Top 10 Safest Cities in Canada in 2024

Updated:

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Key Takeaways

  • Safest places in Canada include LaSalle in Ontario, Oak Bay in British Columbia, Blainville in Quebec, Guelph in Ontario, Montreal in Quebec, and Barrie in Ontario.
  • Canada’s average Crime Severity Index (CSI) increased by 4.27% to 78.10 in 2022. Still, many places in Canada have a CSI lower than the national average.
  • Besides lower crime rates, some of these places offer a rich history, beautiful landscapes and natural spaces, and a lower cost of living. 

Canada is one of the safest countries to live in. It’s home to some of the safest cities in the world with lower crime rates than its southern neighbour, the US.

Besides other social benefits, Canada’s lower crime rates are one of the top reasons people worldwide move to this country.

If you want to move, this article is for you as we go through Canada’s top ten safest cities. This list considers various factors such as healthcare, crime rate, and general livability.

Note that the Crime Severity Index (CSI) is one of the main factors for ranking these cities. The CSI refers to the frequency of police-reported crimes and their severity. It’s measured as a numerical value, and the lower the score, the safer the community. 

Safest Cities in Canada – Top 10 Comparison

Here’s a CSI comparison table for the safest cities in Canada for the last four consecutive years.

CityCSI (2022)CSI (2021)CSI (2020)CSI (2019)
Guelph60.5656.3063.2665.29
Montreal61.3559.2952.8357.71
Ottawa, Ontario part52.9147.2947.6257.30
Barrie47.0945.3945.1853.25
Quebec59.7356.5951.6055.78
Blainville30.6332.8129.4129.93
Oak Bay29.1825.9830.0039.24
Lévis30.1726.4126.6429.00
Burlington31.0423.6522.8827.88
LaSalle30.1819.2419.7127.02

Guelph

CSI Rating: 60.56

Other Benefits: Underpopulated; the lowest food costs in the country; a thriving art scene; university.

You are not alone if you have never heard of Guelph, Ontario. Part of what makes Guelph safe is its low population. Guelph’s overall CSI rating was 60.56 in 2022, which increased from 56.30 in 2021. Still, this is lower compared to the CSI ratings in 2020 (63.26), 2019 (65.26), and 2018 (70.97). 

The people there are nonetheless friendly, lending even more credibility to Guelph as a safe place to live. It also has the lowest food costs of anywhere in Canada.

One of the biggest draws to the “Royal City” is its university, with some locals fearing that it will devolve into a university town.

And if you’re an art lover, Guelph has a robust art scene. If you ever want to commute, it’s easy to get to and from Guelph, too!

Montreal

CSI Rating: 61.35

Other Benefits: Low cost of living; many benefits from being in the province of Quebec; excellent for kids; good restaurants.

Montreal is consistently touted as one of Canada’s safest, most livable cities. It’s bike-friendly and has many top-rated restaurants. According to MontrealInternational.com, Montreal is also one of the most reputable cities in North America, the best city for students, and a great place for Millennials!

Montreal is also one of the safest cities in Canada to raise a family. Along with a generally low crime rate, the streets of Montreal feature playgrounds and inexpensive daycare centers. And, as in a few other parts of Canada, Montreal is bilingual.

If you want a safe, livable city with good food and accommodations for raising a family, Montreal is one of the best places for you to move.

Ottawa

CSI Rating: 52.91

Other Benefits: Government jobs; walk- and bike-friendly.

Ottawa is one of the safest cities in Ontario. It’s also near many government facilities, so you can probably find a secure government job if you need to move. Ottawa is a big city, so be prepared.

The city itself is also highly educated. Most people working there have at least two degrees. One of every seven people works in technology. If you want to be in the city of the future while also staying green, Ottawa may be for you.

According to Ottawa.ca, along with being affordable and very friendly to bicyclists, Ottawa is the best place for newcomers to Canada. It has a rapidly diversifying immigrant population that gets bigger every year. So, if you are thinking of moving to Canada, welcome!

Barrie

CSI Rating: 47.09

Other Benefits: Location; public transport; healthcare.

Barrie had the third-lowest crime security index (CSI) ranking last year. According to Barrie Today, most of the crimes in Barrie have been crimes of property rather than violent crimes.

But the best reason to move to Barrie is its location. It’s only 10 minutes away from Highway 400 and has an exceptional public transport system. You can get to any job you need using Barrie’s reliable transport system.

Finally, the Royal Victoria Regional Hospital in Barrie is the biggest medical facility in the region. You won’t have to wait long to get treated by the best local doctors.

Quebec City

CSI Rating: 59.73

Other Benefits: History and natural spaces; affordable living, especially electricity.

Quebec is the safest province in Canada overall. It’s home to three of Canada’s safest cities; Quebec City, Blainville, and Lévis. Quebec City’s benefits include low housing costs and historical and natural beauty. It’s located along the St. Lawrence River and has a castle, the Chȃteau Frontenac, overlooking the water.

Quebec City is very safe with a low crime index, possibly because housing is so affordable. It has great schools and affordable housing.

Because of its rich history, it may surprise some that Quebec City has particularly cheap electricity. If you like spending a lot of time gaming or on a computer, consider Quebec City when you plan a move.

However, note that the Quebec region is largely francophone, and deciding to move here can be challenging if you don’t speak French.  

