In other words, cities with the mildest winters on average. Rainfall, heat waves, and other meteorological events aside, if Montreal's -30 degree winters have proven to be too much torture for you, then these are the cities you need to consider.
There’s nothing Canadians love more than talking about the weather and when they’re choosing a place to live, minimizing the number of days they’ll spend shoveling snow can be an important factor. Toronto, which isn’t particularly known for its great weather, has milder winters compared to the rest of Canada than you might realize, with 264 days per year above 0 °C.
Mild winters are the most important factor in our ranking of the cities with the best weather, with seven out of 10 points in the category dedicated to the number of days above 0 °C. We also reward communities with dry climates, with two points dedicated to the number of days per year without rain or snow.
Maclean’s Best Communities in Canada ranks 415 cities across the country based on 10 categories: Wealth and economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, amenities and culture. While chilly Canadian winters can be a lot of fun (think ice-skating on frozen canals, skiing down snowy mountains, or watching the Northern Lights dance in the winter sky), not everyone is willing to brave the frigid temperatures of the Great White North.
There's a clear theme to the destinations on this list: most of them are located in Canada's westernmost province, British Columbia. Although BC is home to some of the best ski areas in the world, many of its coastal communities benefit from warmer temperatures and mild climates.
While St. Catharines is warmer than other places in Ontario, it still gets pretty chilly in deep winter. If you want to escape the cold but prefer not to get caught in the rain, check out Kelowna, British Columbia.
In the summer, this is a popular destination for travelers: the weather is hot, and the lake is perfect for just about every water activity you can imagine. If you've got your heart set on visiting Canada's beautiful East Coast in the winter, the warmest city to travel to is Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia.
There are lots of options for embracing the white fluffy stuff, from snowshoeing to cross-country skiing to tobogganing on Citadel Hill. A side benefit of visiting Halifax in the winter is that all of its attractions are significantly less busy than in the touristy summer months.
If you're visiting Vancouver in the winter and are desperate for a break from the gray skies and rainy weather, keep your eye on the forecast in White Rock. Then, grab a long lunch at one of the many restaurants overlooking the ocean before heading back up to Vancouver.
White Rock is the perfect way to get a much-needed dose of vitamin D in the middle of winter. When it comes to weather, St. John's, Newfoundland, is known for a few different things: it is the #1 windiest, foggiest, and cloudiest city in Canada.
When you're ready to dry off, head to downtown St. John's and check out the local shops, stopping for a coffee or tea to warm up. You can easily fill a day exploring The Rooms, a stunning museum celebrating Newfoundland's rich history and impressive artists.
However, there are plenty of incredible indoor attractions all winter long, including cultural attractions (like the Royal Ontario Museum or the Art Gallery of Ontario) and professional sports games (namely, the Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs). It’s true, best depends entirely on what’s important to you…so, since we’re fans of getting the biggest bang for your buck, we largely based our rankings on economic factors, including estimated cost of living, average house prices, and average rental costs, among other things.
Moncton is a city on the rise, with an increasing number of people moving here from other parts of Canada to take advantage of the low house prices and cost of living. On the Bay of Fundy, Saint John is an active port and industrial city, but is rapidly expanding into technology and other more modern businesses.
Not only is Saint John a beautiful city surrounded by some of the most gorgeous landscapes in the country, it also boasts some of the lowest real estate prices in Canada. If you’re looking for a move and can either work from home or find a tech job in Saint John, you’ll probably be able to get a pretty sweet deal on a house.
And if you love hiking and camping, Newfoundland is the place to be, with endless trails and breathtaking views. On the GO transit line, Hamilton is a bedroom community for commuters to the Big Smoke (Toronto), but the city center has been gentrifying quickly.
Where once Hamilton lacked upscale restaurants and entertainment, the city is now an embarrassment of riches. Today, London is moving further away from manufacturing, and transitioning more to technology with a focus on the “Digital Creative” sector.
As the seat of the Canadian government, you wouldn’t think there’s a lot to really get excited about in Ottawa, but you’d be wrong. With so many embassies and visitors from around the world, you can find an excellent restaurant serving up almost any type of food you can imagine.
And of course, Ottawa hosts the biggest Canada Day celebration in the country, with a huge amount of downtown area being closed for the party. Situated in the heart of Alberta, Edmonton has long been the home of some of Canada ’s top technology companies, as well as hosting a range of entertainment and cultural events.
Winters are somewhat milder than in other parts of Canada because of the surrounding waters, although it does get an awful lot of snow, with a yearly average of 224 cm. PEI is one of the prettiest places in Canada, however, so all that snow might just be worth it for the lovely summers you’ll get.
It may come as a surprise, but Calgary is Canada ’s third largest city, with a 2016 population of over 1.2 million people. And while Toronto is pretty great, Calgary is more spread out, has a lower median age, and is significantly less expensive to live in.
Economic activities also include film and TV, technology, logistics, manufacturing, and financial services. We started by compiling a list of 25 cities in Canada, taking the most populous from each province and territory.
We then compiled data, including median income, average house price, crime rates, and everything else we mention in the article. We couldn’t find a complete set of concrete data for all cities, and we dropped those off the list since judging them wouldn’t be possible or fair.
To come up with our top 10 best places to live in Canada, we took a look at a handful of the biggest cities from all provinces and territories, then ranked those based largely on economic factors. The 3 cities on our list with the lowest average annual snowfall are Hamilton, Edmonton, and Calgary.
If you prefer more temperate weather, year round,, St. John’s, and Hamilton are your go-to cities from our top 10 list.