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Top 10 Most Populated Cities In Canada in 2024

Canada’s cities bustle with life, and Toronto leads the pack with over 2.9 million residents as of 2021, making it the country’s most populous city. Renowned for finance and culture, Toronto is a bustling hub attracting talent from far and wide.

Montreal follows closely with a population exceeding 1.7 million and is known for its bilingual charm and vibrant arts scene. Vancouver, home to over 1.3 million people, charms with its natural beauty and cultural diversity along the west coast.

Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa also stand out, each contributing uniquely to Canada’s urban fabric. Whether it’s Calgary’s economic strength, Edmonton’s cultural richness, or Ottawa’s status as the capital, these cities add depth to Canada’s urban tapestry.

List of Top 10 Largest Cities in Canada by Population

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

1. Toronto

Tronto, Canada’s largest city, boasts a population exceeding 3 million as of 2021, a significant leap from its early days. Originally established as the French trading post Fort Rouillé in 1750, it transformed into the bustling hub it is today. The city’s industrial revolution during the late 19th century saw rapid growth, fueled by its strategic location on Lake Ontario and excellent rail connections.

The completion of the CN Tower in 1976 marked a milestone in Tronto’s skyline and tourism. This iconic structure, standing at 553 meters, was the world’s tallest freestanding structure until 2007, symbolizing Tronto’s modernity and ambition.

Tronto’s cultural scene is vibrant, with renowned institutions like the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The city’s diverse neighborhoods offer a tapestry of cuisines and experiences, from the bustling markets of Kensington Market to the upscale boutiques of Yorkville.

Economically, Tronto is a powerhouse, home to major corporations, financial institutions, and tech startups. Its global importance is underscored by hosting events like the Toronto International Film Festival and the G20 summit.

Also read: London vs. Toronto

2. Montreal

Montreal boasts a vibrant history and cultural richness. With a population exceeding 1.7 million people as of 2022. It stands as Quebec’s largest city and the second-largest in Canada. Originally founded in 1642, Montreal’s roots trace back to French colonization, shaping its unique blend of French and English influences.

The city’s economic significance is noteworthy, contributing significantly to Canada’s GDP. Industries like aerospace, technology, finance, and pharmaceuticals thrive here, driving innovation and employment opportunities. Montreal’s unemployment rate consistently hovers below the national average, showcasing its robust economy.

Culturally, Montreal is a mosaic of diversity. It hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, such as the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Just for Laughs comedy festival, attracting millions of visitors globally. The city’s architectural marvels, including the Notre Dame Basilica and the Olympic Stadium, add to its allure.

Montreal’s reputation as a bilingual city, its historical significance, economic prowess, and vibrant cultural scene make it a dynamic metropolis with enduring appeal.

Also Read: Longest Highways In Canada

3. Vancouver

Vancouver stands out as one of Canada’s most vibrant and populous cities, tracing its roots back to its official founding in 1886. Over the decades, it has evolved into a bustling metropolis with a population that surged past 2.5 million in the Greater Vancouver area by 2021, solidifying its position as one of the country’s largest urban centers.

This city thrives on its strategic location along the Pacific Coast, facilitating robust trade and commerce activities. The Port of Vancouver, serving as Canada’s largest and busiest port, has been instrumental in driving the city’s economic growth. Notably, Vancouver’s economy is marked by diversity, with thriving sectors in technology, film production, tourism, and natural resources.

In 2010, Vancouver garnered global attention as it proudly hosted the Winter Olympics, showcasing its world-class infrastructure and scenic beauty to millions worldwide. The cityscape is adorned with architectural marvels like the Harbour Centre Tower and the Vancouver Lookout, adding to its allure and modernity.

Despite its urban character, Vancouver maintains a strong connection to nature. The surrounding mountains, lush forests, and picturesque ocean beaches offer residents and visitors abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation. Stanley Park, a vast urban oasis, remains a beloved retreat, showcasing the city’s commitment to preserving green spaces amidst urban development.

4. Calgary

Calgary, situated in Alberta, Canada, has burgeoned since its incorporation in 1894, evolving into one of the nation’s largest and most dynamic cities. From its modest beginnings with a population of approximately 4,000 in the early 1900s, Calgary has experienced remarkable growth, with over 1.3 million residents calling it home today.

The city’s economic landscape is robust, with key sectors like energy, finance, technology, and logistics driving its prosperity. Calgary’s downtown skyline showcases impressive architectural marvels, including the iconic Calgary Tower, symbolizing its modernity and economic prowess.

