10 Most Dangerous Cities In Canada

Updated On October 10, 2023

Canada, nicknamed The Great White North, is a major tourist destination for many people, especially Americans.

It’s convenient, full of great activities, charming towns, polite people, and an endless number of lakes and mountains.

With a population of 38.25 million people, our Canadian friends produce 80% of the world’s maple syrup and hockey is their national sport.

 While Canada is considered one of the safest countries in the world overall (ranked the 4th safest by US News), it’s not without some areas where crime rates are high.

The most dangerous places are not the big cities you may think of either.

We’ve complied with data from various sites like Numero, US News and World Report, and Statistica to bring you a list of the top 10 most dangerous cities in Canada.

Read on to find which ones they are. 

10 Most Dangerous Cities In Canada

Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton, Ontario

10. Hamilton, Ontario

With a population of just over 570,000, Hamilton has a lovely balance of forested and urban areas.

The trails, parks, and waterfalls make it a great place for nature lovers.

The vibrant downtown offers museums, art galleries, shopping, and some great restaurants.

The overall crime rate in Hamilton is 54.6 per 100,000 residents.

Last year there were 5 homicides, which is extremely low for a city of its size.

However, crimes like vandalism, theft, muggings, and robberies are quite prevalent in Hamilton.

Most of these are due to the drug problem that plagues the city.

 Last year (2022), Ontario City saw over 827 opioid overdoses and 100 deaths in the first half of the year alone.

When visiting Hamilton, visitors should stay in a group, and be careful when going out at night. 

Brampton, Ontario
Brampton, Ontario

9. Brampton, Ontario

This large city has over 4,000 acres of parkland and outdoor recreational space.

It’s also home to The Peel art gallery and the Rose Theatre for performing arts.

Though violent crimes like homicide and armed robbery are rare in Brampton, this college town with a population of 656,000, does have its share of other illegal activities.

The overall crime rate of 54.9 per 100,000 people and most crimes are related to drug use and dealing.

As with most college towns, there are a lot of reports of fights and disorderly conduct near Sheridan College.

Vandalism and muggings are also fairly regular occurrences.

If you ever visit Brampton, do not flaunt money or jewelry, and don’t interact with strangers on the street.

Oshawa, Ontario
Oshawa, Ontario

8. Oshawa, Ontario

With a population of 175,000, Oshawa was once known as the car capital of Canada.

Today, it’s better known as a hub for post-secondary education with several colleges within the city, including The Ontario Technology University.

The general crime rate in Oshawa is 55.08 per 100,000.

Most of these crimes are due to the use of drugs and include vandalism, petty theft, simple assault, and smash and grabs.

 In 2022, there were a total of 15 murders in the city.

It’s recommended that when visiting Oshawa, you don’t carry large sums of money or wear expensive jewelry.

Winnipeg, Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba

7. Winnipeg, Manitoba

The capital of Manitoba, Winnipeg, has a population of 753,700 people.

The city is rich with historical buildings, architecture, and museums.

If you decide to visit Winnipeg, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do.

Between cultural festivals, casinos, professional hockey, and outdoor activities like skating and skiing, you’re sure to be kept busy.

But during that visit, use caution.

Winnipeg has an overall crime rate of 58.9 crimes per 100,000 people, as well as the 2nd highest murder rate in Canada.

Last year, there were 43 murders, though most were drug and gang-related, and there was no threat to the general public.

Crimes that are regular occurrences in Winnipeg include muggings, robberies, and assaults.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

6. Sault St. Marie, Ontario

While the local government disputes it, there’s no denying that crime has exploded in this small town of 72,051 over the past few years.

A major port of entry into the United States, Sault St. Marie doubled in homicides from 2020 to 2021, going from 2 to 4.

The number of robberies rose by 37% over that time as well, going from 81 to 111.

Theft in the city also rose by 22% during that time. 2022 saw 2,225 thefts, including automobiles.

Though the city has some beautiful water rapids flowing through the St. Mary River, people should use caution when visiting.

Lock your vehicle and don’t leave any valuables inside. 

