11 Safest Places To Live In Canada For Families and Individuals (2024)

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.

Measuring Safety In Canada

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.

Crime rates alone don’t always tell the full story. For instance, a city may have a high crime rate, but most are non-violent crimes like petty theft. Other cities may have a lower crime rate but have a higher CSI value, indicating more violent crimes.

Based on CSI numbers, cities with a low crime severity index tend to be among the safest cities in Canada. 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.

Safest Cities In Canada

Living in a safe city is important to many Canadians, especially those who want to settle down, build roots, and potentially raise a family.

Whether you’re looking for culturally diverse cities, good job opportunities, healthy population growth, or a bit of each, these cities should definitely be on your radar!

1. LaSalle, Ontario

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 is among Canada’s safest cities and 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. This city has a lower crime severity index than most similar-sized cities in Ontario. Violent crime is limited, 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

Burlington, ON
  • 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

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.

Overall, the cost of living in Levis is 25% lower than the national average, which is another great reason to consider moving here.

4. Oak Bay, British Columbia

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

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

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

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.

9. Castlegar, British Columbia

  • Crime severity index rating: 45.1
  • Impressive quality of life factors: Castlegar is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, has a diverse local job market, and a local arts scene.

Nestled in the heart of the Kootenay Rockies in British Columbia, Castlegar is a hidden gem that offers a safe community environment, a good local job market, and an abundance of outdoor recreational activities.

Castlegar’s economy is diverse. Its key industries include forestry, hydroelectric power generation, and tourism (especially in the warm summer months). Zellstoff Celgar pulp mill and FortisBC are some of the top employers in the town’s manufacturing and energy sectors.

One of the main reasons people move here is that it’s a paradise for nature lovers. Surrounded by stunning landscapes, rivers, and lakes, the town is an excellent choice for adventure seekers, with ample opportunities for hiking, fishing, kayaking, and skiing.

In addition, Castlegar is home to a growing arts scene, hosting annual events like the Sculpturewalk.

10. Sherbrooke, Quebec

  • Crime severity index rating: 52.8
  • Impressive quality of life factors: Sherbrooke is a beautiful, historic city with a diverse job market, outdoor activities, and a safe, welcoming community.

Situated in the Eastern Townships, Sherbrooke is a friendly, welcoming city with a diverse economy and a thriving arts scene. It’s also the sixth-largest city in Quebec.

The city is home to multiple higher education institutions, including the University of Sherbrooke, which employs over 7,800 local residents. In addition to education, there are jobs in healthcare, hospitality, and information technology.

Sherbrooke is positioned at the confluence of the Saint-François and Magog rivers, and there are some beautiful trails and walkways along the rivers that are great for biking, running, or a quiet walk. The nearby Mont-Orford is great for recreational activities like hiking, kayaking, and skiing.

The city also boasts a thriving arts scene featuring galleries, theatres, and cultural events year-round.

11. Guelph, Ontario

  • Crime severity index rating: 60.6
  • Impressive quality of life factors: Guelph is home to one of the top 20 colleges in the country, features a wide variety of industries/job opportunities, and has lots of family-friendly activities.

Often referred to as “Royal City,” Guelph, Ontario, is a vibrant and thriving city situated a two-hour drive west of Toronto. Known for its low crime rates and safe neighbourhoods, Guelph offers an excellent quality of life for its residents.

In 2022, Guelph was listed among the top ten best small cities to live in Canada by Resonance Consultancy – leading experts on tourism, real estate, and economic development.

The city provides the perfect blend of urban amenities (including an excellent public transportation system) and small-town charm. It’s a great place for those who want to be close to Toronto without having to deal with the inflated cost of living and insane traffic.

It features a diverse and robust economy anchored by key industries like manufacturing, agri-food, and educational services. The city is also home to the University of Guelph, which employs over 5,000 local community members and is ranked among the top 20 colleges in Canada.

While the CSI rating is a bit higher than I’d like to see, this is only to be expected from such a fast-growing city. Overall, it’s a great place to raise a family and offers plenty of parks, green spaces, and family-friendly activities.

Finding The Safest City In Canada

Safe Places To Live In Canada

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.

Still not sure where to live? Check out these cheapest options.

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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