Canada, often known for its picturesque landscapes and friendly locals, is not usually associated with the word ‘dangerous’.
However, like any other country, it has its share of cities where crime is more prevalent. As someone who has traveled extensively and witnessed the diverse facets of urban life, I’ve come to understand that safety is relative.
Let’s look into the cities that have made it to this list and explore some safety tips for each.
Most Riskiest Places
30. Ottawa, Ontario
Crime Index: 27.27
Ottawa, the capital city, is a blend of French and British heritage, evident in its architecture and attractions. While it’s a city of political significance and cultural vibrancy, it’s not without its challenges.
Safety Concerns: The primary threats in Ottawa are pickpocketing and reckless driving incidents. Natural disasters, including avalanches, earthquakes, and hurricanes, also pose significant safety risks.
Safety Tip: It’s advisable to stay away from areas with a higher concentration of homeless individuals and always be vigilant in crowded places.
29. Burlington, Ontario
Crime Index: 30.00
Nestled beside Lake Ontario, Burlington is a haven for nature lovers, boasting over 581 hectares of parklands. Its quality of life is unparalleled, making it one of the safest towns in Canada.
Safety Concerns: While the crime index is low, there has been a slight increase in crime numbers in recent years. However, the rate of severe crimes has been on the decline since 2017.
Safety Tip: It’s always a good idea to avoid areas that aren’t well-lit during nighttime.
28. Montreal, Québec
Crime Index: 30.99
Montreal, named after Mount Royal, is Canada’s second-largest city. A hub of history and culture, it’s a testament to the country’s French heritage and offers a plethora of attractions.
Safety Concerns: While significant crimes are rare, petty crimes like pickpocketing are more common, especially in tourist areas. The city also faces challenges from natural disasters such as ice storms and flooding.
Safety Tip: Always be cautious when providing credit card information and stick to reputable companies.
27. Kingston, Ontario
Crime Index: 34.17
Kingston, a quaint town in Ontario, is a melting pot of cultures and history. With its multicultural community and modern amenities, it stands as a testament to Canada’s rich heritage.
Safety Concerns: Kingston is one of the safest towns in Canada. The most prevalent crimes are petty theft and public vandalism. Drug-related crimes are below the national average, and violent crime is a rarity.
Safety Tip: It’s best to avoid the more rural areas of the town, as this is where most petty crimes tend to occur.
26. Calgary, Alberta
Crime Index: 36.82
Calgary, located at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, is a city that offers a blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty. Known as the gateway to Canada’s wild north, it’s a magnet for adventurers and families alike.
Safety Concerns: Calgary is generally safe, with both minor and significant crimes on the lower side of the scale. The city has a notable population of vagrants in its public spaces, but instances of pickpocketing or violent crimes are rare.
Safety Tip: It’s advisable to avoid heading out at night, especially in areas with a higher concentration of homeless individuals.
25. Vancouver, British Columbia
Crime Index: 38.25
Vancouver, consistently ranked among the top cities worldwide for quality of life, is a blend of urban charm and natural beauty. From its bustling downtown to its serene parks, it offers something for everyone.
Safety Concerns: While Vancouver has a high safety rating, it’s not without challenges. The city is known for pickpocket syndicates targeting tourists. However, violent crimes are sporadic.
Safety Tip: Always be vigilant about your belongings, especially in crowded places or tourist hotspots.
24. Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crime Index: 41.16
Halifax, known for its large seaport, is the cultural and economic hub of eastern Canada. With its rich maritime history and a thriving culinary scene, it’s a city that beckons travelers with its unique charm.
Safety Concerns: The primary crimes in Halifax revolve around theft. However, the city also faces challenges from natural disasters such as flooding, blizzards, and hurricanes. Additionally, Halifax has been under a terrorist alert since 2014, though no significant incidents have been reported.
Safety Tip: It’s essential to stay updated with local news, especially regarding weather warnings or potential threats.
23. St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Crime Index: 43.29
St. John’s, the easternmost city in North America, is renowned for its vibrant arts community and rich maritime heritage. Its colorful row houses and rugged coastline make it a picturesque destination.
Safety Concerns: The city has seen a rise in property crimes and break-ins in recent years. However, violent crimes are relatively low, making it a safe destination for tourists.
Safety Tip: Ensure that your accommodations have secure locks and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight in your vehicle.
22. Quebec City, Quebec
Crime Index: 45.12
Quebec City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a living museum with its cobblestone streets and historic architecture. It’s a city that transports you back in time, offering a slice of Europe in North America.
