Best communities in Canada for families 2019 - Macleans.ca

Best communities in Canada for families 2019

Great schools, well-paying jobs and a strong sense of community make the No. 1 place ideal to raise a family in Canada, a new ranking finds

by
(City of Burlington)

When Jonathan Wadham was searching for a place to raise his family, a city with excellent public schools and well-paying jobs topped his list. Burlington, Ont., a city of about 260,000 west of Toronto, offered all that plus a strong sense of community.

“It’s literally a full-time job to find a desirable place that makes sense to raise your family,” says Wadham, who moved to Burlington three years ago from Toronto. “I went to school in Toronto and loved the city, but we couldn’t imagine raising our kids here and providing them with what we were used to when my wife and I were growing up. The cost of living is not manageable with my income.”

PHOTOS: 10 best communities for families in Canada 2019

Less than an hour’s drive from Toronto in the right traffic conditions, Burlington has a vibrant economy, and residents have the option of commuting to the Hamilton-Niagara region as well. And the unemployment rate sits at 4.7 per cent, which is relatively low. However, there are some downsides.

For instance, the average housing price of $888,000 is still higher than most communities nationwide, but it’s about $75,000 cheaper than Toronto’s $963,000. And child care isn’t cheap, with infant day care spots going for about $1,500 a month.

MORE: See the full ranking of the best communities in Canada

Affordability was Burlington’s worst category, but it made up for it by scoring in the top 25 per cent in six out of 10 categories: wealth and economy, amenities, weather, crime, health, and culture and community. Our Best Communities for Families ranking also beefs up the importance of community safety, and the Halton region has the 13th lowest crime severity index in the country.

In fact, Burlington is also the winning city in this year’s overall Best Communities in Canada ranking. And it’s attracting young families with kids—47 per cent of families in the municipality have children, and 17 per cent of the population is under the age of 15.

“When you’re a parent, you always want your kids to find playmates,” Wadham says. “Obviously, it also helps us to socialize with new families with similar priorities, similar goals, and similar challenges. Burlington has been perfect in that respect.”

Canada’s best communities to raise kids by region

Atlantic Canada:  Rothesay, N.B. (no. 67)

Quebec: Blainville (no. 4)

Ontario: Burlington (no. 1)

Prairies: Hanover, Man. (no. 73)

Alberta: St. Albert (no. 13)

B.C.: Oak Bay (no. 43)

Search to filter by city or province:

Rank City name Province Percentage of population under age 15 Percentage of families with children Median monthly infant daycare fees in closest major city/region Median monthly toddler daycare fees in closest major city/region Percentage of population employed in arts and recreation Community index (higher is better) Percentage of population that walks to work Percentage of population that bikes to work Percentage of population that takes transit to work Days per year with rain or snow Days per year above 0C Days per year above 20C Population Five-year population change March 2019 economic region unemployment rate Median household income Average household discretionary income Average household net worth Average value of primary real estate Home price to income ratio
1 Burlington ON 17% 47% 1497 1156 2.3% 111 1.9% 0.5% 5.0% 136 239 125 197381 5.40% 4.7% $101,448 $63,511 $1,099,461 $887,657 7.08
2 LaSalle ON 18% 52% 998 868 1.2% 108 0.8% 0.2% 0.5% 150 249 139 31868 6.00% 6.5% $109,208 $61,822 $783,274 $407,888 3.52
3 Oakville ON 18% 56% 1370 1130 2.5% 111 1.8% 0.4% 8.6% 118 222 107 210350 7.30% 6.4% $122,584 $78,388 $1,737,882 $1,243,760 7.49
4 Blainville QC 19% 52% 175 175 1.6% 59 0.9% 0.4% 4.9% 167 199 112 60530 7.40% 4.7% $95,907 $55,086 $642,113 $434,311 3.87
5 Milton ON 25% 60% 1370 1130 1.7% 104 1.3% 0.3% 5.2% 139 196 120 132508 27.80% 6.4% $114,275 $60,734 $1,188,971 $1,229,291 9.42
6 Russell ON 20% 51% 955 1009 1.6% 98 1.9% 0.2% 2.4% 164 210 78 17391 6.70% 5.1% $115,792 $67,301 $552,088 $419,917 3.21
7 Vaudreuil-Dorion QC 23% 49% 175 175 2.0% 77 1.9% 0.5% 4.0% 159 199 111 41486 13.10% 5.3% $83,631 $43,630 $437,536 $411,735 4.58
8 Deux-Montagnes QC 17% 45% 175 175 2.6% 59 2.1% 0.8% 16.2% 169 219 107 18049 0.90% 4.7% $76,065 $42,762 $286,152 $285,786 3.35
9 Aurora ON 18% 57% 1370 1130 2.0% 109 1.8% 0.2% 5.8% 165 221 119 60042 6.30% 6.4% $115,191 $69,007 $1,580,178 $1,192,155 8.1
10 Ottawa ON 18% 45% 955 1009 2.6% 108 4.6% 1.6% 12.3% 161 216 117 1019693 7.60% 5.1% $92,579 $56,501 $721,100 $543,814 4.75
11 Brant ON 18% 46% 1497 1156 1.3% 119 1.5% 0.2% 0.6% 136 218 125 39263 4.90% 4.7% $97,437 $55,360 $902,709 $572,728 5.59
12 Grimsby ON 18% 45% 1497 1156 1.6% 114 1.6% 0.3% 0.9% 163 244 121 28631 6.80% 4.7% $98,669 $60,242 $880,615 $682,614 5.95
13 St. Albert AB 19% 48% 975 870 2.0% 103 1.8% 0.4% 2.8% 113 177 84 70213 4.00% 7.3% $123,659 $81,042 $843,729 $426,257 2.91
14 Saint-Constant QC 19% 50% 175 175 1.6% 57 1.6% 0.2% 8.5% 163 218 117 29825 8.30% 5.3% $92,894 $48,974 $338,437 $341,236 3.5
15 Repentigny QC 18% 43% 175 175 1.3% 63 1.9% 0.2% 4.4% 160 201 108 85796 1.60% 4.7% $82,556 $44,939 $419,604 $330,976 3.67
