Best Places To Live In Ontario

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Ontario, a province full of breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cities, and endless opportunities, offers a remarkable quality of life for its residents. With its diverse cultural identity and strong economy, Ontario attracts individuals and families from all over the world. Whether you prefer the hustle and bustle of a big city or the tranquility of a small town, this province has something to offer everyone. 

Ontario, the second-largest province in Canada, is a fun and energetic place to live. It is not surprising that so many people choose to call Ontario home given its large cities, breathtaking scenery, and the finest of both urban and outdoor living.

Best places to live in ontario

While the finest places to live in Ontario will depend on personal desire, there are many excellent options available, ranging from bustling urban areas to serene rural communities. 

In this article, we will explore the 15 best places to live in Ontario, highlighting their unique features and why they are considered among the top choices for residents.

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Cheapest places to live in Ontario

Ontario offers pockets of affordability, particularly in some northern cities. These areas tend to have a slower pace of life compared to the bustling south. Housing costs are a major factor – with a smaller job market, demand for housing is lower, driving down prices.

This can be a great option for those who work remotely or are comfortable with fewer employment opportunities. The trade-off is often a different lifestyle.

While some northern cities boast stunning natural beauty and outdoor activities, the cultural and entertainment scene might be less extensive compared to southern Ontario.

Safest places to live in Ontario

Ontario shines with numerous safe communities. Two that consistently top the charts are Barrie and Ottawa. While other metropolises boast their strengths, Barrie and Ottawa stand out for their exceptionally low crime rates. The national average Crime Severity Index (CSI) sits around 73. Barrie flourishes with a CSI of 56.7, significantly lower.

Ottawa follows closely behind with a CSI of 54.1. This translates to a reduced likelihood of encountering property crime, violent offenses, or other criminal activities, fostering a strong sense of security for residents.

So, if prioritizing safety is paramount in your search for an Ontario haven, Barrie and Ottawa deserve your top consideration.

Best Places to Live in Ontario

Here is the list of the best places to live in Ontario.

1. Toronto

As the largest and most populous city in Canada, Toronto is a cultural hotspot with a plethora of job opportunities, diverse neighborhoods, and world-class amenities.

On a list of the best places to live in Ontario, Toronto comes in #1. With a population of more than 2.9 million, it serves as Ontario’s capital. The most populous city in Canada, Toronto offers a wide range of attractions. 

People wishing to relocate to Ontario frequently choose Toronto as their location. Toronto is a desirable location for settling down because of its low unemployment rate, high average income, and diversified culture.

Toronto is a great city for students because it has some of the best colleges and institutions in the world. Residents of Toronto appreciate the distinctive culture of the city, which includes the variety of its residents and cuisine.

2. Ottawa

Canada’s capital city is known for its prosperous economy, excellent education system, and safe and clean environment. It also offers a rich blend of cultural experiences and historical landmarks.

It’s a stunning city with a thriving culinary scene and lots of outdoor recreation options just outside your door and is ranked as one of the best places to live in Ontario. Ottawa is a great area to live for those looking for employment security because it also has a top-notch university and a large number of government jobs.

There are four different seasons in Ottawa, and while the winters might be chilly with average highs of -2°C to -14°C (28°F to 6°F), there are many snow-related activities to enjoy.

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Ottawa River | Best places to live in Ontario

You may ski and snowshoe on the many trails, or skate along the Rideau Canal. The Ottawa River is a superb location for kayaking, paddle boarding, and even white-water rafting in the summer, and the same pathways are wonderful for hiking and cycling along.

3. Thunder Bay

The largest city in Northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay is located on Lake Superior’s shoreline. It’s simple to see why it appeals to individuals looking for a fantastic place to live with its stunning scenery, outdoor activities, and clean lakes.

A laid-back lifestyle is available in the city, and there are a variety of outdoor pursuits available year-round, including hiking, biking, canoeing, sailing, and fishing in the summer and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the winter.

The city is renowned for being more affordable and having a lower cost of living than other Ontario communities and is ranked as one of the best places to live in Ontario. The lengthy, cold winters are a result of its northern location.

4. Barrie

Ontario has several wonderful spots to call home. And Barrie is one of them.

The city of Barrie has all the amenities you could possibly need for a contented and joyful life. It is the ideal location for families or individuals wishing to begin their careers in a new town because it boasts excellent schools, parks, stores, and restaurants.

Barrie is a city with a wealth of outdoor activities, sports, and natural beauty and is one of the best places to live in Ontario. Additionally, it offers a selection of meals that are suitable for everyone in the neighborhood.

With many ski resorts nearby and a strategic position, Barrie is convenient to Toronto.

If someone desires a different or more economical lifestyle than an apartment block, it also offers a variety of options for cottages.

5. Cobourg

On the beaches of Lake Ontario, the little town of Cobourg is located in the province of Ontario. With a population of roughly 26,000, it provides a wealth of chances for people who want to advance their careers or improve their quality of life.

Although there have been more jobs and services made available to people because of the population surge, there have also been some issues.

The cheap cost of living in this city appeals to immigrants since they can afford to purchase more expensive properties while still making a decent wage and is ranked as one of the best places to live in Ontario.

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6. Waterloo

Southern Ontario is home to the city of Waterloo and one of the best places to live in Ontario. There are numerous businesses there, as well as the Waterloo Regional Transit Commission (WRTC), and it has a population of over 140,000.

It boasts a higher level of living overall and a greener, more sustainable environment, making it one of the greatest locations to live in Ontario. Additionally, 25% of its population is made up of immigrants, allowing for diversity and cross-cultural interaction.

In addition, Waterloo is a cheap city close to Toronto. It provides inexpensive housing that enables young professionals and students to live the lifestyle of their dreams without having to strain their budgets to make rent or mortgage payments.

