The Greenhouse
by Pine

The top 10 safest cities in Canada

We traverse from coast to coast, highlighting cities that have earned recognition not just for their cultural richness or breathtaking landscapes, but for their commendable safety records.

Exploring Canada's safest cities: A closer look at security and lifestyle"

In a world that seems to be growing more complex by the day, safety has become an increasingly important factor when choosing a place to call home. It's no surprise, then, that Canada—a country well-known for its peaceful disposition and high standard of living—should be a prime candidate for such a search.

Canada consistently ranks among the top in the Global Peace Index, making it a go-to country for those in search of safety and security. But within this already secure nation, some cities shine even brighter as examples of safety. Whether you're a Canadian looking to relocate or an international reader considering the Great White North for your next adventure, our top 10 list offers a glimpse into the country's safest cities according to the Canada Crime Index.

In the forthcoming sections, we'll journey across Canada's vast expanse, visiting various cities distinguished not only by their geographical features or cultural heritage but also by their commitment to safety and security. From the Pacific blues of British Columbia to the Atlantic waves of Newfoundland and Labrador, join us as we explore the top 10 safest cities in Canada.

Stay with us as we embark on this fascinating journey. It's more than just about safety—it's about the spirit of the cities that makes them a welcoming home for their residents and a worthwhile destination for visitors.


In this article, we primarily utilise the Crime Severity Index (CSI) as our main determinant of a city's safety. The CSI, a robust tool that assesses the severity of police-reported crime, not only tracks the prevalence of crime within a community, but also gauges the seriousness of the crimes committed. By doing so, it gives us a holistic understanding of the impact crime has on individual community members, their families, and the community at large. This information, backed by research from the University of Waterloo, helps paint a vivid picture of safety in Canadian cities.

City #10: Guelph, Ontario

Renowned for its high standard of living and vibrant community spirit, Guelph, affectionately known as the "Royal City", is another Ontario gem that proudly features on our list. Noted for its rich architectural heritage and thriving arts scene, Guelph also earns recognition for its commitment to safety and security.

With a Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 58.2, Guelph is the tenth safest city on our list. This score reflects the significant efforts put in place to maintain a secure and harmonious environment for residents and visitors alike.

The low CSI score is largely due to effective local policing strategies, strong community involvement, and a network of supportive social services. The Guelph Police Service, alongside community organisations and volunteers, works diligently to prevent crime, ensuring that the city remains a safe place to live, work, and visit.

In Guelph, the low prevalence of serious crime contributes to a strong sense of community. Residents share a collective commitment to preserving the peaceful nature of their city, fostering an environment where safety and security are valued.

As we progress through our list, we'll continue to highlight the unique approaches taken by each city to maintain and improve their safety records. Stay with us as we explore more of Canada's safest cities.

City #9: Delta, British Columbia

Shifting our focus westward, we land on Delta, a city located in the picturesque province of British Columbia. Known for its natural beauty, with three distinct communities - Ladner, Tsawwassen, and North Delta - it offers a unique blend of urban efficiency and rural tranquillity. In addition to its scenic allure, Delta makes it to our list for its strong record in public safety.

Delta comes in at number ninth with a Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 57.6. This number stands as a testament to the city's well-structured law enforcement strategy and the collective effort of its residents to foster a secure community.

Delta's appeal doesn't stop at safety - it's also an excellent city for home ownership. Delta's relatively low CSI can be credited to its proactive policing efforts, coupled with numerous community safety initiatives and programs. The Delta Police Department's community-focused approach to law enforcement, along with strong resident engagement in safety matters, play a significant role in maintaining the city's low crime severity level.

Living in Delta, residents appreciate the relatively low occurrence of severe crime, contributing to an overall quality of life that values peace, security, and mutual respect. As we continue to explore Canada's safest cities, we see the shared dedication and concerted efforts that ensure these places remain secure, welcoming havens for their communities.

City #8: Barrie, Ontario

Next on our list is Barrie, a dynamic city located on the western shore of Lake Simcoe in Ontario. Known for its lively cultural scene and recreational opportunities, Barrie offers an excellent quality of life that is further enhanced by its dedication to safety.

