Canada is a beautiful and safe country known for its friendly people. However, not all places in Canada share the same level of safety. Some cities have higher crime rates, which might be a concern for people immigrating to Canada for a better life.
No country is perfect, and Canada is no exception. It has its own set of problems, including some areas with higher crime rates.
According to Numbeo‘s data, Surrey, Canada, ranks as the 56th most dangerous city globally. It scores 70.8 on the Crime Index (lower is better) and 29.2 on the Safety Index (higher is better).
In this article, we’ll explore the 10 most dangerous cities in Canada, with the least dangerous being at #10, and working our way to the most dangerous at #1.
Many residents consider these cities to be unsafe places to live. We’ll use the latest 2023 data to create our list.
Keep in mind that while some cities may have higher crime rates, Canada remains one of the safest countries in the Western world.
The country’s beauty, welcoming communities, and opportunities still make Canada a top destination for millions of people each year. So, let’s take a closer look at these 10 cities and understand the challenges they face.
In this article, we’ll dive into the most dangerous cities in Canada using Numbeo’s latest 2023 data for crime and safety indexes.
We’ll discuss the factors contributing to high crime rates in these cities and discuss safety concerns for residents and visitors.
+1 News‘s goal is to give you a well-informed perspective on Canadian city safety, helping you make educated decisions about where to live, work, or visit.
The crime and safety indexes provide a very important insight into Canadian city safety. The crime index reflects a city’s overall crime level, while the safety index indicates how secure residents and visitors feel there.
Seven Canadian cities rank among the top 100 most dangerous places globally, as reported by the worldwide statistics database Numbeo.
The index scores are determined by factors such as violent and non-violent crime rates, drug use, corruption, and general safety. Based on the 2023 data, the following cities are considered the most dangerous in Canada.
Click to jump directly on any city:
What are the most dangerous cities of Canada for 2023?
1. Surrey, British Columbia
That’s a big number! It’s mostly because of drug crimes like possession and related assaults. These are serious issues that have many people worried.
The city has a high incidence of gang violence, property crime, and drug trafficking, which contributes to its high crime rate.
On the bright side, the city has taken measures to combat crime, including hiring more police officers and establishing programs to help at-risk youth.
2. Red Deer, Alberta
Red Deer is more than just a city halfway between Calgary and Edmonton. It’s known for its diverse culture and industries. But there’s a big concern: crime. In fact, Red Deer is one of Alberta’s most dangerous cities.
Red Deer’s crime index is high at 61.2 and a safety index score of 38.9.. Its total violent crime rate is 175.7, while nonviolent crimes measure 176.2. That’s many points above Alberta’s average.
Red Deer has a high incidence of property crime, including theft and vandalism, as well as violent crimes such as assault and robbery.
3. Lethbridge, Alberta
It has earned a spot among the most dangerous cities in Canada, with a Crime Index of 62.3. The city’s violent crime rate stands at 133.8, and the nonviolent crime rate at 154.0. These figures surpass Alberta’s Crime Severity Index (CSI) of 101.36, causing some concern for residents and potential visitors
Lethbridge has a high incidence of property crime, including theft and vandalism, as well as violent crimes such as assault and sexual assault.
4. Kelowna, British Columbia
Kelowna, located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, might not be what first comes to mind when considering the most dangerous cities. It boasts beautiful vineyards, sprawling parks, and a thriving cultural district.
Kelowna has a strikingly high crime index of 61.6. With a crime rate of 141.9, it significantly outpaces the average for British Columbia’s major cities. The city’s violent crime rate stands at 124.3, and the nonviolent crime rate is 148.0. In particular, the most reported crimes are theft and vandalism.
Kelowna has a high incidence of property crime, including theft and break-ins, and also has a high incidence of drug use.
5. Sudbury, Ontario
Over the past three years, the VCSI reports a consistent decrease in minor offences in Sudbury, even as violent crime rates have risen.
Sudbury has a crime index score of 60.7. In 2021, it had the fourth-highest rate of murders in all of Canada.
Sudbury has a high incidence of property crime, including theft and break-ins, as well as drug use and gang violence.
6. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Sault Ste. Marie ranks sixth on the list, with a crime index score of 59.2 and a safety index score of 40.8. Its violent crime rate sits at 143.2, and its nonviolent crime rate measures 126.1.
The issues like assault and theft place it among the world’s top 100 most dangerous cities.
