If you’re looking for the best provinces to live in Canada then THIS is the post for you. Because even though Canada has ten stunning provinces and three amazing territories, not all of them are created equal.
As a result, they each vary based on their population, quality of life, and stunning natural beauty.
So, if you’re thinking of moving to Canada but are not quite sure which province is right for you, then have a look at this handy guide.
After all, I’ve been an ex-pat for the past 15+ years. Therefore, I know exactly what to look for when moving to a new country for the very first time.
Therefore, what are you waiting for?
Stop stressing and use this easy to understand, comprehensive guide to understand which province in Canada will be perfect for you.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
If you’re booking a trip right now then I IMPLORE you to get travel insurance – even if it’s not from me.
After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed.
Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especially since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic.
Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can also read more about which policy is right for you in my full review here.
What is the Easiest Province to Immigrate to in Canada?
The easiest provinces to immigrate to in Canada are:
- Saskatchewan – The Occupation In-Demand and Express Entry programs make it easier for skilled workers to enter the country.
- Alberta – The Alberta Express Entry stream chooses elgible candidates from the federal Express Entry pool to reside here.
- Ontario – Skilled workers in designated industries can use Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities stream to find jobs and obtain residence fast.
- Nova Scotia – This province has a Labour Market Priorities intiative that selects people from an Express Entry Pool. This program also directly invite people without any association to the provine, making it easier to live here.
Which Canadian Province Has the Best Quality of Life?
Life satisfaction scores put a numerical value on overall well-being. Therefore, using this type of scale, all the provinces in Canada earn an “A” in this category – at least according to The Conference Board of Canada.
Therefore, you can deduce that all the provinces in Canada have a high quality of life.
However, Newfoundland, Labrador, Saskatchewan, and P.E.I. all rank highest (they earned scores of “A+”) and have the best quality of life in the country.
What is the Safest Province in Canada?
The safest province in Canada is Quebec since it is home to four of the safest cities in Canada: Levis, Quebec City, Blainville, and Saguenay.
Ontario is also an incredibly safe province since Aurora, La Salle, Wellington County, Burlington, and Barrie are all ranked among the ten safest cities in Canada.
British Columbia also ranks highly in terms of safety since Oak Bay is also one of the top safest cities in Canada.
What are the Top 10 Provinces in Canada?
The top ten provinces in Canada, in no particular order, are:
- New Brunswick
- British Columbia
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Best Provinces to Live in Canada
1. Ontario – Job Opportunities
As one of the most central provinces in Canada, Ontario is a popular destination for anyone moving to the country.
It’s also a well-populated province with 14.5 million residents and is home to the nation’s biggest city, Toronto.
As a result, Ontario is one of the best provinces to live in Canada since it is a vibrant, economic hub where people can find plenty of jobs, enjoy gorgeous parks, take advantage of modern services, and experience incredible diversity.
So, if you want to move to Ontario, then some of the province’s major cities, besides Toronto, include Ottawa, Brampton, Hamilton, Markham, London, and Mississauga – with Ottawa, London, and Mississauga being the most popular.
After all, many of these cities are renowned for their fabulous public transportation and education systems.
Plus, Ontario has the lowest unemployment rate and the highest average income of all the provinces in the country, making it a great pick for one of the best provinces to live in Canada.
Other highlights include vibrant cultural diversity and incredible natural landscapes that make this an all-around great place to live.
2. Quebec – European Flair
Wanna get fancy and live the European high life in Canada? If so then Quebec is one of the best provinces to live in Canada for you!
Just be sure that you either know French or are willing to learn it since this is the primary language here.
Other than that, there’s definitely a more chill vibe here, with major cities like Montreal and Quebec having a more relaxed feel to them.
Therefore, while you can party the night away, it will more likely be inside an underground club of sorts.
Quebec and Montreal are also iconic cultural hot spots in the province. So, if you’re looking to infuse a bit more culture into your life then either of these cities might be a great fit.
Additionally, crime rates are also really low here and there is a much more friendly vibe between people – a fact that makes the long and intense winters a bit more bearable.
As usual, you’ll also have access to a wide array of stunning wilderness areas. Although, outdoor areas here tend to be more isolated and wild than in Ontario.
So, if you really want to get away from the crowds and enjoy nature all on your own, then Quebec is ideal.
Other province highlights include stellar public services (healthcare/public schools), clean air/water (they have strict regulations against pollution), many job opportunities, and a lower cost of living that makes properties much more affordable.
3. Alberta – Affordable with a Slower Pace of Life
Venture into the heart of Canada and you’ll find the three Prarie provinces of Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.
They are all known for being super-flat and having a vibrant farming community that features a more relaxed way of life.
So, if you enjoy rodeos, harvest parties, fresh local produce, and live concerts, then the Prarie provinces are where it’s at.
In particular, though, Alberta is probably the best place to live since it’s inexpensive, has low crime rates, and features a more relaxed way of life.
But, if you want a more cosmopolitan life in Alberta, then head over to the city of Calgary.