Calgary gained international acclaim as the host city for the 1988 Winter Olympics, a milestone that not only showcased its ability to organize major events but also left a legacy of world-class sports facilities and infrastructure.

Moreover, the city is renowned for its extensive green spaces, such as Nose Hill Park and Fish Creek Provincial Park, offering residents and visitors abundant opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and picnicking. Its diverse cultural scene, highlighted by events like the Calgary Stampede, further enhances its vibrant and cosmopolitan identity, making it a truly compelling destination in Canada.

Also Read: List Of Canadian Artists

5. Edmonton

Edmonton, one of Canada’s most populated cities, has a fascinating history and a vibrant present. With a population exceeding one million people and a steady growth rate, Edmonton has firmly established itself as a key economic and cultural center in Alberta and beyond.

The city’s journey dates back to 1795 when it was established as Fort Edmonton by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Over time, Edmonton grew into a thriving urban center, officially incorporated as a city in 1904. Its strategic location along the North Saskatchewan River played a crucial role in its early development, facilitating transportation and trade.

Economically, Edmonton is renowned for its contributions to the oil and gas sector, with a strong presence of energy companies and related industries. This sector has been pivotal in driving the city’s economic growth and employment opportunities.

Culturally, Edmonton offers a diverse range of experiences. The city is home to numerous festivals, including the renowned Edmonton International Fringe Festival, which attracts artists and visitors from around the world. The West Edmonton Mall opened in 1981, stands as a testament to the city’s commercial prowess, featuring a vast array of shops, entertainment venues, and attractions.

In terms of infrastructure, Edmonton boasts modern amenities, including an extensive public transit system, well-maintained parks and recreational areas, and a thriving arts and theater scene.

Sporting events have also left their mark on Edmonton’s identity. The city hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1978 and has since been a hub for sports enthusiasts, with venues like the Rogers Place arena catering to hockey fans and hosting major events.

6. Ottawa

Ottawa, founded in 1826 and officially incorporated as a city in 1855, stands as a testament to Canada’s growth and evolution. Today, it ranks among Canada’s most populated cities, with a metropolitan area boasting over 1.3 million residents.

The city’s economic landscape is diverse and robust, with key sectors such as technology, government services, healthcare, and tourism driving its prosperity. Ottawa is a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, with numerous tech companies and startups calling it home.

Culturally, Ottawa shines with a plethora of museums, galleries, and historic sites. The Canadian Museum of History, the National Gallery of Canada, and Parliament Hill are iconic landmarks that draw visitors from far and wide.

Education is another cornerstone of Ottawa’s appeal, with esteemed institutions like the University of Ottawa and Carleton University offering world-class academic programs.

Situated along the scenic Ottawa River, the city’s natural beauty complements its urban charm. Festivals such as Winterlude, the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, and Canada Day celebrations showcase the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

Also read, Which are the Largest Lakes in Canada?

7. Mississauga

Mississauga, a dynamic and diverse city in Canada, has experienced remarkable growth and development over the years. Established as a town in 1968, Mississauga became a city in 1974. Since then, its population has skyrocketed, reaching over 800,000 residents by 2021, making it the sixth-largest city in Canada. Known for its diverse and multicultural community, Mississauga offers a rich tapestry of cultural events, festivals, and cuisines.

Economically, Mississauga is a powerhouse, home to numerous Fortune 500 companies and a thriving business sector. Its strategic location near Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada’s busiest airport, makes it a hub for international trade and commerce. The city’s GDP in 2020 was an impressive $100 billion, reflecting its economic strength and stability.

In terms of infrastructure, Mississauga boasts modern amenities, including a comprehensive public transit system, world-class healthcare facilities, and a network of parks and recreational spaces. With ongoing development projects and a commitment to sustainability, Mississauga continues to evolve as a dynamic and desirable place to live, work, and visit.

8. Winnipeg

Winnipeg, established in 1738 by French traders, grew into a pivotal city upon its official incorporation in 1873. Over time, its population flourished, now numbering over 700,000 residents and making it one of Canada’s largest cities. This dramatic rise in population from a mere 215 individuals in 1870 showcases Winnipeg’s allure and economic promise.

The city’s multicultural fabric is woven from over 100 languages spoken, fostering a rich blend of traditions, arts, and cuisines. This diversity is celebrated annually through festivals like Folklorama, which highlights cultural performances and culinary delights from around the world.

