The 8 Best Canadian Cities to Raise Kids
Raising a healthy and happy family in 2019 is tougher than ever, what with rising costs of living, safety concerns and the countless other variables that come into play when you’ve got little ones to consider. We’ve done some digging to bring you eight Canadian cities that earn top marks when it comes to fostering healthy lifestyles and thriving communities that prioritize the success of their local families.
Most affordable childcare: Montreal, QuebecIn a 2017 study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), it was revealed that Montreal (and Quebec cities at large) accounted for the most affordable childcare services across Canada. Montreal was named the least expensive city for full-time infant care, with parents paying fees of $168 per month on average – a cost that increased ten-fold in Toronto, laying claim as the country’s most expensive city for childcare.
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Highest family earning power: Calgary, AlbertaIn a Canadian census where households were ranked by median family income, Calgary takes the top spot with $104,410, with Edmonton following close behind in second place. In 2015, Calgary was credited with being home to the highest number of millionaires per capita amongst all major Canadian cities and in 2018, The Economist placed Calgary in fourth place on its annual Global Livability Index.
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Most affordable housing: Saint John, New BrunswickAccording to BNNBloomberg.ca, Saint John takes top spot as one of the most affordable housing markets in Canada – and that’s based on a report they did with single-income buyers in mind. Factoring in families and double-incomes, this only becomes a more attractive selling feature when considering what city to call home.
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Best education: Ottawa, OntarioLittle ones grow up fast – and an aspect of life that’s never far from a parents’ mind is education. Beyond daycare and primary school, secondary and post-secondary education are key factors for families in narrowing down where to plant roots. Often coined Canada’s “smartest city,” Ottawa, as reported by The National Post, takes top spot for the city with the highest number of university degrees at 31.5%, with Toronto and Calgary trailing close behind at the time of this study.
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Most family-friendly city: Quebec City, QuebecOf Canada’s most “family-friendly” city, CanadianFamily.ca lists Quebec City in the top spot, highlighting their excellent health care, affordable housing, medical system and low crime rate as key factors for what the article notes as a “clear number-one finish.”
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Highest employment rate: Guelph, OntarioFor Canadians, job security plays a crucial role in the stability and long-term success of any growing family, which is why a healthy employment rate is always attractive when weighing the options of where to live. In the final quarterly Regional Labour Market Report Card for 2018 from the Bank of Montreal, the numbers indicate that the city of Guelph is thriving in the top spot, with an employment rate of just over 67% and an unemployment rate of 2.3%.
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Most active city: Vancouver, British ColumbiaExpedia.ca ranked Vancouver as Canada’s “most active city” in 2018, citing it’s vast green space and popular recreational activities as main factors. From running and hiking, bicycling, gyms and outdoor activities, Vancouver is the ultimate playground for active-living enthusiasts. A city that sets that bar high for healthy lifestyles and offers countless year-round options for staying active, it’s not surprising so many families weigh these pros over the otherwise high costs of daily life in this booming city.
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The best overall city to raise kids: Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, QuebecFrom daycare to recreation, household income, climate and transportion – just to name a few variables – the Montreal suburb of Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville in southwestern Quebec ranks in at the top of best places in Canada to raise kids. Of it’s most impressive highlights: high median household income of just over $97,000 (according to AreaScore.ca), low unemployment rates (below 5% as of 2018) and affordable housing at an average value of $454,000 for primary real estate, according to MoneySense, who tapped this as the “best place to raise a family” in Quebec in 2018.
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