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Top 10 Largest Cities In Canada 

Canada has some of North America’s largest cities, each playing a big role in the country’s culture, economy, and society. Toronto is the biggest with over 6 million people as of 2022, growing from a small trading post in the late 1700s to a global city known for finance, arts, and diversity.

Montreal, dating back to 1642, is one of Canada’s oldest cities and has over 4 million residents. It’s a lively center of French culture and business. Vancouver, with a population of more than 2.5 million on the Pacific coast, is known for sustainability and diversity.

Other important cities include Calgary, known for its oil industry and Western culture, and Edmonton, Alberta’s government and education hub. These cities showcase Canada’s vibrant urban life, blending history with modernity.

Which Are the 10 Largest Cities In Canada?

  1. Toronto
  2. Montreal
  3. Vancouver
  4. Calgary
  5. Edmonton
  6. Ottawa
  7. Mississauga
  8. Winnipeg
  9. Quebec City
  10. Hamilton

1. Toronto

Toronto, Canada’s largest city, boasts an expansive metropolitan area covering around 630 square kilometers. With a dynamic history dating back to the late 18th century, Toronto has evolved into a global hub of culture, finance, and innovation. As of 2022, its population exceeds 3 million residents, making it one of North America’s most populous cities.

The city’s development accelerated in the 19th century with the construction of railways, fueling its industrial growth. By the early 20th century, Toronto had emerged as Canada’s primary financial center. Today, it hosts the Toronto Stock Exchange, one of the world’s largest stock exchanges by market capitalization.

Toronto’s diverse population reflects its status as a major immigration destination, contributing to its vibrant cultural scene. The city’s skyline is dominated by iconic structures like the CN Tower, a symbol of Canadian engineering prowess and a popular tourist attraction.

Overall, Toronto’s combination of economic significance, cultural richness, and urban sprawl solidifies its position as Canada’s premier metropolis.

Also Read: List of Canadian Artists

2. Montreal

Montreal, established in 1642, ranks as the second-largest city in Canada. With an area spanning approximately 431.5 square kilometers, Montreal ranks among the top urban centers in North America. With its population exceeding 1.7 million residents, it ranks as the second-largest city in Canada, underlined by its strategic location along the St. Lawrence River.

Economically, Montreal thrives across a diverse spectrum of industries, including aerospace, technology, finance, and healthcare. Its GDP consistently ranks among the highest in Canada, contributing significantly to the nation’s economic landscape. As a major international center for commerce, Montreal has a bustling port and a well-developed transportation infrastructure.

Culturally, Montreal epitomizes a fusion of European charm and North American vibrancy. The majority of its population is bilingual in French and English, adding to its cosmopolitan allure. The city is renowned for its festivals, including the globally acclaimed Montreal International Jazz Festival and the iconic Just for Laughs comedy festival, attracting millions of visitors annually.

Moreover, Montreal is a hub of education and innovation, housing several prestigious universities and research institutions. This amalgamation of history, culture, and economic prowess solidifies Montreal’s status as a dynamic global city, continuously evolving while preserving its rich heritage.

3. Vancouver

Vancouver’s metropolitan area sprawls across approximately 2,870 square kilometers, encompassing a diverse range of neighborhoods, parks, and natural landscapes. The urban core of the city covers about 115 square kilometers, hosting a population exceeding 675,000 residents as of the last census.

Founded in 1886, Vancouver has experienced significant growth, evolving into a major economic and cultural powerhouse. Its strategic location on the Pacific Rim has made it a crucial gateway for trade and commerce, particularly with Asia. The city’s port, one of the busiest in North America, facilitates a substantial volume of international shipping.

Renowned for its breathtaking scenery, Vancouver is surrounded by the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. This natural beauty has contributed to its appeal as a tourist destination and a desirable place to live. The city’s mild climate, recreational opportunities, and diverse cultural offerings make it a vibrant and livable urban center.

