Canada's Best Places for Families 2018: Top 100 Cities - MoneySense

Canada’s Best Places for Families 2018: Top 100 Cities

When it comes to raising a family, it’s hard to beat Quebec

by

(Courtesy of Ville de Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville)

When you take a numbers-based approach to finding the best place to raise a family, it’s hard to beat Quebec.

The province’s subsidized childcare system means parents pay well under $200 a month for full-time care for a young child, 10 times less than the cost for Toronto parents. It’s much easier to find a daycare space, too, allowing Quebecers to avoid the waiting list nightmare faced by parents in major cities outside the province.

So it’s no surprise that six out of our top 10 picks for the best places to raise children are in Quebec. But the no. 1 city, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, has more going for it than just cheap daycare.

Just 30 minutes east of Montreal, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville has a national park, Mont-Saint-Bruno, in its backyard. The average housing price is about $454,000 and with an average household income of $119,000, families shouldn’t find that too hard to afford. The unemployment rate is low, too, at 4.9 per cent in March of 2018. Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville scored in the top 25 per cent of all cities in five out of 11 categories: wealth/economy, affordability, commute, crime and access to amenities.


PHOTOS:


In fact, this is the second year in a row that Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville has been named the best place to live for families. And its attracting people with kids—just under half of all families in the municipality have children living at home, putting it in the top one-third of all cities in the country.

Our ranking of the best places to raise children is based on the same categories as the main Best Places to Live ranking, but with the weightings adjusted to reflect the needs and interests of families. We award points to cities with a large percentage of the population under the age of 15 and a large percentage of families with children. We also increase the importance of a low crime rate. Finally, we add an entirely new category: Access to and cost of childcare. For more information, please see the methodology page.

Canada’s Best Places for Families — by region

Atlantic Canada: Quispamsis, NB (no. 141)
Quebec: Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville (no. 1)
Ontario: Oakville (no. 5)
Prairies: Weyburn, Sask. (no. 40)
Alberta: Brooks (no. 30)
British Columbia: Squamish (no. 54)


