Best Places To Live In Canada 2020 - Top 10 Best Cities

Finding the right place to call home is not an easy task, especially during a pandemic. For many buyers and renters, the type of homes they are looking for may have changed significantly over the last year. Home offices and outdoor space have become must haves for many. To find homes that meet those needs, people are looking to relocate to a new city.

To help with your search, AreaVibes has compiled a list of the top 10 best places to live in Canada for 2020. Using the Livability Score which factors in 7 different categories, with hundreds of different data points, AreaVibes has found the 10 most livable cities in Canada. The top 10 list consists of cities with a population of 200,000 or more.

How We Ranked The Cities

  • Amenities: Higher scores for more nearby amenities like: grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, schools, parks, libraries, etc.
  • Cost of Living: Higher scores for lower cost of goods and services, groceries, health care, housing, transportation and utilities.
  • Crime: Higher scores for low violent crime and property crime. Violent crimes are more heavily weighted.
  • Employment: Higher scores for high median household income and low unemployment rates.
  • Housing: Higher scores for low housing price to median household ratio and high appreciation rates.
  • Schools: Higher scores for high test scores and low student to teacher ratio.
  • User Ratings: Higher scores for high user reviews and surveys.

Here is the list of the top 10

  1. Ottawa, ON
  2. Richmond Hill, ON
  3. Markham, ON
  4. Laval, QC
  5. Mississauga, ON
  6. Brampton, ON
  7. Oakville, ON
  8. Quebec, QC
  9. Toronto, ON
  10. Calgary, AB
1. Ottawa, ONScore: 89/100
Ottawa, ON Photo

Ottawa is a young, vibrant city and Canada's capital for a good reason. It is an all-rounded city with an impressive economy and a vibrant cultural sense. This city is right up your alley if you are all about the party life. ByWard Market provides some of the best nighttime experiences throughout Ottawa. During the day, you have hundreds of wonders to feast your eyes upon, including the Canadian War Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, and the National Gallery. If anything, you are bound to fall in love with the city's extraordinary architecture. Ottawa’s 89/100 livability score is not in vain; in Ottawa, you’ll find the the Golden Triangle neighbourhood, which is an exciting place to live with loads of great restaurants, bars, boutiques, and art galleries. Ottawa is a great place to raise a family; the sense of community is like none other.

2. Richmond Hill, ONScore: 86/100
Richmond Hill, ON Photo

Richmond Hill's impressive livability score of 86/100 can be attributed to the fact that it is home to some of the best neighbourhoods in all of Canada. Located just 30 minutes north of Toronto, Richmond Hill is a perfect fit for young professionals looking for new opportunities and retirees looking to spend the remainder of their years in a serene, beautiful city. There are significant job opportunities in the finance and health-care sectors, which translates to low unemployment rates and pretty high quality of life. Old Richmond Hill is a historic district with numerous impeccably maintained Georgian houses, while Jefferson and East Beaver Creek provide modern housing with very close proximity to all social amenities. If you are looking to move here with your family, you are making the right decision. You can enjoy calming walks around Mill Pond with your kids or enjoy some of the sports programs and camps hosted by the city for everyone's entertainment.

3. Markham, ONScore: 85/100
Markham, ON Photo

Markham is located just 30km north of Toronto and has an exceptional livability score of 85/100. Markham Village and Unionville are some of the most attractive neighbourhoods with great restaurants, fabulous boutiques, and bars to entertain their residents. The neighbourhoods comprise of stunning historical buildings that will have you walking with your eyes to the skies. Markham also enjoys its fair share of great schools, with a significant percentage of students going on to college. Like any other fun-loving city, Markham has the Chinese Malls Market Village, the Pacific Mall, and the Taste of Asia Festival. There is never a dull day in this city.