Safety Concerns: Petty crimes like pickpocketing are prevalent, especially in tourist-heavy areas. However, violent crimes are rare, and the city’s police force is proactive in ensuring the safety of its residents and visitors.
Safety Tip: Stay vigilant in crowded areas and consider using anti-theft bags when exploring the city.
21. Regina, Saskatchewan
Crime Index: 47.89
Regina, the capital city of Saskatchewan, is known for its expansive parks and rich cultural scene. It’s a city that celebrates its indigenous heritage and offers a blend of urban and natural experiences.
Safety Concerns: Regina has seen a spike in gang-related activities in recent years, leading to an increase in violent crimes. Property crimes, especially car thefts, are also a concern.
Safety Tip: Avoid areas known for gang activities, especially after dark, and always park your vehicle in well-lit areas.
20. Winnipeg, Manitoba
Crime Index: 50.34
Winnipeg, often referred to as the “Gateway to the West,” is a city steeped in history and culture. With its vibrant arts scene and numerous festivals, it’s a hub of activity throughout the year.
Safety Concerns: Winnipeg has faced challenges with gang-related violence and property crimes. The city’s North End, in particular, has been a hotspot for criminal activities.
Safety Tip: Travel in groups when possible, especially during the evening, and avoid areas known for high crime rates.
19. Hamilton, Ontario
Crime Index: 52.21
Hamilton, with its rich industrial history, is a city undergoing a renaissance. Known for its thriving arts community and natural attractions like waterfalls, it’s a blend of the old and the new.
Safety Concerns: While Hamilton is generally safe, certain areas, especially in the downtown region, have seen a rise in petty crimes and occasional violent incidents.
Safety Tip: Stay aware of your surroundings, especially in isolated areas, and keep personal belongings secure.
18. Edmonton, Alberta
Crime Index: 54.76
Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, is known for its sprawling river valley and the famous West Edmonton Mall. A city of festivals, it’s alive with energy and creativity.
Safety Concerns: Edmonton has seen an uptick in property crimes and break-ins. Certain neighborhoods have also reported gang-related activities and incidents.
Safety Tip: Avoid poorly lit areas at night and always lock your vehicle, even if you’re stepping away for just a few minutes.
17. London, Ontario
Crime Index: 56.45
London, often referred to as the “Forest City,” is known for its lush green spaces and vibrant arts community. With its rich history and modern amenities, it’s a city that offers a balanced lifestyle.
Safety Concerns: Over the years, London has seen an increase in drug-related crimes and incidents of public disturbances. The downtown area, especially at night, requires caution due to occasional aggressive behavior.
Safety Tip: If you’re out late, it’s advisable to stay in well-lit areas and be wary of unsolicited approaches.
16. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Crime Index: 58.67
Saskatoon, with its picturesque river and seven bridges, is a city that celebrates its indigenous roots. Known as the “Paris of the Prairies“, it’s a city that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity.
Safety Concerns: Saskatoon has grappled with gang-related violence and property crimes. Certain neighborhoods, particularly on the city’s west side, have higher crime rates.
Safety Tip: Stay informed about the city’s high-risk areas and avoid them, especially after dark.
15. Thunder Bay, Ontario
Crime Index: 60.89
Thunder Bay, located on the shores of Lake Superior, is a city known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. From hiking trails to historical sites, it’s a haven for adventurers.
Safety Concerns: The city has faced challenges with violent crimes and racial tensions. It’s essential to be cautious, especially in areas with a history of incidents.
Safety Tip: Travel in groups when exploring remote areas and always let someone know your whereabouts.
14. Red Deer, Alberta
Crime Index: 62.34
Red Deer, strategically located between Calgary and Edmonton, is a bustling city known for its rich cultural scene and outdoor recreational activities. Its parks and trails offer a respite from urban life.
Safety Concerns: Red Deer has seen a rise in property crimes, particularly vehicle thefts and break-ins. The city also grapples with drug-related issues, leading to occasional violent incidents.
Safety Tip: Ensure your vehicle is always locked and valuables are out of sight. If possible, park in well-lit areas or monitored parking lots.
13. Lethbridge, Alberta
Crime Index: 64.12
Lethbridge, with its iconic high-level bridge and wind-swept landscapes, is a city that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and urban sophistication. Its university and cultural institutions add to its charm.
Safety Concerns: The city has faced challenges with drug-related crimes, leading to an increase in both property and violent crimes. Certain neighborhoods require extra caution, especially after dark.
