Ottawa unseated as Canada’s top place to live; secures No. 2 spot in national ranking


After a two-year run at the top of a ranking of Canada’s best places to live, Ottawa has been unseated by the southern Ontario city of Oakville.

Moneysense evaluates hundreds of communities across the country each year on a range of factors including wealth, affordability, commuting times, crime, weather and access to health care, among others.

Ottawa has historically ranked high on the list thanks to the economic stability provided by the federal government as well as the affordable cost of living.

How did Canada’s capital lose its top spot to a Toronto suburb?

Moneysense writers point to Oakville’s growing diversity and highlight how residents have access to both Toronto’s strong job market and the benefits of living in a smaller community.

Rounding out the top-three communities is Russell, just southeast of Ottawa. In addition to its high overall ranking, Russell also took the top spot in a sub-list of the best places to live with housing prices under $500,000.

Looking ahead, Ottawa appears well-positioned to meet the needs of an aging population: Moneysense named the best place to retire, thanks to its ease of getting around and excellent access to health care.

Top 10 places to live

  1. Oakville, ON
  2. Ottawa, ON
  3. Russell, ON
  4. Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, QC
  5. Lacombe, AB
  6. Milton, ON
  7. Canmore, AB
  8. Westmount, QC
  9. Saint-Lambert, QC
  10. Halton Hills, ON

Source: Moneysense