Sault Ste. Marie has a high incidence of property crime, including theft and break-ins, and also has a high incidence of violent crimes such as assault and sexual assault.
Moreover, a worrying prevalence of drug-related activities, including usage and dealing, as well as vandalism, add to the area’s challenges.
7. Winnipeg, Manitoba
Winnipeg, a lively city known for its culture and scenery, is Manitoba’s largest. Winnipeg ranks seventh on the list, with a crime index score of 59.1 and a safety index score of 40.9. Most serious crimes here are tied to gangs and drugs.
Winnipeg has a high incidence of property crime, including theft and vandalism, as well as violent crimes such as assault and robbery.
8. Oshawa, Ontario
With a crime index of 58.1, Oshawa is one of the most dangerous cities in Canada. Although its safety index is slightly higher than other cities on this list, residents still face a high risk of violent and property crime.
Most incidents relate to drug use and include acts like vandalism, minor theft, simple assault, and quick property thefts. In 2022, the city recorded a total of 15 murders.
Oshawa is a mid-sized city in Ontario, located on the shore of Lake Ontario, and has a population of over 175,000 people.
9. Kamloops, British Columbia
Kamloops, located in British Columbia with a crime index of 55.3 is one of the most dangerous cities in Canada. It has a violent crime rating of 132.9 and a nonviolent crime rating of 135.9.
Despite being known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational activities, it has been plagued by high crime rates in recent years. Property crimes are particularly common in Kamloops.
10. Hamilton, Ontario
With a crime index of 55.3, Hamilton ranks among the most dangerous cities in Canada. Located in Ontario, Hamilton has a population of over 570,000 people and has been struggling with rising crime rates in recent years.
Violent crimes, such as vandalism, theft, muggings, assault and robbery, are common in Hamilton.
Other notable cities with high crime rates in Canada include Brampton, London, Regina, Saskatoon, St. John’s, Edmonton, and Windsor.
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Most Unsafe cities worldwide: Is Your City on the List?
Crime rates are high in various parts of the world, so it’s crucial to know which cities are considered the most dangerous.
Numbeo, a crowd-sourced global database of reported crime, ranks Caracas, Venezuela, as the most dangerous city globally, with a crime index of 83.4 and a safety index of just 16.6.
South African cities like Pietermaritzburg, Pretoria, Durban, and Johannesburg feature prominently in the top 5.
The top 10 also includes San Pedro Sula in Honduras, Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, Kabul in Afghanistan, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and Alice Springs in Australia.
Several US cities made the list, such as Baltimore, Memphis, Detroit, New Orleans, Oakland, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Houston, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Indianapolis.
When planning to travel or move to a new city, it’s essential to think about the safety of your destination.
The following table shows the top 100 most dangerous cities worldwide, according to Numbeo.
|Rank||City||Crime Index||Safety Index|
|2||Pietermaritzburg, South Africa||81.9||18.1|
|3||Pretoria, South Africa||81.9||18.1|
|4||Durban, South Africa||81.0||19.0|
|5||Johannesburg, South Africa||80.8||19.2|
|6||San Pedro Sula, Honduras||80.7||19.3|
|7||Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea||80.4||19.6|
|9||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||77.7||22.3|
|10||Alice Springs, Australia||77.3||22.7|
|15||Port Elizabeth, South Africa||76.3||23.7|
|16||Port of Spain, Trinidad And Tobago||76.2||23.8|
|17||Baltimore, MD, United States||75.8||24.2|
|19||Memphis, TN, United States||75.3||24.7|
|20||Detroit, MI, United States||74.2||25.8|
|21||Cape Town, South Africa||73.6||26.4|
|22||Preston, United Kingdom||73.2||26.8|
|23||Porto Alegre, Brazil||72.1||27.9|
|24||Albuquerque, NM, United States||71.9||28.1|
While Canada is generally considered a safe country, there are several cities that have higher crime rates than others. Surrey, Lethbridge, Kelowna, and Red Deer are among the most dangerous cities in Canada based on crime statistics.
Residents of these cities face a higher risk of violent and property crimes compared to other Canadian cities. However, it’s important to note that crime rates can vary depending on factors such as population density, economic conditions, and policing strategies.
If you’re planning to visit or move to Canada, it’s important to research the safety of the cities you’re interested in. While crime can happen anywhere, being aware of the risks can help you make informed decisions about your safety and well-being.
Remember to always exercise caution and take necessary precautions, regardless of where you are in Canada.