Ranked by population, these Canadian cities are big, they are beautiful, they are small and charming. Ranked from our HQ in Ottawa as of 2019, these are the largest cities in Canada. They are also the most beautiful!
1. Toronto, Ontario
Head and shoulders above everyone else is the city of Toronto, located in the province of Ontario. With a population of 5.4 million people and growing, it is the largest city in Canada by far. Toronto is the financial hub of Canada, the headquarters of the 5 richest banks in Canada, as well as the Toronto Stock Exchange. Almost every major corporation in the world has an office in Toronto. Toronto is also the most diverse city in Canada. We have flown over Toronto several times, and it never gets old – absolutely incredible how big and beautiful it is. This awe-inspiring city is also the capital city of the province of Ontario.
2. Montreal, Quebec
Montreal is number two as the 2nd largest city in Canada and the largest city in Quebec with a population of just over 3.5 million people. Montreal is home to the second largest French-speaking population in the world behind France. It is absolutely gorgeous, a world-renowned city with a European charm. Not crazy expensive like Toronto or Vancouver, Montreal is perfect and has everything to offer.
3. Vancouver, British Columbia
Not number 1 or 2, but Vancouver is the most recognized Canadian city in the world. It is a world class city that consistently ranks at top of most world city rankings. It has hosted numerous world events such as the Winter Olympics, the women’s FIFA world cup among others. Beautiful weather, surrounded by mountains, rivers, etc… Vancouver has it all. Even though Vancouver is expensive, it is our favourite city in Canada. It has the largest number of Asians in Canada.
4. Calgary, Alberta
I used to live in Alberta, in a small city about 2 hours from Calgary, and weekend we would drive up to Calgary. Without question Calgary is a first class city and has seen rapid growth over the last 10 plus years since hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics – first Canadian city to ever do so. It is the largest city in the province of Alberta and the 4th largest in Canada. It is referred by many as “Toronto West” due to the high number of corporate offices. Calgary is also the energy capital of Canada. The city has a population of just over 1.2 million. The famous Calgary Stampede is a must-see event.
5. Edmonton, Alberta
Edmonton is the 5th largest city in Canada, just recently moved ahead of Ottawa not too long ago with a population of just over 1 million. It is the capital city of Alberta, it’s the second largest. It is a beautiful city, home to the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL and also home to the largest mall in North America, the West Edmonton Mall. It is a clean, and peaceful city.
6. Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa used to be as high as number 4 but has dropped down to number 6. It currently has a population of approximately 990,000 people. It is our home base and the capital city of Canada. Just like any typical capital city, it is home to every nations’ embassies, and the famous Parliament buildings, galleries and so much more. Ottawa is a bilingual city, with the two biggest employers being the Federal government and in second place the city of Ottawa. Ottawa used to be known as just a federal city, until the last few years thanks to companies like Shopify, Ottawa has established itself as also a technology city. It is a quiet city, an excellent place to raise a family but just beware about Winter… it gets really cold, and snowy.
7. Winnipeg, Manitoba
Also known as Gateway to the West, at number 7 is Winnipeg, with a population of 710,000. It is a quiet city, you wouldn’t know there are almost a million people while there. It is the largest city in the province of Manitoba and it’s the capital city. The city is slowly but surely growing at a nice and steady pace.
8. Quebec City, Quebec
Arguably the most charming city in Canada, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America and has an estimated population of just over 700,000. It’s also the only walled city in North America. The city is divided into two sections – old and new Quebec, giving the city a nice mixture of old and new architecture. It has a strong European influence, so it feels as if you are in Europe.
9. Hamilton, Ontario
The city of Hamilton has a population of around 695,000 and growing fast. If you like peace and quiet, then Hamilton is the perfect place for you, especially if you are a student. The city is home to one of the best universities in the world McMaster University. But if you want some action, you are not far from Toronto – a short drive.