Blainville

CSI Rating:  30.63

Other Benefits: Plenty of outdoor spaces; exceptional quality of life.

After briefly hitting Canada’s CSI average, Blainville clamped down on criminal activity. It’s not the worst, but not the best, and it seeks to improve to meet its own high standards.

As per the city’s official website, Blainville was ranked the best city to live in by L’actualite magazine. It has a high standard of living with exceptional schools and childcare. There are many outdoor spaces for children to enjoy as well.

Similar to other cities in Quebec, you’ll need to bear in mind that much of Blainville is partially, or even entirely, francophone.

Oak Bay

CSI Rating: 29.18 (2022)

Other Benefits: Better healthcare than some parts of Canada; luxury real estate; pleasant climate; ocean views.

In 2017, Oak Bay was ranked as the best place in British Columbia to live. It’s a small community, but people treat it like a hidden gem. This is a luxury district boasting ocean views and a robust economy. It remains affordable despite its upscale reputation.

Oak Bay is generally known as one of the safest cities in British Columbia. That has not changed in over 5 years. It may not be the safest city in BC anymore, but it’s always up there.

This safe, luxurious community is not very far from anything. If you want to play golf, it’s easy to get to the Victoria Golf Club, one of Canada’s most well-known golf courses. And if you want amazing ocean views, the city is located along the Pacific Coast.

If you’re lucky, you may even see the sea monster, Cadborosaurus (“Caddy”), who has haunted the shores since pre-colonial times.

The city of Oak Bay also has some of the best schools in Canada, between Willows, Monterey, and Oak Bay High.

Oak Bay also benefits from some of the best healthcare in Canada. Even though Canada’s healthcare system is one of the best, it still varies slightly by area. But British Columbia generally has the best healthcare, so Oak Bay gets it by extension.

Related: Cheapest Places To Live in British Columbia.

Lévis

CSI Rating: 30.17 (2022; down from 30)

Other Benefits: Affordable living; many high-paying jobs; great natural beauty.

Lévis benefits from being in the province of Quebec, just like Blainville and Quebec City. It has a very affordable cost of living, access to excellent schools, and great public transportation. And, like many other parts of Quebec, Lévis has a low crime rate.

Nature lovers have extra reasons to choose this city over any other part of Quebec: Lévis sits at the crossroads of three national parks. This means that some astonishing views may be a short walk away.

Although it was once a suburb, Lévis has become a true city. Its local mall, Les Galeries Chagnon, has 106 shops. Many small businesses and technology companies also line the streets.

Burlington

CSI Rating: 31.04 (2022; Halton regional rating)

Other Benefits: On Lake Ontario; excellent schools; lots of job opportunities; close to Toronto and Niagara Falls; many concerts.

Some of Burlington’s best aspects are tied to its location. Along with a low CSI, it’s near two major bodies of water: Lake Ontario and Niagara Falls. This not only leads to scenic views but also excellent hiking trails. Many of them allow horses!

If you’re a music lover, Burlington usually has at least one concert going on. Check around and see who’s performing!

LaSalle

CSI Rating: 30.18

Other Benefits: Great public transport; lots of festivals; affordable; lots of job opportunities.

Numbeo’s latest 2023 Canada data and stats from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics shows that LaSalle is the safest place to live in Canada! Violent crime rate per 1000 people is as low as 0.42, and even property damage is 25% less than of the national average.

In 2017, LaSalle developed an effective, efficient public transportation system. Not only did this make commuting to work easier, but it allowed kids to wander the city more easily. And since LaSalle is the safest city in Canada, parents would not need to worry about chauffeuring their children to or from school. That is quite a testament to the safety of the city.

There is always something to do in LaSalle. Whether you need a new job or want to relax during one of the city’s many festivals, you will never be bored.

Conclusion

Canada is known for being beautiful, healthy, and safe, and many people want to move to Canada for all these reasons.

But certain parts of Canada are safer than others. Canada makes yearly surveys of their cities to determine which ones are safest. Currently, LaSalle is the safest place to live in Canada.

When you are ready to move, crime ratings are not everything. They are other ways to decide where you might want to live, such as affordability, amenities, and transportation.

FAQs

What Are the Safest Cities in British Columbia?

According to AreaVibes, the top 5 safest cities in British Columbia are:
1. Spallumcheen
2. Central Saanich
3. Coldstream
4. Oak Bay
5. North Saanich
Oak Bay consistently ranks among the top 5 safest cities in British Columbia, with Saanich also making the list pretty regularly.

What Are the Most Dangerous Cities in Canada?

The top 3 most dangerous cities in Canada are, as of 2021:
1. Red Deer, AB
2. Lethbridge, AB
3. Kelowna, BC

What Part of Canada Has the Lowest Crime Rate?

While LaSalle, ON, is the safest city overall, Ontario is not the safest province in Canada. Three cities that made this list and a fourth (Saguenay) with a low crime rate make Quebec Canada’s safest province.

Which Canadian Province Has the Highest Crime Rate?

Manitoba and Saskatchewan have the highest crime rates. The city of Regina, Saskatchewan, is one of the most dangerous cities in Canada. However, Winnipeg, Manitoba is known as the “Murder Capital” of Canada, and violent crimes went up earlier this year.

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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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