10 Most Dangerous Cities in Canada

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.

This article explores the 10 most dangerous cities in Canada based on crime severity indexes, the types of crimes prevalent in these areas, and the factors contributing to their high crime rates.

An Infographic Showing 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Canada
Discover the top 10 most dangerous cities in Canada, where crime rates are highest and safety concerns are paramount/Image Credit: www.mostdangerous.org

Explore the 10 most dangerous cities in Canada and learn what factors contribute to their high crime rates.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in Canada

1. Winnipeg, Manitoba

A picture of Winnipeg, Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba/Image Credit: Shutterstock

Why is Winnipeg Considered Dangerous?

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.

2. Regina, Saskatchewan

A picture of Regina, Saskatchewan
Regina, Saskatchewan/Image Credit: Shutterstock

What Contributes to High Crime Rates in Regina?

Regina, with a population of 226,404, is the 2nd most dangerous city in Canada.

Notably, in 2012, Regina had the second-highest overall police-reported crime rate in Canada.

The city also grapples with one of the highest rates of intravenous drug use in the country.

3. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

A picture of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan/Image Credit: Shutterstock

Why is Saskatoon on the List?

Saskatoon, situated along the Trans-Canada Yellowhead Highway, is known for being one of the most dangerous cities in Canada.

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.

4. Edmonton, Alberta

What Contributes to Crime in Edmonton?

Edmonton, located in the heart of Treaty Six territory and the homelands of the Metis Nation, is the 4th most dangerous city in Canada.

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.

5. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Why is Halifax Included in the List?

Halifax, the largest municipality in Atlantic Canada, faced a violent crime rate of 1,439.5 incidents per 100,000 residents and 3,438.0 property violations per 100,000 residents in 2022.

These statistics positioned Halifax as the fifth most dangerous city in Canada.

6. Hamilton, Ontario

A picture of Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton, Ontario/Image Credit: Shutterstock

What Makes Hamilton Dangerous?

Hamilton, a port city nestled on Lake Ontario’s western tip, is home to 569,353 residents.

In 2016, Hamilton ranked first in the country for police-reported hate crimes, registering 12.5 incidents per 100,000 people.

Organized crime also has a visible presence in Hamilton, with three prominent Mafia organizations operating in the area—the Luppino, Papalia, and Musitano crime families.

7. Toronto, Ontario

Why is Toronto on the List?

Toronto, the biggest city in Canada and the capital of Ontario, has a crime rate of 2,915 per 100,000 people.

Common issues include pickpocketing and cyber fraud, particularly in touristy areas.

8. Oshawa, Ontario

A picture of Oshawa, Ontario
Oshawa, Ontario/Image Credit: Shutterstock

What Contributes to Crime in Oshawa?

Oshawa, a city in Ontario with a population of 175,383, 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.

9. Vancouver, British Columbia

Why is Vancouver Considered Dangerous?

With a population of 694,440, Vancouver faces a total crime rate that is 25% more than the national average.

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

10. Kelowna, British Columbia

A picture of Kelowna, British Columbia
Kelowna, British Columbia/Image Credit: Shutterstock

What Makes Kelowna Dangerous?

Kelowna has a high crime rate, particularly 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.

Common Factors Contributing to High Crime Rates

Several common factors contribute to higher crime rates in these cities:

  1. Economic Instability: High unemployment rates and limited job opportunities often lead to increased crime as individuals struggle to meet their basic needs.
  2. Substance Abuse: Drug and alcohol addiction are significant contributors to both violent and property crimes. Many of these cities have high rates of substance abuse, which exacerbates crime rates.
  3. Social Issues: Poverty, lack of education, and mental health issues are common in these areas, creating environments where crime is more likely to occur.
  4. Isolation: Some of these cities are relatively isolated, with limited access to social services and support networks, making it harder to address underlying issues effectively.

Efforts to Improve Safety

Despite the high crime rates, efforts are being made in these cities to improve safety and reduce crime:

  1. Community Programs: Initiatives focused on youth engagement, education, and job training aim to provide alternatives to criminal activity.
  2. Law Enforcement: Increased police presence and community policing strategies help to deter crime and build trust within communities.
  3. Substance Abuse Programs: Expanding access to addiction treatment and support services is crucial in addressing the root causes of crime related to substance abuse.
  4. Economic Development: Efforts to stimulate local economies, create jobs, and improve living conditions are essential in reducing crime rates over the long term.


While these cities face significant challenges related to crime, understanding the underlying factors can help in developing effective strategies to improve safety and reduce crime rates.

By addressing economic, social, and substance abuse issues, these communities can work towards a safer future for their residents.


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