The Top 100

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2018 rank City name Province Population under age 15 Families with children Median monthly infant daycare fees [1] Median monthly toddler daycare fees [1] Population employed in arts and recreation Community index (higher is better) Population that walks to work Population that bikes to work Population that takes transit to work Days per year with rain or snow Days per year with rain Days per year above 0C Days per year above 20C Population Five-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 Home price to income ratio
1 Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville QC 18% 46% 168 168 2.7% 55 2.5% 0.7% 9.4% 165 120 206 118 27,171 2.60% 4.9% $118,951 $58,642 $864,221 $454,278 3.82
2 Saint-Constant QC 20% 50% 168 168 1.2% 63 1.4% 0.6% 7.0% 163 119 218 117 29,295 8.30% 4.9% $93,836 $47,213 $334,350 $332,935 3.55
3 Mont-Royal QC 21% 55% 168 168 3.0% 114 2.8% 1.3% 12.3% 163 119 218 117 21,172 5.00% 6.3% $191,671 $92,172 $2,392,238 $1,146,801 5.98
4 Vaudreuil-Dorion QC 23% 49% 168 168 1.4% 69 1.8% 0.7% 4.2% 159 120 199 111 40,303 12.60% 4.9% $85,720 $41,639 $423,823 $392,047 4.57
5 Oakville ON 19% 56% 1150 1120 2.4% 98 1.8% 0.4% 8.3% 118 102 222 107 209,039 7.90% 5.7% $161,540 $77,643 $1,742,036 $1,218,967 7.55
6 Saint-Lambert QC 20% 41% 168 168 3.6% 67 2.5% 1.5% 13.4% 165 120 206 118 22,432 2.50% 4.9% $114,114 $54,777 $881,272 $511,602 4.48
7 Lévis QC 19% 42% 183 183 2.0% 64 2.7% 0.5% 4.4% 175 118 195 94 147,403 3.90% 3.4% $87,740 $46,315 $387,146 $309,397 3.53
8 Ottawa ON 18% 45% 998 1109 2.2% 102 4.3% 1.5% 13.8% 161 118 216 117 999,183 6.70% 5.1% $114,275 $57,511 $695,242 $510,363 4.47
9 Russell ON 21% 51% 998 1109 1.8% 101 2.1% 0.3% 3.6% 164 118 210 78 17,155 6.30% 5.1% $132,583 $68,942 $509,564 $403,638 3.04
10 The Nation ON 21% 47% 927 868 1.5% 99 2.0% 0.4% 3.2% 155 122 200 113 13,275 6.80% 5.1% $99,531 $52,492 $478,620 $386,219 3.88
11 Milton ON 26% 60% 1150 1120 1.7% 82 1.3% 0.3% 4.8% 139 112 196 120 120,556 22.40% 5.7% $125,802 $59,651 $1,129,276 $1,146,379 9.11
12 Westmount QC 17% 45% 168 168 5.3% 122 7.5% 1.2% 10.1% 163 119 218 117 21,083 3.30% 7.5% $240,205 $115,822 $3,953,205 $1,588,535 6.61
13 Brossard QC 18% 46% 168 168 1.5% 100 1.6% 0.4% 15.7% 165 120 206 118 89,699 7.80% 4.9% $97,129 $49,210 $610,855 $456,437 4.7
14 Chambly QC 22% 48% 168 168 1.8% 55 2.1% 0.8% 7.5% 160 116 203 108 30,320 10.90% 4.9% $94,444 $46,810 $367,167 $354,684 3.76
15 Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures QC 18% 48% 183 183 1.9% 64 2.3% 0.5% 5.9% 175 118 195 94 19,282 3.70% 4.7% $134,001 $71,914 $782,240 $399,742 2.98
16 Blainville QC 19% 52% 168 168 1.0% 54 1.5% 0.6% 5.2% 167 120 199 112 59,359 6.70% 6.3% $108,846 $53,105 $640,044 $435,930 4.01