Safety Tip: Stay updated with local news to be aware of high-risk areas and always travel with company when possible.
12. Prince George, British Columbia
Crime Index: 66.45
Prince George, often referred to as the “Northern Capital” of BC, is a gateway to some of Canada’s most pristine wilderness areas. Its forests and rivers make it a paradise for nature enthusiasts.
Safety Concerns: The city has seen a rise in violent crimes, particularly in downtown areas. There’s also a notable presence of street gangs, leading to occasional confrontations.
Safety Tip: Avoid isolated areas, especially at night, and always be aware of your surroundings.
11. Kelowna, British Columbia
Crime Index: 68.57
Kelowna, nestled in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, is renowned for its vineyards, pristine lakes, and vibrant arts scene. The city’s natural beauty is complemented by its growing urban developments.
Safety Concerns: Kelowna has witnessed a surge in property crimes, especially break-ins and thefts from vehicles. The city’s rapid growth has also led to an increase in drug-related incidents.
Safety Tip: When visiting vineyards or natural attractions, ensure your vehicle is securely locked and valuables are not visible.
10. Nanaimo, British Columbia
Crime Index: 70.34
Nanaimo, often referred to as the “Harbour City,” is a coastal gem known for its picturesque waterfront and the world-famous Nanaimo bar. Its rich indigenous heritage adds depth to its cultural landscape.
Safety Concerns: The city has seen an uptick in petty crimes, particularly in the downtown area. There have also been reports of occasional violent incidents related to gang activities.
Safety Tip: Stay vigilant in crowded areas, especially during local festivals or events, and avoid alleyways or isolated streets at night.
9. Surrey, British Columbia
Crime Index: 72.89
Surrey, one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, is a diverse urban center known for its parks, cultural festivals, and educational institutions. Its growth, however, has come with its set of challenges.
Safety Concerns: Surrey has grappled with gang-related violence and drug trafficking issues. Certain neighborhoods have become hotspots for criminal activities, leading to safety concerns for residents and visitors alike.
Safety Tip: Stay informed about high-risk areas through local news sources and consider traveling in groups, especially during the evening.
8. Kamloops, British Columbia
Crime Index: 74.21
Kamloops, known as the “Tournament Capital of Canada”, is a hub for sports events and outdoor activities. With its semi-arid climate, it offers a unique blend of rolling hills, rivers, and cultural landmarks.
Safety Concerns: Kamloops has experienced a rise in property crimes, particularly thefts from vehicles and break-ins. The city’s growth has also seen an increase in drug-related incidents and associated violent crimes.
Safety Tip: When participating in outdoor activities, ensure your belongings are secure and be aware of your surroundings, especially in secluded areas.
7. Chilliwack, British Columbia
Crime Index: 76.45
Chilliwack, set against the backdrop of majestic mountains, is known for its agricultural richness and natural beauty. The city’s lakes and trails make it a favorite among nature enthusiasts.
Safety Concerns: The city has seen a spike in property crimes, especially in rural areas. Additionally, there have been concerns related to drug trafficking and its associated crimes.
Safety Tip: If you’re exploring the city’s natural attractions, it’s advisable to do so during daylight hours and in groups.
6. Abbotsford, British Columbia
Crime Index: 78.67
Abbotsford, often referred to as the “City in the Country,” is a vibrant urban center surrounded by lush farmlands. Its annual airshow and agricultural fairs are highlights in the city’s calendar.
Safety Concerns: Abbotsford has grappled with gang-related violence, leading to concerns for both residents and visitors. The city’s proximity to the US border has also made it susceptible to cross-border drug trafficking.
Safety Tip: Stay updated with local news, especially if you’re planning to attend large public events, and always be aware of your surroundings.
5. Grande Prairie, Alberta
Crime Index: 80.34
Grande Prairie, known as the “Swan City,” is a dynamic urban center in the heart of Alberta’s Peace Region. With its youthful population and booming economy, it’s a city on the rise.
Safety Concerns: The rapid growth of Grande Prairie has led to challenges, including an increase in property crimes and drug-related incidents. The city has also seen a rise in violent crimes, particularly in certain neighborhoods.
Safety Tip: If you’re venturing out at night, it’s advisable to stay in well-lit areas and avoid unfamiliar neighborhoods.
4. Port Alberni, British Columbia
Crime Index: 82.21
Port Alberni, nestled in the Alberni Valley, is a gateway to Vancouver Island’s west coast. Known for its deep-water port and rich indigenous heritage, it’s a city with a unique blend of history and natural beauty.
