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6 Best Places to Live in Canada for Families

6 Best Places to Live in Canada for Families

Canada offers an array of beautiful cities with attractive features. But it’s not just about postcard-perfect vistas—you want to make sure your kids can thrive in a family-friendly environment.

If you’re planning to move to Canada with a family, the best places to raise children are Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Nova Scotia and Edmonton. 

These locations have the right combination of facilities, activities and other amenities that make them stand out from the rest and will provide a healthy, positive environment where your family can grow and flourish.

That’s why we’ve done some research and compiled a list of the top places in Canada for raising a family! Read on as we will give you an overview of what each city has to offer so that you can weigh up the pros and cons and decide which one is right for you.

1. Ottawa

Ottawa's Homepage

Ottawa is a great city to raise a family in. It is the capital city of Canada, and it has a population of just over 1 million people. 

There are plenty of parks, museums, and other recreational activities that can keep everyone in the family entertained.

Ottawa also has some of the safest neighborhoods in Canada. It ranked number one on the list of 2019’s safest cities according to Maclean’s magazine. Moreover, it earned an A+ grade from MoneySense magazine for its excellent overall quality of life.

If you choose Ottawa to raise your family, you can take advantage of top-notch public education and healthcare services. 

1. Education System in Ottawa

Ottawa’s educational system is top-notch with excellent teachers and plenty of specialized schools, so you can be sure that your children will get a good education here. 

The Canadian government has invested heavily into public schooling in Ottawa—it has some of the best schools that are consistently ranked at the top nationally. 

Primary schools also have a variety of programs that are geared towards helping kids develop their social and creative skills.

Best Schools in Ottawa

Canterbury High School

• Nepean High School

• Lisgar Collegiate Institute

• Ashbury College

Academie Providence

2. Job Opportunities in Ottawa

Ottawa has a thriving economy and plenty of job opportunities for everyone in the family.  

There is also a flourishing tech industry in Canada with plenty of jobs available — many international companies have their headquarters in Ottawa, including Shopify, Telus, and more!

High Paying Jobs in Ottawa

Surgeons / Doctors

Chief Financial Officers

• Chief Financial Officers

College Professors

Marketing Directors

3. Cost of Living in Ottawa

Cost of LivingOne PersonFamily of 4
Total (without rent)$778$2521
Total (with rent)$1872$4128
Rent & Utilities$1094$1607
Monthly Salary (net)$3280
Data sourced from: Living Cost

The cost of living in Ottawa isn’t too bad either, with housing prices relatively affordable compared to other cities like Toronto or Vancouver. You can enjoy the benefits of living close to nature without having to break your bank.

4. Average Income in Ottawa

On average, residents earn $3,208 CAD per month after tax and salaries range from $14,000 – $65,000 CAD annually depending on the job sector. With such high incomes, it won’t be difficult for families to get ahead financially here in Ottawa.

Why choose Ottawa to raise a family? Here’s our verdict:

With one of the highest educational rankings in the country, Ottawa is one of the best cities for families.


• Average incomes are higher than other major cities.

• A thriving technology hub offers employment opportunities for parents.

• Access to high-quality health care centers, parks and museums.

• Good public and private education options.


• High cost of living.

• Traffic congestion within the city proper.

• Limited public transportation options.

​2. Calgary

Calgary's Homepage

When it comes to finding the ideal place to raise a family in Canada, Calgary should certainly be on your list. With its combination of rich culture, plenty of job opportunities, and great schools and parks, Calgary is one of the top picks for young families.

1. Education System in Calgary

Calgary is home to several top-notch educational institutions that provide quality education to children at all levels — from elementary school right through college or university. 

With excellent teachers, successful athletics programs and thriving extracurricular activities, parents can rest assured that their children are getting the best possible education.

Best Schools in Calgary

University of Calgary

Mount Royal University

SAIT Polytechnic

Ambrose University

St Mary’s University – Calgary

2. Job Opportunities in Calgary

Calgary is an established economic leader in Canada. It’s home to a number of major industries, including oil and gas, agriculture, tourism and technology — meaning there are ample job opportunities for recent graduates as well as experienced professionals.

High Paying Jobs in Calgary

  1. Strategic Project Manager
  2. Market Recruiter Executive Assistant
  3. Cabin Crew
  4. Production Associate 
  5. Registry Agent

3. Cost of Living in Calgary

Cost of LivingOne PersonFamily of 4
Total (without rent)$839$2633
Total (with rent)$1928$4591
Rent & Utilities$1089$1958
Monthly Salary (net)$3636
Data sourced from: Living Cost

The cost of living in Calgary is lower than many other Canadian cities, making it an attractive option for many people. The average apartment rent in Calgary is less than $1,200 per month, while groceries and utilities are well below the Canadian average. 