7. Guelph 

A city in Ontario, Canada is called Guelph. It is one of only three municipalities in Canada with more than 100,000 residents, and it has the fifth-largest population of any municipality.

Guelph was the second-largest community by this count, behind Toronto, with 2 million citizens, according to the results of the most recent census, which counted 135,474 residents there.

Except for six American cities and five Canadian provinces, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal, and Toronto, Guelph is larger than all of these cities and provinces.

Because of the low unemployment rate and reasonable housing, it’s one of the best places to live in Ontario. It also boasts a tonne of amenities, such as restaurants and parks, that make living here enjoyable and simple.

8. Oakville 

Oakville, which is situated on Lake Ontario between Toronto and Hamilton and provides quick access to downtown Toronto by automobile or public transport, is the perfect location for commuters who want to be near the city without really relocating there.

Oakville, which is one of the best places to live in Ontario, is a great option for people searching for a family-friendly city with lots of outdoor activities and stunning landscapes.

It is simple to understand why Oakville is an excellent area to live given its accessibility to downtown, affordability in comparison to Toronto, and plenty of trails and bike lanes.

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9. Burlington 

In the middle of the distance between Toronto and Niagara Falls, on the beaches of Lake Ontario, is the lovely city of Burlington. It is simple to understand why it is a well-liked option for individuals looking for a fantastic area to live with the stunning views of the lake and the surrounding Niagara Escarpment.

The city features a bustling downtown with a wide selection of eateries, stores, and entertainment venues. The parks close by offer a variety of outdoor activities as well, such as hiking paths and lakeshore beaches.

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Niagara Falls | Best Places to Live in Ontario

For those interested in culture, there is also a staggering selection of theatres, museums, and art galleries.

Summers are hot and muggy, with temperatures in the mid-to-high 30s°C, while winters are comparatively mild compared to other parts of Ontario but still fall below 0°C.

10.  Bracebridge

A little community called Bracebridge can be found close to Lake Joseph’s beaches. Canoeing and kayaking on Lake Joseph are just two of the many outdoor pursuits available in this lovely small town. For those looking to experience the Canadian wilderness, there are numerous routes near the Blue Mountain Wild Forest.

Additionally, Bracebridge is home to some fantastic eateries that use ingredients that are grown nearby, including Scenic Joe’s Restaurant.

People who live in Toronto or Ottawa don’t need to commute too far because it is close by.

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Muskoka River | Best Places to Live in Ontario

One of Canada’s ten most threatened streams, the Muskoka River, is visible from the lovely town of Bracebridge in the province of Ontario.

11. Hamilton

Hamilton is quickly rising to the top of the list of the best places to live in Ontario despite being frequently overshadowed by Toronto and going by the moniker Steel City. With approximately 150 waterfalls in the city alone, it is also referred to as the “City of Waterfalls” in addition to its renown as a center for the steel industry.

A lot of outdoor activities are available in Hamilton, which is located on the Niagara Escarpment and the shores of Lake Ontario. These include hiking on a section of the Bruce route and taking advantage of the waterfront route, which is a part of the fantastic TransCanada Trail.

There are now many craft breweries to visit and a thriving cultural scene in the downtown area, which has recently undergone major rehabilitation. 

12. Kingston

Kingston, a minor city in Eastern Ontario on the beaches of Lake Ontario known as “Limestone City,” is situated.

Kingston, a tiny town with big-city amenities, is found in the eastern part of the province on the shores of Lake Ontario. It’s a tiny city with a welcoming community, making it a great spot to bring up kids.

The lovely downtown area is a wonderful spot to visit because it is full of charming charm, superb restaurants, and upscale boutiques. Kingston is one of the oldest cities in Ontario, and one of the best places to live in Ontario. It also features historic buildings and a fascinating past.

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Best Places to Live in Ontario

Worst places to live in Ontario

Ontario, while generally safe, has some areas that might raise concerns. Sault Ste. Marie, despite its natural beauty, grapples with a higher Crime Severity Index compared to the provincial average. This translates to a greater chance of encountering property or violent crime. Thunder Bay faces similar challenges.

While offering affordability, its crime rates are statistically higher. Finally, Windsor, located near the border, experiences a different kind of issue. Auto theft rates are noticeably higher here compared to other parts of Ontario. While these areas have their merits, they also come with safety considerations to be aware of.


In conclusion, Ontario is an exceptional province to call home, presenting a wide array of choices for individuals seeking the best places to live. From vibrant and diverse cities to serene and picturesque towns, Ontario caters to various preferences and lifestyles. No matter where you decide to settle in this remarkable province, you are bound to enjoy its stunning landscapes, robust economy, and high quality of life.

So there you have it: the best places to live in Ontario to call home! These cities are undoubtedly worth taking into consideration if you’re seeking a fantastic spot to call home.

The best places to live in Ontario will depend on your unique needs and preferences. There are many wonderful areas to live in Ontario. Ontario has something to offer everyone, no matter where you choose to call home.

Which city suits me the best? The greatest city for you will rely on your unique needs and tastes, therefore no one solution applies to everyone. However, Toronto, Ottawa, and Waterloo are some of the best places to live in Ontario. Do your homework on various cities to determine which one is the best fit for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ontario a safe place to live?

Yes, Ontario has consistently been ranked as one of the safest provinces in Canada

Are the best places to live in Ontario expensive?

While some cities may have a higher cost of living, there are plenty of affordable options throughout the province.

Are there good job opportunities in Ontario?

Yes, Ontario’s strong economy offers a plethora of job opportunities, particularly in sectors such as technology, finance, and healthcare.

Is Ontario suitable for families?

Absolutely, Ontario’s cities and towns provide excellent educational institutions, recreational facilities, and a safe environment, making it an ideal place to raise a family.


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