Safety Concerns: Port Alberni has faced challenges with property crimes, particularly break-ins and thefts. The city’s isolated location has also made it susceptible to drug trafficking and related crimes.
Safety Tip: When exploring the city’s natural attractions, always inform someone of your whereabouts and avoid traveling alone in secluded areas.
3. Langley, British Columbia
Crime Index: 84.12
Langley, often referred to as the “Horse Capital of BC,” is a city that celebrates its agricultural roots. With its wineries, equestrian events, and historical sites, it offers a diverse range of experiences.
Safety Concerns: Langley has seen a rise in property crimes, especially in commercial areas. The city’s growth has also led to an increase in drug-related incidents and associated violent crimes.
Safety Tip: Stay vigilant in shopping areas and parking lots, ensuring your vehicle is locked and valuables are out of sight.
2. Williams Lake, British Columbia
Crime Index: 86.43
Williams Lake, situated in the heart of the Cariboo Chilcotin region, is known for its rodeo events and rich indigenous culture. The city’s lakes and forests make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
Safety Concerns: Williams Lake has faced significant challenges with violent crimes, particularly those related to domestic disputes and gang activities. The city’s remote location has also contributed to issues related to drug trafficking.
Safety Tip: If you’re attending public events, especially those in the evening, it’s advisable to go in groups and stay in well-lit areas. Always be aware of your surroundings.
1. North Battleford, Saskatchewan
Crime Index: 88.67
North Battleford, located along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, is a city with a rich history and diverse cultural heritage. Its historical sites and parks offer a glimpse into its storied past.
Safety Concerns: Topping the list, North Battleford has grappled with a high rate of violent crimes, property crimes, and break-ins. The city’s socio-economic challenges have contributed to its high crime index.
Safety Tip: It’s essential to stay updated with local news, especially if you’re planning to explore the city. Avoid isolated areas, especially after dark, and always prioritize personal safety.
What is Canada’s crime rate?
Canada’s crime rate, as of the latest data, is approximately 5,488 incidents per 100,000 population. However, this rate can vary depending on the specific type of crime and the region in question.
Where do 90% of Canadians live?
90% of Canadians live within 100 miles (160 kilometers) of the U.S. border. This is because much of Canada’s land is either too cold or too rugged for large-scale habitation.
Where is the lowest crime rate in Canada?
The lowest crime rates in Canada are often found in smaller towns and rural areas. However, among larger cities, Quebec City has consistently reported lower crime rates.
Which town has the most murders in the world?
As of recent data, Tijuana, Mexico, has been cited as the city with the highest number of homicides in the world.
What city has the lowest crime rate?
Globally, cities in countries like Iceland, Denmark, and Switzerland often rank among those with the lowest crime rates. Specific cities include Reykjavik, Copenhagen, and Bern.
Which state has the worst crime?
In the U.S., crime rates can vary significantly from state to state. Historically, states like Alaska, New Mexico, and Nevada have had higher crime rates, but it’s essential to differentiate between types of crimes when evaluating these statistics.
Is Canada safer than the UK?
Both Canada and the UK are relatively safe countries. However, when comparing crime rates, Canada generally has a lower crime rate than the UK, especially concerning violent crimes.
Why is crime so low in Canada?
Several factors contribute to Canada’s low crime rate, including its robust social welfare system, comprehensive education, and effective law enforcement. Additionally, Canada’s gun control laws are stricter than many other countries, which can contribute to fewer violent crimes.
Is there more crime in the US or Canada?
The U.S. has a higher crime rate than Canada, especially when it comes to violent crimes. Factors such as socioeconomic disparities, gun laws, and other societal differences contribute to this discrepancy.
Is Toronto or Vancouver safer?
Both Toronto and Vancouver are relatively safe cities. However, when comparing crime statistics, Toronto has a slightly higher crime rate than Vancouver, especially in certain categories.
Is Toronto or Montreal safer?
Both Toronto and Montreal are major Canadian cities with their safety concerns. Statistically, Montreal has a slightly lower crime rate than Toronto, but both cities are generally safe for residents and visitors.
Safety and security are paramount, no matter where you reside or visit. While statistics provide a snapshot of crime rates and safety concerns, it’s essential to remember that every city or town has its unique challenges and strengths.
It’s always a good idea to stay informed, be vigilant, and engage with local communities to understand the nuances of safety in any given area. Whether you’re in Canada or anywhere else in the world, being proactive and informed is the key to ensuring your well-being. Safe travels and stay informed!