Safety plays a big part in deciding where to live. Canada regularly makes the list as one of the safest countries to visit, but which city makes residents feel the most secure?
As someone who travels and works around the world, I would say that Canada is one of the safest places I’ve ever lived in.
Read on to see which communities I picked as being the safest places to live in Canada while having the best quality of life.
To help determine which cities are safest, I turned to the Crime Severity Index (CSI). The CSI measures serious crimes from year to year, detecting the frequency of crimes within a community, along with the seriousness of the crime committed.
Based on CSI numbers, cities with low values tend to have safer communities. In addition to the crime severity, I’m also looking at the quality of life, taking into consideration the cost of living, pollution, climate, and employment.
1. LaSalle, Ontario
Crime Severity Index rating: 19.15
Impressive quality of life factors: Residents of LaSalle note a lower cost of living than average with a picturesque community with a network of trails, parks, and waterfront activities.
LaSalle often makes the list as one of the best places to live in Canada. To start, the city has a 16% lower cost of living than other Ontario cities and is 7% below the national average.
In addition, you’ll find parks and other green spaces throughout the city – over 40km of trails, many near the water. The best part about all outdoor activities is that you can feel safe while you enjoy the fresh air.
LaSalle is one of the safest places in Canada, with a CSI rating of 19.15. There are limited violent crimes, and property and drug incidents are way below the national average.
The residents of LaSalle enjoy a low unemployment rate, around 3%, and earn decent wages to help support their comfortable lifestyle.
2. Burlington, Ontario
Crime Severity Index rating: 22.77
Impressive quality of life factors: Burlington is known for its outdoor trails and clean air. As a suburb of Toronto, it’s close enough to the city for work and entertainment but a significantly cheaper place to live.
Burlington feels like a small town, even though it’s not too far from Toronto. With a CSI rating of 22.77, residents can feel safe walking through the streets of this Ontario town. And walking and hiking are big draws to this area, with the famous Niagra Escarpment nearby.
Burlington isn’t necessarily cheap, but it is less costly than living in downtown Toronto. In addition, you’ll have access to many high-quality restaurants, shopping, and recreational facilities.
3. Levis, Quebec
Crime severity index rating: 26.77
Impressive quality of life factors: Levis is an outdoor lover’s dream with plenty of winter and summertime activities. Housing is generally cheaper in Quebec than in other parts of the country, and utilities also have lower costs.
With a CSI rating of 26.77, Levis only has 463 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. That stat is much lower than the rest of Quebec and significantly lower than Canada’s average.
Located in the heart of three national parks, you’ll find a variety of hiking trails, camping spots, and wildlife sightings. During the colder months, there’s plenty of opportunity for ice hockey, skiing, and snowboarding.
One of the benefits of living in Quebec is its low cost of utilities, specifically electricity. Quebec generates its electricity through hydroelectric dams, making it both cost-effective and good for the planet.
4. Oak Bay, British Columbia
Crime severity index rating: 27
Impressive quality of life factors: Oak Bay provides idyllic scenery and access to prestigious schools, oceanfront mansions, and plenty of outdoor activities.
With a low CSI rating of only 27, Oak Bay, British Columbia was ranked as the second least dangerous community in all of Canada.
The community is located on the southern portion of Vancouver Island. It was designed for wealthy residents of Victoria, and you’ll still find the coastline dotted with mansions, upscale country clubs, and plenty of yachts.
Because it’s surrounded by water, there’s an opportunity for water sports, swimming, and beach access. This prestigious location offers high-quality schooling, fancy restaurants, and desirable shopping.
The downfall to an area featuring low crime, gorgeous scenery, and lots of amenities is the cost. Oak Bay is known as a luxury community and the price tag on its real estate shows.
5. Lakeshore, Ontario
Crime severity index rating: 28
Impressive quality of life factors: Lakeshore offers lower taxes, a temperate climate, and a lower cost of living.
Lakeshore is only 30 minutes from the US/Canada border and is also considered one of the safest communities in Canada. With a crime severity index of 28, Lakeshore is well below the country’s average.
Lakeshore gets its name because it sits along a lake – Lake St. Clair. The water is home to several festivals, concerts, and other outdoor activities, including boating and swimming. Waterfront property is also highly sought after and way more affordable than other lakeside communities.
The area in and around Lakeshore is full of major industries. Because it is close to the Windsor/Detroit corridor, there are multiple auto-related plants offering plenty of employment opportunities.
Another reason to reside in Lakeshore? The low property taxes. Although the town council recently increased property taxes, the community still boasts one of the lowest rates throughout the Windsor-Essex area.
6. Aurora, Ontario
Crime severity index rating: 39.01
Impressive quality of life factors: Aurora has a variety of high-paying jobs within an affordable community.
Located just north of Toronto, Aurora is part of the Golden Horseshoe, one of the most populated regions in the country. Although this area is dense with people, it is still considered very safe, with crime rates 53% lower than the national average.
One of the main benefits of living in Aurora is the potential for high wages. Known as an economic hub, some companies have set up headquarters within the community, including Amazon and Bulk Barn Foods Unlimited.
The higher wages earned will go farther in Aurora. Rents and housing prices are cheaper than living within the city, and things like groceries aren’t as expensive.
7. Quebec City, Quebec
Crime severity index rating: 42.1
Impressive quality of life factors: There are plenty of things to do, including cultural opportunities. In addition, Quebec City has lower housing costs than much of the rest of Canada.
As the capital of Quebec, Quebec City is the safest among the big metropolitan cities. It has one of the lowest crime rates in North America and is considered safer than many big American or European cities of the same size.
As noted earlier, electricity costs in Quebec are much lower than in the rest of Canada since it’s sourced from hydroelectric dams.
Along with cultural events, Quebec City offers residents many outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, skiing, and ice hockey. There are also many sporting events to attend, as well as festivals and concerts.
8. Barrie, Ontario
Crime severity index rating: 44.9
Impressive quality of life factors: Barrie features strong employment and healthcare services as well as a slew of outdoor activities.
Barrie is a growing community, and its location is one of the big reasons why. To start, it’s slightly over an hour from Toronto and around the same time to reach the Blue Mountain Resort in the north.
The city has a strong public transportation system and provides a network of buses and trains for the Greater Toronto Area.
Need something to do? Barrie has plenty of outdoor opportunities. Ski resorts are just a short drive away, and the closeby beaches at Centennial Park are perfect for sailing and boating enthusiasts.
Being safe, finding affordable housing and having ample job opportunities are just some of the factors that determine where to make your home.
The communities on this list all score low on the crime severity index and have plenty of entertainment and recreational opportunities, a decent cost of living, and high job prospects.
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