The nation of Canada is divided up into 10 distinct provinces, as well as several territories. These provinces are unique and diverse in their landscapes, cultures, and even their languages.
From the beautiful coasts of British Columbia to the vast plains of the middle provinces to the chilly arctic regions, you'll find a wide variety of landscapes. While both English and French have been named the national languages, you'll find many other languages and dialects spoken in various cities and provinces.
You'll also find plenty of living options to choose from. You could live in a bustling, modern city, a quiet suburb, or in a remote area where the nearest store is hours away.
If you're thinking about making a move to Canada or are already living here and looking for a change, you have no shortage of options to choose from. To help narrow your search, we've compiled a list of some of the best Canadian cities in each province. Keep reading to learn what they are, and why they might be the right choice for your new home.
Whether you're drawn to thriving cities, stunning mountains, or you want a little of both, Canada has a city or town for everyone. So what are the best places to live in Canada? And how should you decide where to settle down in such a huge country? Below we will discuss the major reasons why Canada is the Best Country Live In.
Best Country in the World for 2022
According to the recent study by US News, Canada has landed in the top spot for best countries to live. The study was based on several different factors including financial freedom, economic opportunity, quality of life, global mobility and safety and security.
Canada is also the No. 1 Country in the World, According to the 2021 Best Countries Report and listed among the top 20 in Forbes' latest Happiest Countries in the World report. There are hundreds of reasons to move to Canada. But also, given its vast expanse, Canadians already living in one province might just be wondering what their other options within this fantastic country are.
Best Education System
There is no doubt that Canada has one of the best educational systems in the world. Students seeking post secondary studies flock from all over the world. Recent studies have shown that Canada ranks #1 for quality of life, second best country overall and 5th best country for women. Regardless of the area of study, Canada offers it. Not to mention that most Canadian certifications are recognized world wide.
Fast Growing Economy
Canada's industrialized population presents many opportunities and potential. With an inflation rate of 2.3% per year, it's no wonder it is also one of the richest countries on the planet.
Hundreds of thousands of new jobs are created annually with the average annual income being around $40,000, it's never hard to find decent employment. At the time this article was updated in March of 2022, the average income sits at just over $54,000. Canada's economic is 77.9 which places it 9th on the planet. More than the economic facts and statistics, the currency in Canada is very creative. They use colorful paper money, one dollar coins (Loonies) and two dollar coins (Toonies) and as of recently, the bills are actually washable!
Breathtaking Landscape Scenery
Stunning, jaw dropping, spectacular, diverse, beautiful, robust, fresh, natural, sea and sand, lake and shale, prairies and parklands alluring, dazzling... So many ways to describe Canada's landscapes, not enough words. No other country offers such a myriad of beauty when it comes to scenery and photo opportunities. Whether it's majestic mountains, rolling landscapes or camping on some of the most gorgeous sites on the planet, Canada has something for you.
High Standard Quality of Life
Canada has outdone it's previous competitors and has now been ranked #1 in the world for quality of life. Previously, Germany, Japan and Switzerland were tough contenders in this category. The social justice system is said to be a factor in this new ranking, along with human rights and a very active job market. As well, regardless of what ethnicity a person hails from or religion one practices, all are welcome here. It is not difficult to find like minded communities all over the country.
World Class Healthcare System
The government pays for healthcare and medicine (if it's administered in a hospital). In other words, no hospital bills!
Healthcare is a fundamental right to Canadians. This is a very important aspect of the greatness of Canada. Although the process for some may be slower, the quality of health care is some of the best in the world. There's no cost to recover either. The Canadian health care system ensures that folks are well taken care of during rehabilitation time. Canadians have access to many social assistance programs and housing also contribute to the overall well-being and health of the nation that takes care of its people.
Aside from free health care, Canadians are proud of their social health consciousness that can be seen in activities like the Wednesday yoga class on the lawn of the nation’s capital. Every summer Wednesday, yogis can join in on a one hour yoga class tradition that has drawn as many as 2,500 people at one time, and averages 1,000 participants per class.
As stated above, all are welcome in Canada. In the 1970's and 80's, the Canadian Government adopted multiculturalism. It is said that the Federal Government has been the instigator for multiculturalism due to the social importance of immigration. As a result, any culture, religion, background and ethnicity can be found in Canada, which is great news for those who enjoy food from other countries, festivals and learning in general about other folks and cultures.
Top Cities to Live in Canada
Choosing which city to live in depends on what your own personal needs and wants are. Every Canadian city has its draws and drawbacks. Selecting a major city or suburb to live in takes some thought and a lot of research. It's imperative to consider employment and education opportunities, average cost of a home, the unemployment rate, the average household income and of course the needs of our children. Let's begin with Quebec.
The largest province by landmass and the second-largest by population, Quebec is a popular choice both for those looking to move to Canada and those visiting. The province capital Quebec City is rich in history, with buildings dating back several centuries.