You can even get a nice 3- or 4-bedroom home at an affordable price if you choose to buy instead of renting.

4. Average Income in Calgary

Income is also higher in Calgary than the national average—according to recent statistics, the median household income here is around $3,636 per month after tax and $90,000 per year. 

Plus, the job market is growing steadily and there’s plenty of opportunity for career advancement if you look hard enough.

Calgary could be a great place for you and your family to call home—it has all the amenities you need at prices that won’t break the bank. 

Lastly, there’s plenty of activities for kids such as parks, museums and libraries where they can learn about nature and history.

Why choose Calgary to raise a family? Here’s our verdict:

You may have heard of Calgary’s spectacular skyline and its surrounding mountains, but what you might not know is it’s one of the best places for families in Canada.


• Calgary has one of the lowest crime rates among large cities in Canada, making it one of the safest places to live for families.

• With top public and private schools, parents have plenty of options for their children’s education.

• Compared to other major cities in Canada, Calgary offers more affordable housing options and cost of living, making it a more reasonable option for families seeking a better quality of life.


• Despite some improvements over the years, Calgary is still behind other cities when it comes to public transit infrastructure.

• With hot summers and cold winters, the weather can be unpredictable which can make outdoor activities difficult at times.

​3. Vancouver

Vancouver's Homepage

Vancouver is one of the best cities in Canada for raising a family. It’s known for its stunning views of the North Shore and the ocean, plus its amazing parks and gardens. 

Plus, it’s a vibrant city with lots of cultural events, so you can always find something to do on the weekends!

1. Educational System in Vancouver

Vancouver has excellent public and private schools, with many schools offering specialized programs. With a high-quality education, Vancouver offers limitless opportunities for education.

So, you don’t have to worry about your children’s education since Vancouver schools rank as some of the best in Canada. Here you’ll find an abundance of excellent public and private schools, from elementary all the way through college level courses.

Best Schools in Vancouver

• University of British Columbia

• Simon Fraser University

• University Canada West

• Vancouver Island University

• Capilano University

2. Job Opportunities in Vancouver

Vancouver offers plenty of job opportunities in industries such as finance, real estate, tourism, technology, and manufacturing. You can also find numerous entry-level positions for people with the right skillset.

High Paying Jobs in Vancouver



Pilot Software 


Social Worker

3. Cost of Living & Average Income in Vancouver

Cost of LivingOne PersonFamily of 4
Total (without rent)$863$5237
Total (with rent)$2344$2816
Rent & Utilities$1480$2421
Monthly Salary (net)$3423
Data sourced from: Living Cost

The cost of living in Vancouver can be quite high compared to other cities in Canada due to the property prices and taxes. However, the average income is relatively high too so it can balance out if you’re able to get a good job here.

Although Vancouver’s cost of living can be pricey, there are plenty of ways to keep the cost down. Housing costs are generally higher than other parts of Canada, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be priced out—there are some great deals out there if you look for them.

There are also lots of child-friendly activities all year round in Vancouver—from outdoor swimming pools to museums, to bike paths and community centers. This gives your family plenty of options when it comes to fun experiences and learning opportunities.

Why choose Vancouver to raise a family? Here’s our verdict!

Vancouver, BC might be the third-biggest city in Canada, but it’s full of life and is especially great for families who want to embrace an active, outdoors lifestyle. 

The city offers access to the mountains and ocean, and is unique in that you can ski in the morning and go for a swim in the afternoon—a bonus for parents who love getting active with their kids.


• Beautiful scenery  and views of mountains & ocean.

• Accessible amenities and outdoor activities which are great for sports/fitness lovers.

• Strong economy & job opportunities.


• High cost of living especially for housing.

• Larger city size which can feel overwhelming at times.

• Traffic congestion is not ideal if you don’t want to drive.

​4. Toronto

Toronto's Homepage

Toronto is an excellent city for families. It has a great educational system, with public and private schools to choose from, many of which are known to be some of the best in the country.

Toronto is known as one of the most multicultural cities in the world and as such, offers something for every family. With many cultural venues and festivals, your kids can explore the unique heritage of each culture that makes up Canada.

It’s also a great city to get outdoors and explore nature. With plenty of green spaces and parks nearby, you and your family can spend time playing games or just taking in the beauty of nature in Toronto.

1. Educational System in Toronto

Toronto is home to some of the best-rated schools in the country with plenty of post-secondary options too. The great educational system makes it easy for your children to excel academically.

