15 Most Dangerous Cities in Canada

By PropertyClub Team
Dec 17th 2023
Canada, with its vast landscapes and friendly reputation, might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about dangerous cities. Yet, beneath the picturesque landscapes, some Canadian cities suffer from high crime rates. Here are the 15 worst cities in Canada for crime.

hash-mark1. Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winnipeg, the capital and largest city of Manitoba, is the most dangerous city in Canada. As of 2022, it holds the second-highest per-capita rate of homicides, standing at 7.2 per 100,000 people. 

In 2020, Winnipeg was designated the "violent crime capital" of Canada, as reported by Statistics Canada's police-reported violent crime severity index. These statistics underline the city's ongoing challenges with crime, emphasizing the need for comprehensive efforts to address and improve public safety.

hash-mark2. Regina, Saskatchewan

Regina, Saskatchewan, is the 2nd most dangerous city in Canada, with a population of 226,404, making it the 16th largest city in the country. Notably, in 2012, Regina had the second-highest overall police-reported crime rate in Canada. Additionally, the city grapples with one of the highest rates of intravenous drug use in the country. 

hash-mark3. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is known for being one of the most dangerous cities in Canada. Situated along the Trans-Canada Yellowhead Highway, it has been a key cultural and economic center for Saskatchewan. 

Unfortunately, violent crimes, like assaults and armed robberies, are prevalent in Saskatoon. According to Numbeo, the crime index here is 49.8, highlighting the need for ongoing efforts to enhance safety and address the root causes of criminal activities.

hash-mark4. Edmonton, Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta, is the 4th most dangerous city in Canada, located in the heart of Treaty Six territory and the homelands of the Metis Nation. With a population of 1,010,899, Edmonton faced 165 reported shootings in 2022. 

In 2011, the city set a somber record with 53 murders, marking the highest number of homicides in a single year. These statistics highlight the city's challenges with crime, particularly violent incidents.

hash-mark5. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax, Nova Scotia, is the largest municipality in Atlantic Canada. It serves as a significant economic hub for the region, hosting various government offices and private companies. 

In 2022, Halifax faced challenges with crime, reporting a violent crime rate of 1,439.5 incidents per 100,000 residents and 3,438.0 property violations per 100,000 residents. These statistics positioned Halifax as the fifth most dangerous city in Canada.

hash-mark6. Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton, Ontario, a port city nestled on Lake Ontario's western tip, is home to 569,353 residents. Unfortunately, it ranks as the sixth most dangerous city in Canada. 

In 2016, Hamilton ranked first in the country for police-reported hate crimes, registering 12.5 incidents per 100,000 people. Notably, organized crime has a visible presence in Hamilton, with three prominent Mafia organizations operating in the area—the Luppino, Papalia, and Musitano crime families. 

hash-mark7. Toronto, Ontario

Toronto, Ontario, is the biggest city in Canada and the capital of Ontario. It's a busy hub for business, finance, arts, sports, and culture on the global stage. However, it's important to note that Toronto is considered one of the most dangerous cities in Canada. 

The crime rate in Toronto is 2,915 per 100,000 people. Common issues include pickpocketing and cyber fraud, particularly in touristy areas. 

hash-mark8. Oshawa, Ontario 

Oshawa, a city in Ontario with a population of 175,383, finds itself among the list of most dangerous cities in Canada. Despite its rich arts and cultural scene, boasting over 500 cultural businesses, events, and festivals, Oshawa grapples with a crime rate of 2,263 per 100,000 residents. This means that in Oshawa, you have a 1 in 45 chance of becoming a victim of crime.

hash-mark9. Vancouver, British Columbia 

With a population of 694,440, Vancouver, British Columbia, is recognized as the 9th most dangerous city in Canada, reporting the ninth-highest crime rate as of 2018. 

Despite being one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in the country, the total crime rate here is 25% more than the national average. 

The city faces challenges related to property crime and drug-related offenses, particularly in certain neighborhoods. 

hash-mark10. Kelowna, British Columbia

Kelowna, located in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, is surrounded by mountains, lakes, and vineyards, making it a picturesque city. While it offers stunning natural beauty, it has been identified as one of the cities with the highest crime rate in Canada. Most of the reported incidents in Kelowna are non-violent property crimes. 

In 2012, the city had the highest reported crime rate in the country, with 8,875 incidents per 100,000 residents. Currently, the total crime rate stands at 8,870 per 100,000 residents, which is 110% more than the national average. 

hash-mark11. Abbotsford, British Columbia

Abbotsford, located in British Columbia, is the 11th most dangerous city in Canada. With a population of 160,174, it has gained attention for property crime, with 3,179 incidents per 100,000 residents. Common property crimes in Abbotsford include vandalism and theft. 

Despite its safety concerns, Abbotsford stands out for its generosity, earning the title of Canada's most generous city in terms of charitable donations, according to Statistics Canada.

hash-mark12. Montreal, Quebec

Montreal, Quebec, a city founded in 1642, stands as the second-largest in Canada, with a population of 1,762,949. Known for its predominantly French-speaking residents, Montreal holds a unique cultural charm. However, the city faces challenges, as its crime rates are 19% higher than the Quebec average, making it the 12th most dangerous city in Canada.

hash-mark13. Quebec City, Quebec

Founded in 1608 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City, with a population of 549,459, stands as one of the oldest European settlements in North America. 

Known for its rich history and charming architecture, the city has faced challenges, including a reported hate crime rate of 7.1 per 100,000 population, which is higher than the national average of 3.9 - making it another one of the most dangerous cities in Canada. 

hash-mark14. Thunder Bay, Ontario

Thunder Bay, Ontario, with a population of 111,499, is the penultimate city on our list. Known as the "Lakehead" due to its position at the end of Great Lakes navigation on the Canadian side, the city faces challenges with crime, with rates 66% higher than the Ontario average. 

In 2022, Thunder Bay set a concerning record with 15 homicides, resulting in a homicide rate of 13.7 per 100,000 people.

hash-mark15. Calgary, Alberta

Calgary, Alberta, wraps up our list of the most dangerous cities in Canada. The city is home to a diverse community, including South Asian and Chinese immigrants. Despite being known for its high wages and low taxes, residents of Calgary face a property crime rate that is 7% higher than the national average. 

In 2022, the city's crime severity index was 75.2, marking a 4% increase from the previous year. Despite these challenges, Calgary remains a vibrant city with residents enjoying an overall excellent quality of life.

hash-markMost Dangerous Cities in Canada Bottom Line 

While these cities may have higher crime rates compared to the national average, it's essential to recognize that many ongoing efforts are aimed at addressing these challenges. Community engagement, law enforcement initiatives, and social programs play crucial roles in creating safer environments for residents.