In 2010, Vancouver gained global attention as it hosted the Winter Olympics, showcasing its ability to organize large-scale events and its world-class infrastructure. The city continues to attract a diverse population, including students, professionals, and immigrants, adding to its cultural richness and economic vitality.

Also Read: Festivals In Canada

4. Calgary

Calgary, situated in the western part of Canada’s Alberta province, stands out as one of the country’s largest and most dynamic cities. Its history traces back to the establishment of Fort Calgary in 1875, a crucial outpost during the early days of western Canada’s development.

In terms of sheer size, Calgary covers an expansive area of over 825 square kilometers, making it the fourth-largest city in Canada by land area. This vast expanse encompasses a diverse range of landscapes, from urban neighborhoods and commercial districts to sprawling parks and natural reserves.

The city’s population has surged over the years, currently standing at around 1.3 million residents, making Calgary the third most populous city in Canada. This growth is fueled by a strong economy, particularly in sectors like energy, technology, finance, and transportation.

Calgary’s economic significance is particularly notable in the energy sector, with numerous oil and gas companies headquartered in the city. This has earned Calgary the moniker of “Energy Capital of Canada,” playing a pivotal role in the nation’s energy industry and contributing significantly to its GDP.

The urban landscape of Calgary is characterized by a modern skyline dominated by impressive skyscrapers, including the iconic Calgary Tower. Rising 190 meters above street level, the tower offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding areas, attracting tourists and locals alike.

Culturally, Calgary is a vibrant melting pot, with a rich tapestry of arts, entertainment, and culinary experiences. The city hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, such as the world-renowned Calgary Stampede, a celebration of Western heritage and culture that draws millions of visitors annually.

Moreover, Calgary’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship is evident in initiatives like extensive public transportation networks, green spaces, and conservation efforts. This focus on eco-conscious practices aligns with Calgary’s vision of being a livable, progressive city for its residents and future generations.

With a diameter spanning over 36 kilometers, Calgary’s expansive footprint continues to evolve and thrive, reflecting its status as a leading economic, cultural, and recreational hub in Canada’s dynamic landscape.

5. Edmonton

Edmonton, located in the province of Alberta, Canada, is one of the country’s largest cities in terms of both land area and population. Its area spans approximately 684 square kilometers, making it the sixth-largest city by area in Canada. The city’s diameter extends around 50 kilometers, showcasing its expansive geographical footprint.

Originally settled by Europeans in the late 18th century, Edmonton’s official status as a city was established in 1904. Over the decades, it has experienced significant growth, particularly during the oil boom in the mid-20th century, which brought substantial economic development to the region.

As of the most recent census data, Edmonton’s population exceeds one million residents, making it Alberta’s second-most populous city after Calgary and one of Canada’s major urban centers. This population diversity contributes to Edmonton’s vibrant cultural scene, with a rich mix of ethnicities, languages, and traditions.

Economically, Edmonton is a powerhouse, driven by industries such as oil and gas, healthcare, education, technology, and manufacturing. Its strategic location as a transportation and logistics hub further enhances its economic significance within Canada.

In addition to its economic and population size, Edmonton is renowned for its cultural offerings. It boasts numerous museums, art galleries, theaters, and cultural festivals throughout the year. The city is also a sports enthusiast’s paradise, home to professional teams in hockey, football, and soccer.

The University of Alberta, located in Edmonton, is a major educational institution contributing to the city’s intellectual and research-driven sectors. This academic presence, coupled with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, fosters innovation and growth across various industries.

Edmonton’s natural beauty is another highlight, with parks, river valleys, and outdoor recreational opportunities dotting the landscape. The North Saskatchewan River runs through the city, offering scenic views and leisure activities for residents and visitors alike.

Overall, Edmonton’s combination of economic strength, cultural richness, educational opportunities, and natural beauty solidifies its position as a prominent and dynamic city in Canada.

6. Ottawa

Ottawa, situated in southeastern Ontario, is Canada’s capital and the fourth-largest city by population in the country. It covers an expansive area of approximately 2,778 square kilometers, making it one of the largest cities in Canada in terms of land area. The city’s diameter spans around 72 kilometers, showcasing its vast geographical presence.

