Sunday, May 26, 2024

Top 10 Worst Places to Live in Ontario: Cities to Consider Avoiding

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
"Proud thinker. Tv fanatic. Communicator. Evil student. Food junkie. Passionate coffee geek. Award-winning alcohol advocate."

Ontario, the most populous province in Canada, is home to vibrant cities like Toronto and Ottawa, as well as picturesque small towns and rural areas. While many locations offer excellent living conditions, some areas in the province may not be the best choice for residents seeking a high quality of life. In this article, we will explore the top 10 worst places to live in Ontario, based on factors such as crime rates, unemployment, and overall living conditions. It’s essential to note that these cities may still have redeeming qualities, but prospective residents should consider the drawbacks before making a decision.

Top 10 Worst Places to Live in Ontario

  1. Windsor, Ontario

Located in southwestern Ontario, Windsor is often ranked as one of the worst places to live in the province. High crime rates, elevated unemployment levels, and a struggling economy are some of the factors contributing to Windsor’s less-than-stellar reputation. Despite these drawbacks, the city is home to a lively arts scene and offers close proximity to the US border, providing potential opportunities for cross-border shopping and employment.

  1. North Bay, Ontario

Situated in the northeastern part of Ontario, North Bay is a small city that has seen a decline in population and economic growth. The city has struggled with high unemployment rates and limited job opportunities, making it a challenging place to find work. Moreover, North Bay experiences long, harsh winters, which can be difficult for some residents to bear.

  1. Brantford, Ontario

Brantford, located in southwestern Ontario, has long been associated with high crime rates and social issues. The city has struggled with a drug problem that has contributed to increased property crime and safety concerns for residents. Although Brantford has been working to revitalize its downtown core, prospective residents should weigh the city’s safety concerns against its affordable housing and proximity to other cities in the Greater Toronto Area.

  1. Thunder Bay, Ontario
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Located in northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay has the unfortunate distinction of having some of the highest crime rates in the province. The city’s remote location and challenging economic conditions have contributed to its struggles with crime and social issues. In addition, Thunder Bay’s isolation and harsh winters may not be suitable for everyone. However, for those who appreciate nature, the city is close to beautiful parks and outdoor recreational activities.

  1. Sarnia, Ontario

Sarnia, a city in southwestern Ontario, has faced numerous challenges over the years, including high crime rates and economic decline. The city’s proximity to the US border and its petrochemical industry have contributed to its reputation for poor air quality and pollution. While Sarnia has a beautiful waterfront and parks, potential residents should be mindful of the environmental and economic issues that may impact their quality of life.

  1. Timmins, Ontario

Located in northeastern Ontario, Timmins is a remote city that relies heavily on the mining and forestry industries. Its economy has suffered from fluctuations in these sectors, leading to unemployment and economic stagnation. The harsh winter weather and remote location can also make Timmins a challenging place to live for some individuals.

  1. Sudbury, Ontario

As one of the larger cities in northern Ontario, Sudbury has a diversified economy, including mining, forestry, and education. However, the city faces high crime rates and struggles with social issues, such as drug addiction and homelessness. Sudbury’s climate, characterized by long, cold winters and short summers, can be a significant drawback for some prospective residents.

  1. Cornwall, Ontario
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Located in eastern Ontario along the St. Lawrence River, Cornwall has struggled with high unemployment rates and a stagnant economy. The city’s industrial past has left a legacy of environmental pollution, which has been a concern for residents. Despite its beautiful waterfront location and proximity to Montreal and Ottawa, Cornwall’s economic and environmental challenges may be a deterrent for some prospective residents.

  1. Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton, a major city in southern Ontario, has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years due to its affordable housing and proximity to Toronto. However, the city still grapples with high crime rates, social issues, and a struggling economy. Additionally, Hamilton’s industrial past has led to concerns about air quality and pollution in certain areas. Despite these challenges, Hamilton’s revitalized downtown, burgeoning arts scene, and natural beauty offer some redeeming qualities for those willing to overlook the drawbacks.

  1. London, Ontario

Located in southwestern Ontario, London has a diverse economy, thanks to its thriving education and healthcare sectors. However, the city struggles with high crime rates, drug addiction, and mental health issues. London’s downtown area has faced economic challenges, and efforts to revitalize the city center have been met with mixed results. On the bright side, London boasts beautiful parks, cultural attractions, and a relatively affordable cost of living compared to other cities in the region.


While the cities listed in this article may have some drawbacks, it’s essential to remember that they also have redeeming qualities that can make them suitable places to live for certain individuals. When considering a place to call home, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons and decide what factors are most important to you.

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In the case of the top 10 worst places to live in Ontario, potential residents should carefully consider crime rates, economic stability, employment opportunities, and environmental concerns. It’s also crucial to visit these cities to gain a firsthand impression of the local environment and community. By doing thorough research and evaluating your priorities, you can make an informed decision about the best place for you to live in Ontario or elsewhere.

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