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12 Safest Cities in Canada to Travel or Reside In

Gloria Stanfield
Last Updated on
by Gloria Stanfield

Are you traveling to Canada soon? Or maybe thinking about moving there? You’ll definitely want to ensure you know all the safest spots when planning your travel, so it’s important to research the safest cities.

Canada is a great country to consider if safety is your priority. It’s one of the safest countries in the world, ranking number seven on US World News.

Canada provides extensive crime data so that it’s easy to identify where the safest places are with the lowest crime rates.

Instead of spending weeks researching crime statistics, let this article sum up some major points about the 12 safest cities in Canada.

Top 12 Safest Cities According to Canada CSI

This list uses the Crime Severity Index (CSI) to pick the safest cities in Canada. You want to go to a place with a low safety index. The lower it is, the lower the crime rate, ensuring your personal well-being during your stay.

There are three categories that CSI provides: violent crime, non-violent crime, and overall. This list looks at the overall category for cities with a population over 100,000.

1. Durham Region (Oshawa/Whitby/Ajax)

CSI: 42.5

Population: 335,949

Average Home Price: $888,488

The safest city is Durham, a regional municipality in Ontario, Canada. It’s made up of three smaller cities: Oshawa, Whitby, and Ajax. It lies just east of Toronto and sits right on Lake Ontario.

Not only does the Durham region have the lowest overall CSI, but also the lowest non-violent crime rate. Non-violent crimes include theft, public order offenses, and drug-related offenses.

The area is known for being great for raising children, as there are many great schools, parks, and safe transportation infrastructure. Durham has many bike lanes and sidewalks, as well as a great public transportation system to get around.

With green spaces and safe walking streets, Durham is also recognized as a great and safe place for seniors to live.

2. Quebec City

CSI: 48.6

Population: 733,156

Average Home Price: $484,000

Quebec City is a stunning historical city that sits on the St. Lawrence River’s southern shore. It’s the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and one of the oldest European settlements in North America.

Quebec City consistently ranks as one of the safest cities in Canada. There is “low risk” for pickpocketing, mugging, terrorism, and scams.

If you’re a female traveler or solo female looking to move, the city has a good reputation for being safe for women.

It has a relatively high-income equality rate and low housing costs, which make it a great and feasible community to consider living in.

3. Ottawa

CSI: 50.2

Population: 1,017,449

Average Home Price: $788,128

As Canada’s capital city, Ottawa sits on the Ottawa River near the Quebec border. It offers stunning government buildings, numerous world-class museums, and an interesting history to those that visit.

Of the six largest cities in Canada, Ottawa has the lowest rate of violent crime and drug violation. This has been consistent over the last decade.

With theft and petty crime being major issues across the world recently, it will be comforting to know that Ottawa has the second lowest rate of the major cities for breaking and entering.

The major stand-out safety concern in Ottawa is the high rate of hate crimes.

4. Trois-Rivières

CSI: 52.3

Population: 128,057

Average Home Price: $169,500

Trois-Rivieres is a Quebec city that’s on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. It’s one of the oldest cities in Canada and remains a relatively quiet town compared to its neighbors of Montreal and Quebec City.

It continues to rank high on safety lists over the years. The level of crime continues to decrease, making it a continually safer place.

Theft, drug-related crime, violent crime, hate crime, and robbery all rank as “low” or “very low” in Trois-Rivières. There are no stand-out crimes that are common in this area.

5. Sherbrooke

CSI: 52.6

Population: 151,147

Average Home Price: $249,000

Also located in the province of Quebec, Sherbrooke is situated at the confluence of the Saint-François and Magog rivers. It’s a university city with two major universities: Université de Sherbrooke and Bishop’s University.

Sherbrooke ranks high in safety for theft, drug-related crime, violent crime, hate crime, and robbery.

However, recent concerns have come to light on women’s safety in this area. Many local women are demanding increased intervention from the law on assault cases and safer transportation in the area.

6. Gatineau

CSI: 53.3

Population: 291,041

Average Home Price: $517,293

Gatineau is located in Quebec, just across from Ottawa on the Ottawa River. It’s known for its famous Gatineau Park and the Canadian Museum of History.

When it comes to safety, the crime rates in Gatineau are relatively low compared to the national average, but they have been increasing over the past few years.

Compared to the previous cities mentioned so far, Gatineau scores “moderate” in many of the crime categories, such as car theft, general theft, corruption, and drug-related crimes. Rates of assault, attacks, and violent crime all remain low.

