Most Dangerous Cities in Canada

What Are the Most Dangerous Cities in Canada?

Canada is well known for being a friendly and safe country, and in many cases this is true. But no country is a perfectly safe utopia, and it’s important for citizens to know which areas of Canada have significantly higher rates of crime. Fortunately, business and home owners can add safety measures– such as home alarm systems– to keep their businesses and homes safe wherever they work or live. In this post, we’ll look at the most recent statistics and compare which Canadian cities have higher rates of crime so that you can stay informed and protected.

Canadian Crime Statistics: Where Does the Data Come From?

Canada’s national statistics office, Statistics Canada, provides Canadians with important data regarding the country’s environment, economy and society so that citizens can be knowledgeable and effective decision makers. Statistics Canada does an excellent job publishing detailed data on incidences of crime across Canada each year. Data for 2020, which was released on July 7, 2021, shows crime statistics sorted by various characteristics and categories. Although the database is an excellent and readily available resource, it can be difficult to navigate, so we’ve pulled out the most relevant information and organized it right here in an easy-to-read format.

Crime Severity Index: A Key Crime Indicator for Canadian Provinces

The acronym CSI does not just refer to a popular American crime show– in Canadian crime data, CSI stands for Crime Severity Index. The CSI measures the volume and severity of police-reported crime in Canada, with a base index value of 100 for 2006. Canada’s overall CSI in 2020 is 73.4.

2020 Canadian Crime Statistics

Fortunately, the most recent data shows that, according to Statistics Canada, “All measures of the CSI—the overall CSI, the Violent CSI and the Non-violent CSI—decreased for the first time after five years of increases.” The declining CSI in 2020 may be attributed to the pandemic as quarantines and shutdowns kept more people out of trouble and at home. Several specific cities, however, have experienced upticks in crime within their cities.

Canadian Crime Hot Spots

Although overall Canadian crime rates have decreased in 2020, it is still important to note what cities continue to show the highest crime rates. Looking at the overall CSI, Lethbridge, Alberta has the highest value of 138.65. Winnipeg, Manitoba ranks second most dangerous with a CSI of 116.29, and Kelowna, British Columbia ranks third at 111.90. It is significant to note the eight cities that actually had upticks in their overall CSI from 2019-2020. Peterborough, Ontario experienced the highest increase of crime by 13.62% (62.06 CSI overall), followed by cities such as Greater Sudbury, Ontario (87.83 overall, +6.54%) and Kingston, Ontario (70.62, +3.58%).

Violent Crime Rates for Canadian Cities

Magnifying the data to look at the rates of violent crime in Canadian cities tells another story. Canada’s overall violent crime CSI is 87.03, also trending down looking at the overall country from 90.30 in 2019. Specifically looking at violent crime rates, Winnipeg, Manitoba ranks most dangerous with a CSI value of 154.81, while Thunder Bay, Ontario ranks almost as high (152.53) and Regina, Saskatchewan ranks third at 126.97. Looking at rates of violent crime, a startling 17 cities faced upticks in their violent crime CSI values. The three cities with the highest growth of violent crime CSI are Guelph, Ontario with a 25.79% CSI increase (63.06 overall), Peterborough, Ontario (81.22, +23.30%), and Sherbrooke, Quebec (68.51, +22.23%).

Non-Violent Crime Rates for Canadian Cities

When examining rates of non-violent crime, Lethbridge, Alberta ranks most dangerous with a high CSI value of 148.87. Kelowna, British Columbia ranks second at 117.74 and Moncton, New Brunswick ranks third (112.15). Just as other CSI metrics have had a number of cities increase their overall and violent crime rates, six cities experienced a growth in their non-violent crime severity rates from 2019 to 2020. The three cities with the highest growths of non-violent crime are Peterborough, Ontario (55.02 CSI overall, +9.08), Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Ontario (70.83, +3.75%) and Halifax, Nova Scotia (53.84, +2.75%). Interestingly, Abbotsford-Mission, British Columbia experienced no percent change in its non-violent CSI from 2019-2020.

Cities in Prairie Provinces Show Highest Crime Rates in Canada

The 2020 data shows that the highest CSI values are found in cities in the Prairie Provinces– Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba– alongside significant growth in neighboring provinces, namely British Columbia and Ontario. As business reopen and citizens travel across the country, crime rates may continue to rise throughout Canadian cities. But no matter where you live, an ADT (now Telus) monitored alarm system from Alarm Guard ensures you are always safe and protected. You can even save big on your homeowner’s insurance with an ADT (now Telus) system!

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Looking for information on a province level? Check out the companion piece: Most Dangerous Provinces in Canada.


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