4. Laval, QCScore: 85/100
Laval, QC Photo

Laval is a fascinating suburb of Montréal with a sea of affordable housing. Its low cost of living is one of the significant factors contributing to its impressive 85/100 livability score. The numerous safe communities in the area, reasonable daycare rates, and hundreds of recreational activities for young children make it very family-friendly. Laval boasts of the vast Parc des Prairies park, which offers a serene environment to unwind and enjoy the company of those close to you. Laval's university students also offer drama and music performances to the public now and then, so you need not worry about finding entertainment spots. The neighbourhoods in Laval are well serviced by unique boutiques and big brands such as Carrefour.

5. Mississauga, ONScore: 85/100
Mississauga, ON Photo

Mississauga's thriving economy and short commute times to the city of Toronto are among the main reasons why people are flocking to live here; and why you should too. Misissauga's residents enjoy a relatively low cost of living compared to Toronto, especially in the housing category, all adding to the 85/100 livability score. Mississauga's crime rate is 42% lower than the national average, making it one of the safer cities in the country. The median household income in Mississauga is also well above both the Ontario average and the national average.

6. Brampton, ONScore: 84/100
Brampton, ON Photo

Brampton is located only about 30 minutes north-west of Toronto, making it a relatively short commute for residents. If you do decide on Brampton, you won't have to give up any of the big city amenities that Toronto offers as Brampton also scores well in that category. Crime rates in Brampton are also 35% lower than the national average and about 20% lower than the Ontario average. Brampton also scores well in the employment category, with an average median household income of close to $95,000 - 24% higher than the national average.

7. Oakville, ONScore: 81/100
Oakville, ON Photo

Oakville may be overlooked by many as a place to live in, but it has very appealing qualities that make it the ideal home for you. Its residents enjoy lower rent and home prices compared to Toronto, but with convenient access to all social amenities, and a reliable transport network to all parts of Ontario. Thus, it is easy to see why Oakville's livability score is 81/100. Oakville is only about 30 minutes from Toronto, but could be more during rush hour. Oakville crime rates are among the lowest in the entire country for a city of its size. In fact, they are 60% lower than the national average.

8. Quebec, QCScore: 81/100
Quebec, QC Photo

Quebec is a fantastic city with a lot of history, culture, and appeal. It is home to more than 800,000 people, with a majority being French speakers. Quebec's Old Town has historic landmarks like the Chateau Frontenac, which offers a haven of sorts for history lovers. It also has an assortment of some of the finest dining and shopping spots in all of Canada. The city's 81/100 livability score comes from the quality of housing and security Quebec enjoys. A considerable number of its crimes usually are drunk and disorderly incidents that happen in the wee hours of the night. Quebec is also home to the renowned Le Patriarche, which serves exquisite gourmet meals.

9. Toronto, ONScore: 80/100
Toronto, ON Photo

Toronto will have you spellbound by its diverse population and plethora of entertainment activities and venues. It is home to many of Canada’s finest historical sites, world-class restaurants and museums. Toronto also hosts many yearly festivals such as Caribana, Nuit Blanche, TIFF and The Honda Indy, which attract thousands of tourists worldwide. Toronto has more than 300 neighbourhoods, each with its unique style and character. There is a reliable transport system in Toronto with subway trains, streetcars, rail lines, and buses to make movement across the city a lot easier. Toronto has a livability score of 80/100 which reflects its neighbourhoods' world-class amenities, employment opportunities and low crime rates. Toronto is ranked as one of the safest cities in the entire world.

10. Calgary, ABScore: 79/100
Calgary, AB Photo

Calgary is an epicenter of opportunities with numerous booming industries in energy, technology and finance, among others. Calgary’s residents enjoy high salaries with low taxes and a moderate cost of living. Real estate prices in the town are very affordable compared to other large cities in Canada. Calgary has more than 240 distinct neighbourhoods that match every lifestyle with many shopping centers, bars, and restaurants in the West End and Eau Claire. That justifies the town's 79/100 livability score. Beltline offers a more serene neighbourhood that is still reasonably close to downtown. Crescent Heights and Ramsay provide several good schools to choose from and parks for children to play in.

You can refer to the Best Places to Live list for real-time, up-to-date and interactive top 100 best places to live in Canada. The results are sortable, and it allows you to filter by the population as well as your preferred state.

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