The 10 Best Places to Live in Ontario (2022)

Best Places to Live in Ontario

Canada is the second largest country in the world, measuring nearly ten million square kilometres. Canada is known for its beautiful landscapes and scenery, varied wildlife, and diverse culture. Canadians are famous for being polite and for their niceness. Canada spans three coasts and contains ten provinces and three territories. Given the vastness, it can be overwhelming to decide where you want to live.

Ontario is popular choice among Canadians and new Canadians. It is Canada’s second largest province, covering more than 1 million square kilometres and it is the most populous of all provinces with around 14 million people residing there. Canada’s capital city (Ottawa) and Canada’s most populous city (Toronto) are both located in Ontario. Ontario is the center of a lot of activity in Canada, making it an economic, social, and political hub. There are so many reasons to move to Ontario, including employment opportunities, educational opportunities at some of Canada’s top universities and colleges, and outdoor and recreational activities.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about the best cities in Ontario. Keep reading to learn about the best cities to live in Ontario 2022.

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The Best Cities to Live in Ontario 2022

 London Ontario - The Forest City

London, Ontario

  • Population: 404,699 (2017)
  • Population Density: 913.1/km2
  • Area: 420.6 km2
  • Average cost of home Londo/St. Thomas:  $673,995 (NOV 2021)

London, Ontario is one of the best cities to live in Ontario. It is called “The Forest City” in reference to abundance of greenspace and pathways found throughout the city. London is the largest southwestern Ontario Municipality and Canada’s 11th largest metropolitan area. It offers all the advantages of city life with a small-town feel.

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London is a hub for higher education, medical research, manufacturing, and technology. London is perfectly situated between numerous other cities in Ontario, the United States-Canada border, and the Great Lakes (e.g., Lake Huron and Lake Erie). Toronto is only 200 kilometres away to the south-east, while Detroit is only 200 kilometres away to the south-west. London is a great place for young professionals, young families or those looking to retire.

Key Features

  1. Western University and Fanshawe College
  2. Family-oriented
  3. Budweiser Gardens sports-entertainment centre

 Hamilton Ontario - A city of many communities

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Hamilton

  • Population: 536,917 (2016)
  • Population Density: 480.6/km2
  • Area: 1,138 km2
  • Average cost of home Hamilton/Burlington:  $911,673 (NOV 2021)

Hamilton is one of Canada’s leading industrial centres. Traditionally, the local economy was dominated by steel and heavy manufacturing. Recently, there has been a noticeable transition towards the service sector, such as health and sciences. The city is also considered a financial hub and the centre of an extensive fruit-growing district. It is Ontario’s fifth most-populous city and ranks 27th for population density.

Hamilton is located on the Niagara Escarpment near natural landscapes, trails, waterfalls, and beautiful lookouts. It is also conveniently located within a network of highways making it easy to commute to other cities for work or leisure activities. Hamilton has a vibrant arts scene and unique downtown core know for its industrial heritage.

Key Features

  1. Rail connections to Toronto and Buffalo
  2. Hamilton Harbour
  3. Niagara Escarpment

 Kitchener Waterloo the Creative Capital of Canada

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Kitchener/Waterloo

  • Population:  617,870 (2016)
  • Population Density: 1,745/km2
  • Area: 1,369 km2
  • Average cost of home Kitchener/Waterloo: $821,969 (NOV 2021)

Kitchener/Waterloo, also known as the Region of Waterloo, is the 10th largest metropolitan area in Canada and the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Ontario. Kitchener and Waterloo are often referred to as the “twin cities”. Kitchener/Waterloo offers a unique blend of urban and rural living with a growing tech and innovation hub, top learning institutions, and business parks. Waterloo is known as the birthplace of BlackBerry, which paved the way for a growing sector of more than 1,570 tech-related businesses. It’s proximity to Toronto (100 km away) also makes the region an attractive place to settle.

Kitchener is home to the largest celebration of all things Bavarian outside of Germany. The region hosts an annual nine-day Oktoberfest that attracts over 700,000 people. Kitchener/Waterloo is also home to several museums, the famous St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, Chicopee ski hill and tube park, and Bingaman’s big splash water park. Kitchener/Waterloo is a great place for young professionals and families to live, work and play.

Key Features

  1. Thriving tech scene
  2. Oktoberfest
  3. Growing airport

 Oakville Ontario go forward

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Oakville

  • Population: 193,832 (2016)
  • Population Density: 1,314.2/km2
  • Area: 138.89 km2
  • Average cost of home Oakville/Milton:  $1,477,800 (NOV 2021)

Oakville is one of the best cities in Ontario to live because of the economy, safety and access to health and educational services. In 2018, Oakville was voted as the best place to live in Canada. Oakville is a great place to live as you have access to Toronto’s job market, while maintaining the benefits of living outside the city. The commute to Toronto is only 38 kilometres with the low stress option of taking the Go Train (commuter train).

Oakville is home to the prestigious Glen Abbey Golf Course and is close to nearly 20 other golf courses. There is over 2,400 acres of parkland to explore with numerous trails and bike paths. It is a great place to start a family, re-locate or retire, especially if you like golf.

Key Features

  1. Glen Abbey Golf Course
  2. Proximity to Toronto
  3. Located on Lake Ontario

 Barrie - The People are the City

Barrie

  • Population: 141,434 (2016)
  • Population Density: 1,428/km2
  • Area: 99.04 km2
  • Average cost of home Barrie & District:  $809,400 (NOV 2021)

Barrie is located on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay, which is the western arm of Lake Simcoe. It is in close proximity to High 400 and is often referred to as the gateway to cottage country. Barrie is conveniently located North of Toronto, just an hour away, and south of Blue Mountain. Blue Mountain is Ontario’s only year-round mountain resort and spa featuring skiing, golf, spas and dining.