16 Tecumseh ON 15% 46% 998 868 1.6% 114 1.0% 0.4% 0.6% 150 249 139 24277 2.20% 6.5% $102,159 $64,093 $815,306 $426,474 3.62
17 Sherbrooke QC 19% 37% 190 190 1.4% 66 3.2% 0.5% 3.4% 187 182 105 171184 5.90% 4.4% $55,057 $36,448 $286,166 $273,958 4.01
18 Lévis QC 18% 42% 190 190 1.4% 66 2.3% 0.4% 3.5% 175 195 94 147103 3.10% 5.0% $80,137 $47,714 $382,895 $301,261 3.33
19 Mirabel QC 20% 48% 175 175 1.7% 60 1.6% 0.3% 2.3% 167 199 112 56984 18.90% 4.7% $83,109 $42,958 $359,824 $389,970 4.48
20 Terrebonne QC 20% 48% 175 175 1.5% 59 1.4% 0.3% 4.2% 166 202 111 116810 4.70% 4.7% $84,870 $44,447 $367,854 $336,938 3.72
21 Petawawa ON 27% 49% 955 1009 1.0% 91 2.2% 1.0% 0.8% 170 181 111 18176 5.00% 5.5% $96,831 $52,657 $256,852 $311,651 3.08
22 Clarence-Rockland ON 19% 44% 955 1009 1.2% 89 1.7% 0.2% 4.1% 155 200 113 25317 3.70% 5.1% $97,551 $56,560 $444,912 $369,372 3.51
23 Rosemère QC 16% 50% 175 175 3.1% 70 1.7% 0.5% 6.5% 166 202 81 14169 -0.70% 4.7% $109,680 $65,973 $1,002,384 $451,391 3.45
24 Prévost QC 18% 43% 175 175 2.0% 65 1.1% 0.3% 1.7% 144 197 103 13633 6.20% 4.7% $84,610 $50,568 $465,432 $300,891 3.01
25 Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac QC 22% 49% 175 175 1.7% 59 1.0% 0.4% 9.0% 169 219 107 19867 13.60% 4.7% $87,112 $41,643 $363,236 $344,530 4.03
26 New Tecumseth ON 18% 43% 1370 1130 1.7% 114 2.7% 0.5% 0.8% 155 216 122 38504 14.70% 5.0% $95,385 $57,797 $845,233 $642,416 5.75
27 Rimouski QC 18% 35% 190 190 1.1% 72 3.8% 0.7% 0.9% 167 197 72 50106 2.90% 8.8% $60,850 $40,004 $292,138 $214,078 2.93
28 Whitby ON 20% 55% 1370 1130 2.0% 106 1.5% 0.2% 6.8% 146 239 100 138563 6.70% 6.4% $112,416 $58,133 $853,148 $771,442 6.33
29 Trois-Rivières QC 17% 34% 190 190 1.5% 68 2.6% 0.5% 1.7% 161 197 104 138480 3.10% 5.8% $53,768 $36,303 $283,619 $212,329 3.14
30 Thames Centre ON 16% 47% 1229 1131 1.2% 120 1.0% 0.2% 0.3% 168 223 123 14046 5.10% 5.3% $102,267 $62,084 $861,106 $513,652 4.43
31 Chambly QC 22% 48% 175 175 2.3% 57 1.8% 0.4% 9.1% 160 203 108 31012 11.00% 5.3% $91,454 $48,912 $410,406 $389,471 3.96
32 Bécancour QC 19% 39% 190 190 1.1% 74 2.7% 0.5% 1.1% 161 197 104 13525 4.20% 6.5% $65,794 $42,824 $350,183 $209,663 2.72
33 Victoriaville QC 19% 36% 190 190 1.2% 72 3.4% 1.0% 0.7% 165 194 100 47230 3.60% 6.5% $55,177 $37,686 $315,433 $195,773 2.92
34 Middlesex Centre ON 20% 51% 1229 1131 1.5% 129 1.2% 0.2% 0.6% 157 226 125 18621 7.90% 5.3% $117,724 $67,418 $1,109,584 $582,446 4.37
35 Westmount QC 17% 45% 175 175 5.1% 139 8.5% 1.9% 10.1% 163 218 117 21219 3.80% 7.4% $109,019 $120,053 $3,653,100 $1,600,094 6.32
36 Châteauguay QC 18% 43% 175 175 1.5% 81 1.7% 0.3% 7.5% 163 218 117 51350 4.90% 5.3% $71,260 $42,936 $324,451 $296,345 3.62
37 Kingsville ON 22% 43% 998 868 1.0% 107 1.9% 0.3% 0.3% 129 246 124 22412 2.60% 6.5% $84,104 $49,976 $605,817 $388,239 4.28