17 Cantley QC 21% 53% 183 183 1.6% 48 0.9% 0.4% 4.1% 160 116 203 108 11,219 8.20% 4.9% $113,646 $56,087 $507,632 $388,454 3.42
18 Brant ON 18% 45% 939 846 1.7% 122 1.7% 0.2% 0.5% 136 114 218 125 38,724 4.30% 5.9% $100,689 $54,695 $787,951 $513,049 5.1
19 Halton Hills ON 19% 54% 1150 1120 1.9% 108 2.6% 0.4% 3.1% 139 112 196 120 65,782 6.00% 5.7% $131,026 $64,075 $1,190,923 $1,088,359 8.31
20 Clarington ON 19% 50% 927 868 1.7% 101 1.9% 0.3% 3.8% 146 123 219 111 98,586 8.80% 5.7% $108,276 $52,929 $664,107 $626,102 5.78
21 LaSalle ON 18% 52% 998 879 1.5% 112 0.9% 0.3% 1.1% 150 120 249 139 31,124 4.00% 5.9% $112,717 $61,487 $654,200 $374,053 3.32
22 Whitby ON 20% 55% 1150 1120 2.0% 101 1.6% 0.3% 7.4% 146 123 239 100 136,657 6.10% 5.7% $120,222 $57,535 $817,453 $763,391 6.35
23 Candiac QC 21% 52% 168 168 1.5% 47 1.2% 0.6% 9.0% 165 120 206 118 22,478 6.10% 4.9% $128,753 $61,794 $760,258 $497,374 3.86
24 Mont-Saint-Hilaire QC 19% 43% 168 168 3.3% 60 2.4% 0.5% 7.5% 155 123 288 117 19,145 3.30% 4.9% $115,451 $59,181 $890,806 $471,468 4.08
25 Boucherville QC 18% 42% 168 168 1.9% 59 1.6% 0.8% 9.1% 168 125 228 112 42,912 3.30% 4.9% $125,089 $63,830 $841,621 $486,259 3.89
26 Burlington ON 18% 46% 1062 1052 2.2% 103 2.0% 0.4% 5.3% 136 114 239 125 197,683 6.50% 5.9% $121,990 $62,773 $1,054,536 $870,475 7.14
27 Ajax ON 19% 56% 1150 1120 1.8% 96 1.5% 0.3% 10.5% 146 123 239 100 127,977 8.80% 5.7% $115,913 $57,253 $828,684 $896,749 7.74
28 Beaconsfield QC 18% 55% 168 168 2.7% 110 1.5% 0.6% 9.6% 169 126 219 107 20,027 1.60% 7.5% $170,986 $79,601 $1,686,729 $706,803 4.13
29 Saint-Basile-le-Grand QC 21% 50% 168 168 2.6% 60 2.7% 0.6% 10.0% 160 116 203 108 17,478 2.50% 4.9% $102,393 $49,673 $421,374 $354,539 3.46
30 Brooks AB 26% 47% 825 800 1.0% 106 1.7% 0.7% 2.0% 92 65 175 115 15,346 5.60% 6.5% $111,445 $60,593 $575,196 $332,561 2.98
31 Mississippi Mills ON 17% 41% 927 868 2.4% 115 2.1% 0.2% 2.6% 154 114 198 117 13,407 4.10% 5.1% $113,613 $59,365 $604,645 $423,263 3.73
32 Bonnyville No. 87 AB 24% 45% 825 800 0.5% 136 1.6% 0.1% 1.2% 118 71 166 86 14,658 12.90% 3.9% $144,739 $79,631 $789,157 $413,844 2.86
33 Newmarket ON 19% 53% 1150 1120 2.1% 99 2.8% 0.3% 5.6% 130 102 211 107 90,908 7.20% 5.7% $115,331 $55,510 $947,429 $920,758 7.98
34 King ON 18% 56% 1150 1120 2.6% 109 1.5% 0.0% 3.3% 135 106 206 114 26,697 18.40% 5.7% $191,070 $93,863 $2,655,435 $1,428,993 7.48
35 Markham ON 17% 58% 1150 1120 1.9% 102 1.0% 0.2% 8.4% 165 120 221 119 358,416 10.20% 5.7% $120,656 $61,094 $1,558,876 $1,329,714 11.02
36 Vaughan ON 19% 61% 1415 1150 1.8% 93 1.2% 0.2% 6.7% 137 108 212 117 332,250 8.20% 5.7% $130,190 $63,927 $1,667,910 $1,359,665 10.44
37 Aurora ON 18% 57% 1150 1120 2.8% 92 1.8% 0.3% 5.5% 165 120 221 119 59,946 6.80% 5.7% $143,759 $68,795 $1,532,968 $1,212,006 8.43
