The 20 Most Dangerous Cities in Canada in 2024


Fact Checked

The crime rate in Canada is considered low overall. It’s certainly lower than the crime rate of Canada’s southern neighbour, the United States. Although Canada is a relatively safe place, there are a few dangerous cities that you should look out for.

This guide covers the eight most dangerous cities in Ontario and the twelve most dangerous cities in the rest of Canada’s provinces.

How Canada Measures Crime

Canada uses the CSI, or Crime Severity Index, to measure police-reported crime. The CSI gives values that quantify the relative number and severity of crimes in different parts of Canada. It’s not a raw number; instead, it’s a more useful severity-weighted statistic.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in Canada (Based on CSI)

We’ve compiled the ten most dangerous cities from our list of 20 in the table below to make it easier to compare them. 

10 Most Dangerous Cities in Canada by CSICSI Rating
Red Deer, AB176.4
Timmins, ON159.9
Lethbridge, AB148.9
Kelowna, BC141.9
Kamloops, BC135.3
Sault Ste. Marie, ON130.8
Nanaimo, BC129.7
Saskatoon, SK119.1
Regina, SK116.8
Cornwall, ON112.9

8 Worst Cities in Ontario

Crime in Ontario pales compared to crime across the rest of Canada, with a province-wide CSI of 58.5. However, although Ontario is generally a safe place to live, there are, of course, cities that are more dangerous than others.

1. Timmins

The fourth-largest city in northeastern Ontario, Timmins, is located on the Mattagami River. Its history is centred around gold mining, but since its initial settlement, it has developed into a diverse and vibrant community with many cultural attractions. It also has a high crime rate. 

The CSI of Timmins clocks in at 148.5, with violent crime at a shocking 192.4 and nonviolent crime at 132.1. With those staggering statistics, Timmins is the most dangerous city in Ontario when looking at municipalities with over 25,000 residents.

2. Sault Ste. Marie

Sault Ste. Marie is a city on the St. Mary’s River. It sits on the border of the U.S. and Canada and is close to three of the Great Lakes.

It’s known for its historical sites and some renowned art galleries. But like Timmins, it has a high crime rate that residents and visitors should keep in mind. 

Sault Ste. Marie measures 117.4 on the Crime Severity Index. Its violent crime rate sits at 136.8, and its nonviolent crime rate measures 110.7.

With crime rates like those, it’s become one of the most dangerous places in Ontario. 

3. Thunder Bay

Located on the shore of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay is a city in northwestern Ontario with its roots in the fur trading industry.

It has many unique attractions and a growing job market across many sectors. Housing there is also quite affordable. 

Thunder Bay has a CSI of 108.9. Its violent crime rate is 216.0, while its nonviolent crime rate is 67.0. Its violent crime rate is the second-highest of Ontario’s cities, coming in behind only Timmins.

4. Cornwall

Cornwall is Ontario’s easternmost city. It’s right where the provinces of Quebec and Ontario meet and converge with the U.S. state of New York.

Positioned on the St. Lawrence River, Cornwall is one of Ontario’s oldest settlements, but its economy has moved into the modern age. 

Unfortunately, its CSI level is 112.9, well above Ontario’s average. Its violent crime rate is even higher, coming in at 145.8. Its nonviolent crime rate is also a hefty 100.7.

5. Greater Sudbury

Also known as simply “Sudbury,” Greater Sudbury is the largest city in northern Ontario by population. It has many urban comforts and exciting attractions, but unfortunately, it’s plagued by a high crime rate. 

Despite its many modern amenities, Greater Sudbury’s CSI rating is 82.8, which is high for Ontario. It has an especially concerning violent crime rate, at 137.9. Its nonviolent crime rate clocks in at a more approachable 61.4.

6. London

London is a city in southwestern Ontario along the Quebec City-Windsor corridor. It’s positioned just north of Lake Erie and home to the University of Western Ontario.

Still, its crime rate is considerably high – and has increased significantly in recent years.

Overall, the city’s CSI is 79.7. Its violent crime rate measures a shocking 90.9, while its nonviolent crime rate comes in at 75.9.

7. Windsor

Located in southwestern Ontario, Windsor is positioned on the Detroit River, directly opposite the U.S. city of Detroit, Michigan.

It has an impressive waterfront park that stretches about 5 kilometres, and it’s home to a sculpture park and a large casino. 

Some believe the casino is part of the cause of Windsor’s high crime rates. Overall, its CSI is 83.8, with a violent crime rate of 84.3 and a nonviolent crime rate of 84.4. Those numbers are quite high, especially for Ontario.

8. St. Catharines

The largest city in the Niagara region and the sixth largest urban area in Ontario, St. Catharines has a reputation that precedes it.

The city has been dubbed “The Garden City” due to its lush greenery, hiking trails, and parks. But along with natural wonders, it boasts a high crime rate. 

St. Catharines’ overall CSI comes in at 56.9. For the purposes of the Canada Crime Index, it’s grouped in with the whole Niagara region. It sees violent crime at a rate of 66.5 and nonviolent crime at a rate of 53.5.

Related: Find out the best places to live in Canada.

12 Most Dangerous Cities in Canada

Among all the cities in Canadian provinces, these are the top 12 dangerous cities you should avoid.

1. Red Deer, AB

Red Deer is one of Alberta’s most dangerous cities. It’s located midway on the Calgary-Edmonton corridor, and its local museum has a solid collection of First Nations art and artifacts. The city’s industries generally serve central Alberta. 

Unfortunately, Red Deer has an above-average crime rate of 163.0. Violent crimes come in at 163.4, while nonviolent crimes measure 164.2. That’s many points above Alberta’s average.