38 Mont-Royal QC 21% 55% 175 175 3.4% 130 2.4% 1.3% 13.0% 163 218 117 21613 6.60% 7.4% $118,728 $92,563 $2,588,821 $1,209,586 5.99
39 North Grenville ON 16% 42% 955 1009 1.7% 79 1.6% 0.2% 1.0% 162 202 111 17316 7.40% 5.1% $100,412 $55,695 $575,107 $372,821 3.53
40 L'Assomption QC 21% 45% 175 175 1.7% 65 1.9% 0.4% 2.3% 137 211 113 23841 9.30% 4.7% $77,990 $39,434 $316,709 $290,393 3.62
41 Drummondville QC 19% 36% 175 175 1.4% 69 2.4% 0.6% 0.9% 159 210 109 78019 4.40% 6.5% $54,890 $36,644 $274,460 $239,637 3.63
42 Essex ON 19% 42% 998 868 0.8% 102 2.0% 0.3% 0.4% 134 243 138 20930 2.50% 6.5% $76,800 $47,015 $495,892 $333,703 3.92
43 Oak Bay BC 16% 39% 1260 1200 3.2% 113 4.3% 5.2% 3.9% 176 293 86 18233 1.20% 3.6% $106,589 $82,797 $2,314,752 $1,278,880 8.23
44 Brossard QC 18% 46% 175 175 1.8% 105 1.3% 0.4% 14.4% 165 206 118 92347 9.40% 5.3% $77,110 $50,626 $619,834 $445,786 4.45
45 Cantley QC 21% 53% 190 190 2.3% 67 0.9% 0.8% 3.8% 160 203 108 11469 9.10% 6.4% $119,037 $56,292 $518,258 $392,102 3.34
46 Sainte-Marie QC 20% 41% 190 190 1.2% 76 2.7% 0.3% 0.6% 156 184 95 14097 4.00% 5.0% $68,513 $43,287 $384,712 $228,769 2.87
47 Norfolk County ON 17% 37% 1497 1156 0.8% 122 1.9% 0.2% 0.4% 148 217 122 65463 1.40% 4.7% $73,161 $48,333 $604,291 $435,509 5.04
48 Whitchurch-Stouffville ON 20% 54% 1370 1130 2.1% 111 1.3% 0.3% 3.8% 165 221 119 51376 16.50% 6.4% $111,059 $67,721 $2,410,521 $2,263,573 16.04
49 Markham ON 16% 58% 1370 1130 1.8% 112 1.0% 0.2% 7.9% 165 221 119 356416 7.20% 6.4% $94,086 $61,170 $1,594,766 $1,407,357 11.4
50 Notre-Dame-de-l'ële-Perrot QC 17% 54% 175 175 1.6% 76 0.4% 0.3% 3.6% 151 212 113 10798 0.40% 5.3% $110,189 $56,087 $756,157 $518,725 4.57
51 Kingston ON 17% 37% 955 1009 1.6% 106 5.2% 1.4% 5.3% 159 223 99 135220 4.50% 5.5% $73,007 $47,840 $573,435 $427,733 4.66
52 Wilmot ON 20% 47% 1495 1139 1.6% 113 1.9% 0.4% 0.5% 128 210 117 22017 7.60% 5.0% $103,877 $58,993 $902,570 $690,726 6.15
53 Haldimand County ON 17% 43% 1497 1156 0.8% 124 2.0% 0.1% 0.5% 153 245 117 47635 3.70% 4.7% $84,225 $52,322 $629,581 $487,655 5.21
54 Pincourt QC 18% 50% 175 175 1.8% 92 1.1% 0.5% 4.0% 151 212 113 14989 2.40% 5.3% $86,514 $44,503 $429,001 $404,898 4.48
55 St. Clair ON 16% 40% 1229 1131 0.9% 116 1.3% 0.3% 0.3% 138 234 129 14488 -0.80% 6.5% $96,981 $63,395 $523,174 $327,983 2.84
56 Clarington ON 19% 50% 955 1009 1.5% 96 1.4% 0.2% 3.2% 146 219 111 101237 10.00% 6.4% $104,053 $53,243 $725,079 $677,003 6.16
57 Halton Hills ON 18% 54% 1370 1130 1.9% 117 2.0% 0.3% 2.5% 139 196 120 65236 4.40% 6.4% $115,963 $65,571 $1,300,762 $1,182,809 8.78
58 Loyalist ON 20% 39% 955 1009 1.1% 102 1.4% 0.1% 1.7% 147 239 103 17817 3.50% 5.5% $88,438 $57,148 $550,306 $414,598 3.94
