Best communities in Canada for great health care 2019 - Macleans.ca

Best communities in Canada for great health care 2019

These top places have plenty of family doctors and hospitals nearby

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Toronto, Ont. (R.M. Nunes/iStock)

There are certain things people looking for a place to live tend to research in detail, such as the quality of the local schools, access to transportation and the safety of the neighbourhood. Something it’s easy to forget about until it’s too late, however, is the quality of health care they will be able to access when they really need it.

Health care access varies significantly between cities, and the health care category in Best Communities considers a variety of metrics to help you evaluate access to this crucial public service. We examine health care wait times for various procedures at the regional and provincial level, awarding the most points to communities where residents spend the least time on waiting lists. Finding a doctor can be a challenge, so we look at how many family doctors, specialists and doctors’ offices there are per capita. Finally, we evaluate something you might be very glad you considered in the event of an emergency: Whether there’s a hospital with an emergency room within an hour’s drive.

MORE: Why these supercharged small towns are better than big cities

When you consider those metrics, the result is clear: If having plenty of family doctors and close proximity to specialized hospitals are important to you, then Toronto is an especially impressive choice.

The city has excellent hospitals, an ample amount of health care professionals, with 321 specialists per 100,000 residents, and access to specialized treatment facilities within short driving distance. It has the highest number of doctors’ offices in the country, with 3,145 to choose from.

Ontario is also the clear winner when it comes to health care wait times nationwide. And if you’re thinking about retirement, Toronto is the place to be. In fact, Toronto took the top spot in our ranking of the best communities to retire, largely thanks to its excellent health care services.

Maclean’s Best Communities in Canada ranks 415 cities across the country based on 10 categories: Wealth and economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, amenities and culture. For more information, please see the methodology page.

Search to filter by city or province:

Rank City Province Family doctors per 100,000 residents in health region Specialists per 100,000 residents in health region Doctors' offices Days on wait list for a hip replacement* Days on wait list for a knee replacement* Days on wait list for bypass surgery** Days on wait list for cataract surgery** Days on wait list for breast cancer surgery** Days on wait list for lung cancer surgery** Days on wait list for colorectal cancer surgery** Days on wait list for bladder cancer surgery** Days on wait list for radiation therapy** Days on wait list for hip fracture repair** Days on wait list for prostate cancer surgery**
1 Toronto ON 195 321 3145 54 53 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
2 Hawkesbury ON 145 151 22 86 70 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
3 Cornwall ON 145 151 74 86 70 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
4 Pembroke ON 145 151 21 86 70 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
5 Thunder Bay ON 146 79 192 58 83 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
6 North Dundas ON 145 151 10 86 70 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
7 Brockville ON 138 132 48 86 85 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
8 Ottawa ON 145 151 779 86 70 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
9 Carleton Place ON 145 151 8 86 70 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
10 Kenora ON 146 79 21 58 83 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
11 Belleville ON 138 132 98 86 85 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
12 North Glengarry ON 145 151 6 86 70 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
13 Kingston ON 138 132 189 86 85 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
14 South Dundas ON 145 151 5 86 70 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
15 Sault Ste. Marie ON 124 78 141 64 80 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
16 Mississippi Mills ON 145 151 6 86 70 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
17 Prince Edward County ON 138 132 26 86 85 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
18 North Bay ON 124 78 80 64 80 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
19 North Grenville ON 145 151 6 86 70 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
20 Temiskaming Shores ON 124 78 14 64 80 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
21 Greater Napanee ON 138 132 10 86 85 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
22 Timmins ON 124 78 40 64 80 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
23 South Glengarry ON 145 151 2 86 70 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
24 Greater Sudbury ON 124 78 151 64 80 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
25 Loyalist ON 138 132 9 86 85 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
26 Quinte West ON 138 132 21 86 85 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
27 Newmarket ON 97 78 131 63 62 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
28 Amos QC 151 90 16 55 64 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
29 West Nipissing ON 124 78 10 64 80 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
30 Rideau Lakes ON 138 132 4 86 85 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
31 Westmount QC 127 222 78 78 94 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
32 Rouyn-Noranda QC 151 90 41 55 64 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
33 Richmond Hill ON 97 78 184 63 62 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
34 Pointe-Claire QC 127 222 61 78 94 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
35 Elizabethtown-Kitley ON 138 132 1 86 85 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
36 Val-d'Or QC 151 90 20 55 64 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
37 Matane QC 152 119 28 84 105 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
38 Markham ON 97 78 238 63 62 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
39 St. Catharines ON 102 119 201 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
40 Rivière-du-Loup QC 152 119 40 84 105 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
41 Elliot Lake ON 124 78 3 64 80 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
42 Sept-Îles QC 180 80 12 56.5 57 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
43 Baie-Comeau QC 180 80 10 56.5 57 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
44 Trois-Rivières QC 116 92 192 60.5 78 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
45 Shawinigan QC 116 92 67 60.5 78 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
46 Gaspé QC 213 104 4 30 39.5 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
47 Mont-Royal QC 127 222 25 78 94 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
48 Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine QC 213 104 3 30 39.5 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
49 Rimouski QC 152 119 78 84 105 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
50 Aurora ON 97 78 31 63 62 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
51 Drummondville QC 116 92 91 60.5 78 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
52 Victoriaville QC 116 92 54 60.5 78 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
53 Peterborough ON 83 66 187 73 81 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
54 Niagara Falls ON 102 119 94 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
55 Burlington ON 102 119 197 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
56 Hamilton ON 102 119 569 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
57 Dorval QC 127 222 18 78 94 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
58 Kirkland QC 127 222 17 78 94 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
59 Brantford ON 102 119 94 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
60 Sherbrooke QC 131 134 183 77 104 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
61 Windsor ON 95 65 378 71 92 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
62 New Tecumseth ON 97 78 13 63 62 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
63 Welland ON 102 119 42 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
64 Tecumseh ON 95 65 38 71 92 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
65 West Lincoln ON 102 119 10 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
66 Montréal QC 127 222 1059 78 94 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
67 Leamington ON 95 65 36 71 92 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
68 Whitchurch-Stouffville ON 97 78 10 63 62 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
69 Oakville ON 94 75 220 69 99 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
70 Grimsby ON 102 119 17 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
71 Sarnia ON 95 65 80 71 92 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
72 East Gwillimbury ON 97 78 4 63 62 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
73 Fort Erie ON 102 119 17 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
74 Cobourg ON 83 66 20 73 81 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
75 La Tuque QC 116 92 6 60.5 78 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
76 Lincoln ON 102 119 13 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
77 Port Colborne ON 102 119 9 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
78 Côte-Saint-Luc QC 127 222 15 78 94 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
79 Adjala-Tosorontio ON 97 78 0 63 62 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
80 Cowansville QC 131 134 9 77 104 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
81 Dollard-Des Ormeaux QC 127 222 19 78 94 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
82 Kawartha Lakes ON 83 66 58 73 81 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
83 Granby QC 131 134 35 77 104 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
84 Chatham-Kent ON 95 65 75 71 92 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
85 Brant ON 102 119 13 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
86 Oshawa ON 83 66 115 73 81 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
87 Roberval QC 138 107 25 107 112 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
88 Ajax ON 83 66 80 73 81 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
89 Whitby ON 83 66 81 73 81 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
90 Orillia ON 105 66 69 109 117 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
91 Magog QC 131 134 11 77 104 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
92 Niagara-on-the-Lake ON 102 119 4 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
93 Pickering ON 83 66 50 73 81 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
94 Haldimand County ON 102 119 10 92 108 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
95 Milton ON 94 75 63 69 99 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
96 St. Clair ON 95 65 8 71 92 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
97 Midland ON 105 66 34 109 117 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
98 Beaconsfield QC 127 222 3 78 94 6 41 19 25 21 26 8 22 41
99 Collingwood ON 105 66 44 109 117 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37
100 Uxbridge ON 83 66 11 73 81 6 65 16 19 18 23 7 24 37

*Health region median

**Provincial median