Canada is a vast country with a diverse population, and its largest cities serve as hubs of cultural and economic activity. As of 2023, the country’s population is estimated to be over 38 million, with the majority of Canadians living in urban areas.
The top 10 largest cities in Canada by population in 2023 include Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Quebec City, Winnipeg, Hamilton, and Kitchener. These cities boast thriving economies, world-renowned universities, and a rich cultural heritage, making them popular destinations for tourists and residents alike.
Let’s explore the top 10 largest cities in Canada and discover what makes each one unique.
List of the 10 Largest Cities in Canada by Population 2023
As of 2023, Toronto is the largest city in Canada with a population of 2.6 million residents, and the fourth largest city in North America. It is located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario and is the capital of the province of Ontario. Originally established as York on August 23, 1793, it was officially incorporated as Toronto on March 6, 1834.
Toronto is known for being one of the most multicultural cities in the world, attracting international businesses, artists, and financial institutions. Its land area covers approximately 4,427.8 km2 or 11,468 square miles. Among its famous landmarks is the CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere.
Montreal is the most populous city in the province of Quebec and the second most populous city in Canada. Founded on May 17, 1642, it has a city area size of 166.60 square miles. Montreal is a French-speaking city located in southeastern Canada in the province of Quebec.
With a population of over 1.6 million, Montreal is one of the largest cities in Canada and has the second largest metropolitan area after Toronto. While French is the most common language spoken in Montreal due to its French heritage, English is also widely spoken.
Montreal is a popular host city for international events and conferences, having hosted the Summer Olympics in 1976, the first to be hosted by Canada.
Calgary, located in the southern province of Alberta, is the third-largest city in Canada by population, with an estimated population of over 1 million in 2023. It is situated along the banks of the Bow River.
Founded in 1875, Calgary has a land area of approximately 820.62 km2 or 316.84 square miles. The city has several nicknames, including the Stampede City, Wichispa Oyade, and Cowtown.
Calgary is known as an energy city in Canada, being home to about 87% of oil and natural gas producers in the country. Although it is the third most populated city in Canada, its metropolitan area is the fifth largest in the country.
Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is one of the most populous cities in the country. Located on the southern bank of the Ottawa River, in the east of Southern Ontario Province, it is close to Montreal and the United States border. With an estimated population of roughly 812,129, Ottawa is the fifth most populated city in Canada.
Originally founded in 1826 as Bytown, it was later incorporated as the city of Ottawa in 1855. The city covers a land area of 2,790.30 Km2 or 1,077.34 square miles.
Ottawa is a popular tourist destination and is known for its international summer music festivals. It also boasts the world’s largest outdoor skating rink and some of the most beautiful natural scenery in Canada.
Edmonton is one of the largest cities in Canada, with an estimated population of 712,391. It is located in the province of Alberta, specifically on the north of the Saskatchewan River. As the capital city of Alberta, Edmonton was founded in 1795 and covers a land area of 765.61 km2, which is equal to 295.60 square miles.
Edmonton is known by two popular nicknames, Canada’s Festival City and the City of Champions. As Canada’s Festival City, it hosts several festivals throughout the year around the city, making it a hub for culture and entertainment.
Edmonton is also home to West Edmonton Mall, one of the largest malls in the world and the second-largest mall in North America. With its numerous attractions and amenities, Edmonton is a must-visit destination for tourists and a great place to call home.
The sixth largest city in Canada by population is Mississauga, which is home to 668,549 residents. Located in Ontario Province, Mississauga borders Toronto to the east and Lake Ontario to the west.
The city covers a land area of 292.43 km2 (112.91 square miles) and was first established as a town in 1968 before being incorporated as a city in 1974. One of the most significant landmarks in Mississauga is the Toronto Pearson International Airport, which is Canada’s largest and busiest airport.
Winnipeg is the capital city of Manitoba Province in Canada and is among the most populous cities in the country, with a population of 632,063. It covers a land area of 178.29 square miles (461.78 km2) and is known for its nickname “Winterpeg” due to the region’s long and cold winters.
Winnipeg is also referred to as the “Gateway to the West” and boasts the longest naturally frozen skating rink in the world, which spans across the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.
Vancouver is one of the largest cities in Canada by population, with an estimated 600,000 residents. It’s located in the Lower Mainland Region of British Columbia and is the largest city in the province.
The city has a metropolitan area that ranks as the third largest in Canada. Vancouver covers an area of 115.18 km2 (44.47 square miles) and was incorporated on April 6, 1886, named after British Royal Navy Officer George Vancouver.
Vancouver boasts some of the most expensive hotels in Canada, and is also home to the world’s 4th largest cruise ship terminal and the longest pool in the country.
Brampton, located in southern Ontario, Canada, is the 9th most populous city in the country with an estimated population of 593,638. The city borders Toronto to the west and sits on Etobicoke Creek.
Brampton was established as a village in 1853, became a town in 1872, and was incorporated as a city in 1974. It has a total area size of 265.89 km2 (102.66 square miles). One of Brampton’s popular nicknames is “Flower City.” It was named after a town in Cumberland, England, also called Brampton.
Brampton is the third largest city in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the first city in the GTA to earn the International Safe Community designation by the WHO.
10. Quebec City
Quebec City, a French-speaking Canadian city, is located on the Saint Lawrence River in the Province of Quebec. With a population of about 529,595 people, it is one of the largest cities in Canada. Founded by Samuel De Champlain in 1608 and incorporated in 1832, Quebec City has a city area size of 187.56 square miles (485.77 km2) and is the second largest city in Quebec after Montreal.
The famous Chateau Frontenac Hotel, located in Quebec City, holds the Guinness world record for being the most photographed hotel in the world.
10 Largest Cities in Canada by 2023 Population