59 Salmon Arm BC 19% 34% 1260 1200 1.5% 108 4.0% 0.5% 0.8% 138 214 105 19153 8.70% 5.3% $76,048 $45,436 $711,346 $428,517 5.11
60 Bradford West Gwillimbury ON 20% 55% 1370 1130 1.8% 101 2.1% 0.2% 3.1% 182 201 112 41055 22.90% 5.0% $103,029 $57,911 $847,902 $861,916 7.38
61 Saint-Colomban QC 22% 50% 175 175 1.4% 66 0.9% 0.2% 1.5% 144 197 103 17717 17.50% 4.7% $87,035 $42,990 $363,436 $369,584 4.25
62 Richmond Hill ON 16% 59% 1370 1130 2.1% 107 1.3% 0.2% 7.6% 165 221 119 209207 5.50% 6.4% $93,500 $58,385 $1,486,850 $1,317,026 11.05
63 Colwood BC 17% 42% 1260 1200 1.4% 102 1.8% 2.1% 4.3% 149 347 57 17672 5.60% 3.6% $103,632 $53,740 $766,527 $785,223 7.39
64 Amos QC 20% 37% 190 190 1.1% 64 6.7% 0.4% 0.3% 151 162 74 13089 0.90% 3.6% $68,615 $47,692 $287,802 $224,427 2.59
65 Boisbriand QC 18% 48% 175 175 1.9% 60 3.0% 0.4% 4.0% 166 202 111 27902 2.10% 4.7% $77,514 $45,189 $374,075 $313,662 3.49
66 Newmarket ON 18% 54% 1370 1130 2.2% 108 2.3% 0.3% 4.9% 130 211 107 89272 4.30% 6.4% $102,782 $57,495 $956,210 $879,204 7.45
67 Rothesay NB 17% 44% 868 716 1.5% 110 2.2% 0.1% 0.8% 158 198 75 11897 1.40% 6.6% $93,778 $71,022 $999,754 $402,809 2.99
68 Quispamsis NB 20% 51% 868 716 2.0% 108 1.2% 0.1% 0.8% 166 197 102 18653 3.50% 6.6% $107,885 $60,857 $543,548 $324,713 2.72
69 Lakeshore ON 18% 50% 998 868 1.0% 97 0.9% 0.3% 0.4% 150 249 139 37624 3.50% 6.5% $103,168 $58,643 $748,652 $442,988 4.08
70 Hamilton (City) ON 17% 45% 1497 1156 1.6% 104 2.1% 0.5% 5.0% 156 227 120 579105 5.10% 4.7% $76,193 $48,102 $625,005 $595,593 6.54
71 Ajax ON 19% 56% 1370 1130 1.7% 98 1.4% 0.3% 9.4% 146 239 100 132250 10.60% 6.4% $105,366 $57,281 $877,112 $916,990 7.8
72 Mont-Saint-Hilaire QC 18% 43% 175 175 2.7% 67 1.6% 0.5% 5.6% 155 288 117 18975 2.30% 5.3% $98,119 $61,043 $886,221 $456,177 3.81
73 Hanover MB 28% 61% 651 451 1.2% 121 1.5% 0.5% 0.3% 111 166 107 16965 10.00% 4.4% $83,173 $50,217 $413,709 $327,586 3.51
74 Centre Wellington ON 19% 44% 1411 1204 2.2% 113 3.1% 0.3% 0.6% 179 208 106 29565 5.60% 5.0% $92,275 $56,195 $826,223 $599,783 5.54
75 Weyburn SK 22% 40% 845 650 1.3% 103 2.9% 0.8% 0.5% 136 169 110 11795 4.50% 4.7% $85,357 $68,998 $880,193 $287,627 2.31
76 Rouyn-Noranda QC 18% 38% 190 190 1.2% 68 5.6% 0.4% 0.9% 183 163 83 42634 1.40% 3.6% $69,936 $42,986 $263,686 $226,583 2.82
77 Taché MB 24% 55% 651 451 1.3% 109 1.3% 0.2% 0.6% 112 165 102 12574 11.10% 4.4% $103,200 $56,691 $467,456 $363,480 3.36
78 Central Elgin ON 15% 42% 1229 1131 1.3% 111 1.6% 0.3% 0.2% 159 230 128 13089 1.40% 5.3% $97,205 $57,845 $671,281 $397,863 3.71
79 Beloeil QC 20% 42% 175 175 2.2% 65 2.1% 0.6% 4.0% 155 206 117 23415 6.50% 5.3% $84,809 $47,979 $439,803 $341,477 3.65