Founded as Bytown in 1826 and later renamed Ottawa in 1855, the city has a rich history intertwined with Canada’s political and cultural development. Over the years, Ottawa has experienced significant population growth, with the 2021 census recording over 1.4 million residents.

Ottawa’s status as the political center of Canada is evident through its hosting of key government institutions, including Parliament Hill, the official seat of Canada’s federal government, and the Supreme Court of Canada. Additionally, the city houses various federal agencies, embassies, and diplomatic missions.

Apart from its governmental significance, Ottawa offers a vibrant cultural scene with numerous museums, art galleries, theaters, and festivals throughout the year. Its diverse communities contribute to a rich tapestry of languages, cuisines, and traditions, adding to the city’s allure.

Moreover, Ottawa boasts extensive green spaces, including parks, gardens, and the scenic Rideau Canal, providing residents and visitors with ample opportunities for outdoor activities and recreation.

Ottawa’s combination of political importance, cultural vibrancy, and natural beauty solidifies its position as one of Canada’s largest and most significant cities.

7. Mississauga

Mississauga, a city in Ontario, Canada, is renowned for its size, economic prowess, and cultural diversity. Spanning approximately 292.4 square kilometers, Mississauga stands as one of Canada’s largest cities. Its incorporation in 1974 marked the beginning of a transformative journey that has seen it grow into a bustling metropolis.

As of recent estimates, Mississauga is home to over 800,000 residents, making it a significant population center within the Greater Toronto Area. Its strategic location adjacent to Toronto Pearson International Airport has been instrumental in attracting businesses, contributing to its robust economy.

Mississauga’s urban landscape stretches across about 28 kilometers in diameter, showcasing its extensive reach and diverse neighborhoods. The city’s economic vitality is evident in its numerous commercial and industrial sectors, ranging from manufacturing and finance to technology and healthcare.

Moreover, Mississauga’s cultural richness is reflected in its vibrant arts scene, diverse culinary offerings, and multicultural communities. This blend of economic strength, cultural vibrancy, and expansive urban footprint solidifies Mississauga’s position as a leading city in Canada.

Also Read: Longest Highways In Canada

8. Winnipeg

Winnipeg, one of Canada’s most significant urban centers, boasts an expansive area and diameter that contribute to its prominence. The city spans approximately 464.08 square kilometers, ranking it as the seventh-largest city in Canada by land area. Its diameter, measuring about 46 kilometers from end to end, underscores its substantial geographic presence.

Officially incorporated as a city in 1873, Winnipeg has experienced notable growth over the years. It serves as the capital city of Manitoba and is a focal point for diverse communities, with a population exceeding 750,000 residents as of recent data. This demographic diversity enriches the city’s cultural fabric, reflecting Indigenous heritage, European influences, and a mosaic of immigrant backgrounds.

Economically, Winnipeg is a pivotal hub within Canada. Its strategic location as a transportation and railway center facilitates trade and commerce. The city’s economic landscape encompasses diverse sectors such as manufacturing, finance, healthcare, and technology, contributing significantly to the regional and national economy.

Beyond its economic prowess, Winnipeg’s cultural vibrancy is evident in its arts scene, historical landmarks like The Forks National Historic Site, and extensive parklands such as Assiniboine Park and Kildonan Park. These features, coupled with its rich history and modern amenities, position Winnipeg as a dynamic and multifaceted urban destination within Canada.

9. Quebec City

Quebec City, founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, is a captivating blend of historical significance and modern vitality. Covering an area of approximately 485.77 square kilometers, it stands as one of Canada’s largest cities by land area. The city’s expansive footprint encompasses a diverse range of neighborhoods, parks, and cultural landmarks.

With a population exceeding 540,000 residents, Quebec City is a bustling metropolis that serves as the political and administrative hub of the province of Quebec. Its rich history is palpable in every corner, especially in the UNESCO-listed Old Quebec, a beautifully preserved historic district showcasing 17th-century architecture, cobblestone streets, and iconic sites like the Château Frontenac, a symbol of the city’s grandeur.