38 Varennes QC 18% 48% 168 168 1.5% 64 3.2% 0.9% 6.4% 169 139 207 117 21,966 2.70% 4.9% $102,750 $51,770 $422,404 $331,605 3.23
39 Richmond Hill ON 17% 59% 1150 1120 2.1% 96 1.3% 0.2% 7.7% 165 120 221 119 211,034 7.30% 5.7% $116,651 $57,761 $1,506,729 $1,330,432 11.41
40 Weyburn SK 21% 40% 875 635 1.2% 110 4.7% 0.8% 0.8% 136 86 169 110 11,649 4.50% 5.5% $126,439 $69,042 $871,306 $301,846 2.39
41 La Prairie QC 20% 48% 168 168 1.9% 52 1.6% 0.5% 9.8% 165 120 206 118 25,598 3.90% 4.9% $98,964 $48,880 $429,647 $373,274 3.77
42 BŽcancour QC 19% 39% 183 183 0.5% 71 2.6% 0.4% 0.6% 161 120 197 104 13,512 4.60% 4.9% $76,040 $41,955 $308,788 $206,748 2.72
43 Carleton Place ON 20% 39% 927 868 1.5% 104 4.4% 0.3% 2.5% 154 114 198 117 10,764 4.60% 5.1% $93,733 $48,710 $412,552 $348,538 3.72
44 Rouyn-Noranda QC 19% 38% 183 183 0.6% 70 5.3% 0.6% 2.1% 183 119 163 83 42,789 2.40% 4.5% $79,451 $42,204 $244,936 $240,191 3.02
45 Beloeil QC 20% 43% 168 168 2.5% 64 2.8% 0.5% 5.2% 155 123 206 117 23,196 6.80% 4.9% $90,079 $46,101 $440,488 $345,417 3.83
46 Saint-Lazare QC 20% 56% 168 168 1.7% 89 1.1% 0.4% 3.1% 159 120 199 111 20,631 4.40% 4.9% $119,771 $58,277 $765,098 $570,543 4.76
47 Sainte-Julie QC 20% 49% 168 168 1.3% 59 2.4% 0.6% 6.4% 165 120 206 118 30,449 0.50% 4.9% $107,540 $53,171 $500,566 $365,204 3.4
48 St. Albert AB 20% 48% 990 891 1.3% 102 2.2% 0.4% 4.7% 113 73 177 84 70,874 8.20% 6.8% $147,201 $80,174 $900,192 $481,835 3.27
49 Notre-Dame-de-l'ële-Perrot QC 18% 54% 168 168 1.5% 79 1.0% 0.5% 4.2% 151 117 212 113 10,863 0.90% 4.9% $108,516 $53,538 $722,418 $487,889 4.5
50 Sainte-Marie QC 21% 41% 183 183 1.9% 75 4.4% 0.5% 0.3% 156 112 184 95 14,254 6.20% 3.4% $76,595 $42,011 $354,375 $243,980 3.19
51 Pointe-Claire QC 19% 48% 168 168 3.1% 106 2.5% 0.6% 11.1% 163 119 218 117 32,687 3.50% 7.5% $105,455 $51,153 $718,811 $464,113 4.4
52 Lloydminster AB 24% 49% 825 800 0.8% 99 2.7% 0.4% 1.3% 114 68 163 83 20,489 5.70% 3.9% $140,774 $78,087 $841,349 $437,395 3.11
53 Lacombe AB 23% 46% 990 891 1.4% 106 4.0% 0.7% 0.7% 108 76 156 81 13,906 9.10% 4.9% $112,174 $62,227 $754,291 $353,740 3.15
54 Squamish BC 21% 47% 1250 1200 3.0% 114 3.4% 2.2% 1.9% 178 173 299 93 21,421 13.10% 4.3% $108,238 $55,347 $713,434 $706,062 6.52
55 Petawawa ON 26% 49% 927 868 0.6% 99 1.7% 0.5% 1.1% 170 115 181 111 17,971 5.30% 4.9% $100,569 $52,696 $249,080 $324,468 3.23
56 Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu QC 19% 40% 168 168 1.3% 65 2.9% 0.8% 4.0% 152 119 213 115 97,021 3.10% 4.9% $74,464 $37,744 $333,046 $315,632 4.24
57 Fort St. John BC 23% 46% 1250 1200 1.4% 103 6.1% 1.0% 0.8% 118 66 182 64 21,251 6.00% 5.7% $124,134 $65,534 $440,481 $385,760 3.11
58 Sainte-Catherine QC 18% 46% 168 168 1.5% 63 1.8% 0.3% 6.2% 163 119 218 117 18,069 2.70% 4.9% $85,723 $43,283 $285,925 $320,575 3.74