80 Guelph ON 18% 46% 1495 1139 2.0% 101 3.8% 1.1% 5.1% 167 206 113 141125 8.10% 5.0% $85,416 $49,697 $683,821 $678,849 6.82
81 Orangeville ON 20% 49% 1370 1130 1.6% 92 4.1% 0.5% 1.6% 151 195 105 31005 6.70% 5.0% $94,270 $49,633 $598,501 $661,866 6.58
82 Niagara Falls ON 17% 40% 1497 1156 1.1% 103 2.0% 0.4% 1.1% 171 241 124 91908 5.50% 4.7% $66,801 $43,143 $517,484 $475,972 5.91
83 Saint-Basile-le-Grand QC 21% 51% 175 175 2.7% 60 1.9% 0.5% 9.5% 160 203 108 17200 0.90% 5.3% $98,756 $52,717 $450,976 $356,617 3.35
84 Lincoln ON 20% 45% 1497 1156 1.1% 112 1.7% 0.3% 0.8% 163 244 121 24891 5.80% 4.7% $96,064 $56,048 $975,321 $780,608 7.56
85 Strathcona County AB 19% 48% 975 870 1.6% 106 1.2% 0.3% 3.0% 105 162 86 104433 3.60% 7.3% $127,368 $86,276 $1,082,581 $543,680 3.46
86 St. Thomas ON 19% 39% 1229 1131 1.1% 101 2.8% 0.8% 0.6% 159 230 128 41108 4.40% 5.3% $65,079 $43,370 $302,991 $285,748 3.56
87 Quinte West ON 17% 39% 955 1009 0.8% 110 2.0% 0.4% 0.6% 153 217 118 45338 2.70% 5.5% $72,963 $45,728 $405,175 $358,927 4.28
88 Carleton Place ON 21% 39% 955 1009 1.4% 93 3.6% 0.5% 1.3% 154 198 117 11039 6.60% 5.1% $79,465 $49,033 $425,804 $349,851 3.74
89 Niagara-on-the-Lake ON 15% 35% 1497 1156 1.6% 117 1.3% 0.5% 0.3% 151 238 128 18652 10.90% 4.7% $93,425 $62,754 $1,255,495 $738,139 6.51
90 Amherstburg ON 17% 45% 998 868 1.0% 103 1.5% 0.3% 0.4% 134 243 138 23283 5.10% 6.5% $93,324 $53,515 $576,648 $390,750 3.88
91 Woolwich ON 23% 50% 1495 1139 1.7% 108 3.8% 0.8% 0.6% 169 209 118 27083 9.10% 5.0% $108,938 $74,307 $1,300,121 $766,279 5.47
92 Mascouche QC 20% 46% 175 175 1.6% 60 1.2% 0.1% 3.2% 158 205 118 50265 9.40% 4.7% $84,514 $44,154 $338,301 $335,257 3.74
93 Erin ON 14% 48% 1411 1204 1.9% 131 1.8% 0.2% 1.2% 151 195 105 11939 5.20% 5.0% $117,135 $68,943 $1,259,442 $932,696 6.99
94 Calgary AB 19% 48% 1100 1030 1.9% 102 3.2% 1.1% 9.7% 112 171 87 1372193 10.00% 7.9% $98,309 $72,258 $838,640 $540,492 4.09
95 Caledon ON 17% 57% 1370 1130 1.8% 115 1.3% 0.1% 1.7% 151 195 105 77337 16.40% 6.4% $123,673 $68,082 $1,404,222 $1,014,185 7.27
96 Vaughan ON 18% 61% 1411 1204 1.8% 106 1.0% 0.2% 6.8% 137 212 117 330195 6.50% 6.4% $112,903 $64,067 $1,767,338 $1,474,066 11.07
97 Terrace BC 21% 40% 1260 1200 1.5% 101 5.8% 2.0% 0.8% 207 248 55 11935 0.40% 3.8% $88,018 $51,378 $365,498 $257,965 2.77
98 Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville QC 18% 45% 175 175 2.7% 66 2.1% 0.8% 7.6% 165 206 118 27203 2.60% 5.3% $106,066 $61,484 $912,912 $450,700 3.68
99 Saint-Lambert QC 20% 41% 175 175 3.8% 76 2.5% 1.5% 13.1% 165 206 118 22483 2.70% 5.3% $84,211 $56,454 $915,793 $535,096 4.55
100 Magog QC 17% 31% 175 175 1.2% 74 3.2% 0.5% 0.6% 174 198 95 27566 3.80% 4.4% $55,784 $41,832 $472,120 $330,852 4.39