Top 15 Safest Cities in Canada (2024)

Top 15 Safest Cities in Canada (2024)

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    When it comes to finding the safest cities in Canada, there are a lot of factors to consider. From crime rates to neighbourhood demographics, many variables can impact the safety of a city. However, with careful research and analysis, it is possible to identify the cities that offer the best combination of safety, livability, and community.

    We will highlight Canada’s top 15 safest cities based on various factors, including crime statistics, community amenities, and overall quality of life. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to raise a family or a vibrant urban centre, these cities offer something for everyone.

    Key Highlights

    • Overall, Canada is considered a safe place to live, no matter where you settle.
    • The country’s Crime Severity Index is low across the country, with many large metropolitan cities below the national average.
    • Some of Canada’s safest cities are found in Ontario and Quebec, but there are plenty of safe cities across the country.

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    Using the Crime Severity Index to Rank Canada’s Safest Cities

    The Canadian Crime Severity Index (CSI) monitors the severity of crimes reported by law enforcement, considering both the frequency and degree of offences to evaluate the overall level of seriousness from one year to the next. 

    This helps in understanding how crime impacts individuals, families, and the community as a whole. Research shows that elevated crime severity levels substantially negatively impact personal and communal well-being, making a low CSI score an indication of a thriving community.

    The graph below looks at the CSI percentage of cities with a minimum population of 100,000 from 1994 to 2014 (sourced from Statistics Canada and the University of Waterloo).

    As you can see, Canada’s CSI percentage has generally dropped year-to-year from 1994 to 2014. However, according to Statistics Canada, the CSI has increased in recent years, hovering between 79.75 and 78.10 from 2019 to 2022.

    Top 15 Safest Cities in Canada

    Durham Region 

    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 44.1

    Population: 696,992

    Median Home Price: $921,225

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $1,731

    The Durham Region currently ranks as the safest overall out of cities with a population of 100,000 or more. The region covers a large area east of Toronto, with some of the larger cities, Oshawa and Pickering, located within the region. 

    The Durham Region Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) Plan partners the Durham Region with the Government of Canada to support vulnerable community members in addressing underlying conditions that give rise to crimes. 

    Bowmanville is an up-and-coming area with approximately 57,000 residents who call the area home. What was once a quiet farm town has grown into a suburban town with shops, restaurants, and entertainment. The area combines urban convenience and rural beauty with a diverse community only an hour’s drive from the GTA. 

    Peel Region

    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 45

    Population: 1,499,917

    Median Home Price: $1,062,600

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $2,349

    The Peel Region is one of the safest communities in Canada for an area with a population of $1 million or more. Mississauga and Brampton are two popular cities in the Peel Region that attract a diverse mix of residents. Toronto Pearson Airport, the largest and busiest in Canada, is located within the region. 

    Port Credit in Mississauga is an excellent neighbourhood that provides easy access to the Go Train for Toronto commuters. Living in Mississauga gives you easy access to over 480 parks, including an extensive waterfront trail. 

    York Region

    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 47.6

    Population: 1,239,500

    Median Home Price: $1,286,631

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $2,500

    The York Region extends from North Toronto to Georgina and Lake Simcoe. Markham, Vaughan, Newmarket and Richmond Hill are some of the major urban cities in the area where many who commute to Toronto for work reside. 

    One of the best areas to live in this region is East Gwillimbury, the fastest-growing municipality in the region. The area has abundant green space, farmland, forests, and scenic trails. This quiet community makes for the ideal location if you crave rural living but still want to remain close to city amenities. 


    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 51.3

    Population: 118, 687

    Median Home Price: $878,900

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $2,076

    Saanich is the safest city in British Columbia, with a crime rating well below the national average. The city is a popular retirement community, and the aging population plays a role in the low crime rates. 

    Located close to Victoria, the city offers the best of suburban living with easy access to big city amenities. The area also has many regional parks and lakes that the mild weather allows you to enjoy year-round.  


    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 52.8

    Population: 151,157

    Median Home Price: $434,158

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $995

    Sherbrooke is considered a relatively safe place to live due to several factors. One reason is the city’s low Crime Severity Index score, which is lower than the national average in Canada. Sherbrooke’s demographic mix creates a sense of community and fosters social cohesion, helping to deter crime.