Many people love Quebec for its wonderful, European-feeling old town, named Vieux-Québec. The winding cobbled streets will transport you back to the arrival of French settlers.
The province is primarily French-speaking, though English is still widely spoken as well.
Quebec City: Overall Best City to Live In
One of the absolute top cities in Canada and the best city in the entire country is Quebec City, back east in francophone Quebec. Quebec City boasts that it has the most photographed hotel in the world. The beautiful Chateau Frontenac dominates the city skyline and is well worth a visit.
Quebec City is popular with young couples, growing families, and even those looking for a change upon reaching retirement. The restaurants of Quebec City live up to this culinary heritage.
Quebec City is one of the least expensive cities in the country, with homeownership prices among the least expensive in the Canada’s metropolitan areas.
It is fantastically situated and in easy reach of Montreal and Trois-Rivieres on one hand, and the more remote expanses of the province of Quebec heading north-east. Be sure to check out the Montmorency Falls located just outside the city. The bridge spanning the falls is awe-inspiring and terrifying in equal measure!
More and more people are moving to British Columbia with every passing year. Are you ready to take the leap and make the move? But you're probably wondering where exactly you should go.
British Columbia (BC) is the westernmost province of Canada, situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. Canada’s only west coast province, British Columbia, occupies the country’s entire border with the Pacific Ocean, stretching from the Alaskan panhandle in the north to the American state of Washington in the south.
It is Canada's third-most populous province. British Columbia's mountains, lakes, islands, rainforests, beautiful stretches of coastline, picturesque cities, attractive towns, and world-class skiing make it one of the most popular destinations in Canada.
Victoria: Best City to Live In for Retirement
Let's head further west to Victoria, British Columbia. Situated on the easternmost point of Vancouver Island, this charming city has a population of around 100,000 people.
Along with it being a lovely city all around, Victoria is a great option for retirees for a few reasons. Number one is the climate. Victoria is very mild during the winter which appeals to folks who choose not to battle snow shovels and icy roads. Also, it has a vast demographic of doctors and specialists so one would never have to travel far to find treatment.
Exploring the Butchart Gardens is like stepping into a fairytale and they host an unmissable display every Christmas. Meanwhile, the quaint Fisherman's Wharf is the perfect place to spend a lazy Sunday. Take a stroll while people-watching and picking up some delicious street food treats.
Victoria is known as the 'Garden City' thanks to the great green spaces and lovely warm temperatures. If you move to Victoria, you'll have ample opportunity to explore the rest of Vancouver Island. You can even see majestic orcas and humpback whales.
It's easy to get from Victoria to the major city of Vancouver, as well as popping across the border to visit Seattle and Portland for weekend getaways.
When you are thinking about moving to one of the best cities to live in British Columbia, there can be a lot of things on your plate. So deciding the best city to live in this province is really a challenge.
Ontario is home to Canada's capital, Ottawa. The province's capital is actually the culture-rich Toronto, home to the famous CN Tower and located on the expansive Lake Superior.
While Toronto may be pricier to move to than other Canadian cities, it offers all the conveniences and benefits of a major urban city, comparable to New York or London. Ottawa offers similar conveniences, while Waterloo boasts a rich immigrant population. Waterloo is essentially it's own city, with both big and small town vibes.
Alberta is a province in Western Canada, bordered by the Rocky Mountains to the west and the plains and badlands to the east. As the fourth largest province in Canada, Alberta is home to more than 4 million people, many of whom live in several sprawling metro areas, including Calgary and Edmonton.
Outdoor lovers will quickly fall for the province's vast wilderness areas. There are crystal clear glacial lakes bordered by deep forests, as well as open plains and more than 240 winding rivers.
Alberta is a popular choice for those looking to relocate thanks to the low cost of living but ample opportunity to earn high wages. If you have a background in oil, mining, or engineering, you'll find many career options here.
The skyscrapers of Calgary are reminiscent of New York. However, you won't mistake where you are thanks to the jaw-dropping background of the Rockies.
Top 5 Best Cities to Live In
If you're looking to move to Alberta, you have no shortage of cities to choose from.
The final list is the largest city in Alberta and the fourth-largest in Canada. If the city's sprawling metropolis isn't for you, quieter Red Deer or the artistically rich St. Albert might be the better choice.
Another plains province, Saskatchewan is located in the south-central part of Canada. The majority of this province's population resides in the lower-third, near the Canada-U.S. border.
Because it isn't home to one of Canada's biggest metropolises, Saskatchewan is often overlooked, but definitely worth considering. With beautiful towns full of rich history and stunning scenery, this province is perfect for those who want modern amenities without the big city feel.
Those looking for plenty of opportunities will appreciate the fast growth that Weyburn is experiencing, while Saskatoon is often celebrated for its close-knit community feel and welcoming atmosphere.
