Canada’s most dangerous cities 2016: How safe is your city?

When it comes to several categories of crime, see how Canada’s 100 biggest cities stack up against each other

Content image
Canada's most dangerous cities: Grande Prairie
Canada’s most dangerous cities: RCMP in Grande Prairie, Alberta. (William Vavrek)

For the first time in 15 years, crime has risen in Canada. A look at the 2015 data from Statistics Canada reveals the jump is driven significantly by increased violations in Western Canada. Case in point: For the second year in a row, Grande Prairie, Alta., was the worst among Canada’s 100 largest cities and police districts in all three major crime categories: overall, violent and non-violent. In addition, it tops the list of total drug crimes. (Methodology at the end).

While the focus is on this small Albertan city, let’s not forget about the unlawful acts committed in other cities and communities. Does Ottawa reveal itself on any of the top 10 lists? (No.) Where are you most likely to have your identity stolen? (Longueuil, Que.) In Ontario, is your car safer in Barrie or Brantford? (Barrie, by a lot.)

The tools below allow you to compare illicit activities in the top 100 largest cities and police districts in Canada. How does your hometown fare compared to such crime heavyweights as Grande Prairie, Prince George and Victoria?

Crime Severity Index

Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index is a measure of all police-reported crime that takes into consideration both the volume and the seriousness of the crime. Grande Prairie leads each of the three crime-severity categories.

Select a city to see how it compares among three indices: overall, non-violent and violent crime.

Violent crime

In the violent crime categories, Western Canadian cities again stand out. Grande Prairie takes the prize for rate of total firearms use, Regina has witnessed the greatest rate of aggravated assaults and Fort McMurray, Alta. is the current murder capital of Canada, on a per capital basis. In fact, the top three homicide cities are all in Alberta.

On the other end of the rankings, almost 30 per cent of Canada’s 100 largest cities did not report a single murder in 2015, including Kamloops, B.C.; Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.; Shawinigan Region, Que.; and Fredericton.

How does the rest of the country fare? Select a city to see how it ranks in six violent crime categories.

Non-violent crime

The majority of crimes fit under the non-violent banner. These include breaking and entering, child pornography and fraud.

Select a city to see how it ranks in a cross-section of non-violent crime categories:

Drug crime

When it comes to the number of criminal offences, no drug comes close to cannabis, and Prince George, B.C., is at the top of that list. In 2015, of every 100,000 people in Canada, more than 130 were busted for pot possession. These rates are orders of magnitude higher than any other substance. A far distant second is cocaine.

Select a city to see how it ranks in drug crime categories:

Worst of all

Which cities are the worst in their class? Select a category from the menu below for the top 10 most crime-ridden locations:

The data
Maclean’s obtained annual crime data from Statistics Canada for municipal police services serving the nation’s 100 largest populations, each encompassing a city or town of at least 10,000 people. Maclean’s calculated the ratios by using the population served by each police force, as provided by Statistics Canada. The 2015 data is the most current available and was released July 20.