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Best Places to Move in Canada

June 06, 2023
Plan 6 Great Room at Citrus at New Haven by Brookfield Residential in Ontario Ranch CA

Canada is a popular destination for individuals and families looking to relocate for various reasons, including a high standard of living, excellent health care, and diverse cultural experiences.

If you’re moving from one Canadian province to another, there are a few things you should prepare for. We’ve provided some information in this guide. Here are some of the best places to live in Canada and important information for American homebuyers.

12 Best Places to Live in Canada

1. Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is Alberta's largest city and is known for its thriving economy and excellent job opportunities, quickly becoming a hub for technology and innovation. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Calgarians can also enjoy mountain sports and camping all year round, with Calgary averaging 333 days of sunshine each year.

Calgary is home to 1.4 million people, a young population with a median age of just over 37 years old. More than 120 languages are spoken in this city, which is considered the third most diverse in the nation. Calgary also offers excellent schools, and a wide range of cultural attractions, and a great food scene.

Check out the attractive and affordable Brookfield Residential homes in Calgary and nearby Airdrie, in communities called Chinook Gate, Cranston’s Riverstone, Creekstone, Crown Park, Livingston, Rockland Park, Seton, and University District.

2. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Charlottetown is the capital of Prince Edward Island and is known for its charming small-town feel, excellent food scene, and friendly people. With a rich history and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, Charlottetown is a great place to live for people who want a slower pace of life.

Charlottetown is a historic city of around 40,000 people, many of whom are retired. The city features a centrally planned downtown with Victorian houses and buildings. It is considered the “Birthplace of Confederation” of the Canadian nation.

3. Edmonton, Alberta

Edmonton is the capital of Alberta and is home to a thriving arts and culture scene, as well as excellent universities and healthcare facilities. The city is also known for its stunning river valley park system, which offers plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities.

It’s the fifth largest city in Canada, with a population of just over 1 million people, which makes it the northernmost city in North America with a million residents. The average age in Edmonton is just over 38 years old. It’s considered a great city for families.

Brookfield Residential builds beautiful homes in five communities in Edmonton: Chappelle Gardens, Edgemont, The Orchards, Paisley, and Parkland.

4. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax is a charming coastal city known for its friendly people, rich history, and excellent seafood. With a thriving arts and culture scene, great universities, and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, Halifax is a perfect place to live for people who want a slower pace of life.

Halifax is a fast-growing city, gaining population by 4.5% between 2021 and 2022, bringing it up to 480,000 people. The city is known for its affordable property and has the world’s second-largest natural harbor. It’s the hub of Atlantic Canada, with a rich history and beautiful landscapes.

5. Kingston, Ontario

Kingston is a charming historic city located on the shores of Lake Ontario. The city is known for its excellent schools, picturesque downtown, and abundance of recreational activities.

Kingston’s population is 132,000 people, with an average age of just under 43 years old. Three universities are in Kingston, including Queen’s University, the Royal Military College of Canada, and St. Lawrence College. The city brags that it has the most Ph.D. graduates per capita in Canada.

6. Montreal, Quebec

Montreal is known for its European charm, vibrant nightlife, and excellent food scene. With a mix of French and English cultures, Montreal is a great place to live for those who want to experience a unique blend of North American and European lifestyles.

Montreal is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest metropolitan area in the nation behind Toronto. It has the highest number of restaurants per capita in the nation and the second highest in North America after New York City. Many also believe it has the best deli scene on the continent.

7. Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa is the capital of Canada and is known for its beautiful architecture, excellent schools, and abundance of green spaces. The city is a great place to live for those who enjoy the outdoors and want to be close to nature.

There are more than 1 million people living in Ottawa, averaging just under 41 years old. Ottawa is home to 29 museums, including 12 national museums, the National Gallery, the National Arts Centre, and historic sites.

8. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Saskatoon is a rapidly growing city with a thriving arts and culture scene, excellent schools, and plenty of job opportunities. With an affordable cost of living and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, Saskatoon is a great place to live for families or young professionals.

Saskatoon is home to 266,000 residents, averaging just under 39 years old. Saskatoon is home to major industries, including agriculture, gas, manufacturing, mining, and oil. The area that Saskatoon was built on has been inhabited for 5,000 to 8,000 years.

9. St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John's is a charming coastal city known for its colorful houses, friendly people, and rich history. With an abundance of natural beauty, excellent seafood, and a thriving arts and culture scene, St. John's is a great place to live for people who want to experience a unique way of life.

About 113,500 people live in St. Johns on the island of Newfoundland, the largest city in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The most recognizable landmark among the colorful homes is the Cabot Tower, a castle-like structure built in commemoration of John Cabot’s voyage to Newfoundland in 1497.

10. Toronto, Ontario

Toronto is Canada's largest city and is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, diverse population, and excellent job opportunities. The city is also home to world-class museums, galleries, and restaurants. Toronto is a great choice for people who want a big city experience.

Toronto is the largest metropolis in Canada, with 3 million people in the city and 6.5 million in the region. It’s the fourth most populous city in North America. It is home to the CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure on land outside Asia.

Check out the master-planned communities and contemporary home designs of Brookfield Residential’s new construction homes throughout Ontario in Baxter, Midhurst, Pickering, and Whitby.

11. Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver consistently ranks as one of the most livable cities in the world. Known for its mild climate, stunning natural scenery, and vibrant arts and culture scene, Vancouver is a great place to live for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, and creatives alike.

Vancouver is home to 662,000 people, with 2.6 million in the Greater Vancouver area. Its residents have an average age of 42. It has one of the largest cruise ship terminals in the world. Vancouver is also a major hotbed for film and television production due to being in the same time zone as Los Angeles, its diverse geography, and generous government subsidies.

12. Victoria, British Columbia

Located on Vancouver Island, Victoria is a quaint coastal city with a laid-back vibe. Known for its mild climate, beautiful architecture, and abundance of parks and gardens, Victoria is a great place to live for retirees or those looking for a quieter lifestyle.

Victoria has a population of just under 92,000, with an average age of 45. It’s the capital of British Columbia, less than 200 miles from Seattle. It’s known as Canada’s Garden City for the variety of flowers growing there.

How to Buy a House in Canada as an American

Many Americans consider Canada a great place to purchase a home, whether as a primary or secondary residence. If you're an American looking to buy a home in Canada, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Be aware of the exchange rate: As an American, you'll need to convert your U.S. dollars to Canadian dollars when buying a home in Canada. Be mindful of the exchange rate and factor that into your budget.
  • Consider hiring a lawyer: Hiring a lawyer can be helpful when buying a home in Canada, as they can help you navigate the legal and tax implications of purchasing property in another country.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Just like in the U.S., it's important to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking for a home in Canada.
  • Work with a real estate agent: Working with a knowledgeable local real estate agent is important when buying a home in Canada. They can help you navigate the local market and ensure that you're getting a fair deal.

Find out more in our guide for U.S. citizens buying Canadian homes.

Overall, Canada is a great place to live and work, with many excellent cities and towns to choose from. If you're considering a move to Canada, do your research and work with experienced professionals to make the process as smooth as possible.

Find Out What to Know About Buying a Home

Whether for a primary or secondary, buying a home is a major decision. Picking the right city, and knowing how to buy in another country, is important. The Brookfield Residential blog has resources and tips that can make your experience easier. You can get a list of resources for first-time buyers in Canada, energy-saving tips for homeowners in Canada and the U.S., and more.

To find out more about what our communities have to offer, contact us when you're ready.