Best Places to Live for New Canadians 2018: Top 100 Cities - MoneySense

Best Places to Live for New Canadians 2018: Top 100 Cities

Oakville has access to education, a good job market and a thriving immigrant population

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Sara Rosales had a checklist to help select the Canadian city to move to from Mexico with her family.

The city needed to be close to good universities and colleges, since she was going back to school and her children would eventually need somewhere to study too. It had to be in a central location for job hunting. And most importantly, it had to be family-friendly.

Oakville, Ont. checked all of her boxes. “Being able to raise a family was one of the key points why we stayed here,” said Rosales, 43.

In addition to being this year’s overall winner, Oakville took the top spot in our ranking of the best places to live for New Canadians. Over the past 10 years, the percentage of visible minorities in Oakville has increased from 18 per cent to 31 per cent, according to the census. It is the 35th most linguistically diverse city in the country, with about 30 per cent of residents speaking a language other than English or French. People from all over the world see the same things in Oakville as Rosales.


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Living in Oakville allowed Rosales to continue her studies at Sheridan College, her husband to find a job in IT service management and her children to take advantage of the city’s many family-focused activities and events. For New Canadians who want access to the Toronto-area job market without paying downtown prices for housing, it’s easy to see why Oakville is a popular pick.

Still, affordability is a challenge, Rosales said. It would be difficult to make ends meet here for a family that didn’t have at least one breadwinner with a middle class job, she said.

“You really need to be stable economically in order to live there,” she said. “It’s hard to afford.”

Our ranking of the best places for new Canadians is based on the same 10 categories as the main Best Places to Live ranking, but with the weightings adjusted to reflect the needs and interests of immigrants. We award points to cities with a large percentage of the population speaking languages other than English or French and increase the importance of a low unemployment rate, affordable rents and access to an airport. For more information, please see the methodology page.

Best Places for New Canadians — by region

Atlantic Canada: Halifax, N.S. (no. 194)
Quebec: Mont-Royal (no. 3)
Ontario: Oakville (no. 1)
Prairies: Brandon, Man. (no. 28)
Alberta: Red Deer (no. 17)
British Columbia: Delta (no. 8)