2. Lethbridge, AB

In 2019, Lethbridge became the fourth city in Alberta to surpass 100,000 residents. It’s close to the Canadian Rockies and has warm summers and mild winters. The temperate climate has attracted many residents. 

Despite its pleasant weather, Lethbridge has a CSI of 134.7 overall. Its violent crime rate is 130.4, and its nonviolent crime rate is 154.0. That’s above Alberta’s CSI of 103.21

3. Kelowna, BC

Located in the Okanagan Valley, Kelowna is a city in southern British Columbia. It’s surrounded by parks, forests, vineyards, and mountains. Inside the city, there’s a thriving cultural district and waterfront park. 

Despite these attractions, Kelowna has a high crime rate of 150.7. Its violent crime rate is 123.3, while its nonviolent crime rate is 163.0. Those numbers are well above what’s typical for British Columbia’s major cities. 

Related: Here are the best places to visit and things to do in Kelowna, BC.

4. Winnipeg, MB

Winnipeg is the capital and the largest city in the province of Manitoba. Its cultural heart is located at “The Forks,” where two rivers meet to form the city’s most populous arts and entertainment district. It’s also home to plenty of good restaurants. 

Because it’s a big city, Winnipeg has its fair share of crime. Its CSI comes in at 144.4. However, that’s still under Manitoba’s average of 146.49, meaning that Winnipeg has fewer crime incidents on average than the rest of its province. 

Here are some of the best places to live in Manitoba.

5. Regina, SK

Regina is Saskatchewan’s capital and its second-largest city. It has a robust art and cultural scene and a commercial hub for southern Saskatchewan.

Regina’s CSI is 111.0. But what’s more alarming is its violent crime rate, which is 125.3. Its nonviolent crime measure is also sitting high at 163.0. Still, the overall CSI is lower than Saskatchewan’s average of 152.46.

Here are some of the best cities to live in Saskatchewan.

6. Surrey, BC

A city in the Metro Vancouver area, Surrey lies south of the Fraser River on the U.S.-Canada border. It’s home to Peace Arch Provincial Park, where a white arch marks the border location. Despite this attraction, Surrey has, unfortunately, a high crime rate. 

Its overall crime rate is 98.8, which is still below British Columbia’s average of 100.37. In Surrey, there were high levels of concern about drug use and drug-related crimes.

7. Kamloops, BC

Kamloops is a city in south-central British Columbia. It’s close to the British Columbia Wildlife Park, where visitors can see protected species of cougars and bears. There are also hiking and skiing trails nearby to the city’s northeast. 

Unfortunately, Kamloops also offers a high crime rate. Its overall CSI is 156.7, with a violent crime rating of 138.5 and a nonviolent crime rating of 135.9. None of these values are particularly attractive. 

8. Nanaimo, BC

A harbour and ferry port located on the east side of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is a vibrant urban center. It boasts a harbourfront walkway and a local museum showcasing indigenous art and stories. 

Nanaimo also has an increasing crime rate, with a CSI of 140.3. Its violent crime rate has increased by 1.3% in the past year, clocking in at 147.1. Its nonviolent crime rate is slightly lower, measuring at 138.7.

9. Saskatoon, SK

The largest city in Saskatchewan, Saskatoon straddles a bend in the South Saskatchewan River and is one of the province’s main urban centers. It’s located along the Trans Canada Highway, making it an access point for interpersonal congregation. 

Saskatoon has a CSI of 126.2, just above its fellow Saskatoon city Regina’s CSI. Saskatoon also has a violent crime rate of 147.1 and a nonviolent crime at 118.9.

10. St. John’s, NL

St. John’s is the capital and largest city in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It has a historic harbour settled by the British in the 1600s, and its downtown is known for rows of colourful houses. 

Compared to the rest of Canada, the crime rate in St. John’s is relatively low, at 71.7. However, it has an unusually high violent crime rate of 94.2, which has gone up 24.3% in the past year. Its nonviolent crime rate is 63.4.

11. Moncton, NB

Moncton is the most populous city in the province of New Brunswick. It’s located in the southeast part of the province and is home to a variety of museums and other attractions that make it an interesting place to both live and visit. 

Moncton had one of the highest CSI ratings in New Brunswick, at 117.9. Its violent crime rate was 126.8, while its nonviolent crime rate was 115.3. All of these numbers are higher than New Brunswick’s average of 86.16.

12. Edmonton, AB

The capital city of the province of Alberta, Edmonton, is situated on the North Saskatchewan River. It’s the commercial center of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Unfortunately, Edmonton has a problem with crime. 

The CSI of Edmonton is 110.7, with a violent crime rating of 126.7 and a nonviolent crime value of 105.2.

Related: Best Places To Live in Alberta.


What city has the highest crime rate in Canada?

In all of Canada, the town of Manawan, QC, has the highest crime rate, with a CSI of 1,714.8. But because there are only 1,500 people in Manawan, each crime counts for much more weight. Of cities with over 70,000 people, Red Deer, Alberta, has the most crime. 

Where do most murders happen in Canada?

The highest homicide rate in Canada is in the Yukon. That province has 9.31 murders per 100,000 residents

What is the safest city to live in Canada?

Quebec is the safest province overall, so it’s no surprise that it’s also home to the safest city in Canada. Looking at areas with over 50,000 residents, the safest city in Canada is Granby, QC, which has a CSI of 41.0. 

What is the cheapest place in Canada to live?

Sherbrooke, QC, is one of the cheapest places to live in Canada. The cost of living there is 13% lower than the cost of living in Montreal. 

Which city in Canada has the most immigrants? 

Toronto continues to attract the highest number of immigrants in Canada. In 2022 alone, it attracted over 128,000 migrants from other countries who decided to settle there. 

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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
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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