I would love to live in Europe, but unfortunately I don’t qualify for long-term residence, maybe in the future. So for now, I content myself with going to the USA, a place I can appreciate despite its many issues. The United States is large enough and diverse enough that life is what you make it. Unfortunately, (as I know well from personal experience) the same cannot be said for Canada.
I am constantly bombarded with fear mongering about the USA. It’s as though Canadians can’t fathom that there are more living options than the rough neighborhoods in Chicago, Baltimore or south-central Los Angeles. The absurdity of the anti-American propaganda is indescribable. Yes, there are some bad people down there, and some terrible things do happen – but they also happen here. So let’s take a look at some “Canadiana” living.
Canada’s three major cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver) house more than a third of the population. Outside these locations the majority of Canadians live in small cities and towns; less than 1 in 5 live in rural areas.
For 2018 the most dangerous places are listed by MacLean’s magazine, rated according to the Crime Severity Index:
1) North Battleford, Saskatchewan (pop: 13,567)
2) Thompson, Manitoba (pop: 12,878)
3) Wetaskiwin, Alberta (pop: 12,486)
4) Prince Albert & area, Saskatchewan (pop: 35,102)
5) Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (pop: 12,949)
6) Red Deer, Alberta (pop: 99,718)
7) Williams Lake, British Columbia (pop: 10,508)
8) Quesnel, British Columbia (pop: 12,064)
9) Langley, British Columbia (pop: 117,285)
10) Prince George, British Columbia (pop: 65,510)
[Note: population data taken from latest government census reports available (2016). Current stats should be roughly equivalent.]
In 2017, the five worst cities by crime rate were:
5) Edmonton: “The city has had a persistent problem with violent crime, especially sex-based crimes such as sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and sexual violations against children.”
4) Regina: “Regina, ranks rather highly (or lowly, depending on how you look at it) when it comes to overall violent crime in Canada. It’s been trading places with Saskatoon the past few years …”
3) Saskatoon: “The city has flipped back and forth with Regina (see above) in the overall rankings, and has sometimes even found itself at the ignominious “top” of the standings.”
2) Thunder Bay: “While it ranks eighth in overall crime, the CBC reported that it’s the second-most violent city in Canada. Sadly, that rating isn’t a one-off incident, either. In 2012, the homicide rate was higher in Thunder Bay than in any other major metropolitan area in Canada.”
1) Winnipeg: “… but for all of that, the notorious neighbourhoods which make up the North-Central portion of Winnipeg, from South Point Douglas to West Broadway, reported double the crime rate of Compton, California in 2012.”
In 2016, the most dangerous cities according to MacLean’s: (Crime Severity Index)
1. Grande Prairie, Alta. (pop: 63,166)
2. Victoria, BC (pop: 84,289)
3. Red Deer, Alta. (pop: 100,418)
4. Prince George, BC (pop: 65,510)
5. Winnipeg, Man. (pop: 709,253)
6. Saskatoon, Sask. (pop: 254,569)
7. Fort McMurray, Alta. (pop: 61,374)
8. Thunder Bay, Ont. (pop: 110,984)
9. Surrey, BC (pop: 498,720)
10. Edmonton, Alta. (pop: 928,182)
Over half are at about 100k people or less! “Safe Canada?” Not so much.
There was only one article on the subject in the Canadian Encyclopedia. Aside from Detroit’s significantly higher homicide rate, it had this to say:
“We fare no better than the U.S. in other areas. The break and enter rates in Chilliwack, B.C., Victoria and Regina, for instance, rank within the top 10 per cent of all American cities.
The per capita robbery rates in Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Regina would put them among the top 10 robbery-plagued metropolitan areas of the U.S. And you are far more likely to have your automobile stolen in Winnipeg or Joliette, Que., than anywhere in the U.S., including metropolitan Detroit and Las Vegas, the auto theft capitals of America.
Even at that, a crime analysis this January by the Vancouver Board of Trade concludes official rates are misleadingly low: “only about one-third of actual crimes in Canada are reported to police.”
At the time the article was written the most dangerous cities in the country were listed as: Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, followed by Prince George, Edmonton, New Westminster (pop: 70,996), Chilliwack (pop: 83,788), Victoria (pop: 84,289), Vancouver and Halifax (pop: 414,129). And I’m quoting fairly recent population statistics – these locations would’ve been even less populated at the time.
When we skip back to 2010, Maclean’s said the most dangerous were:
1 Prince George, B.C.
2 Victoria, B.C.
3 Regina, Sask.
4 Saskatoon, Sask.
5 Fort McMurray, Alta.
6 Kelowna, B.C. (pop: 179,839)
7 Grande Prairie, Alta.
8 Surrey, B.C.
9 Chilliwack, B.C.
10 Winnipeg, Man.
11 Red Deer, Alta.
12 Nanaimo, B.C. (pop: 83,810)
13 Edmonton, Alta.
14 New Westminster, B.C.(pop: 65,976)
15 Belleville, Ont. (pop: 92,540)
Again, most of these places barely scraping the 100k mark.
You can read about my lovely experience in small-town northern BC, as well as viewing the documentary on missing women from the surrounding region.
The film includes Vanderhoof, a small northern community of less than 5,000 people. Vanderhoof is a great example of the real Canada:
In 2012, two men murdered a woman there. In 2013, at least two people were murdered there. In 2014, a serial killer born and raised there was sentenced for the murders of four women in the region. In 2015, three Vanderhoof locals were charged with that year’s first murder in nearby Prince George. In 2016, two people were sentenced for the murder and beheading of a local man. In 2018 a local man was murdered in a hotel.
And as a report from Statistics Canada makes clear: children and youth are in more danger in small towns, rural areas and minor cities than in Canada’s most populated centers (family and non-familial violence).
So the only halfway decent places (by Canadian standards) worth living in are Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary … but trust me, I’ll be getting around to a post on these soon.
You know, I walked around inebriated in numerous Los Angeles neighborhoods alone – and I felt far safer than I have in many places in shit hole Canada. (The people were far nicer too, even the ‘undesirables’.)
My point? CANADA IS A SHIT HOLE.
It’s a cold, boring, violent, stagnant place with all of America’s problems, racism, violence and crime – yet none of the benefits of living in such a diverse, interesting place filled with passionate people. Canadians are smug about “safe” Canada … delusional as usual.
Most dangerous (and population):
- Thompson, Manitoba (13,678)
- North Battleford, Saskatchewan (14,315)
- Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (13,000)
- Prince Albert & area, Saskatchewan (43,000)
- Quesnel, British Columbia (23,000)
- Wetaskiwin, Alberta (12,655)
- Selkirk, Manitoba (10,278)
- Terrace, British Columbia (11,643)
- Williams Lake, British Columbia (10,753)
- Timmins, Ontario (41,788)
None of the top 10 have made the 100k mark – way to go Canada! Let’s take a look at the next 10:
Prince Rupert, BC (11,733) / Kenora & Area, ON (15,096) / Winnipeg, MB (749,534) / Thunder Bay & area, ON (121, 621) / Yorkton, SK (19,643) / New Glasgow, NS (9,075) / Port Alberni, BC (18,000) / Fort St. John, BC (21,000) / Prince George, BC (81,345) / Greater Napanee, ON (15,892).
And two places made it over the 100k mark! Check back in 5 years for more of the same.