Safest Small Cities in Canada

Often underrated, there are many reasons to live in or visit small cities, towns, and villages. They offer a different way of life that’s typically more affordable with a lower cost of living. The pace tends to be slower, so people can relax with a type of peace and quiet that’s unavailable in most big cities or the suburbs. Small towns also tend to be safer. Even in Canada, where crime is low compared to many parts of the world, many small towns offer some of the lowest crime rates, and below is a list of some of the safest small cities in Canada.

Benefits of Small City Living

Some of the best quality of life can be found in small towns and cities in Canada. Here are just a few of the benefits of choosing a smaller city to reside in or travel to:

  • Lower cost: due to a higher demand and greater competition, the cost of buying and renting tends to be significantly higher in larger cities and communities. This is also true for vacationing—smaller towns often offer great accommodations for significantly less.
  • Greater sense of community: especially after residing in a smaller community, long-lasting connections begin to form due to the slower pace of life and decreased anonymity. The enhanced community involvement can help decrease loneliness and promote a healthier, happier life.
  • Decreased crime: with decreased population tends to come a decreased crime rate. Plus, residents tend to know each other, the general happenings around town, and the community, so crime can be harder to hide. That’s not to say crime doesn’t exist—no place is perfect, and some small towns, unfortunately, do have higher crime rates. But the safest small cities in Canada tend to be safer than even the safest big cities.
  • Relaxed pace: in most small towns, you can say goodbye to (or at least decrease) the stress and congestion from traffic, pollution, and the hustle and bustle of fast-paced city life. Slow down and appreciate all the beauty of a small town from the friendly community to the natural scenery as you breathe in naturally cleaner air.
  • Improved mental health: according to Dutch researchers, city dwellers are 11% more likely to experience anxiety disorders and 39% more likely to have mood disorders than people who live in smaller towns and rural locations. This is often due to their ability to spend more time in the great outdoors, which strongly supports mental health.
safest small cities in Canada
Photo by James Wheeler

Safest Small Cities in Canada

While smaller cities and towns tend to be safer than larger cities, that’s not always the case. And security and safety are a big concern for many of us. Fortunately, these safe small cities in Canada also offer a great quality of life.

Rankings are based on The Crime Severity Index (CSI) and the crime rate per Statistics Canada, which includes all criminal code violations from traffic offenses to drug violations to other federally determined offenses. Cities with a CSI below 60 are considered safest.

LaSalle, ON: with a CSI that’s 74% lower than the national index (at just  19.15), this small Canadian city of just over 31,000 people also boosts a relatively high-income rate and low unemployment (3%). It also offers kilometers of trails and hundreds of acres of parks where you can exercise and recreate outside without worry.

Blainville, QC: ranked as the best city to live in Quebec in 2019, Blainville is home to just over 56,000 people and boosts a crime rate that’s 61% less than the national index. Within the smaller Canadian city, you’ll find access to quality education, public service, and public transit. Best of all, 40% of the territory is made up of natural spaces for outdoor activities year-round.

Oak Bay, BC: this beautiful area of Canada is home to just over 18,000 residents and has a CSI of just 29.81, which is significantly lower than Canada’s average, making it one of the safest small cities in Canada. Though the population is low, there are still plenty of opportunities for a rich life with lots of places to recreate, exercise, and spend time outdoors.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON: a town that gets an A+ when it comes to safety with 53% less total crime and 51% less violent crime than the national Canadian average. It provides a lovely small-town feel with just over 17,000 people but because it’s also a popular tourist destination in the summer (due to its proximity to Niagara Falls), it also provides delicious food, comfortable bed and breakfasts, scenic countrysides, and more.

Saint-Sauveur, QC: another small Canadian city with an A+ rating due to its low rates of violent and total crime, this adorable mountain town is home to just under 10,000 people and is near 6 ski resorts and is a mere hour away from Montreal. If you aren’t into winter sports, there’s plenty to do when the snow melts, including biking, hiking, and golf. It also has a cute, strollable downtown for laid-back shopping and dining.

Elora, ON: if hiking, floating down the river, or paddling a kayak are your top choices for recreation, the small, safe Canadian town of Elora is a good place to land. Again, it has a low crime rate of 60% below the national average (59% lower violent crime). Plus, it has a cosmopolitan scene with shops, restaurants, and quality accommodations. Plus, it’s home to Riverfest, a growing summer music festival. It’s particularly popular with young professionals.

This is just a short list of many of the options for the safest small cities in Canada.

Yet regardless of how safe the city you live in is, there are reasons to monitor your home to better protect your family. Monitoring doesn’t only protect homes from crime. There are also plans to monitor for fire, flood, and carbon monoxide levels, which are growing concerns. Medical emergency monitoring plans also exist, to help cover every contingency. More Canadians choose ADT (now Telus) home security over most other home security companies in Canada. Call today to find out how ADT (now Telus) offers peace of mind in just four easy steps, no matter how big or small or how safe your city or town.

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