Vancouver has been named the best city in Canada for young people to fulfill their professional and personal ambitions.

The 2021 Urban Work Index, a partnership between Youthful Cities and RBC Future Launch, evaluated the ecosystem for youth work of 27 urban areas across Canada – and Vancouver came out on top.

“Cities with workplace and social efforts to ensure inclusivity are appealing and foster a more diverse population,” the study reads. “This means that they offer a welcoming and safe environment that is representative of the diversity of cultures of those who live there and provide public services to meet the needs of different people.”

The study was launched in March 2020 and hired 1,200 young people in the cities being analyzed as urban researchers to collect public data. They performed surveys and interviews with more than 3,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 29.

The 27 cities were ranked in 11 categories – good youth jobs, public health, cost of living, income generation, education and training, equity and inclusion, climate change, public transportation, digital access, city economy and entrepreneurial spirit.

Vancouver was the only city to rank #1 in three categories – public health, equity and inclusion, and public transportation.

The city also ranked highly for good youth jobs (5th), climate change (3rd), digital access (3rd), city economy (6th) and entrepreneurial spirit (12th).

Hamilton, Edmonton, Victoria and Montreal rounded out the top five. The other BC city in the ranking, Kelowna, took the 12th spot. Toronto ranked eighth.

Canada’s best urban areas for youth work (including total score)

  1. Vancouver (623.66)
  2. Hamilton (541.23)
  3. Edmonton (538.96) 
  4. Victoria (538.38)
  5. Montreal (532.22)
  6. Calgary (530.47)
  7. Ottawa/Gatineau (530.40)
  8. Toronto (525.91)
  9. Quebec City (503.92)
  10. Mississauga (501.05)
  11. Halifax (496.42) 
  12. Kelowna (494.48)
  13. Winnipeg (486.21)
  14. Kitchener-Waterloo (485.48)
  15. Sudbury (481.03)
  16. Saskatoon (479.36)
  17. Lethbridge (474.13)
  18. Brampton (468.84)
  19. Laval (466.55)
  20. Yellowknife (461.87)
  21. Oshawa (460.16)
  22. Regina (458.57)
  23. Charlottetown (446.22)
  24. St. John’s (434.91)
  25. London (434.16)
  26. Moncton (411.74)
  27. Fredericton (395.27)

Published on May 13, 2021.