Canada is massive – second only to Russia when it comes to landmass. With a country this size, you could see how there might be at least a couple of different options when it comes to deciding where you’d want to live.

If you’re planning on moving to Canada – a stellar decision, we assure you – you might be overwhelmed by the size of it all. Well, we’re here to supply a breath of cool, fresh Canadian air, and make the decision a bit easier.

We’ll be looking at the best places to live in Canada – whether you’re concerned with food, climate, or a career, we’ll have you covered.

Whether you’re renting or buying, finding a new home in Canada can be difficult and stressful. 

That’s where PerchPeek can help. PerchPeek will set you up with an expert support team who are full of local knowledge and available 24/7. They’ll help you with the entire moving process, from finding a property and securing viewings, to sorting the paperwork and getting you settled. 

Just pop your details in this quick form to sign up for a free consultation phone call.

Best places to live in Canada – at a glance

If you don’t have time to read the whole article, but your passion to know about the best places burns fiercely enough to melt all the snow in Canada, here’s a quick run-down.

CityStateBest for:
MontrealQuebecFood and drink
BouchervilleQuebecRural escapes
EdmontonAlbertaFamilies
HalifaxNova ScotiaAffordable property
Quebec CityQuebecCulture
BurlingtonOntarioClimate
TorontoOntarioJob opportunities

Montreal, Quebec

Best for: food and drink

Montreal Canada

Montreal looks lovely, but the real delights are in its cuisine

Canada has some iconic foods – think maple syrup, poutine, and smoked meat – and they’re all apparently done to their best in Montreal. But this isn’t just the opinion of Montreal’s citizens – legendary chef Jamie Oliver chose this city for his first North American restaurant outing.

Similarly, Montreal makes the cosmically gargantuan claim that their bagels are better than those from New York or New Jersey. With fighting words like those, it’s surprising that Canada and the US are still allies.

ProsCons
Outstanding foodYou might have to learn French
Very low cost of livingOften under construction
High population of young people

Boucherville, Quebec

Best for: rural escapes

Boucherville Canada

This is one of the many paths you might take in your Boucherville excursions

Due to Canada’s sheer enormity, there’s plenty of untamed wilderness to fight your way through, surviving the biting winds and feral wildlife and overcoming the limits of your own physical form. There’s also some calm casual hikes, if that’s more your speed. Either way, if it’s the great outdoors you’re seeking, Boucherville is the choice for you.

At most a three hour drive from a multitude of national parks, a short trip away from the US border, and a small bridge across from Montreal, it’s in a great spot for almost any kind of adventure.

ProsCons
Close to national parksNot much to do in the town itself
Cheap housing
Close to America

Edmonton, Alberta

Best for: families

Edmonton Canada

Unfortunately for any adventurous children, you can't climb on this bridge

Edmonton is a great place for anyone looking to start a family. Firstly, as far as the boring but essential stuff goes, Edmonton public schools do very well when compared to others in the country, so your child will be well taken care of in that regard.

Onto the more fun stuff – for starters, there is a giant mall in Edmonton adored by kids of all ages. Why is it so adored? And why is it so big? Because the mall houses bowling, mini golf, escape rooms, an aquarium, an ice rink, an amusement park, and a waterpark! Some people may think that’s too much. Most kids would say it’s not enough!

ProsCons
Enormous mallSubpar public transport
Plenty of film and music festivalsQuestionable infrastructure (roads, streetlights)
Good education systems

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Best for: affordable property

Halifax Canada

There's plenty of fish in this sea!

Well known for its coastal position on the Canadian peninsula of Nova Scotia, Halifax is actually bigger than you’d think – especially when you hear that it used to be a fishing town. With a population of over 400,000, it’s not like you’d be moving into an abandoned village.

Halifax has been called “the least expensive city in Canada,” and with it costing only $500,000 for a three bedroom apartment in the city center, you can see how this stands true.

ProsCons
Cheap housingA bit isolated
Decently-sized city with beachesVery cold
Some interesting history

Quebec City, Quebec

Best for: culture

Quebec City Canada

There's always some kind of festival or celebration going on in Quebec City

If you were dropped into the historic district of Quebec City, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were wandering around an old French village. The small stone shops and quaint environments are reminiscent of old markets, and are a great cultural touchstone.

Parts of the city have been declared as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, which means they’re historically significant enough to be thoughtfully preserved. There are also festivals all year round, like the Summer Festival, New France Festival, and Winter Carnival.

ProsCons
Loads to see and doQuite cold
Close to natureYou may have to learn French
Good public transport

Burlington, Ontario

Best for: climate

This looks chilly, but it's as warm as you're going to get in Canada

Let’s be honest here – anywhere in Canada is going to be cold. If you hate the cold, all you can do is minimize your exposure, and try to stay as south as possible. The best bet for getting south would be Burlington, Ontario.

It’s on roughly the same latitude as New Hampshire – definitely one of the colder American states, but nothing compared to the “real Canadian winter.” Burlington reaches some snowy negatives, certainly, dropping to almost -16 °C this past January, but that was an extreme outlier in a season that hovered mostly in the positive figures. The summer ranges mostly within the mid 20s, offering some truly lovely weather.

ProsCons
Warm weather (by Canadian standards)Public transport issues
Great outdoor activities (parks, bike trails)Some issues with cultural heritage preservation
Suited for any age and lifestyle

Toronto, Ontario

Best for: job opportunities

Toronto Canada

As you can see from this busy skyline, there's plenty of jobs to be had in Toronto

Finally, the city that everyone thinks is the capital of Canada* – Toronto. Perhaps the reason that people think of Toronto as the capital is the fact that it’s Canada’s financial and cosmopolitan hub. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s the most populated city in the country, and is home to the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower!

As far as careers go, as you can expect from being Canada’s most populous city, there’s no shortage of business and jobs for you to sink your teeth into. It’s home to the Big Five, Canada’s biggest banks, and the Toronto Stock Exchange. Plenty of money to be made!

*The actual capital of Canada is Ottawa.

ProsCons
Lots of businessSubpar air quality
Plenty to do (museums, galleries, etc)High cost of living
Short drive to America

Best places to live in Canada: the verdict

If you’re in the mood for some poutine and hockey, you’ve got plenty of options on your plate. Whether you’re a young bachelor, a settling family, or an intrepid cultural explorer, anyone can find a nice spot to put down some roots in Canada.

As a recap, the best cities are:

  • Montreal, Quebec: best for food and drink
  • Boucherville, Quebec: best for rural escapes
  • Edmonton, Alberta: best for families
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia: best for affordable property
  • Quebec City, Quebec: best for culture
  • Burlington, Ontario: best for climate
  • Toronto, Ontario: best for career opportunities

So now you know where you’re going, you just need to know how to get there. If you’re unsure, hand the reins over to MoveHub by filling in this short form. You’ll be given some free quotes on how much it will cost to ship your belongings abroad, which should make it easier… Eh?