7. Toronto

CSI: 56.7

Population: 2,794,396

Average Home Price: $1,164,400

Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ottawa. It sits on Lake Ontario and has so much to offer, like many other cities of its size.

Safety-wise, Toronto has the largest police force to offer. For such a large city, it’s impressive how low the crime rates are compared to other major cities.

Following the national average, crime rates have increased over the years in Toronto. Most notably, the common crimes are insult, theft, assault, robbery, and having your car broken into. Each of these crimes is rated as “moderate.” But if we compare these to other major cities in the world, they’re considered “low” in the crime scale.

Overall, for such a large population, it’s a highly safe major city and has a reputation as being safe for women travelers.

8. Barrie

CSI: 57.5

Population: 154,676

Average Home Price: $794,125

Barrie is located on Lake Simcoe, also known as the greater golden horseshoe region, just 60 miles north of Toronto. It’s easy to access from the city and attracts much of its population for the stunning nature.

There has been extreme population growth within the last few years in Barrie, as it’s drawing many from the city to live there, and the crime rates are following. The council has designated community safety committees that ensure the community is focused on keeping low crime rates.

The major concern in Barrie is the high rates of drug-related crime. Many of the other categories rank low or moderate, though.

9. Delta

CSI: 57.6

Population: 108,455

Average Home Price: $1,280,935

Delta is a beautiful waterfront city on the Pacific Ocean. There are three neighborhoods within it and close to three national parks. It’s the only city in British Columbia that makes the top of the list, so if you’re looking at the West Coast province, it’s one of the best options in this area.

Although it ranks 9th for the overall crime rate, Delta has the lowest CSI violent crime rate.

The highest concern in Delta is drug-related crime. It’s relatively low in all other crime categories, with only moderate concerns regarding theft, particularly car theft.

10. Guelph

CSI: 58.2

Population: 144,356

Average Home Price: $911,167

Guelph, also known as the Royal City, is just north of Toronto. It has one of the lowest violent crime rates in Canada.

It’s well-known for its tight-knit communities, with plenty of community events and initiatives. The communities’ mutual concern for well-being ensures that the crime rate stays low within their areas.

The city has increased funding and staffing in its police force over the past five years, and the crime rates continue to decrease drastically. Drug-related crime continues to stand out as the highest concern.

11. Niagara Region (St. Catharines)

CSI: 62.1

Population: 140,370

Average Home Price: $439,600

St. Catherines is located in Ontario, just outside of Niagara Falls. The scenery is world-famous for a reason and will not disappoint when you lay your eyes on the natural wonder. A major plus for this area is that there are many major employers here, making it a great place to look for job prospects.

Safety-wise, Niagara ranks low in violent crime rating but moderate to high in non-violent crimes over the years. The area continues to have problems with drug-related crimes but ranks below the national average.

The council openly speaks out about its commitment to lowering crime rates and provides many community resources for this.

12. Halifax Metropolitan Area

CSI: 65.7

Population: 348,634

Average Home Price: $529,500

As the only city in Nova Scotia on the list, Halifax is a good one to consider. Its coastal scenery borders the Atlantic Ocean and offers a unique ocean lifestyle.

With snow in the winter and surfing in the summer, Nova Scotia draws many visitors for sports tourism. It’s also a good option for those looking for a quieter place to live year-round.

The mayor’s public safety plan demonstrates the commitment to safety for their community’s future. Almost all crime rates are low, with only a few reaching a moderate level in crime statistics.


Crime rates are an important consideration when choosing where to go. Hopefully, this list of safe cities helps you plan your travels across Canada.

Delta, Toronto, and Guelph are the three communities that stand out as committed to safety. Unfortunately, crime is increasing across Canada, and even the safest cities are affected by this. These three cities have some of the lowest increases in crime over the past few years compared to some of the other high-rated cities.

The councils of these three cities are openly committed to maintaining safety. They each have vocalized initiatives that promise safety as a priority for the future, which is reassuring for anyone looking to make them a new home.

If you want to know the CSI of other Canadian cities, check out the Canada CSI website. Remember, the lower the CSI score, the safer the crime rates are.

When considering moving somewhere, it’s important to see this information in context with the change over the years. The cities with greater increases recently should be approached with caution. Ensure the local governments have a plan to prioritize your safety and future.