The Best Places for Women to Live and Work in Canada

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Oh, Canada — our vast country has plenty of great cities and towns, but of those top-tier places to live, there are a few that are particularly wonderful for women. That’s because they marry a great quality of life with ample opportunity to work for employers who value their female employees.
Ready to pack up and move to a place prime for female employment and empowerment? Try one of the following five cities:

1. Victoria, BC
A recent survey placed Victoria at the top of the list of Canada’s most female-friendly cities. Why did it reach the top? Because Victoria has the most women in positions of power — literally in government — than any other Canadian city.
On top of that, Victoria has a nearly equal employment level among its male and female residents and unionized public-sector positions, which means government employees are paid well.

2. London, Ontario
London has a full slate of attractions — wineries, first-class restaurants, sports — that’ll make living there fun. But the state of employment there is good, too, and it’s one only a few Canadian cities where there are more men in poverty than women. That’s a figure that should be fixed for both sexes, but it does show that there’s plenty of well-paying work to go around in London.

3. Gatineau, Quebec
The waterfront views in Gatineau will rope you into the city, but you’ll stay for the fair wages. In Gatineau, women make 87 cents to every dollar that men do. It’s still an unfair gap — there should be no gap at all — but the fact that it’s much higher than the average 74 cents to the dollar that women take home in Canada.

Women in Gatineau make more money and regularly achieve high-level positions. The city is seeing more women promoted into senior management positions.

4. Abbotsford-Mission, BC Abbotsford and Mission are both extremely safe destinations for women on the move: the rate of sexual assault and violence between intimate partners is much less than the national average. For women, this is even more of an important figure, considering women are 11 times more likely to be victims of this type of crime or abuse.
Moving to Abbotsford or Mission could be a smart move for those involved with local government, too. The area has a fairly staffed city council with an almost 50-50 breakdown of men and women on staff.

5. St. Johns, NL
More than half of the women in St. Johns, NL, are employed full-time. This is the second-highest rate of employment for women in the country, according to the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. The government isn’t as equally staffed as some of the other cities, but women here are more likely to have higher education levels than their male counterparts.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the cities in Canada where women thrive — the aforementioned survey by the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women found 13. But these are all top contenders and promise more equality and opportunity than some of the other dots on your map.


Kate Harveston is a freelance writer and blogger from the states. Her writing covers social justice issues and current events in the U.S., Canada, and all over the world. When she’s not writing, she can be found curled up with a book or exploring the city for new things to do. You can follow her writing by visiting her blog, Only Slightly Biased.
Designed by Rachel Gold.