Economically, Winnipeg thrives on diverse sectors. It is a hub for aerospace, with major companies like Boeing and Magellan Aerospace operating within its borders. The financial sector is robust, housing the headquarters of major banks and insurance companies. Manufacturing, particularly in agribusiness and transportation equipment, contributes significantly to the economy.

Tourists flock to Winnipeg’s iconic landmarks, including the Exchange District with its well-preserved historic architecture, the Forks National Historic Site offering a blend of history and modern amenities, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a globally recognized institution championing human rights education.

With its rich history, cultural vibrancy, economic strength, and captivating attractions, Winnipeg continues to shine as a beacon of opportunity and diversity in Canada.

Also Read: Festivals in Canada

9. Quebec City

Quebec City, established by Samuel de Champlain in 1608, is situated on the northern bank of the St. Lawrence River in the province of Quebec, Canada. With a population exceeding 540,000 residents as of 2022, it ranks among the most populous cities in the country. Its strategic location, initially chosen for its defensibility, has evolved into a thriving metropolis known for its historical significance, cultural vibrancy, and economic diversity.

The city’s historic district, Old Quebec, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized for its well-preserved colonial architecture dating back to the 17th century. The iconic Château Frontenac, a grand hotel overlooking the river, is a symbol of Quebec City’s heritage and a popular landmark for visitors.

In terms of economy, Quebec City has a robust industrial base, with key sectors including technology, aerospace, biotechnology, and tourism. The city’s aerospace industry, anchored by companies like Bombardier and Airbus, contributes significantly to Canada’s aerospace exports. Additionally, Quebec City’s status as a major cruise ship destination boosts its tourism sector, supporting local businesses and employment.

Culturally, Quebec City is renowned for its Francophone heritage, with French as the predominant language. The city’s cultural scene thrives with festivals, art galleries, theaters, and museums, including the Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec and the Musée de la civilization.

Education is another vital aspect of Quebec City, with institutions like Université Laval and Université du Québec à Québec attracting students from across Canada and around the world. These universities, along with research centers like the Institut National de la recherche scientifique (INRS), contribute to the city’s reputation as a center for academic excellence and innovation.
Also Read: Most Expensive Cities In Canada

10. Hamilton

Hamilton, situated in Ontario, Canada, boasts a vibrant history and a bustling population, ranking as one of Canada’s most populated cities. With a current population exceeding 580,000, Hamilton’s growth has been steady since its incorporation in 1846. It thrived as an industrial hub during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, earning the moniker “The Ambitious City” for its rapid development.

The city’s economic strength stems from diverse sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare, education, and technology. Hamilton’s GDP consistently contributes significantly to Ontario’s economy, with figures reaching over $40 billion annually. Its strategic location near the Great Lakes and major transportation routes further enhances its economic vitality.

Hamilton is renowned for its cultural richness, boasting numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The Royal Botanical Gardens, spanning over 2,700 acres, add to its natural allure. Additionally, the city hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, attracting both locals and tourists alike, making Hamilton a dynamic and thriving urban center in Canada.

Also read, Top 10 Small Cities in Canada


Canada’s most populated cities are not just demographic hubs but vibrant centers of culture, innovation, and opportunity. Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton stand out with their impressive populations, reflecting the country’s diversity and economic strength. These cities serve as magnets for talent, driving forward key industries like finance, technology, and the arts. As they continue to grow and evolve, they play an integral role in shaping Canada’s identity on the global stage. With their rich history, diverse communities, and dynamic economies, these cities embody the essence of modern Canada—a thriving nation built on innovation, inclusivity, and a shared vision for a brighter future.


Is Toronto Bigger Than Vancouver?

Toronto is bigger than Vancouver in terms of population. As of 2022, Toronto’s population exceeds 2.9 million, making it the largest city in Canada. In comparison, Vancouver’s population is over 2.5 million.

Is Toronto Canada’s Biggest City?

Toronto holds the title of Canada’s biggest city. It is not only the most populous city in Canada but also the fourth most populous city.

Which City In Canada Has More Job Opportunities?

Toronto is known for offering various job opportunities across different industries. Its status as Canada’s economic capital and a global financial center makes it a magnet for professionals seeking career growth and advancement. However, other cities like Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton also boast significant job markets, each with its unique strengths and sectors of employment. The choice of city with more job opportunities often depends on individuals’ specific industry, career goals, and personal preferences.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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