The Top 100

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Rank City Province Population 5-year population change March 2018 economic region unemployment rate Average household income Average household discretionary income Average household net worth Average value of primary real estate Average rent for two-bedroom apartment [1] Average one-year rent increase for two-bedroom apartment [2] Home price to income ratio Population that takes transit to work Population speaking language other than English or French
1 Oakville ON 209,039 7.9% 5.7% $161,540 $77,643 $1,742,036 $1,218,967 $1,456 4.0% 7.55 8.3% 13.8%
2 Ottawa ON 999,183 6.7% 5.1% $114,275 $57,511 $695,242 $510,363 $1,236 2.0% 4.47 13.8% 12.9%
3 Mont-Royal QC 21,172 5.0% 6.3% $191,671 $92,172 $2,392,238 $1,146,801 $1,110 0.0% 5.98 12.3% 14.0%
4 King ON 26,697 18.4% 5.7% $191,070 $93,863 $2,655,435 $1,428,993 $1,394 4.2% 7.48 3.3% 13.4%
5 Toronto ON 2,933,262 5.6% 5.7% $105,338 $52,182 $906,663 $880,923 $1,426 4.3% 8.36 19.2% 14.6%
6 Milton ON 120,556 22.4% 5.7% $125,802 $59,651 $1,129,276 $1,146,379 $1,249 3.8% 9.11 4.8% 13.9%
7 Brossard QC 89,699 7.8% 4.9% $97,129 $49,210 $610,855 $456,437 $804 2.2% 4.7 15.7% 14.3%
8 Delta BC 108,076 4.5% 4.3% $114,588 $59,173 $1,159,633 $1,038,841 $1,162 3.6% 9.07 6.9% 13.7%
9 Westmount QC 21,083 3.3% 7.5% $240,205 $115,822 $3,953,205 $1,588,535 $1,554 0.0% 6.61 10.1% 13.1%
10 Vaughan ON 332,250 8.2% 5.7% $130,190 $63,927 $1,667,910 $1,359,665 $1,394 4.2% 10.44 6.7% 14.8%
11 Markham ON 358,416 10.2% 5.7% $120,656 $61,094 $1,558,876 $1,329,714 $1,394 4.2% 11.02 8.4% 14.9%
12 Richmond Hill ON 211,034 7.3% 5.7% $116,651 $57,761 $1,506,729 $1,330,432 $1,393 3.4% 11.41 7.7% 14.9%
13 Saint-Lambert QC 22,432 2.5% 4.9% $114,114 $54,777 $881,272 $511,602 $862 1.1% 4.48 13.4% 9.7%
14 Whitchurch-Stouffville ON 50,099 17.9% 5.7% $137,283 $68,055 $2,150,564 $1,952,512 $1,167 3.4% 14.22 4.0% 13.4%
15 North Vancouver (DM) BC 90,687 4.1% 4.3% $137,752 $69,919 $1,869,495 $1,527,070 $1,757 6.2% 11.09 9.0% 13.3%
16 West Vancouver BC 44,690 2.9% 4.3% $209,629 $108,980 $4,536,269 $2,881,458 $2,434 6.5% 13.75 6.3% 14.0%
17 Red Deer AB 107,564 8.7% 4.9% $115,055 $62,584 $628,900 $409,163 $1,011 -0.4% 3.56 3.3% 11.3%
18 Halton Hills ON 65,782 6.0% 5.7% $131,026 $64,075 $1,190,923 $1,088,359 $1,394 4.2% 8.31 3.1% 11.2%
19 Caledon ON 73,540 13.4% 5.7% $137,824 $68,182 $1,321,060 $954,983 $1,394 4.2% 6.93 2.3% 13.0%
20 Brampton ON 657,141 13.8% 5.7% $101,848 $50,979 $777,012 $924,715 $1,285 2.6% 9.08 6.9% 14.6%
21 Mississauga ON 791,672 5.8% 5.7% $107,385 $53,886 $850,977 $811,224 $1,333 3.8% 7.55 8.9% 14.7%
