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10 Best Places to Live in Canada for Families in 2024: the Best Cities and Provinces


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Canada is one of the best countries to live and raise a family in the world. Canada has a high quality of life, immigrants are widely accepted, and there are many education and job opportunities in the country. 

Not only that, but Canada is a beautiful country with natural beauty and scenery, ranging from golden plains to coastlines to stunning mountain views. 

If you’re looking to move to Canada and raise a family, which city or province should you move to? This article covers the top 10 best cities and provinces to live in Canada for families. 

Key Takeaways

  • The best provinces for families in Canada include Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta. 
  • To choose the best cities to live in Canada, consider the cost of living, crime rate and amenities you’ll have access to. 
  • If you want to prioritize your safety, Quebec City, Ottawa, and Hamilton have the lowest crime severity index in this list.

3 Best Provinces to Live in Canada for Families 

If you want to move to Canada, you should start by choosing a province. These three provinces are some of the best places to live in Canada for families. 


Best for: Great education and lots of job opportunities 

Ontario is a top province for families looking to come to Canada. The province is very multi-cultural and is home to some of the best cities to live in the country, including Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, and Windsor. 

Some of the country’s top universities, like the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and McMaster University, are in Ontario, making it a prime destination for post-secondary students. 

Cities like Toronto and Ottawa have many job opportunities for students, young professionals, immigrants, and families. Some of the most in-demand jobs are in the technology, healthcare, and transportation industries. 

Check out this list of the best places to live in Ontario.


Best for: Great school system and work available 

Manitoba is a great province to find work in Canada, especially in the education, tech, healthcare, finance, and business industries. 

In terms of education, some top schools include Brandon University, the University of Winnipeg, and the University of Manitoba. 

The standard of living, free healthcare, and school systems are very good in Manitoba compared to the rest of Canada. Most cities are safe, clean, and have a good sense of community. 

Manitoba is also much more affordable than other provinces, from the cost of university tuition to electricity bills to the cost of buying a house. 

Take a look at the best places to live in Manitoba.


Best for: Affordable cost of living, high average household income 

Alberta is the province with the highest average income rate in Canada, making it a top choice for families looking to move to Canada. On average, families make $125,522 per year. 

Living in Alberta has other perks, like no provincial healthcare premiums, no provincial sales tax, and tax rebates and credits to help with your finances. 

Cities in the province range from small, rural towns to major cities like Calgary and Edmonton. 

There are over 26 universities and colleges, including the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University. 

If you’re considering relocating to Alberta, check out the cheapest and best places to live in Alberta

7 Best Cities in Canada to Live in For Families 

Out of all the cities in Canada, here are our top choices for the best places to live in Canada for immigrants and families.

These pieces of information are pulled from Statistics Canada, Average Salary Survey, and Numbeo, which are all reputable sources of updated Canadian economic and environmental data. 

CityProvinceBest forCrime Severity IndexAverage SalaryAverage Cost of Living
OttawaOntarioHigher education and job opportunities52.91$93,104$1,540
CalgaryAlbertaHighest salary and lower than average housing75.22$114,616$1,583
WindsorOntarioLow costs, ideal location68.61$68,640$1,308
HamiltonOntarioActivities for children, spacious homes57.65$68,889$1,408
MontrealQuebecAffordable childcare, low housing cost61.35$88,953$1,307
St. John’sNewfoundlandAffordable housing market, welcoming community81.04$64,384$1,409
Quebec CityQuebecFamily-friendliness46.84$64,043$1,420

Ottawa, Ontario 

Best for: Higher education and job opportunities 

Crime Severity Index: 52.91

Average salary: $93,104

Average cost of living: $1,540 (single person, without rent)

Ottawa is one of the best places to raise a family in the world due to the number of education and employment opportunities available. 

For parents looking to get into the government sector, this is the ideal city to do so, as Ottawa’s Parliament Hill is where Canada’s federal government meets. 

Older children looking to attend university can go to some of Canada’s top schools, including the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. 

This city also has a great public transport network, there are many libraries, and it has one of the lowest crime rates in Canada. 

Calgary, Alberta

Best for: Highest salary and lower than average housing market 

Crime Severity Index: 75.22

Average salary: $114,616

Average cost of living: $1,583 (single person, without rent)

Calgary has one of the highest average household incomes in the entire country, making it one of the best places to raise a family in Canada this year. The city also has one of the highest numbers of millionaires in all of Canada.  

Calgary is a great location if you’re looking to relocate and start a new career. Many jobs in the health, tech, transport, construction, and agriculture sectors are available.  

The average cost of buying a home is $522,548 and homes in Calgary tend to be bigger than in other major cities – making this a top city for families. 

For younger children, Calgary has many gardens, parks, and green spaces to play in, as well as primary schools. Older children can attend the University of Calgary, a top choice for many post-secondary students. 

Windsor, Ontario 

Best for: Low costs, ideal location 

Crime Severity Index: 68.61

Average salary: $68,640

Average cost of living: $1,308 (single person, without rent)

Windsor is one of the best cities to live in Canada for families due to many reasons. It has a great quality of life with a lower-than-average cost for most food. Windsor is on the cheaper side of big cities in Canada, and you can get by on a standard salary.

