The Top 5 Cities in Canada
In Canada, it’s tempting to go off the grid and lose yourself in the beauty of the natural landscapes. But it’s a shame to visit our neighbor to the north and not experience — even if only for a few days — its diverse, vibrant, and cosmopolitan cities. From the pulsing energy of Toronto to the old-world grandeur of Quebec City, the best cities in Canada have something for every traveler.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value.
Related: The World's Best Awards 2019
Our runner-up, Vancouver, is a perennial favorite of Travel + Leisure readers, with its walkable streets, multicultural population, and abundance of natural scenery. “Vancouver is a beautiful, clean, and friendly city,” wrote one respondent. “There’s so much to do and see.” Readers especially loved wandering around Stanley Park, where monuments, gardens, and scenic lookouts offer hours of fun. Vancouver’s red-hot dining scene also earned the city praise: “There are so many excellent restaurants!” gushed one reader. “We went to an authentic izakaya that was fantastic.”
Toronto, Canada’s biggest city and cultural capital, landed in fifth place. And with hot new hotels opening at a quick clip — from the Kimpton Saint George, a hip stay in a former Holiday Inn, to the St. Regis Toronto, the brand’s first outpost in Canada — it’s sure to continue rising.
Related: The Top 10 City Hotels in Canada
Montreal landed third on this year’s list, up one slot from 2018, wowing readers with its cultural pursuits (music festivals, opera, museums), charming Old Port, and dynamic restaurant scene. And now that the Four Seasons Hotel Montreal has swung open its doors — debuting a luxurious spa; a terrace bar and sleek accommodations — the city is poised to welcome a new set of luxury travelers.
Read on to find out which city earned the No. 1 spot.
4. Victoria, British Columbia
1. Quebec City
WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 84.49
Quebec City has once again landed the winning spot on our list of best Canadian cities. Readers found lots to love about Quebec’s capital city, from its famous monuments (many of which are located in Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) to its European sensibility and grand hotels (the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac), despite the city’ famously frigid winter temperatures. “Even in the depths of winter, the city still works its charm on you,” wrote one reader. And for lovers, Quebec City is the next best thing to the City of Light, what with its cobblestone streets, atmospheric cafes, and classic bistros. “You’ll feel like you’re in Paris,” wrote one reader.
See all of our readers' favorite hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2019.