The Best Place to Live in Ontario 2017

Toronto dropped in this year's ranking

If you’re looking for the Best Place to Live in Canada, Ontario has a lot to offer. It’s home to this year’s No. 1 (Ottawa) as well as two-fifths of the top 50 cities overall in Canada.

The province excels in a lot of areas where other provinces simply don’t—at least not as uniformly. Out of the top 100 cities with the highest median income, 38% are in Ontario. While you’ll find cities with great transit across this country, there is a much more robust transit network in this province, particularly around the Golden Horseshoe. Crime rates also tend to be a little lower, including Tay, Ontario which recorded fewer than 100 offences of any kind in 2015, and charged just 31 people.

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Photo gallery: Top 25 Best Places to Live

Overall, the economy in B.C. is perhaps the strongest in the country, but it’s also one of the most expensive places to live, not just in the country but in the case of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the world. Sure, Ontario feels some of those same cost pressures, but on a smaller scale.

After Ottawa, the second-highest ranked city in the province is Burlington, which comes in at No. 9 this year. Burlington, Oakville and Halton Hills all consistently do well on our ranking. You don’t have to look hard to see why. The cities share a number of similarities: they’re all very safe, they tend to be wealthier, and they’re in a sweet spot when it comes to nice weather. These factors not only make these cities great places to live, but it also makes them highly attractive as a places to retire, raise a family or start a new life.

As for Toronto, not to bruise the city’s pride but it fell this year to 129 from 43. Given how sensitive Toronto is to its place in Canada, that may come as a shock. But we should point out that the drop has little to do with changes in its vitals. When we added 200-plus cities to the mix, it was inevitable that some would land above Toronto and push it down. Take a step back and the drop doesn’t seem as dramatic. Last year, Toronto squeaked into the top quarter of our ranking, this year you’ll see the city still very close to that elite grouping—although this time on the outside looking in.

Live in Ontario? Click here to see where your city ranked this year using our interactive tool.