22 Calgary AB 1,359,777 12.1% 8.0% $132,568 $71,277 $861,346 $563,463 $1,247 -1.1% 4.25 10.2% 13.8%
23 Waterloo ON 109,671 5.1% 5.7% $113,386 $57,000 $834,766 $557,790 $1,186 2.7% 4.92 4.5% 13.4%
24 Vaudreuil-Dorion QC 40,303 12.6% 4.9% $85,720 $41,639 $423,823 $392,047 $772 0.0% 4.57 4.2% 12.3%
25 Burlington ON 197,683 6.5% 5.9% $121,990 $62,773 $1,054,536 $870,475 $1,366 5.0% 7.14 5.3% 12.5%
26 Vancouver BC 672,719 5.8% 4.3% $93,520 $45,463 $1,157,164 $1,514,621 $1,552 6.2% 16.2 18.4% 14.7%
27 Lacombe AB 13,906 9.1% 4.9% $112,174 $62,227 $754,291 $353,740 $874 0.0% 3.15 0.7% 8.8%
28 Brandon MB 51,483 7.8% 4.9% $90,226 $48,147 $370,002 $349,576 $853 0.0% 3.87 3.1% 12.8%
29 Greater Vancouver BC 17,507 17.6% 4.3% $101,671 $52,631 $1,737,120 $1,578,431 $2,188 4.9% 15.52 8.5% 15.0%
30 Wood Buffalo AB 76,980 3.3% 5.7% $221,681 $118,753 $699,903 $927,164 $1,531 -1.4% 4.18 15.8% 12.9%
31 Richmond BC 210,767 5.8% 4.3% $92,384 $47,543 $1,204,103 $1,110,726 $1,375 1.8% 12.02 10.0% 14.9%
32 Pickering ON 98,642 6.0% 5.7% $122,258 $61,743 $899,725 $754,649 $1,394 4.2% 6.17 8.2% 12.7%
33 Canmore AB 14,930 8.9% 5.1% $129,959 $70,711 $1,478,315 $912,436 $1,044 0.0% 7.02 0.9% 11.6%
34 Edmonton AB 1,020,976 13.4% 6.8% $105,795 $56,716 $585,611 $470,962 $1,119 -1.2% 4.45 9.8% 13.8%
35 North Vancouver (CY) BC 56,176 8.9% 4.3% $84,888 $40,887 $742,379 $997,974 $1,584 4.8% 11.76 14.0% 14.1%
36 Port Moody BC 35,592 4.0% 4.3% $117,829 $57,833 $1,043,799 $1,015,383 $1,151 6.2% 8.62 9.9% 13.7%
37 Coquitlam BC 148,747 9.6% 4.3% $99,736 $50,993 $878,780 $853,016 $1,226 9.6% 8.55 10.1% 14.5%
38 Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville QC 27,171 2.6% 4.9% $118,951 $58,642 $864,221 $454,278 $801 0.0% 3.82 9.4% 5.4%
39 St. Albert AB 70,874 8.2% 6.8% $147,201 $80,174 $900,192 $481,835 $1,274 -2.9% 3.27 4.7% 9.4%
40 Abbotsford BC 149,466 7.0% 4.3% $91,624 $46,995 $698,184 $644,132 $951 2.6% 7.03 1.7% 14.1%
41 Kingston ON 133,328 3.5% 4.9% $92,469 $48,666 $523,250 $392,953 $1,157 3.3% 4.25 5.3% 9.9%
42 Burnaby BC 248,047 5.8% 4.3% $87,254 $44,081 $926,533 $1,042,812 $1,381 6.8% 11.95 16.8% 14.8%
43 Newmarket ON 90,908 7.2% 5.7% $115,331 $55,510 $947,429 $920,758 $1,269 4.2% 7.98 5.6% 13.0%
44 Notre-Dame-de-l'ële-Perrot QC 10,863 0.9% 4.9% $108,516 $53,538 $722,418 $487,889 $707 1.1% 4.5 4.2% 11.6%
45 Saskatoon SK 274,104 11.5% 6.5% $102,341 $52,504 $511,633 $421,338 $1,084 -1.4% 4.12 3.5% 12.5%
46 Surrey BC 552,455 9.8% 4.3% $100,979 $51,555 $901,133 $969,519 $1,077 7.6% 9.6 7.9% 14.6%
47 Candiac QC 22,478 6.1% 4.9% $128,753 $61,794 $760,258 $497,374 $741 1.1% 3.86 9.0% 8.4%