Windsor is also great location-wise, as it is a short drive away from Detroit. Being so close to the border means that families can experience both the cultures of America and Canada.  

There are also many activities for families to do, such as visiting the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Adventure Bay Water Park, and Coventry Gardens. 

Hamilton, Ontario

Best for: Activities for children, spacious homes 

Crime Severity Index: 57.65

Average salary: $68,889

Average cost of living: $1408

Hamilton has many excellent schools, parks, and a prominent arts and culture scene, making this one of the best places to live in Ontario for families. Niagara Falls isn’t far, either, so kids can enjoy a few days there in the summer and winter. 

Hamilton’s proximity to Toronto has attracted a crowd of young professionals and families. The number and variety of restaurants, stores, and things to do have also grown. 

Homes can be quite large with plenty of garden space, so if you’re looking to live in a spacious suburb, Hamilton could be the city for you. 

Text that reads “Best places to live in Canada for families” under a family of four

Montreal, Quebec 

Best for: Affordable childcare, low housing cost  

Crime Severity Index: 61.35

Average salary: $88,953

Average cost of living: $1,307 (single person, without rent) 

Montreal has one of the most affordable childcare services across Canada, with parents paying an average of $168 per month for full-time infant care. 

Montreal has a low average housing cost, many great schools, a low crime rate, and lots of playgrounds, parks, and kids’ activities. 

After just 3 months of living in the city, you can enjoy free healthcare, which is not something every city offers. 

Children will likely grow up bilingual in Montreal, as French and English are both official languages. 

Montreal also has one of the best schools in Canada, McGill University, for those looking to attend higher education. 

Here are the best places to live in Quebec.

St. John’s, Newfoundland

Best for: Affordable housing market, welcoming community 

Crime Severity Index: 81.04

Average salary: $64,384

Average cost of living: $1,409 (single person, without rent) 

St. John’s is a small town but has all the amenities of a big city. This is one of the best places to live in Canada for families who want their children to grow up along the coast.

St. John’s has a tight-knit community and one of the lowest costs of living and buying a home in Canada, with the average home costing $425,000

The town is known for its welcoming people, stunning natural environment, excellent amenities, and sense of community. 

Public transportation in the city is one of the oldest in Canada but is well-running, with local bus routes and ferries. 

Quebec City, Quebec

Best for: Family-friendliness 

Crime Severity Index: 46.84

Average salary: $64,043

Average cost of living: $1,420 (single person, without rent)

Quebec City is a top destination for families in Canada as it is one of the country’s most family-friendly cities. Quebec City has excellent healthcare and medical systems, affordable housing, and low crime rates. 

The city has a perfect blend of nature, culture, history, and modernity. All members of the family will like it here, as there is something to do for everyone. Throughout the year, there are festivals and major events to look forward to. 

Overall, Quebec City is safe, hospitable, innovative, and has a robust economy with a high quality of life. 

How to Choose the Best Cities to Live in Canada for Families

As a family, when looking for a city to live in Canada, you should consider a few different factors, such as:

Cost of living: Some cities in Canada have a higher average cost of living than others. You need to decide how much you can afford, and choose a city from there. For example, Quebec City has a lower average cost of living than somewhere like St. John’s. 

Crime rate: As a family with young children, you should choose a city with a low crime rate so that you and your family will feel safe. Quebec City tops the list with the lowest crime rate in Canada. 

Neighbourhood: Do you want to be in the city or farther away in the suburbs? Do you want to live close to a park or green space? These are all factors you need to consider when choosing a city to live in. 

Amenities: Most families ideally like to be close to amenities such as grocery stores, doctor’s offices, and pharmacies. Depending on where you live, you can be close or quite far away. 


Which province is best for families in Canada? 

Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario are the best for families in Canada. However, Alberta tops our list because of the affordable cost of living, high average household income, and education opportunities. 

Is Canada a good place to raise a family? 

Yes, Canada is considered one of the best places to raise a family in the world. In fact, Canada tops the list of the world’s most desirable countries to relocate to. Diversity and multiculturalism, employment and education opportunities, and civil liberties are the top reasons why families want to move to Canada. 

Where in Canada is the lowest cost of living? 

Quebec and New Brunswick are the provinces in Canada with the lowest cost of living. Sherbrooke, QC, Quebec City, QC, and Saint John, NB are the cities with the cheapest cost of living. Check out this article for more details. 

Is it better to raise kids in Canada or US? 

Raising kids in Canada vs the US is quite different. In Canada, the government covers hospital and medical costs as part of the universal healthcare system, whereas they are not in the US. Raising a family in Canada is generally safer, and the public school system is a bit stronger. 

What is the nicest part of Canada to live in? 

Depending if you want to live in a city or a more rural area, the nicest part of Canada will vary. However, Quebec City, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Banff, Alberta, are many people’s top picks for the nicest part of Canada to live in. 

What is the safest place to live in Canada? 

Quebec City has one of the lowest crime rates in all of Canada and is considered by many as one of the safest places to live in the country. North Vancouver, Coquitlam, and Markham are also very safe places to live in Canada. 


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Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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