When you’re raising a family, it’s important to be sure that you’re living in a safe, kid-friendly location. Fortunately, there are many places in Canada that fit that description, so it’s not difficult to find the right city for your family. According to a study profiled in Today’s Parent, the top five family friendly cities in Canada are Quebec City, Ottawa-Hull, Halifax, Winnipeg, and Calgary, with Quebec City achieving the best rating. However, the city of London in Ontario is also gaining recognition as a safe, family friendly city due to its low crime rate and excellent health care, among other factors.
The following are some more detailed descriptions of Canada’s safest cities for families.
This location scored well with the evaluators because of its excellent health care, progressive child care system, and active Ministry of Family and Children. Quebec City spends the most per capita on parks, recreation areas, museums, activities, and festivals – all of which are family friendly and safe. This city also boasts the second-lowest child poverty rate for kids under the age of five and the lowest housing costs by income.
This city has plenty of civic attractions and parks, boasting low crime numbers that attract families to the area for excellent safety. Ottawa-Hull and Calgary tied for the fourth-lowest child poverty rate in Canada.
Out of all the crimes that could plague a city, Halifax is most concerned with graffiti – and that means there’s no focus on homicide or other violent crimes because they rarely affect Halifax. Its crime rate is the second-lowest in Canada, with St. John’s taking first place. Halifax also has a wealth of maritime value with a variety of beaches, fishing and sailing opportunities, and a program to address harbor pollution. Its parks, cycling paths, hiking trails, and clean air make it a great place to raise a family. The only downside to Halifax is its low high school completion rate: the second-lowest in Canada. In general, this city is a solid destination for a safety-conscious family.
This city scored well in environment and community involvement, which are two important initiatives for a family friendly location. Volunteering is a popular activity in this area, so kids learn the importance of helping others early in life. Winnipeg is the third-best city in per capita charitable donations and is well above the midpoint in education and child care. The only caveats for families considering this city are relatively high poverty and violent youth crime rates.
The United Way raises more money per person in Calgary than in any other location included in the study. This city also enjoys a healthy economy, low child poverty rates, and very little business for its food banks. Assaults, property crimes, and drug offenses don’t affect Calgary as much as other cities in Canada. However, Alberta’s health care, education, and low spending on civic attractions leave it at the bottom of the list of the top five safe, family friendly Canadian cities.
Located in the impressively safe province of Ontario, London is a great addition to this list of top family friendly cities in Canada. In 2006, the province of Ontario reported the lowest crime rate in Canada for the third year in a row: 5,689 per 100,000 or roughly 5.7%. This province also outperforms all others on health care with short waiting lists for treatment and very few childhood injuries. Its per-child spending on child care is the second-best out of all Canadian provinces.
London’s wide variety of safety programs includes a Children’s Safety Village which enables children to put what they learn about safety into action when they “practice” being safe in this kid-size model village. Additional programs such as Neighborhood Watch and Pool Safety help to keep families and children safe in this pleasant city.
If you live in any of these cities while you raise your family, you’re in good hands, so enjoy spending time with your children as you watch them grow up in a safe place.
Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online degrees and what it takes to succeed as a student taking a bachelors degree program from home. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.