Not only does this place feature great infrastructure (thanks Winter Olympics) but it’s also home to a wealth of decent-paying jobs and primo access to the wonderfully wild Rocky Mountains.
However, if you’re not interested in Calgary you can always check out the province capital of Edmonton instead.
Just be aware that outside of these two major cities most job opportunities are limited to manual labor positions in mining, agriculture, and oil/gas fields.
So, although local communities are quite friendly and supportive, these jobs tend not to pay well.
Pro Tip: A lot of people living here tend to work at ski resorts in the winter and do manual farm labor in the summer.
4. British Columbia – High Standard of Living
British Columbia, aka BC for short, is known for its high standard of living and for its stunning locale along the Pacific Ocean in the far west of Canada.
It’s also one of the best provinces to live in Canada if you love the great outdoors but want to escape the harsh winter weather Canada is known for.
I mean, it still gets cold and it definitely snows but BC’s location near the water means that the weather is a whole lot milder.
However, because BC is super awesome, you’ll have to pay a hell of a lot of money to live in places like Vancouver.
In fact, if you’re a single person and want to live in this province comfortably, you should probably earn around $50,000 annually.
And if you’re part of a family then that number should be around $120,000 per year – particularly if you want to live in Vancouver.
It’s known for being BC’s largest city, sits right along the water, is surrounded by gorgeous snow-capped mountains, and is well-connected to surrounding areas by ferry.
It’s also an economic powerhouse of sorts. So, while housing prices will be high (like $2,200 for a one-bedroom apartment), you’ll definitely find tons of great jobs here.
But, if you’re not sure about settling in Vancouver, you can always check out nearby Vancouver Island, Victoria, Nanaimo, Parksville, Port Alberni, Campbell River, and Courtenay.
I mean, Victoria is the capital of the province and has a more historic, somewhat majestic about it than the more modern city of Vancouver.
But, Kamloops, Kelowna, and Chilliwack are all great cities in their own right too.
They all provide residents with easy access to the great outdoors and feature stellar schools, transportation services, and basically anything else you might need.
5. Nova Scotia – Scenic Beauty
Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and chillax amidst the scenic beauty of the wild Atlantic Coast?
If you’re emphatically nodding your head “yes” right now then Nova Scotia may just be your new favorite residence.
After all, Nova Scotia quietly sits along the Eastern coast of Canada and features snazzy things like a clean environment, low property costs, low crime rates, low living costs, and a whole hell of a lot of peace and quiet.
And while most employment opportunities are limited to things like fishing, hunting, and trawling, Nova Scotia is a great option if you’re looking to retire or can work remotely.
Therefore, it’s perfect if you don’t want a super-refined existence, don’t mind semi-brutal winters, and don’t want to live in a giant city.
Now, within Nova Scotia itself, most people choose to live in Halifax. After all, it’s the capital of the province and is known for a relaxed feel that allows you to slow down and reconnect with both nature/other people.
So, while the whole of Nova Scotia may feel a bit isolated from the rest of Canada, it’s a great place to live if you want some peace and quiet and are not dying to climb the corporate ladder.
Not gonna lie, it was hard to pick between Manitoba and Saskatchewan when creating this list of the best provinces to live in Canada.
I mean, both provinces are incredibly similar but Manitoba edges out Saskatchewan due to the simple fact that it is more densely populated and offers better public services.
However, both provinces are found in the center of Canada, with Manitoba sitting along Hudson Bay and sharing a border with Ontario, Saskatchewan, and North Dakota in the USA.
Now, because northern parts of the province are largely comprised of arctic tundra, it has a small population of just 1.3 million people, with Winnipeg being both the capital and the largest city.
However, other amazing places to explore in Manitoba include Thompson, Brandon, Steinbach, Portage la Prarie, Selkirk, and Winkler.
In fact, many of these places are small, clean, safe, and friendly towns in which you can enjoy a more affordable and relaxed way of life (life here can cost just $25,000 annually) amidst the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Canada.
After all, this area is known as the “land of the lakes” for a reason since there are literally thousands of lakes sitting here.
It also sits pretty close to the US border. So, you’ll find solid healthcare, education, and economic opportunities too.
Pro Tip: While you’re here, be sure to visit Riding Mountain National Park, Assiniboine Park, The Forks, The Manitoba Museum, Wapusk National Park, and FortWhyte Alive.
So, what Canadian Province Should I Move to?
Obviously, this answer is going to vary greatly based on your personal needs, budget, and what you’re looking for from a province.
But, most people choose to live in Ontario. Not only is it home to Canada’s largest city, aka Toronto, but it’s an incredibly safe province that is brimming over with amazing diversity, incredible job opportunities, and gorgeous natural landscapes.
It’s also centrally located in Canada and is well-connected both nationally and internationally, making it easy to get around.
However, it’s also one of the most expensive places to live in the country. So, do take that into consideration before moving here.
Map of the Best Provinces to Live in Canada
Additional Canada Resources You’ll Love
- Pros and Cons of Living in Canada
- Best Places to Live in Canada
- Quebec Road Trip itinerary
- Best Hikes in Vancouver
- Best Time to Visit Canada