Best Schools in Toronto

York University

George Brown College

University of Toronto

Centennial College

Humber College

2. Job Opportunities in Toronto

Toronto offers many diverse job opportunities in tech, finance, retail, hospitality, healthcare and more. This means that you can have access to well-paying jobs for yourself and your family.

High Paying Jobs in Toronto

  1. Senior Software Engineer
  2. Physiotherapist
  3. Senior DevOps 
  4. Engineer Registered Nurse
  5. Investment Manager

3. Cost of Living in Toronto

Cost of LivingOne PersonFamily of 4
Total (without rent)$912$2924
Total (with rent)$2348$5264
Rent & Utilities$1436$2340
Monthly Salary (net)$3258
Data sourced from: Living Cost

The cost of living in Toronto is high compared to other places but you will get what you pay for when it comes to great amenities like universities, medical facilities and diverse neighborhoods with plenty of green spaces.

4. Average Income in Toronto

The average income in Toronto is around $3,258 CAD per month after tax. This means that even though the cost of living may be higher than elsewhere in Canada, there are greater opportunities for making more money if you need to support your family.

Why choose Toronto to raise a family? Here’s our verdict!

When it comes to raising a family, Toronto is a great choice. Canada’s largest city offers many advantages, including some of the country’s top-ranked schools, countless cultural activities, and globally recognized attractions like the iconic CN Tower.


• An exceptionally diverse population – the city is home to people of many different cultures, making it an ideal place to learn about and embrace cultural diversity.

• Accessibility – public transit is easy and affordable.

• Plenty of green space – Toronto features beautiful parks, gardens, and trails with stunning views.

• A vibrant arts scene – along with theaters, galleries, and music venues offering something for everyone.


• It can be difficult to find affordable housing in the city — even for smaller apartments.

• Traffic congestion can be quite bad during peak hours. 

• School enrollment can be competitive — so you have to plan ahead if you want your child to attend one of the city’s top schools.

5. Halifax

Halifax's Homepage

If you’re looking for a coastal city that combines old-world charm with modern amenities, you should consider Halifax. Nicknamed the City of Trees, Halifax is brimming with parks and trails, plus easy access to nearby beaches. 

This Atlantic port city is also home to lively festivals and some of the best seafood in Canada. Priding itself on its tight-knit and friendly community, it has much to offer in job opportunities, educational system, cost of living, and average income.

1. Educational System in Halifax

In terms of schooling, the public school system in Halifax is said to be one of the best. With a strong focus on arts and music programming, it’s no surprise that families flock to this city for its quality education opportunities.

With some of the top universities in Canada such as Dalhousie University and Saint Mary’s University, Halifax offers excellent education at various levels. The city also offers a range of primary and secondary schools that are of a high standard.

Best Schools in Halifax

Dalhousie University

Saint Mary’s University

Mount Saint Vincent University

University of King’s College

NSCAD University

2. Job Opportunities in Halifax

Halifax is the business hub for the Maritime Provinces and is well-connected with other cities in the region. It has great opportunities for employment with both private and public companies that range from finance to engineering. 

The city also has several tech startups that are well-funded and offer high salaries to new recruits.

High Paying Jobs in Halifax

  1. Registered Massage Therapist 
  2. Student Admissions Advisor
  3. Foreman and Metal Roof Installer Wanted
  4. Sales and Marketing Representative
  5. Registered Nurse 

3. Cost of Living in Halifax

Cost of LivingOne PersonFamily of 4
Total (without rent)$912$2924
Total (with rent)$2348$5264
Rent & Utilities$1436$2340
Monthly Salary (net)$3258
Data sourced from: Living Cost

Compared to other cities in Canada, the cost of living in Halifax is fairly reasonable. The city offers affordable housing options, which makes it easier for families to find suitable accommodation. 

Additionally, there are plenty of local stores that provide basic necessities at relatively low prices.

4. Average Income in Halifax

The average income in Halifax is higher than the national average for Canada which means families have more disposable income with which they can enjoy leisure activities or pursue career progressions without sacrificing their lifestyle choices.

In addition, with its multitude of activities for kids plus family-friendly restaurants and cozy cafes featuring kid-sized menus, it’s easy to see why Halifax is such a great option for families looking for a new home in Canada!

Why choose Halifax to raise a family? Here’s our verdict!

Acquiring or leasing an apartment is actually an option in Halifax, regardless of whether you’re a student looking for a job or starting a family here. 
Furthermore, the cost of living including food prices are affordable due to the high percentage of students living there.


• It features the highest number of job opportunities and the lowest unemployment rate in all of Canada. 

• It offers one of the lowest costs-of-living in all of Canada, enabling families to get more bang for their buck.


• It can be quite challenging to secure a job here without sufficient experience or a post-secondary degree. 