Economically, Quebec City is dynamic and diverse. It boasts thriving industries in technology, aerospace, biotechnology, and tourism, contributing significantly to Canada’s economy. The city’s strategic location along the St. Lawrence River has historically facilitated trade and transportation, making it a key player in international commerce.

In terms of infrastructure, Quebec City’s public transportation system is robust, featuring an extensive network of buses and commuter rail services. Additionally, the city places a strong emphasis on sustainability, with initiatives focused on green spaces, renewable energy, and eco-friendly urban planning.

Quebec City’s blend of historical charm, economic prowess, and environmental consciousness makes it a vibrant and influential city within Canada and beyond.

10. Hamilton

Hamilton, one of Canada’s largest cities, is located in Ontario and covers an expansive area of approximately 1,117 square kilometers. Established in 1816, its historical significance is deeply rooted in Canada’s industrial revolution. Over the years, Hamilton has evolved into a bustling urban center with a population exceeding 540,000 as of 2021.

The city’s diameter spans about 24 kilometers, showcasing its substantial geographic footprint within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). This expansive land area encompasses a diverse range of landscapes, including urban districts, green spaces like parks and conservation areas, and scenic waterfronts along Lake Ontario.

Hamilton’s growth can be attributed to its robust economy, supported by key sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, education, and research. McMaster University, a renowned institution, contributes significantly to the city’s academic and intellectual vibrancy.

Moreover, Hamilton’s strategic location near major transportation routes, including highways and railways, enhances its accessibility and connectivity. These factors collectively underscore Hamilton’s status as a major urban hub, characterized by its size, historical significance, cultural diversity, and economic vitality.


Canada’s largest cities represent dynamic centers of growth, diversity, and innovation. Their collective populations, totaling millions, reflect Canada’s allure for immigrants and investors. These urban areas serve as economic powerhouses, contributing significantly to the nation’s GDP through various sectors like finance, technology, and energy.

As these cities continue to evolve, they face challenges such as urbanization pressures, sustainability concerns, and social inequalities. However, they also present opportunities for creative solutions, smart infrastructure development, and inclusive policies.

Canada’s largest cities are not just demographic giants but also cultural melting pots, where people from diverse backgrounds coexist, exchange ideas, and create vibrant communities. Their ongoing growth and resilience underscore Canada’s position as a progressive and forward-looking nation, poised for continued success in the global arena.


What Are Canada’s 3 Largest Cities By Area?

The three largest cities in Canada by area are:

  1. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – It covers approximately 228.13 square kilometers.
  2. Edmonton, Alberta – With an area of around 684 square kilometers, it’s one of Canada’s largest cities.
  3. Calgary, Alberta – Calgary spans approximately 825.56 square kilometers, making it one of Canada’s largest cities.

What Is the Smallest City In Canada?

The smallest city in Canada is Greenstone, Ontario. It covers a total area of about 2,767.19 square kilometers.

What Are the Top 10 Metropolitan Cities in Canada?

The top 10 metropolitan cities in Canada, based on population, are:

  1. Toronto, Ontario – The largest city in Canada with a population exceeding 2.9 million.
  2. Montreal, Quebec – Another major city, home to over 1.7 million people.
  3. Vancouver, British Columbia – A bustling coastal city with a population of around 675,000.
  4. Calgary, Alberta – Known for its economic strength, it has a population of over 1.3 million.
  5. Edmonton, Alberta – The capital of Alberta, with a population exceeding 1 million.
  6. Ottawa, Ontario – Canada’s capital city, housing over 1.3 million residents.
  7. Quebec City, Quebec – A historic city with a population of around 800,000.
  8. Winnipeg, Manitoba – A major city in central Canada, home to over 800,000 people.
  9. Hamilton, Ontario – A significant urban center with a population exceeding 540,000.
  10. Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Ontario – A growing metropolitan area with a population of over 560,000.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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