59 Caledon ON 18% 57% 1150 1120 2.2% 102 1.2% 0.2% 2.3% 151 112 195 105 73,540 13.40% 5.7% $137,824 $68,182 $1,321,060 $954,983 6.93
60 Gatineau QC 19% 41% 183 183 1.4% 67 2.9% 1.2% 10.9% 161 118 216 117 288,092 5.10% 5.6% $84,084 $41,606 $307,189 $324,369 3.86
61 Mercier QC 20% 48% 168 168 1.2% 60 2.1% 0.2% 4.6% 139 112 213 117 14,101 11.00% 4.9% $87,655 $44,297 $387,296 $326,146 3.72
62 Pickering ON 16% 52% 1150 1120 2.5% 105 1.7% 0.2% 8.2% 146 123 239 100 98,642 6.00% 5.7% $122,258 $61,743 $899,725 $754,649 6.17
63 Amos QC 20% 37% 183 183 0.6% 66 9.5% 0.3% 1.5% 151 105 162 74 13,003 0.50% 4.5% $84,684 $46,553 $266,454 $237,428 2.8
64 North Grenville ON 17% 42% 998 1109 1.3% 96 2.4% 0.3% 2.6% 162 119 202 111 16,858 5.80% 5.1% $104,660 $55,411 $579,794 $393,970 3.76
65 Kirkland QC 16% 58% 168 168 2.4% 110 1.7% 0.2% 7.4% 169 126 219 107 20,629 -2.60% 7.5% $152,161 $74,459 $1,155,315 $595,637 3.91
66 Calgary AB 19% 48% 1250 1050 1.9% 101 3.0% 0.8% 10.2% 112 68 171 87 1,359,777 12.10% 8.0% $132,568 $71,277 $861,346 $563,463 4.25
67 Delta BC 17% 49% 1250 1200 2.8% 113 2.2% 0.9% 6.9% 155 152 344 64 108,076 4.50% 4.3% $114,588 $59,173 $1,159,633 $1,038,841 9.07
68 Longueuil QC 17% 39% 183 183 1.8% 61 2.4% 0.8% 13.5% 165 120 206 118 248,943 4.30% 4.9% $71,690 $36,011 $275,080 $315,177 4.4
69 Cold Lake AB 26% 49% 825 800 0.8% 106 3.4% 1.1% 2.0% 118 71 166 86 16,423 6.40% 5.7% $140,665 $76,212 $447,680 $405,090 2.88
70 Whitchurch-Stouffville ON 21% 54% 1150 1120 2.4% 94 1.5% 0.2% 4.0% 165 120 221 119 50,099 17.90% 5.7% $137,283 $68,055 $2,150,564 $1,952,512 14.22
71 Red Deer AB 21% 42% 990 891 1.5% 100 2.5% 0.7% 3.3% 119 75 153 83 107,564 8.70% 4.9% $115,055 $62,584 $628,900 $409,163 3.56
72 Kingston ON 16% 37% 927 868 1.5% 108 6.1% 1.5% 5.3% 159 123 223 99 133,328 3.50% 4.9% $92,469 $48,666 $523,250 $392,953 4.25
73 Clarence-Rockland ON 19% 44% 998 1109 1.0% 95 2.6% 0.2% 6.2% 155 122 200 113 25,356 4.40% 5.1% $106,873 $57,235 $402,038 $352,625 3.3
74 Grimsby ON 18% 45% 1062 1052 2.2% 110 1.8% 0.4% 1.6% 163 135 244 121 27,975 5.20% 5.9% $112,668 $60,394 $794,933 $634,400 5.63
75 Waterloo ON 16% 48% 1325 1085 2.0% 105 3.9% 1.2% 4.5% 166 119 208 116 109,671 5.10% 5.7% $113,386 $57,000 $834,766 $557,790 4.92
76 Centre Wellington ON 19% 44% 1085 1020 1.9% 120 3.1% 0.4% 1.0% 179 130 208 106 29,193 4.80% 5.7% $107,024 $55,874 $736,459 $531,477 4.97
77 Brampton ON 20% 58% 955 1128 1.1% 105 1.1% 0.2% 6.9% 146 113 229 122 657,141 13.80% 5.7% $101,848 $50,979 $777,012 $924,715 9.08
78 Dorval QC 15% 43% 168 168 2.5% 102 2.8% 0.8% 12.3% 163 119 218 117 19,900 5.20% 7.5% $93,966 $46,167 $651,561 $483,123 5.14
79 Granby QC 19% 35% 168 168 1.2% 71 3.2% 0.5% 1.2% 179 127 210 106 68,643 4.90% 4.9% $67,247 $34,786 $307,300 $275,606 4.1
