When most people think of beautiful places in Canada, they tend to think of mountains, lakes and forests. However, the country has some very beautiful cities too. Here are 20 of the most beautiful Canadian cities that are also great to live in.
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Ottawa has the highest standard of living in Canada and among the functional government buildings you’ll also find plenty of architectural gems. It also happens to be one of the top 10 best places for Canadians to retire.
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Quebec City, Quebec
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quebec City is the only city in Canada and the United States to still have its original city walls. With its fairytale architecture, the capital of Quebec is often rated as the most beautiful city in Canada.
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Best known for the internationally-acclaimed Stratford Festival, Stratford is located amid farm country on the banks of the Avon River. The city also boasts stunning Victorian architecture.
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At first glance, Winnipeg doesn’t look like anything special but look closer and you’ll see a collection of stunning parks and innovative architecture. The city’s historic terracotta buildings are the most extensive collection of its kind in North America.
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Vancouver, British Columbia
Its diverse scenery has made Vancouver a popular filming location, earning it the nickname Hollywood North. The city boasts mild weather, stunning beaches and a laid-back attitude, making it a paradise – albeit an expensive one – to live in.
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With its skyscrapers overlooking the greenery of Prince’s Island Park, Calgary can easily remind you of New York City. This resemblance is continued in the diverse, vibrant inner-city neighbourhoods but the Stampede Grounds and the Scotiabank Saddledome remind you that you’re on the edge of the Prairies.
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It may sound like a bit of a stretch to call Saskatoon the Paris of the Prairies simply because of its bridges and art nouveau buildings. However, the city is surprisingly sophisticated, with plenty of galleries, festivals and one of Canada’s highest rates of restaurants per capita.
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Halifax, Nova Scotia
Often ranked as one of Canada’s best cities to live in, Halifax is home to great beaches, beautiful parks and stunning historic buildings. The city is also known for its warm atmosphere and vibrant nightlife.
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The Yukon’s only city, Whitehorse’s beauty lies in its spectacular natural surroundings. This is a city for lovers of the great outdoors and also has less air pollution than any other city in the world.
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Victoria, British Columbia
The capital of British Columbia is also known as the Garden City because of its abundance of green space. Victoria is renowned for its high quality of life and its pleasant warm climate.
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Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Quaint Charlottetown is one of only two cities on Prince Edward Island. The island’s capital, Charlottetown is known for its many historic buildings and delicious seafood.
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Kelowna, British Columbia
Nestled between vineyards and the shores of Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is popular with tourists and retirees alike. In the warmer months, people are drawn here for watersports; in fall it’s time for wine-tasting and in winter the action is found at the nearby ski resorts.
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Fredericton, New Brunswick
Located on the banks of the Saint John River, Fredericton is a haven for artists, writers and poets. They find inspiration in the City of Stately Elms’ historic architecture, parks and tree-lined streets.
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Cambridge was formed by amalgamating several separate communities, each of which still retains its unique character. The city's historic industrial buildings give it an old-time character and in recent years, Cambridge has been a filming location for several acclaimed TV series.
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St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John’s is believed to be the oldest English-founded city in North America. Its hilly terrain and brightly coloured old buildings are reminiscent of San Francisco; so is the fog.
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Nanaimo, British Columbia
Located on the east coast of Vancouver Island and due west from Vancouver, Nanaimo is a popular seaside destination. It enjoys a mild climate and is especially famous for its annual bathtub races.
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The world’s second largest mainly French-speaking city, Montreal is highly rated for its livability. It has more university students per capita than any other North American city and is ranked as the best city for studying abroad.
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Located at the confluence of the Saguenay and St. Lawrence rivers, Saguenay is decidedly French. Surrounded by farmland and wilderness, it’s a paradise for foodies and nature lovers alike.
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Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador
Corner Brook has the amenities of a big city but the atmosphere of a small town. In the warmer months, the waters here are frequented by whales, dolphins and cruise ships while in winter, the area around Corner Brook offers some of the best skiing east of the Rockies.
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Saint John, New Brunswick
Saint John was the first incorporated city in what would become Canada. Its location where the Saint John River flows into the Bay of Fundy makes it a popular cruise-ship port. Saint John is home to the curious Reversing Rapids (Falls), when the tides force the river to flow backwards.