Barrie has earned the eighth spot on our list with a Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 57.5. Interestingly, the story behind Barrie's safety goes beyond traditional factors and offers some unique insights.

The city of Barrie has a robust network of community resources and social services that actively contribute to its overall safety. This includes a wide range of programs aimed at fostering youth engagement, supporting families, and addressing social issues, which helps to minimise crime from its roots.

Barrie also stands out for its active neighbourhood associations. These grassroots groups play a vital role in keeping the city safe by fostering a strong sense of community and encouraging neighbours to look out for one another. This close-knit community spirit contributes significantly to the city's low crime severity score.

Moreover, Barrie’s commitment to creating a safe environment is reflected in its city planning. The design of public spaces in Barrie is guided by the concept of natural surveillance, encouraging activity and visibility that inherently deters crime.

Another noteworthy aspect is the city's focus on mental health resources and drug prevention programs. By tackling these issues head-on, Barrie helps to prevent related criminal activity, creating a safer community for everyone.

As we move up our list of the safest cities in Canada, we'll further explore how innovative strategies and strong community ties contribute to maintaining a safe and secure environment.

City #7: Toronto, Ontario

We turn our attention next to Canada's most populous city, Toronto. Known for its bustling cityscape, rich multicultural heritage, and iconic landmarks, Toronto is a vibrant urban centre. What might come as a surprise to some is that Toronto, in spite of its size, ranks high on our safety index.

Toronto holds the seventh spot on our list with a Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 56.7. However, the story behind Toronto's safety status is far from simple and goes beyond typical factors.

The city boasts numerous community-led initiatives aimed at reducing crime and enhancing quality of life. These include educational programs, youth engagement initiatives, and community outreach, which work together to address crime at its roots.

Toronto is also recognized for its vibrant neighbourhood improvement areas. These areas, identified by the city, receive targeted investments to strengthen community cohesion and socio-economic conditions. This unique strategy contributes to Toronto's low CSI by addressing socio-economic factors that can often lead to crime.

Another significant aspect of Toronto's safety landscape is the abundance of resources dedicated to supporting individuals facing social challenges. From affordable housing projects to comprehensive mental health services, the city has prioritised social welfare as a pathway to crime reduction.

Furthermore, Toronto's diversity is its strength. With over 200 ethnic groups reported, this multicultural milieu enhances community resilience, encouraging cultural understanding and cooperation that further strengthens the city's safety fabric.

Toronto's position on our list demonstrates that even in a bustling metropolis, safety can be effectively maintained through community engagement, smart city planning, and dedicated social services. As we continue our journey through Canada's safest cities, we'll delve deeper into how these communities achieve safety and tranquillity for their residents.

City #6: Gatineau, Quebec

Crossing into the French-speaking province of Quebec, we encounter Gatineau. Renowned for its rich cultural heritage, parks, and museums, Gatineau offers a quality of life that attracts families and individuals seeking a balance of city life and natural charm. An integral part of this balance is the city's impressive safety record.

Claiming the sixth position on our list, Gatineau presents a Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 53.3. The city's commitment to maintaining a safe environment for its residents is deeply rooted in a holistic approach to community wellbeing.

Gatineau stands out for its emphasis on social integration and community-building initiatives. From fostering strong relationships among neighbours to facilitating intercultural exchanges, the city focuses on creating an inclusive environment. This sense of belonging and mutual respect within the community is a key factor in Gatineau's low crime rates.

Furthermore, Gatineau prioritises early education and family support. The city offers a myriad of resources, including childcare centres, family support programs, and community centres. By providing these services, the city tackles potential risk factors for crime from the earliest stages.

Urban planning also plays a significant role in Gatineau's safety status. The city has been proactive in designing public spaces that encourage community interactions, while also maintaining visibility and accessibility, discouraging criminal activity.

Lastly, Gatineau's collaborative approach towards safety, involving residents, local businesses, social services, and law enforcement, has created a comprehensive safety network. This collaboration contributes to the city's low CSI and enhances the overall sense of security among residents.