48 Oak Bay BC 18,081 0.1% 5.6% $152,785 $78,903 $2,269,821 $1,257,417 $1,363 6.3% 8.23 5.4% 10.2%
49 Aurora ON 59,946 6.8% 5.7% $143,759 $68,795 $1,532,968 $1,212,006 $1,402 6.2% 8.43 5.5% 13.5%
50 Grande Prairie AB 69,175 11.2% 5.1% $124,030 $65,374 $494,559 $443,906 $1,012 -0.4% 3.58 2.7% 9.1%
51 New Westminster BC 75,570 7.7% 4.3% $82,968 $40,809 $537,391 $759,425 $1,335 9.6% 9.15 19.1% 14.2%
52 LaSalle ON 31,124 4.0% 5.9% $112,717 $61,487 $654,200 $374,053 $885 3.1% 3.32 1.1% 12.2%
53 Port Coquitlam BC 62,407 6.3% 4.3% $106,495 $53,196 $658,689 $666,671 $1,211 8.9% 6.26 8.8% 13.7%
54 Whistler BC 13,193 17.2% 4.3% $116,362 $59,049 $1,460,422 $1,620,336 $1,450 6.2% 13.92 9.7% 10.8%
55 Saanich BC 116,964 3.7% 5.6% $102,652 $51,595 $1,029,461 $832,569 $1,291 9.5% 8.11 8.0% 12.5%
56 Dorval QC 19,900 5.2% 7.5% $93,966 $46,167 $651,561 $483,123 $874 0.0% 5.14 12.3% 13.3%
57 Saint-Constant QC 29,295 8.3% 4.9% $93,836 $47,213 $334,350 $332,935 $759 0.0% 3.55 7.0% 6.1%
58 Longueuil QC 248,943 4.3% 4.9% $71,690 $36,011 $275,080 $315,177 $753 2.0% 4.4 13.5% 11.5%
59 Maple Ridge BC 87,346 8.2% 4.3% $100,207 $50,057 $803,882 $858,762 $956 6.6% 8.57 5.7% 12.0%
60 Beaconsfield QC 20,027 1.6% 7.5% $170,986 $79,601 $1,686,729 $706,803 $1,109 0.0% 4.13 9.6% 12.7%
61 Ajax ON 127,977 8.8% 5.7% $115,913 $57,253 $828,684 $896,749 $1,105 4.2% 7.74 10.5% 13.0%
62 Fort St. John BC 21,251 6.0% 5.7% $124,134 $65,534 $440,481 $385,760 $1,024 -4.4% 3.11 0.8% 7.8%
63 Russell ON 17,155 6.3% 5.1% $132,583 $68,942 $509,564 $403,638 $1,007 -1.0% 3.04 3.6% 3.7%
64 Pitt Meadows BC 19,645 5.7% 4.3% $101,692 $49,891 $776,718 $795,342 $1,218 6.2% 7.82 9.0% 12.6%
65 Pointe-Claire QC 32,687 3.5% 7.5% $105,455 $51,153 $718,811 $464,113 $1,151 0.0% 4.4 11.1% 13.1%
66 La Prairie QC 25,598 3.9% 4.9% $98,964 $48,880 $429,647 $373,274 $756 0.0% 3.77 9.8% 8.5%
67 Squamish BC 21,421 13.1% 4.3% $108,238 $55,347 $713,434 $706,062 $1,161 22.2% 6.52 1.9% 12.0%
68 Guelph ON 137,187 6.3% 5.7% $98,572 $49,625 $635,277 $633,889 $1,126 3.4% 6.43 5.5% 12.7%
69 Boucherville QC 42,912 3.3% 4.9% $125,089 $63,830 $841,621 $486,259 $686 1.1% 3.89 9.1% 5.1%
70 Springfield MB 15,839 6.9% 5.4% $144,143 $78,740 $692,130 $452,706 $1,130 0.0% 3.14 1.1% 11.4%
71 Langley BC 125,264 11.4% 4.3% $114,208 $58,640 $1,151,960 $1,004,261 $1,728 6.2% 8.79 2.3% 12.4%
72 Strathcona County AB 105,899 7.7% 6.8% $158,095 $85,950 $1,171,105 $599,548 $1,339 -2.2% 3.79 3.7% 9.3%
73 Saint-Lazare QC 20,631 4.4% 4.9% $119,771 $58,277 $765,098 $570,543 $874 1.1% 4.76 3.1% 9.2%
74 Whitby ON 136,657 6.1% 5.7% $120,222 $57,535 $817,453 $763,391 $1,124 3.3% 6.35 7.4% 11.9%
