The safest cities in Canada

The critical role of security in Canadian metropolitan areas.

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Safety and security are crucial elements for thriving communities in any country. They foster trust, well-being, and a sense of belonging among residents. By prioritizing safety measures, such as well-equipped police forces, efficient emergency response systems, and community engagement initiatives, neighborhoods become more resilient and enjoyable places to live.

Today we want to shed light on the safety of all Canadian metropolitan areas, from Vancouver to Toronto, and emphasize its significance in providing secure environments for all residents. The research was done so anyone could get insight into the most important indicators that determine the safety of any community. So if you are considering relocation and in search of the most secure city to reside in, we’ll help you make an informed decision!

Criteria used to determine the safest metropolitan areas in Canada

When determining the safest city, several factors play a crucial role in assessing the overall security and well-being of a community. Factors like crime rates and the percentage of crimes solved are considered. Each indicator is carefully evaluated and assigned a weighting based on its impact on overall safety.

Number of Citizens per Police Officer

To indicate an area’s safety level, the Number of Citizens per Police Officer tool is used. Following this indicator, the higher the number, the safer the city. This can be combined with other measures to attain a comprehensive overview of the area’s safety.

Crime Severity Index (CSI)

Uses statistics to study the gravity of reported crimes within a particular geographical region. The frequency of offenses and their corresponding levels of severity all play a part in the study. Distinct weights are assigned to various types of crimes based on their potential impact on individuals and society. Policymakers, law enforcement agencies, and researchers can accurately assess the relative seriousness of crimes, track trends over time, and effectively allocate resources to develop targeted strategies for crime prevention with this tool.

Violent Crime Severity Index

Focuses on the more violent crimes such as homicide, sexual assault, robbery, etc. Calculated in a similar manner, this provides a deep-dive analysis of a specific section of crime.

Non-Violent Crime Severity Index

Reflects data from non-violent crimes such as embezzlement, white-collar crime, insider trading, fraud, etc. It encompasses all crimes that do not resort to physical violence.

Crime-Solving Rate

As its name indicates, the Crime-Solving Rate is a measurement that calculates how effectively the police force, the justice system, and other law enforcement agencies operate in the area in order to tackle crime. This can be from the number of solved cases to charges made (or lack of). By comparing the total number of crimes against the total number of solved cases, the measurement can provide an accurate way of qualifying the areas in question.


The measures used can be conveniently visualized in the comprehensive table presented below. The entirety of the data provided is current and has been acquired from Statistics Canada, the official national statistical office. In order to facilitate comparability, we have employed a technique known as min-max normalization. This particular methodology transforms the data into a scale ranging from 1 to 10, where 1 represents the lowest or worst value, and 10 represents the highest or best value within the specific categories under examination. Such an approach enables seamless comparisons between various types of data.

Calgary, Guelph, Edmonton, Peterborough, and other metropolitan areas were included in the table. To ensure accurate results, area lacking data on any of the indicators were excluded from the analysis.



Through a thorough examination of the presented data, a clear understanding emerges regarding the influence of each indicator on the overall security index of each metropolitan area. In this context, Québec City exhibits the lowest crime rate. However, it is noteworthy that a significant portion of the crimes committed within the area are of a violent nature, and the ratio of its police force to the area's population remains relatively small. Therefore, when compared to Lethbridge, which possesses the highest crime index, Québec City appears less secure.

And curiously enough, despite Lethbridge having the highest crime rate among all Canadian metropolitan areas, the majority of the offenses perpetrated are classified as non-violent. Furthermore, Lethbridge maintains a sufficient number of police officers to ensure a high rate of crime detection. Consequently, in certain respects, Lethbridge can be considered a lot safer than Québec City. So given the above, which metropolitan areas can be designated as the safest in Canada?

While Barrie boasts the lowest crime rate, the prevalence of violent crimes in this locale significantly impacts its overall safety index. Nonetheless, due to its remarkably high crime detection rate, Barrie can genuinely be regarded as one of the safest areas to reside in, alongside Brantford, Guelph, and Toronto.

Thus, based on a comprehensive analysis of the collected data, it can be concluded that Ontario stands as the safest province for individuals seeking a new place for relocation or those planning a trip.


How often are the rankings of Canada's safest cities updated?

The rankings of the safest cities in Canada are typically reviewed annually or biennially, depending on the organization or source responsible for conducting the evaluation. It's important to acknowledge that safety rankings may experience slight variations from year to year due to changes in crime rates, law enforcement structure, and other relevant factors.

Do the safest cities in Canada experience no crime at all?

Although the safest cities in Canada have notably lower crime rates compared to other areas, it's essential to recognize that no city is completely immune to all types of crime. However, the top-ranked cities have demonstrated effective safety initiatives, community engagement, and proactive measures that significantly contribute to their overall safety.

Can I rely solely on the rankings when deciding where to live or visit?

The rankings of the safest cities in Canada can serve as a valuable reference when considering potential places to relocate or visit. However, it's advisable to take into account personal preferences, individual circumstances, and specific needs beyond safety alone. It is always advisable to conduct further research and visit potential cities to assess factors such as lifestyle, employment opportunities, and cultural amenities that align with your personal requirements.