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The Most Dangerous Places in Canada Are in the West

Alberta towns claimed seven of the top ten fastest-rising crime stats, according to Maclean’s annual rankings.
Mack Lamoureux
Toronto, CA
November 5, 2018, 9:07pm
Knife emojis and prairie landscape
Image via Wikimedia Commons

Western Canada is pulling in more than its fair share of crime stats, according to Maclean’s latest ranking of dangerous places. Out of the top ten towns with the fastest-growing crime rate in Canada, Alberta had seven.

“Canada’s most dangerous places are concentrated in Western Canada,” reads the Maclean’s write up. “Out of 59 places with crime severity indexes in the top 25 percent, 49 are in British Columbia or the Prairies.” The ranking takes both volume and severity of crimes into account. You can read about the methodology here.


North Battleford, Saskatchewan, held the dubious title of most dangerous town for the second year in a row followed by Thompson, Manitoba, and Wetaskiwin, Alberta, which took second and third place respectively. The rankings stay in the prairies until the seventh spot, where BC enters the picture with Williams Lake, Quesnel, Langley, and Prince George snatching up the seventh through tenth spots respectively.

In order to find any town east of Manitoba you have to scroll down to 25th place—congrats Amherst, Nova Scotia! In regards to fastest growing crime, Alberta straight-up dominates with seven top-ten spots—with all ten coming from west of Ontario.

In fact, the Alberta towns of Wetaskiwin, Red Deer, and Lethbridge took home the gold, silver and bronze in this contest—another province doesn’t show up till fourth place with Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The small central Alberta town of Wetaskiwin, according to the Maclean’s write up, has “the fastest-growing crime severity index in the country by a landslide.”

One of the drivers behind a country-wide rise in crime may come from policing reforms surrounding sexual assault reports—resulting in an increase of 13 percent from 2016 to 2017. The Statistics Canada report explains more assaults were reported “following the height of social media campaigns that raised awareness on the issue.”

The report also lets you check how cities and towns rank by specific crimes. The title for most violent crime goes to Thompson, Manitoba; for homicide, Williams Lake, BC; and for firearms offences, North Battleford, just to name a few.

Maclean’s also found the other side of the coin—the safest cities in Canada. They are, unsurprisingly, a bunch of towns you probably never heard of, Rothesay and Quispamsis (one town), New Brunswick; Selwyn, Ontario; and Amherstburg, Ontario earned the top three safest. Like Alberta dominating the fastest-rising crime category, Ontario dominates the safest, taking nine out of top ten positions. The west doesn’t factor into the safest places until North Saanich comes into contention at the 16th position.

Well done, guys!

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