80 Oak Bay BC 16% 38% 1250 1200 3.2% 120 5.3% 4.1% 5.4% 176 171 293 86 18,081 0.10% 5.6% $152,785 $78,903 $2,269,821 $1,257,417 8.23
81 Saint-Amable QC 22% 49% 168 168 1.2% 52 2.1% 0.6% 2.7% 155 123 206 117 12,797 10.30% 4.9% $76,891 $36,896 $276,791 $307,616 4
82 North Vancouver (DM) BC 18% 52% 1250 1200 4.5% 113 2.1% 1.3% 9.0% 175 114 212 31 90,687 4.10% 4.3% $137,752 $69,919 $1,869,495 $1,527,070 11.09
83 Victoriaville QC 20% 35% 183 183 0.6% 74 3.1% 0.7% 1.3% 165 123 194 100 47,344 5.40% 5.8% $64,819 $36,213 $289,118 $207,980 3.21
84 New Tecumseth ON 17% 43% 1150 1120 1.4% 106 2.5% 0.6% 1.6% 155 115 216 122 36,745 12.30% 5.7% $111,288 $58,344 $755,965 $583,646 5.24
85 Lincoln ON 20% 45% 939 846 1.5% 121 2.5% 0.4% 1.0% 163 135 244 121 24,341 4.00% 5.9% $101,650 $54,604 $894,324 $684,219 6.73
86 Ingersoll ON 19% 42% 939 846 1.6% 114 2.6% 1.2% 0.7% 165 124 223 119 13,134 3.40% 6.3% $88,521 $48,035 $387,837 $349,998 3.95
87 Québec QC 17% 36% 183 183 2.4% 64 4.6% 1.2% 10.2% 175 118 195 94 547,828 3.30% 4.7% $76,890 $40,708 $332,822 $332,155 4.32
88 Canmore AB 17% 38% 1250 1050 2.8% 99 7.8% 3.6% 0.9% 141 87 159 64 14,930 8.90% 5.1% $129,959 $70,711 $1,478,315 $912,436 7.02
89 Saint-Hyacinthe QC 20% 33% 168 168 1.0% 73 5.7% 1.0% 1.6% 158 123 209 116 56,743 3.60% 4.9% $64,807 $33,503 $306,316 $284,854 4.4
90 Lakeshore ON 19% 50% 998 879 0.9% 105 1.1% 0.3% 0.4% 150 120 249 139 37,854 4.80% 5.9% $105,568 $58,512 $689,817 $403,178 3.82
91 Camrose AB 20% 36% 990 891 1.4% 109 5.8% 0.5% 0.7% 114 75 165 83 19,488 5.50% 3.9% $98,525 $56,056 $519,846 $319,733 3.25
92 Châteauguay QC 19% 43% 168 168 1.3% 87 1.8% 0.3% 6.8% 163 119 218 117 50,987 5.00% 4.9% $79,267 $41,174 $318,353 $300,633 3.79
93 Kincardine ON 18% 38% 1085 1020 0.5% 108 4.5% 0.6% 1.1% 175 129 196 113 11,633 1.40% 4.9% $115,483 $60,708 $671,698 $476,608 4.13
94 Drummondville QC 19% 36% 168 168 0.6% 68 2.7% 0.5% 1.3% 159 117 210 109 77,721 4.90% 5.8% $63,786 $34,610 $281,253 $250,140 3.92
95 Trois-Rivières QC 17% 34% 183 183 2.0% 69 3.0% 0.7% 2.3% 161 120 197 104 137,525 2.70% 7.8% $65,942 $35,236 $256,258 $209,497 3.18
96 Deux-Montagnes QC 18% 45% 168 168 1.5% 64 1.9% 0.6% 12.7% 169 126 219 107 18,182 1.70% 6.3% $82,985 $41,017 $266,651 $288,484 3.48
97 Rimouski QC 18% 35% 183 183 0.9% 72 4.9% 0.7% 1.7% 167 116 197 72 50,292 4.30% 6.8% $70,985 $38,237 $284,333 $227,673 3.21
98 Kenora ON 18% 38% 868 825 1.5% 109 5.0% 1.1% 0.7% 153 89 186 91 16,126 2.70% 5.4% $91,747 $53,613 $393,164 $347,395 3.79
99 Saugeen Shores ON 17% 34% 1085 1020 0.6% 121 4.5% 0.9% 2.3% 163 117 209 110 14,109 6.00% 4.9% $129,294 $66,705 $777,845 $502,673 3.89
100 Grande Prairie AB 23% 46% 990 891 1.1% 98 2.3% 0.6% 2.7% 128 80 167 78 69,175 11.20% 5.1% $124,030 $65,374 $494,559 $443,906 3.58

[1] In closest major city/region