Moving towards the east, Manitoba is the next province with a U.S. border to the south. The fifth most populous province, Manitoba, like many Canadian provinces, has a rich history of indigenous tribes having settled the region. Today, it's known for its diverse climates, expansive farmland, and vast outdoor spaces.
Winnipeg is a blend of modern conveniences, trendy areas, and historical districts. Those looking to get away from the city will prefer Thompson or Brandon. Springfield offers a middle ground, with easy access to Winnipeg while maintaining a country feel.
Nova Scotia, Canada
Located on the east coast of Canada, this maritime province may be small, but it makes up for its size in rich culture and beautiful landscapes.
The misty coastal areas, with bright buildings and historic lighthouses, feel as though you've left Canada behind for a Scandinavian port, while the incredible outdoor landscapes and parks draw adventurers from around the world.
Halifax is the capital of the province and a rich port city that offers the conveniences of a large metro with the feel of a more intimate town. Cape Breton offers similar metro conveniences, while New Glasgow has regularly been voted one of the best places in Nova Scotia and even Canada to live.
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Another Atlantic, maritime Canadian province is New Brunswick. A smaller province, the majority of the population lives in a few metro areas.
Like most Canadian provinces, First Nations people were the first to call what is now New Brunswick home. But a 1600s settlement brought French fur traders to the region, and the culture flourished from there. Today, both English and French are the official languages of this province.
With a population of 108,000, Moncton has nearly double the population of the next largest city in the province, though it maintains the feel of a small, friendly town in many ways. If that's still too big of a city for you, you have plenty of other options.
Rothesay, for instance, offers a quieter way of life, with just over 12,000 residents calling the city home.
Prince Edward Island, Canada
The smallest province in both population size and landmass, Prince Edward Island is the third maritime province. It's located off the coast of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, on Canada's eastern Atlantic coast.
The province is known for its incredible coastal views, with unique red sand beaches that contrast perfectly with the dark blue water. Another big draw of this province is its world-class golf courses.
Charlottetown is a smaller city that offers modern attractions while still maintaining a small-town feel. While it may be the largest city in the province, with a population of just 40,000, it's a far cry from other major Canadian provincial cities.
Kensington is one of the places in Prince Edward Island with the lowest crime severity indexes.
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
The most easterly province in Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador has a unique and interesting historical background. Norse ruins have been found here, marking where Vikings once inhabited Canada.
Newfoundland and Labrador only recently became a province of Canada. Until the 1930s, Newfoundland was a colony and later a dominion of the United Kingdom. It became the final province of Canada in 1949, and in 2001 the name was changed from Newfoundland to Newfoundland and Labrador.
St. John's is the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. Here you'll find the historic Signal Hill, a 17th-century chapel.
Coastal Corner Brook is a picturesque city with a small-town feel, while Mount Pearl is known as the "city in a park" thanks to its many parks and outdoor spaces.
Northwest Territories, Canada
Alongside Canada's 10 provinces are three territories. The main difference between provinces and territories is in how they are formed.
Northwest Territories, as the name suggests, are largely remote wilderness in the northern section of the country. Much of the landscape is arctic tundra, forest, and mountains. While it isn't home to any massive cities, Yellowknife does offer many modern conveniences you won't find elsewhere in the territories.
Yellowknife is the only metropolia in the Northwest Territories with a population of over 4,000 people. But if you're looking for vast nature and a small-town feel, you'll find no shortage of options. With populations under 3,000 people, Hay River and Inuvik, and Fort Smith with less than 3,000, you'll find a village community that's perfect for relaxing and getting back to nature.
Similar to the Northwest Territories, Yukon mainly consists of very small towns and villages. Formerly called the Yukon Territories, Yukon is the least populated territory or province in all of Canada.
This territory gets its name from the Yukon River, once a major thoroughfare for the region. Yukon is also home to Canada's tallest peak, Mount Logan, which is located in the stunning and remote Kluane National Park and Reserve.
If you're searching for that small-town feel and plenty of access to wild wilderness, you'll find it in any of the cities on the above list. Whitehorse does offer more modern conveniences than other cities in the province and is the largest city in Northern Canada.
With a population of just 25,000, you won't find the same options or industry that exists in bustling cities elsewhere in Canada. But for those looking to leave city life behind, Whitehorse is a great alternative to the rugged wilderness found throughout this territory.
The newest territory of Canada is Nunavut. It's also the largest territory, as well as the most northernmost. Most of the territory is located in the Arctic Archipelago.
Indigenous people, and particularly Inuit People, still thrive in this territory and even have a chance to practice some of their traditional ways of life.
While these towns may offer an alternative to remote living, many are fairly remote themselves. While they may not have larger box stores or thriving downtowns, they do have friendly people and rich cultures. People who choose to settle here are often drawn to a different, quieter way of life that allows them to get closer to nature in a place where nature is still largely wild and untamed.
Learn even more about Canada by reading our article on Top Canadian Tourist destinations.