• Public transportation system isn’t as expansive as some other cities like Toronto or Vancouver.

6. Quebec

Quebec's Homepage

When it comes to Canada and raising a family, you might want to consider Quebec. The largest province in the country, 

1. Education System in Quebec

The education system in Quebec is top-notch. It includes kindergarten, elementary school and secondary school, all free of charge. 

So the only financial burden on you during your children’s educational journey is their materials and maybe a few trips abroad. There are also plenty of universities in Quebec, so postsecondary education is always an option. 

On top of having access to great education opportunities, many Quebec schools also offer bilingual programs, so kids can benefit from learning French while they’re young.

Best Schools in Quebec

McGill University

University of Montreal

Université Laval or Laval University

Concordia University

Université du Québec or University of Quebec

2. Job Opportunities in Quebec

Due to its thriving economy, job opportunities in Quebec are plentiful —especially for professionals who work in the IT industry. But even if you don’t specialize in IT there are still plenty of other industries that need qualified personnel.

High Paying Jobs in Quebec

  1. Geologue / Geologistdiate
  2. Claims Field Adjuster 
  3. Physician
  4. Experienced Leak Repair Technician
  5. Language Interpreter

3. Cost of Living in Quebec

Cost of LivingOne PersonFamily of 4
Total (without rent)$732$2256
Total (with rent)$1537$3651
Rent & Utilities$805$1395
Monthly Salary (net)$2828
Data sourced from: Living Cost

The cost of living can vary greatly depending on where you live in Quebec. In large cities like Montreal it might be higher than in smaller towns.

But what’s great about Canada is that it has some of the lowest living costs compared to other countries around the world. Plus, household items like food and transportation come at a good price too.

4. Average Income in Quebec

The average income for families living in Quebec is quite high compared to other parts of Canada and this could be attributed to many factors like job availability and cost of living. 

So if you’re raising your family here, rest assured that you’re probably getting paid fairly well!

Why choose Quebec to raise a family? Here’s our verdict!

Quebec City is a popular vacation spot for Canadian families. In addition to having the ideal fusion of environment, and modernity, it also has a top-notch healthcare and medical system, reasonably priced housing, and low crime rates.


• Housing is often significantly cheaper than other Canadian cities, making it attractive for growing families.

• Quebec is home to a rich blend of cultures and languages.

• Dedicated to ensuring all residents have access to quality care, the healthcare system in Quebec is one of the best in Canada.


• Winters can be harsh with heavy snowfall and cold temperatures, which may be a challenge for some families.

• English-speaking immigrants may find it challenging to adjust to the predominantly French-speaking population.

• There are plenty of jobs available in the province’s larger cities but those outside are usually limited.

The Immigration Process in Canada

The Immigration Process in Canada

A visa application can be a challenging process. Nevertheless, the good news is that it’s fairly simple, so don’t worry! You just need to be aware of the procedures to follow and the sort of visa you qualify for.

You must first decide which visa category you are eligible for before creating an Express Entry profile. This is the crucial step in comparing your profile to their requirements to see if you qualify for one of the three streams they provide.

Express Entry’s three main federal economic programs.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)Federal Skilled Workers are not required to have Canadian work experience in order to be considered for the Express Entry pool, in contrast to candidates for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). 

Instead, applicants must obtain a minimum score based on qualifications like education, work experience, and language proficiency.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)A candidate must possess at least two years of full-time job experience in a skilled trade to be eligible for FST (or an equal amount in part-time). 

Only job experience received after an applicant has been awarded the certification to conduct the trade in their country of citizenship is taken into account, and it must have been acquired within the last five years.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)A candidate must possess at least 12 months of full-time (or an equivalent number of part-time) skilled job experience in Canada to be qualified for CEC. 

The Canadian job experience must be recent—within three years of the application’s submission date.

In the visa application procedure, candidates are rated according to a detailed ranking system that takes into account their age, educational status, language proficiency, and employment history.

There is a considerable probability that you will be given residence in Canada if you fulfill all the criteria and your application receives a high rating on the scale of the extensive ranking system.

Our Final Thoughts

When it comes to the best places to raise a family in Canada, you can’t go wrong. You have the option to choose from a variety of cities that offer something special for everyone. 

Whether you’re looking for a cozy family home on the waterfront or an urban playground in the heart of the city, the cities we listed here have something for all types of families!

It’s worth noting that many people have different opinions and experiences with these cities, so if you’re considering a move to one of these towns, take the time to get to know the city and its culture first before making your decision.

On top of that, don’t forget that having good schools and amenities is only part of life—family values and community spirit are also important things to consider when thinking about raising a family. Get out there and explore!

FAQs about the Best Places to Live in Canada for Families

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