Canada is the second-largest country by total area and has nearly 38 million people. Have you ever wondered what the largest cities are, and what they are like? This list breaks down the top 10 most populous cities in Canada.
Canada’s 10 Most Populous Cities
The largest city in Canada is Toronto at 2,600,000 residents. Toronto surrounds the Western End of Lake Ontario, and has a landmass of 243 square miles. Their economy is mainly focused on business and finance. The Toronto Stock Exchange is one of the largest in the world. Their cost of living is very high, as they rank second highest in that category. They are known as one of the safest cities in the world, as they have one of the lowest crime rates. Toronto also takes great pride in its sports teams, as they represent five different professional sports.
The second-largest city in Canada in terms of population is Montreal, with a population of 1,600,000 people. It covers a landmass of 166 square miles. As the second-largest city, Montreal is transportation, finance, technology, and culture hub. The Montreal Exchange is headquartered here. Montreal previously was the strongest commercial city, yet was passed by Toronto in the 1970s. Not only are they the second largest city in terms of population, but in terms of GDP as well. They rank only behind powerhouse Quebec. Montreal is known for its culture, and has been dubbed as “Canada’s Culture Capital”. Montreal is typically fond of jazz and rock music, as well as classical art.
Calgary comes next in our list of major cities in Canada, and this city located in Alberta. The city spans over 318 square miles, with a population of 1,019,000 people. Their economy is booming and is focused on oil and gas. They have one of the highest median income, while also having the lowest unemployment rates. Calgary International Airport is one of the largest airports in the nation.
The next major city in Canada is Ottowa, the capital. They have 812,000 residents covering 1,077 square miles. As the capital, they truly are the political centre of Canada. They have the most well-educated residents and have numerous well respected educational institutions. Their economy revolves around the Public Service of Canada, as well as the high-tech industry. Ottowa has serious sports fans, as they have six different professional sports represented.
The capital city of Alberta, Edmonton, ranks at number 5 covering 264 square miles. They have a reported population of 712,000 people. Edmonton is well known for its extravagant festivals, which dubbed them the name “The Festival City”. Their economy is heavily centered around the oil and gas industries due to the close proximity of the oil sands. They are home to the largest Mall in North America, West Edmonton Mall.
Just east of Toronto lies Mississauga covering 112 square miles. It is on the shore of Lake Ontario and houses 668,000 citizens. Many industries thrive here including finance, pharmaceuticals, and transportation parts. The busiest airport in Toronto, Toronto Pearson International, is in Mississauga. They have a vibrant culture and host numerous festivals each year.
7. North York
Home to the wealthier residents of the nation, North York has 636,000 citizens. In the past, it was an agricultural hob. North York currently spans 178 square miles. It is a corporate heavy area, with many offices and businesses. They include a variety of museums, and residents are physically active as there are many sports clubs. Many highways pass through North York, with Highway 401 being one of the busiest in North America.
Winnipeg is named after the nearby Lake Winnipeg and has 632,000 residents. They cover a larger amount of land, at 799 square miles. In their early history, they were a trading hub. Winnipeg is well known for its large festivals and sporting events. While their economy is diversified, they are now mainly a transportation hub. They were previously known as the “Gateway To The West” when the railroad arrived in the 1880s. Winnipeg has very high levels of crime and is the city with the highest murder rates.
What began as a tiny rural village, has turned into a growing city with Scarborough an estimated population of 600,00, making Scarborough one of the major cities in Canada. They cover 72 square miles of land and are a borough of Toronto. Scarborough is known for its diversity and is a popular destination for new immigrants. Manufacturing is a key part of their economy, Scarborough is home to one of the largest shopping malls in Canada, and also has many beautiful golf courses. Historically, they have had a lower crime rate related to the rest of the country.
The 2020 reported population was 600,000 people. This coastal seaport city spans roughly 45 square miles and is located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. Their economy is largely centered around foresty, finishing, and mining. The 2010 Winter Olympics was hosted in Vancouver! Vancouver is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the country. They have a very high cost of living, however, most find it worth it has it is frequently named one of the top worldwide cities for quality of life. Their beautiful mountain scenery makes it a popular destination for filming.
I hope that this article on the largest cities in Canada in terms of population was helpful. If you are interested, visit the City Facts Page!