Report: Canada’s top five happiest cities are in Ontario

Edana Robitaille
Published: May 31, 2023

Ontario is home to the top-five happiest cities in Canada according to a recent report by Point2, a real estate website that analyzes national housing trends.

The five happiest cities are: Caledon, Milton, Halton Hills, Clarington, and Burlington, which are all located in southern Ontario. While not every city in the top five scored high in every category, they made up for it in other areas.

The study used 30 metrics graded on a 100-point scale. The metrics were further grouped into four categories.

  • Economy and real estate
  • Health and well-being
  • Community and environment
  • Location and demographics

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

Caledon scored 67/100 for overall happiness. Its highest scores were in the economy and real estate category with more than 89% of households owned and a median after-tax income of more than $107,000. The town is about an hour’s drive from Toronto and has a more rural setting.

Census 2021 data shows that 29.2% of Caledon’s population is foreign-born, with the top three countries of birth reported as India, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Recent immigrants (those who arrived between 2016 and 2021) make up 6.9% of the population and the majority are from India, the Philippines, and Pakistan.

The report findings highlight the locations that people are likely to be happiest based on their priorities, which may help newcomers who are deciding where to settle in Canada.

Economy and real estate

Despite Caledon’s high overall ranking, Point2 shows that three Quebec towns ranked the highest for happiness based on economy and real estate.

Terrebonne, Blainville, and Repentigny were all found to have the lowest poverty rates among the 100 ranked cities. All three towns are north of Montreal.

Blainville was also found to have one of the lowest unemployment rates.

Health and well-being

Health and well-being were evaluated based on life expectancy, perceived health, perceived mental health, perceived life stress, mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder, mania, or dysthymia), regular participation in sports and hours worked.

Granby, Saint-Hyacinthe, Lévis, Québec City, Drummondville and Trois-Rivières in Quebec were the top cities in Canada for happiness in health and well-being.

The report says this is in part due to Quebec having shorter working hours than other provinces and a reported lower share of residents dealing with mood disorders.

Statistics Canada data from 2022 shows that only 6% of Quebecers reported having a mood disorder in 2021. This number went up to 10.5% in Ontario and over 12% in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Community and environment

According to the report, those who prioritize tight communities and nice neighbours are most likely to find it in some of Canada’s smaller cities, and mostly on the east coast.

St John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador was found to be among the greenest cities, as well as the highest-ranking spot for charity donations. A Statistics Canada report from earlier this year showed that in the last quarter of 2022, over 55% of Newfoundlanders had a high rate of life satisfaction (on a scale of 1-10). This is somewhat backed up by the Point2 report that says only 12% of St John’s feel that most days are either quite a bit or extremely stressful.

Cape Breton (which was evaluated as a city although it’s an entire island of more than 10,000 square km) ranked higher than St John’s for a strong sense of belonging.

Regina and Saskatoon took the top spot for the highest number of volunteers in their communities. Saskatoon also ranked as the second most stress-free large city in the country.

Location and demographics

Among the cities where residents felt the safest, Milton, Halton Hills and Burlington were in the top four (the other was Oakville ON, which placed 6th overall in the rankings). These cities were ranked as having the lowest crime severity index.

This category also included commute time and walkability. The 10 happiest cities in terms of location and demographics show that most residents have a 15–30-minute commute time. Mississauga was ranked as the most walkable city.

The report also factored in marital status under demographics and found that Milton had one of the lowest rates of divorce in Canada, at 7.5%. Statistics Canada data shows that in 2020 there were nearly 43,000 divorces in Canada. On average, the mean duration of marriages that ended in divorce was shown to be 15 years, with 31% of divorces filed jointly.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
Where to find your cultural community in Canada
A group of multiracial friends chilling together
Three tools to start looking for jobs after receiving an ITA from IRCC
Coworking spaces foster collaboration among diverse professionals in modern office
French language proficiency will lead category-based selection Express Entry draws in 2024
Nearly 80% of all Express Entry draws in 2024 will be category-based.
These 13 colleges in Ontario will be admitting fewer international students in 2024
Two friends in a dorm room watching something on their computer screen.
Top Stories
Canada announces measures to help individuals impacted by the ongoing crises in Haiti
British Columbia and Manitoba issue provincial nominations in latest PNP results
Canada’s immigration minister proposes new legislation for Canadian citizenship by descent
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Citizenship
Canada’s immigration minister proposes new legislation for Canadian citizenship by descent
Immigration Minister Marc Miller has introduced legislation to update Canada's citizenship laws.
Canada celebrates Citizenship Week 2024
Canada is marking its annual citizenship week.
Canada processing proof of citizenship applications faster than pre-pandemic standards
A father and son at a Canada day parade, surrounded by Canadian flags
Study: Fewer recent immigrants are seeking Canadian citizenship
Young family with children having fun in nature on a picnic
Link copied to clipboard