Sudbury, Ontario
Sudbury, Ontario

5. Sudbury, Ontario

Once a major mining town, Sudbury is now a major center for business, finance, and tourism in the Ontario area.

Unfortunately, they also have the 4th highest homicide rate in Canada.

In addition, they rank 1st in violent crimes in Ontario and 3rd in overall crime.

Their general crime rate is 60 per 100,000 people.

While petty, low-level crime has decreased, there were a total of 2,489 violent crimes like aggravated assault, armed robbery, and 12 murders.

Many of these violent offenses are linked to drugs and gangs.

Visitors are urged to use caution when visiting.

Do not interact with strangers and stay in well-populated areas.

Kelowna, British Columbia
Kelowna, British Columbia

4. Kelowna, British Columbia

Known for its great weather, collection of wineries, and outdoor activities, Kelowna has become one of the fastest-growing cities in British Columbia.

Many of the 222,000 residents have moved there in the past 10 years.

This large population increase has brought crime with it.

Kelowna now has the highest crime rate in the province and the 4th highest in all of Canada.

The crime index is 61 crimes per 100,000  residents.

Many of the crimes are related to the possession, distribution, and manufacturing of opioids.

Residents and visitors need to be on guard for muggings, car these, and assaults.

Red Deer, Alberta
Red Deer, Alberta

3. Red Deer, Alberta

Home to several oil companies and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, Red Deer also sports a population of 103,500 people.

While there are many outdoor activities to enjoy in Red Deer, visitors need to be cautious as the city’s crime rate is high, at 61.7 per 100,000 people.

Drug use, drug dealing, assault, and armed robbery are the most reported crimes.

Red Deer also has a problem with corruption and bribery within its government.

Lethbridge, Alberta
Lethbridge, Alberta

2. Lethbridge, Alberta

With a population of just over 100,000, Lethbridge was designated as a Canadian cultural capital in 2006.

The city takes great pride in celebrating cultural diversity and history, as well as promoting the performing arts.

However, the high crime index score, in conjunction with the population, makes Lethbridge one of the most dangerous cities in Canada.

With an overall crime rate of 63.9 crimes per 100,000 people, many of the crimes reported are violent.

Violent crimes accounted for 1,496 crimes in the city last year.

The police and local officials have been working hard to combat the current opioid crisis in the area, but they still have a long way to go.

Surrey, British Columbia 
Surrey, British Columbia

1. Surrey, British Columbia 

Located near Vancouver, Surry has a population of 518,500.

Historically thought of as a decent place to live, Surrey’s crime rate of 64.5 per 100,000 says otherwise.

Drugs are a persistent problem in the city which leads to other crimes like muggings, robberies, car theft, and assaults.

Violent crime makes up 31.5% of the overall crime rate.

Residents have stated they worry most about their car being broken into or stolen or having their house broken into.

5 Safety Tips For Traveling To Canada

  1. Research the laws of Canada before you go. Even if you drive, you could be subjected to a search of your vehicle. Make sure you know what you can bring and what you can’t.
  2. Know the location of the Canadian embassy in case you lose your documents or need legal assistance.
  3. Photocopy your documents. Leave the originals in a safe at your hotel. Pickpockets are an issue in tourist areas.
  4. Know emergency numbers. In Canada, 911 is the same as in the United States. In many areas of Canada, you can call 311 for non-emergencies.
  5. Be aware of wildlife when driving. Canada is heavily populated with large wildlife like grizzly bears and moose. The last thing you want to do is hit one.

Canada Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Canada Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of identification do I need to enter Canada?

Most travelers from the US can show a passport.

Visitors from other countries may need to show a visa or other documentation.

Can I drive in Canada with a United States driver's license?


American citizens are permitted to drive in Canada if they have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance.

How long can a United States visitor stay in Canada?

An American citizen can stay up to 6 months as a visitor.

After that, you may or may not need to apply to stay longer.

The requirements are different based on circumstances.

1 Comment on 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Canada

  1. Canada is generally safe but there are some areas with high crime rates such as Hamilton, Brampton, Oshawa, Winnipeg, Sault St. Marie and Sudbury where visitors should exercise caution when visiting due to drug-related crimes like vandalism and theft being prevalent.

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