    Lennoxville is a popular neighbourhood in Sherbrooke. The neighbourhood is home to Bishop’s University, a small liberal arts college which attracts many young people to the area. The neighbourhood has a lively arts scene and a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops. It is considered a safe area, making it an attractive place for young people to live and study.

    Quebec City

    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 53.6

    Population: 733,156

    Median Home Price: $336,167 

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $1,329

    One of the country’s most aesthetically beautiful cities is also one of its safest. The city has a relatively low CSI score compared to other cities in Canada. This can be attributed to the efficient and effective law enforcement and the justice system in the city.

    Quebec City has a diverse population, with a mix of ages, ethnicities, and cultures. The city’s population is generally well-educated, with a high proportion of residents holding post-secondary degrees. 

    Quebec City has several residential areas considered safe and desirable places to live. Sainte-Foy-Sillery-Cap-Rouge is a popular neighbourhood known for its quiet, family-friendly environment and excellent schools. Montcalm is a trendy area home to many professionals and young families. Montcalm is known for its beautiful historic buildings, great restaurants, and boutique shops.


    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 54.1

    Population: 1,017,449

    Median Home Price: $638,600

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $1,950

    Ottawa is regarded as a secure city to call home. The Crime Severity Index identifies Ottawa as one of the safest cities in Canada, with a crime rate significantly lower than the country as a whole. With a mix of ages, nationalities, and cultures, Ottawa is a diversified and highly educated city. With residents who are typically law-abiding and courteous of one another, this demographic mix contributes to developing a tranquil and pleasant community.

    One of the most well-liked Ottawa neighbourhoods is Westboro, renowned for its chic stores, eateries, cafes, and lovely parks and outdoor areas. Young families will find Westboro the perfect place to live because it is a community that values families, has a low crime rate, and has excellent schools.

    The Glebe, another well-liked Ottawa district, is close to the city’s centre and is renowned for its historic elegance. The Glebe is a highly sought-after neighbourhood for young, trendy professionals and students because it offers superb vibes, lovely parks, and is close to universities.


    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 56.7

    Population: 154,676

    Median Home Price: $800,300

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $1,750

    As a much quieter city than Toronto and only 90 kilometres away, Barrie is an excellent, safe option for many. The Crime Severity Index (CSI) in Barrie is lower than the national average in Canada. That means you won’t have to be stressing out about your safety.

    The neighbourhoods of Allandale, Holly, and Painswick are popular with families, offering great schools, parks, and community centers. These areas have a friendly community feel and are perfect for raising a family. For young people, downtown Barrie is where it’s at. This area is home to trendy bars, restaurants, and shops, making it a great place to socialize and hang out.


    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 56.9

    Population: 128,057

    Median Home Price: $334,380

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $1,300

    According to the Crime Severity Index, Trois-Rivières has a lower crime rate than other Canadian communities of a similar size. Residents can feel comfortable in Trois-Rivieres since the police force is well-trained and prepared to deal with criminal activity.

    Trois-Rivières has many families and retirees, and the city has a comparatively low population density compared to other cities in Quebec. It’s a relatively quiet town with plenty of charm.

    Trois-Rivieres has many residential neighbourhoods that are considered safe and ideal locations to live in. For instance, the Saint-Louis-de-France area is renowned for its historic appeal and welcoming atmosphere. Cap-de-la-Madeleine, situated on the southern shore of the St. Lawrence River, is another well-known neighbourhood. This area is renowned for its low crime rate, lovely waterfront, and natural landscape views. Family-friendly Cap-de-la-Madeleine has excellent schools and a strong sense of community. 


    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 60

    Population: 108,455

    Median Home Price: $1,015,200

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $1,900

    Delta is the second safest city in British Columbia, with a population of over 100,000. Located at the delta of the Fraser River, the area is one of the most important agricultural areas in Metro Vancouver, with rich soil and water. Delta is a commuting distance from Vancouver, making it the perfect suburban location for those who prefer quiet living and don’t mind a commute. 

    Delta comprises the communities of Ladner, Tsawwassen, and North Delta. These neighbourhoods are quiet and safe areas surrounded by nature, perfect for raising a family. The community boasts a household average income 30% higher than the Canadian average. Delta is also considered one of the best places for retirement and ranks high for culture and community.


    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 60.6

    Population: 144,356

    Median Home Price: $814,500

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $2,000

    Guelph is a safe place to live, with a Crime Severity Index (CSI) lower than the national average. Moreover, Guelph has a diverse population, so there is something for everyone. Check out communities like Westminster Woods, Kortright Hills, or Grange Hill East if you’re a family searching for a safe, welcoming neighbourhood.