Barrie’s downtown core and Dunlop Street are home to several gourmet restaurants, cafes, bars and breweries and nightclubs. If shopping is more your thing, there are lots of beautiful boutiques and locally owned shops to browse. Barrie offers city living on the beautiful Lake Simcoe with proximity to Toronto.

Key Features

  1. Two Go Transit stations
  2. City life on the lake
  3. Dunlop Street

 Burlington - Stand By

Burlington

  • Population: 183,314 (2016)
  • Population Density: 946.8/km2
  • Area: km2
  • Average cost of home Hamilton/Burlington:  $911,673 (NOV 2021)

Burlington is located on Lake Ontario between Hamilton and Oakville. It was named the “Best Community in Canada” by Mclean’s magazine in 2019. It is a waterfront city that offers a balance of urban and family living. The downtown core is a bustling environment that features restaurants, nightlife, malls, and various local businesses. There is more than 1,436 acres of parkland to explore with scenic hiking and biking trails along the Niagara Escarpment.

The proximity to major industrial hubs and nearby cities makes it a great place to settle down. It provides a unique balance of greenspace, city living and tranquility.

Key Features

  1. One hour away from Toronto and Niagara Falls
  2. Spencer Smith Park
  3. Low crime rate

 Toronto - Diversity our Strength

Toronto

  • Population: 2,731,571 (2016)
  • Population Density: 4,334.5/km2
  • Area: 630.2 km2
  • Average cost of home Toronto Region:  $1,163,323 (NOV 2021)

Toronto is the capital of Ontario and located along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. It has the largest population in Canada and is North America’s fifth most populous municipality, often referred to as the New York North. It offers the perfect mix of business, culture, and entertainment, providing its residents access to just about everything. Toronto is famous for its multiculturalism, public transportation system (e.g., subway, buses, and street cars) and its beautiful waterfront area.

Toronto is also known as being one of the world’s most economically powerful cities. It is Canada’s banking/financial capital and home to a large number of private IT companies. Toronto has a lot to offer in terms of art, sports, nightlife, cuisine and much more. For those who love the big city feel, Toronto is a great place to settle down.

Key Features

  1. Sports (e.g., National Hockey League – Toronto Maple Leafs, National Basketball League – Toronto Raptors, and Major League Baseball – Toronto Blue Jays)
  2. Top educational institutions
  3. Walkability

 Windsor - The River and the Land Sustain Us

Windsor

  • Population: 217,188 (2016)
  • Population Density: 322/km2
  • Area: 146.32 km2
  • Average cost of home Windsor/Essex:  $554,265 (NOV 2021)

Windsor is a border city anchored by the waterfront. It is one of the southern-most cities in Canada and is located across the Detroit River and just a ten-minute drive from the city of Detroit. The close proximity of the two cities creates a unique blending of Canadian and American culture. Windsor has its own airport (Windsor International Airport) and rail connections to both the United States and other cities in Ontario. 

Windsor is known as the automotive capital of Canada and is home to Canada’s largest automotive cluster. It is also known for its casino district where the famous Caesars Windsor is found. Windsor has a lot to offer and is considered a growing city.

Key Features

  1. Proximity to the United-States border
  2. Casinos and nightlife
  3. Growing city

 Stratford - Industry and Art

Stratford

  • Population: 31,465 (2016)
  • Population Density: 1,146/km2
  • Area: 26.95 km2
  • Average cost of home Huron/Perth: $557,000 (NOV 2021)

Stratford is a city on the Avon River know for its connection to the arts. It is also the hometown of Justin Bieber. It is conveniently located 40 km west of Kitchener/Waterloo and 50 km Northeast of London, Ontario at the juncture of Highway 7 and Highway 8.

Stratford hosts an annual Stratford Festival among other cultural events. It has over 115 acres of formal parkland and 60 acres of natural areas. Two of the four theatres are located within the parkland, while the others are located in the downtown area. The parkland along the waterfront is the perfect place for sports activities, walking, jogging, or cycling or to have a picnic.  Stratford offers the best of both worlds with the comforts of urban living alongside a small-town feeling.

Key Features

  1. Stratford Festival
  2. Shakespearean Gardens
  3. Proximity to other cities

 St. Catharines - Industry and Liberality

St. Catharines

  • Population: 131,400 (2016)
  • Population Density: 1,367.2/km2
  • Area: 96.11 km2
  • Average cost of home Niagara Region: $701,700 (NOV 2021)

St. Catharines is the sixth largest urban area in Ontario. It is commonly known as “the Garden City” and is conveniently located near Niagara Falls and the United-States/Canada border. It is only an hour and a half away from Toronto and 30 minutes away from Niagara Falls/the US border. There are over 90 kilometres of multi-seasonal trails that residents can enjoy, including 12 kilometers of the Bruce Trail. The Bruce trail is the longest and oldest trail in Canada and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Niagara Peninsula has the highest number of vineyards in Ontario. St. Catharines hosts Canada’s largest wine festival and is within a 30-minute drive of over 50 wineries. If golf is more your thing, there are nearly 50 internationally renowned golf courses near St. Catharines. St. Catharines is a thriving city with the perfect balance of city and greenspace. 

Key Features

  1. Strategically located
  2. Recreational activities
  3. Scenery and landscapes

 

Moving to a new country, province or city can be a big decision. Ontario is a great place to call home because of its natural landscapes, connectivity through highways and rail systems, and multiculturalism. We’ve provided our list of the best cities to live in Ontario 2022. You can’t go wrong living in one of these cities as they have so much to offer economically, environmentally, and socially. We hope this overview of the best cities in Ontario can help you decide where to live!

Source: Average cost of home - https://creastats.crea.ca/

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