Canada: Cities

The top Canadian cities, including Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto

Vancouver Harbour Canada is a vast, beautiful country with many famous cities. They vary enormously due to many reasons, such as their geography and language, as French is still widely spoken. Most of the major cities are located in the South of the country, which is unsurprisingly due to the cold in the North and their proximity to the United States.

We list the top 5 Cities in Canada below, in order of population size:


Toronto, Canada, is the capital city of the province of Ontario. It is the biggest city in Canada and is actually the fifth biggest city in the whole of North America. Toronto is situated on the North West of Lake Ontario.

Toronto is known Worldwide as Canada's financial centre, home to the Toronto Stock Exchange. The city is also the tenth most economically powerful city (according to Forbes) in the World.

Nearly 50% of the residents of Toronto come from outside Canada, so it has a diverse population.


Montreal is the second biggest city in Canada and the biggest in the province of Quebec. The name comes from Mount Royal (or Mont Réal in French), the triple peaked hill in the centre of the city, which was also the name given to the island where the city is located.

The official language is French, and this is spoken by over 60% of the population. Over half are able to speak English as well as French, though. The prevalence of French makes Montreal the second biggest mainly French speaking city in the Western World – second only to Paris in France itself.

Montreal is rated as one of the most liveable cities in the World.


Calgary is located in the South of the province of Alberta, only 80km (50 miles) East of the Rockies. Economically, Calgary focuses mainly on the petroleum industry, tourism and agriculture. As Oil has played a large part in Calgary's economy, it has meant that the city's prosperity has to some extent mirrored the oil price in the past, with boom times occurring during during times of high oil prices and downturns during periods of low oil prices.

It was the first Canadian city to host the Olympic Winter Games, held in 1988.

The Calgary area has been inhabited for over 11,000 years – well before Europeans settled there.


Ottawa ParliamentOttawa is the capital of Canada, though is still only the second largest in its own province of Ontario. The 2011 census put the population at over 880,000, though if you include the metropolitan population it's over 1.2 million.

Ottawa is on the North bank of the Ottawa River and was founded in 1826, though was then called Bytown. It took the name of Ottawa in 1855.


Edmonton is the capital city of the province of Alberta and is situated on the North Saskatchewan River. It is the most Northerly city in North America with a metropolitan population of over a million.

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