    If you’re a young individual looking for a place to call home, living in downtown Guelph will be ideal for you. There are several hip cafes, restaurants, and pubs in this area that are geared toward a younger clientele. 


    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 61.1

    Population: 5,647,656

    Median Home Price: $1,103,600

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $2,495

    Canada’s largest city is also, paradoxically, one of its safest. With a low Crime Severity Index compared to other large cities like Montreal and Calgary, Toronto is perhaps the safest large city in the country. 

    Toronto is also known for its diverse demographics, making it a welcoming and inclusive city for people from all walks of life. Families looking for a safe and friendly environment can find it in neighbourhoods like North York, Scarborough, and Etobicoke. These areas are home to excellent schools, parks, and community centers, providing families with everything they need to thrive.

    Young professionals and students flock to neighbourhoods like Downtown, Queen West, and the Annex. These areas are known for their trendy restaurants, bars, and nightlife, making them perfect for young people who want to live in the heart of the action. Despite the bustling atmosphere, these neighbourhoods remain safe and secure.


    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 65

    Population: 729,560

    Median Home Price: $829,100

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $1,685

    With a CSI well below the national average, Hamilton, or “The Hammer,” as some call it, is an excellent city for those looking for a safe and secure place to call home.

    For families in Hamilton, Ancaster, Dundas, and Westdale are among the top neighbourhood choices. These neighbourhoods offer great schools, parks, and recreational activities that families can enjoy together.

    For young people, neighbourhoods like James Street North, Locke Street South, and Hess Village are popular choices. These areas have plenty of bars and restaurants. They’re also within walking distance of downtown Hamilton and its universities and trade schools, which makes them convenient for students and young professionals.


    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 65.1

    Population: 148,625

    Median Home Price: $1,145,000

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $2,300

    Coquitlam is a centrally located city surrounded by nature. Living in this city gives you access to many trails for biking and hiking while still living close to all the shopping and entertainment of an urban city. 

    Located close to Vancouver, the city offers the best of suburban living for families to put down roots. The city offers many family-friendly activities, festivals, events, and farmers markets, making it the perfect location to raise a family.


    Crime Severity Index (CSI): 72.2

    Population: 348,634

    Median Home Price: $528,200

    Average Rent for 1 Bedroom: $1,995

    Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, is a great place to live for many reasons. The CSI for Halifax is 72.2, well below the national average. This reassuring figure highlights the low level of crime in the area.

    People in neighbourhoods with diverse populations of ages and races watch out for one another and cooperate to maintain safety. This fosters a sense of community and belonging, raising the general safety level in the area.

    Halifax features many well-liked neighbourhoods that are excellent for families and young people. Areas like Clayton Park, Bedford, and Fairview are popular family picks. Young people tend to gravitate towards Downtown Halifax and Halifax North End neighbourhoods.


    Which province in Canada has the lowest crime rate?

    Overall, Ontario is considered the safest province in Canada, with some of the lowest crime rates in the country.

    Which city in Canada has the lowest crime rate?

    If we consider the CSI as a key indicator, Sioux Lookout has the lowest crime rate in the country, though the population is under 5,000. For larger cities with over 25,000, Stratford is the safest, with a population of 32,878. For cities over 100,000, Durham Region comes in as the safest.

    Which is the best city in Canada to live in for foreigners?

    While this is all relative to an individual’s situation, experts widely consider areas around Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, and Quebec City excellent cities for foreigners.

    Final Thoughts: Finding the Safest City to Live in Canada

    From crime rates to neighbourhood demographics, many variables can impact the safety of a city. Start by researching crime statistics for different cities and neighbourhoods. The Crime Severity Index (CSI) is a good place to start, as it provides an overall measure of crime rates in a given area. 

    You can also look at more specific crime data, such as the number of break-ins, assaults, or thefts in a particular neighbourhood, available through Statistics Canada. You can also consult with a real estate agent who specializes in the area you’re interested in or talk to friends and family who live in the area for a more personalized take.

    When researching neighbourhoods and cities to live in, it’s also important to consider the demographics of an area. Some neighbourhoods are more diverse than others, which can impact safety differently. For example, areas with a high concentration of elderly and retired residents may have lower crime rates. In comparison, neighbourhoods with a population of younger adults and youth may have higher crime rates.

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