Gatineau's place in our ranking underscores the effectiveness of community involvement and social investment in creating a safe city. As we progress in our list, we'll continue exploring the unique facets that make Canada's safest cities stand out.

City #5: Sherbrooke, Quebec

Our journey continues in Quebec, taking us next to Sherbrooke. Known as the "Queen of the Eastern Townships", Sherbrooke is admired for its distinct blend of urban vitality and natural beauty. Adding to this allure is the city's impressive safety record, earning it a spot on our list.

Sherbrooke comes in fifth, with a Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 52.6. The narrative behind Sherbrooke's safety situation is multifaceted, highlighting the city's innovative approaches to maintaining a secure environment.

Sherbrooke’s safety is heavily influenced by its commitment to education. Home to several institutions, including the University of Sherbrooke and Bishop's University, the city boasts a vibrant student population. The educated populace contributes to a lower crime rate, as higher education is often linked to increased social awareness and reduced propensity for crime.

In addition, Sherbrooke's art and cultural scene play a unique role in fostering a secure city. Art initiatives and cultural activities provide positive outlets for expression and engagement, building a sense of community and shared responsibility that enhances the city's safety.

The city also recognizes the importance of sustainability and environmental consciousness in fostering a safer community. Sherbrooke's dedication to green initiatives contributes to a sense of shared stewardship and responsibility among its residents, indirectly influencing crime rates.

Finally, Sherbrooke has been effective in ensuring its social services reach those who need them most. By addressing social inequality, the city helps reduce potential triggers for criminal behaviour, contributing to a lower CSI.

Sherbrooke's inclusion on our list reaffirms the impact of education, cultural engagement, and social responsibility in fostering a safe city. As we move on, we'll continue to explore the unique strategies these cities use to ensure the safety and security of their residents.

City #4: Trois-Rivières, Quebec

Our exploration now leads us to Trois-Rivières, Quebec's second oldest city. With its historic charm, vibrant arts scene, and the confluence of three rivers giving the city its name, Trois-Rivières offers residents and visitors a unique blend of experiences. Among these is the sense of safety, which is underscored by its ranking on our list.

Securing the fourth spot, Trois-Rivières presents a Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 52.3. The reasons for this city's high safety standard are intriguing and paint a picture of a community deeply invested in its collective well-being.

An important aspect of Trois-Rivières' safety profile is its investment in cultural events and community programs. These initiatives serve to bring people together, fostering a sense of belonging and mutual respect, which indirectly influences the city's low crime rates.

Moreover, Trois-Rivières benefits from a well-planned urban landscape, where residential and commercial areas are designed to promote visibility and easy access, reducing opportunities for crime.

The city also addresses safety through an extensive network of social services, with a special focus on tackling issues such as poverty and substance abuse. These proactive measures help prevent crime by addressing some of its root causes.

Trois-Rivières' position in our ranking reinforces the idea that safety in a city is multifaceted, influenced by various factors from education to community spirit to social services. As we unveil the top three spots on our list, we'll continue to explore how these cities succeed in providing safe environments for their residents.

City #3: Ottawa, Ontario

Nearing the top of our list, we find ourselves in Ottawa, Canada's capital city. Ottawa is renowned for its rich political history, stunning architecture, and an array of cultural institutions. Alongside these attributes, Ottawa's remarkable safety record further strengthens its appeal, making it a very attractive city to call home.

Ottawa claims the third position on our list, boasting a Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 50.2. The reasons behind Ottawa's high safety ranking are varied, reflecting a comprehensive and effective approach to maintaining a secure city.

Ottawa's status as the nation's capital contributes to its safety record. The city hosts a high concentration of governmental institutions, which ensures a robust law enforcement presence. This, combined with high levels of civic engagement and awareness, contributes to Ottawa's low CSI.

Furthermore, Ottawa is home to multiple world-class universities and colleges, fostering a well-educated populace. This educational emphasis plays a significant role in the city's safety, as research often links higher education levels with lower crime rates.

