INTERACTIVE: Canada's richest cities -

INTERACTIVE: Canada’s richest cities

Where are the highest per capita incomes? Find out


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The commodity boom is rewriting the list of the “haves” and “have-nots” in Canada. Unlike in the U.S., where the highest per capita incomes tend to be found in and around the biggest metropolitan centres, Toronto is nowhere near the top of Canada’s rank of wealthiest urban areas, while Montreal and Vancouver don’t even make the cut. Small and mid-sized cities are clearly winning the day.

The biggest dots on our map are, of course, in Alberta, with tiny Fort McMurray, right next to the Athabasca oil sands, topping the charts. It may not legally be a “city”—the former fur-trading post was granted the title in 1980 only to lose it 15 years later—but it sure shows all the symptoms of a boomtown. A single family home in the community of 61,000—where daylight lasts as little as seven hours in the dead of winter—cost upwards of $750,000 on average in November. That’s even more than in downtown Toronto, where the going price last month was around $740,000.

One needn’t look much further east to find more stories of vertiginous growth, happy realtors and chronic labour shortages. Welcome to Saskatchewan, the only province planning to run a budget surplus this fiscal year. The resource boom that started a decade ago is now prominently on display in Regina and Saskatoon, which boast, respectively, the lowest unemployment and highest population growth rates of any metropolitan area in Canada.

The title of hottest real estate market in 2013 will likely belong to St. John’s, however. RE/MAX sees home prices in the Nfld. capital climbing six per cent next year, faster than anywhere else and bucking the trend in Vancouver and Toronto, where the optimists are now predicting a soft landing rather than a crash. Sure, St. John’s still has a way to go to reach the top of our chart but the city is already neck-and-neck with Calgary and Edmonton in terms of employment growth. If the current trend holds up, who knows, St. John’s could soon leave Toronto in the dust.


MAP: Hover over the dots on the map to view more information about cities and per capita income and to see the tool bar in the upper right-hand corner. You can also zoom-in by double-clicking on the map. To grab and move the map, press SHIFT and click. Click on the “home” symbol to restore the original settings.

BAR CHART: Click on the symbol next to “Per capita income,” below the chart, to rearrange it from the lowest to the highest per capita income. Click again to order it alphabetically.

Use the “Province” tool bar on the right to view select provinces on both the map and the bar chart.

Have fun!

*Calculations: Jason Kirby. Visualization and text: Erica Alini.


INTERACTIVE: Canada’s richest cities

  1. One immediate question would be: What do you define as TO, Montreal, or Vancouver? Are you including the greater metro area/suburbs? This would likely skew Montreal’s stats, as Westmount, TMR, Senneville, and other well-off regions would be excluded.

    • Hi Mike, we’re using census municipal data, so greater metro areas for all those cities.

      • Thanks!

  2. One thing that is evident to me looking at all those good times and blue skys out west -particularly in AB – is that they still aren’t running budget surpluses or sticking the money away for a rainy day. [ as in investing in the future] Even to a mostly non fiscally conservative person like me that is surely not a good sign?

      • AB has only ever had one really decent premier, and not even he could stay premier or live for ever.

        • True….and I had high hopes for him. But you also can’t lead people where they don’t want to follow.

          • Er…the one decent Premier was Ralph Klein.

          • Klein was a klod and a klunker.

            I was referring to Lougheed.

          • Remember that especially decent time he drunkenly threw money at men in a shelter? Yeah, decent….

    • It’s because in spite of the “Tory” moniker, Alison Redford and her cabinet are socially and politically aligned left of the Liberals.

      If you ever wanted to see just how quickly an NDP government can destroy a healthy economy, watch what the new “social justice” clown show in Edmonton does with other peoples money.

      Of course a broken Alberta may not be good for the country, but the resulting spasms of celebratory schadenfreude east of Thunder Bay will raise spirits there for awhile (at least until they start losing all their social programs due to lack of Alberta $$$).

      • LOL oh now that there’s a woman premier Tories have suddenly turned into the NDP have they?

        And it’s because of that….not low oil demand….that Alberta has a deficit?

        Ontario is responsible for 40% of the GDP, lad. We don’t depend on your pittance.

      • Wow. Guess i was sleeping when all those other fiscally prudent Con govts ran AB prior to Redford.

  3. I assume these numbers are after taxes, right?

  4. This is missing some cities over 50,000 population with very high per capita income. Where is Oakville, for example?

  5. SARNIA! I never ever in a million years would have guessed that SARNIA would be in the top ten!

  6. I know this is a bit dated but I was wondering what happened to the interactive map?