75 Regina SK 232,654 10.1% 5.5% $103,354 $54,822 $480,562 $410,876 $1,116 0.6% 3.98 3.4% 11.9%
76 North Saanich BC 11,369 2.0% 5.6% $140,989 $74,320 $1,919,655 $1,091,042 $1,141 6.3% 7.74 4.1% 8.6%
77 Saugeen Shores ON 14,109 6.0% 4.9% $129,294 $66,705 $777,845 $502,673 $852 3.8% 3.89 2.3% 6.6%
78 Tecumseh ON 23,741 -0.9% 5.9% $115,124 $63,379 $770,142 $390,909 $885 3.1% 3.4 0.9% 12.3%
79 Chestermere AB 21,911 24.1% 8.0% $165,535 $87,884 $1,058,807 $611,958 $1,239 -1.0% 3.7 2.7% 13.6%
80 Kitchener ON 244,880 5.6% 5.7% $89,379 $45,051 $489,856 $507,281 $1,067 3.7% 5.68 4.5% 13.6%
81 Hamilton ON 570,654 4.5% 5.9% $90,964 $48,481 $593,271 $561,524 $1,027 5.2% 6.17 5.4% 13.2%
82 Kirkland QC 20,629 -2.6% 7.5% $152,161 $74,459 $1,155,315 $595,637 $791 2.2% 3.91 7.4% 14.1%
83 Châteauguay QC 50,987 5.0% 4.9% $79,267 $41,174 $318,353 $300,633 $723 3.5% 3.79 6.8% 10.3%
84 Brooks AB 15,346 5.6% 6.5% $111,445 $60,593 $575,196 $332,561 $840 -0.5% 2.98 2.0% 13.5%
85 Gatineau QC 288,092 5.1% 5.6% $84,084 $41,606 $307,189 $324,369 $783 2.2% 3.86 10.9% 10.0%
86 London ON 406,462 5.2% 6.3% $87,873 $46,161 $490,772 $361,543 $1,057 2.9% 4.11 5.0% 12.8%
87 Sylvan Lake AB 16,052 14.7% 4.9% $124,729 $66,317 $706,294 $418,143 $912 -4.2% 3.35 1.6% 5.0%
88 White Rock BC 20,863 4.6% 4.3% $90,177 $45,406 $1,012,789 $819,543 $1,450 6.2% 9.09 3.8% 12.4%
89 C™te-Saint-Luc QC 33,822 2.7% 7.5% $94,795 $48,116 $1,145,920 $614,581 $791 2.2% 6.48 10.6% 14.4%
90 New Tecumseth ON 36,745 12.3% 5.7% $111,288 $58,344 $755,965 $583,646 $1,024 4.1% 5.24 1.6% 8.9%
91 Winkler MB 13,768 15.6% 3.2% $77,581 $41,352 $406,075 $304,858 $697 3.9% 3.93 0.6% 14.7%
92 Dollard-Des Ormeaux QC 50,925 1.3% 7.5% $106,674 $52,666 $758,998 $479,459 $870 2.7% 4.49 9.9% 14.5%
93 St. Catharines ON 136,160 1.0% 5.9% $81,168 $43,938 $478,551 $403,179 $1,061 3.1% 4.97 2.4% 12.1%
94 Cambridge ON 135,656 3.0% 5.7% $96,231 $48,922 $514,627 $490,505 $1,084 3.2% 5.1 3.4% 12.6%
95 Woolwich ON 26,209 6.8% 5.7% $138,178 $74,341 $1,138,679 $598,429 $905 4.3% 4.33 1.1% 12.8%
96 Niagara-on-the-Lake ON 18,026 9.5% 5.9% $112,098 $62,412 $1,158,477 $651,023 $1,082 4.5% 5.81 0.9% 12.9%
97 Steinbach MB 16,900 15.7% 5.4% $85,523 $44,797 $429,081 $337,779 $1,130 0.0% 3.95 1.8% 14.3%
98 Wetaskiwin AB 13,644 4.6% 3.9% $85,511 $47,141 $341,272 $257,962 $973 7.8% 3.02 0.7% 11.2%
99 Cochrane AB 28,789 31.5% 8.0% $144,132 $77,689 $885,205 $583,169 $925 0.0% 4.05 1.8% 9.3%
100 Camrose AB 19,488 5.5% 3.9% $98,525 $56,056 $519,846 $319,733 $924 -4.9% 3.25 0.7% 7.4% d

[1] (Note: some cities use an estimate where data is not available)
[2] (note: some cities use an estimate where data is not available)