Ottawa also benefits from a strong emphasis on community development and outreach. Numerous local initiatives aim to connect neighbours, engage youth, and support vulnerable populations. These efforts help to foster a sense of community, reducing isolation and potential for crime.

Another key component of Ottawa's safety strategy is its investment in social services. By providing support for issues like mental health, homelessness, and addiction, the city is able to address potential root causes of crime, further contributing to a safer community.

City #2: Québec, Quebec

Claiming the second position on our list is Québec City, the capital of Quebec province. Known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and a distinctly European feel, Québec City not only offers a vibrant cultural experience but also ranks high in terms of safety.

Québec City shines with a Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 48.6, marking it as the second-safest city in Canada. The reasons behind Québec City's commendable safety record are wide-ranging and effective, underscoring a community deeply committed to ensuring the well-being of its residents.

Part of Québec City's success in maintaining safety can be attributed to its emphasis on community policing. With law enforcement and community members closely collaborating to prevent crime, this approach fosters a sense of shared responsibility and trust, enhancing the overall effectiveness of crime prevention efforts.

Québec City's rich cultural milieu also plays a vital role in its safety profile. The city hosts a variety of festivals, art events, and historical attractions, providing a lively community life. These cultural interactions not only enrich the lives of residents but also promote a sense of belonging and mutual respect, both of which contribute to safety.

Additionally, Québec City is known for its commitment to social inclusion and support. The city's social policies are directed towards reducing inequalities and offering assistance to those who need it most, helping to address some of the root causes of crime and maintain its low CSI.

Finally, Québec City's safety is boosted by excellent urban planning. With designs that promote visibility and easy access, opportunities for crime are reduced, fostering a feeling of security among its residents.

Québec City's second position on our list speaks volumes about its multifaceted approach to safety, showcasing a perfect blend of community engagement, cultural enrichment, social support, and effective urban planning. It is an exemplary model for cities seeking to enhance their safety and shows how diverse factors converge to create a safe and welcoming environment. As we reveal our top city, we will delve into how the safest city in Canada has achieved this laudable status.

City #1: Durham Region (Oshawa/Whitby/Ajax), Ontario

As we reach the pinnacle of our list, we find ourselves in the Durham Region of Ontario, encompassing the cities of Oshawa, Whitby, and Ajax. Known for their beautiful waterfronts, rich history, and strong community spirit, these cities offer residents not only an attractive lifestyle but also an exceptional safety record.

The Durham Region, with a Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 42.5, proudly holds the top spot in our list, making it the safest region in Canada. The keys to this area's impressive safety ranking are diverse, each contributing to a robust tapestry of security and community well-being.

A significant factor contributing to the Durham Region's safety is the strong sense of community found within its towns. Local events, sports teams, and community initiatives foster strong neighbourly bonds, creating a supportive environment that deters crime.

The cities of Oshawa, Whitby, and Ajax also boast effective policing strategies. Local law enforcement works in tandem with community members, leveraging this cooperation to maintain low crime rates. This approach has led to trust and shared responsibility, which are instrumental in creating a safe community.

Furthermore, these cities have made substantial investments in public education, providing a range of programs to cultivate informed, responsible citizens. From early childhood education to adult learning initiatives, the commitment to education has created an environment less conducive to crime.

Lastly, the Durham Region benefits from its comprehensive social services. Efforts to address issues like homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse not only support the well-being of individual residents but also contribute to the overall safety of the community by addressing some of the root causes of crime.

The Durham Region's position at the top of our list is a testament to the effectiveness of its combined efforts in community engagement, effective law enforcement, commitment to education, and robust social services. It is an inspiring example of how a community can cultivate safety and security for its residents through a diverse range of strategies and initiatives.

As we conclude our journey through Canada's safest cities, we hope this exploration has shed light on the multifaceted nature of community safety. Remember, while the Crime Severity Index offers valuable insights, personal experience also plays a crucial role in feeling safe. We invite you to visit these cities and experience first-hand the unique qualities that make them among the safest places to live in Canada.

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