffic

    Population  48,340
    Population density (per km2) 504
    Average household income  $218,610
    Unemployment rate  2.9%
    Average house price $3,120,290
    Average monthly rent  $2,007
    Estimated cost of living (single person, with rent) $3,556.90
    Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 3,518
    Median age 50.6
    Average yearly rainfall 1457mm
    Average yearly snowfall 44.6cm
    Temperature high and low 23c to 0c

    #7 Saanich, British Columbia

    Saanich boasts convenient living close to Victoria, providing easy access to amenities and the perks of suburban living. The area has many regional parks and lakes to enjoy the outdoors year round. 

    Best City for: Mild weather

    Worst City for: Housing demand and affordability

    Population  128,212
    Population density (per km2) 1,131
    Average household income  $125,038
    Unemployment rate  2.8%
    Average house price $1,041,145
    Average monthly rent  $1,704
    Estimated cost of living (single person, with rent) $3,238.60
    Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 3,019
    Median age 43.3
    Average yearly rainfall 1066mm
    Average yearly snowfall 33.4cm
    Temperature high and low 23c to 2c

    #8 Calgary, Alberta

    Calgary is the largest city in Alberta, with a strong economy boasting many jobs in the oil and gas industry. Calgary was ranked the #1 city to live in Canada and shares the ranking with Zurich as the third most liveable city in the world, as ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2022. 

    Best City for: Lower taxes

    Worst City for: Unpredictable weather

    Population  1,422,893
    Population density (per km2) 1,644
    Average household income  $137,843
    Unemployment rate  6.1%
    Average house price $563,079
    Average monthly rent  $1,476
    Estimated cost of living (single person, with rent) $3,075.70
    Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 4,206
    Median age 37.4
    Average yearly rainfall 326.9mm
    Average yearly snowfall 128.8cm
    Temperature high and low 23c to -11c

    #9 Pitt Meadows, British Columbia

    Between the Fraser River and Golden Ears mountains, Pitt Meadows is a growing safe and quiet area with a small community feel that’s great for raising a family. The area has easy access to wilderness, parks, and markets and is a 40km drive from Vancouver. 

    Best City for: Rural living

    Worst City for: Those who enjoy nightlife

    Population  21,124
    Population density (per km2) 223
    Average household income  $129,962
    Unemployment rate  3.2%
    Average house price $857,682
    Average monthly rent  $2,007
    Estimated cost of living (single person, with rent) $3,184.40
    Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 4,262
    Median age 42
    Average yearly rainfall 1508mm
    Average yearly snowfall 55.2cm
    Temperature high and low 26c to 0c

    #10 Oak Bay, British Columbia

    Oak Bay is an oceanfront community on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Oak Bay is named after the Garry Oak trees that line the streets and is one of the most desirable places to live. This suburban area is close to Vancouver and has become a popular retirement community.

    Best City for: Retirees

    Worst City for: Housing starts

    Population  19,471
    Population density (per km2) 1,711
    Average household income  $162,122
    Unemployment rate  2.3%
    Average house price $1,734,410
    Average monthly rent  $1,704
    Estimated cost of living (single person, with rent) $3,238.60
    Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 2,256
    Median age 53.8
    Average yearly rainfall 961mm
    Average yearly snowfall 33.4cm
    Temperature high and low 21c to 3c

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Which city has the lowest home prices for first-time buyers?

    From the cities that made the top 10 list, Winnipeg and Regina rank as the most affordable for first-time buyers looking to enter the housing market.

    How can I determine how much mortgage I can afford?

    Using an online mortgage affordability calculator is the easiest way to determine how much mortgage you can afford. You can use nesto’s affordability calculator and input your financial details, including your income, any co-applicant income, down payment, and any debts you may have to give you an estimate of how much home you can afford.

    When is the best time to look for a home?

    If you’re looking for the best deal or want more negotiating power, the best time to look for a home is in the fall and winter months once the traditional spring and summer housing frenzy finishes. However, if you want more inventory to choose from, spring and summer are typically peak seasons for home buying.

    Final Thoughts 

    Canada, with its diverse landscapes and communities, offers something for everyone. However, the cost of living varies significantly across the country. The best Canadian city for you will depend on your lifestyle, preferences, and budget. 

    If you’re ready to start your homeownership journey, reach out to a mortgage expert today.


    Ready to get started?

    In just a few clicks, you can see our current rates. Then apply for your mortgage online in minutes!

    in this series Canada Living

    Best Mortgage Rates

    Fixed
    Variable
    in

    0.00%3 Year Fixed

    Get Rates

    0.00%5 Year Fixed

    Get Rates
    Check more rates