The best and worst cities in Canada to be a woman in 2017: Study

October 17, 2017

 OTTAWA—A new study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) uncovers the best and worst cities to be a woman in Canada. Victoria ranks highest, while big gaps in income and employment leave Windsor in last place for the second year in a row.

The report, by CCPA Senior Researcher Kate McInturff, gives an annual snapshot of the gaps between men’s and women’s access to economic and personal security, education, health, and positions of leadership in Canada's largest 25 metropolitan areas. It captures inequalities that can be attributed, at least in part, to discrimination based on gender.

The study takes special note of those working hard to change their communities, but also finds that despite a government celebrated internationally for ambitious gender-based policy and budget analyses, the country has stalled in closing gender gaps.

“Our prime minister is setting a feminist agenda for his government. That means federal departments are starting to ask the right questions about how their policies and programs impact men and women differently,” says McInturff. “The next year will tell us if they are prepared to back that up with action and funding.”

Among the study’s findings:

  • Victoria ranked highest, but its wage gap has worsened slightly in recent years;
  • Hamilton climbed from 13th to 3rd spot, due to a narrowing employment gap, lowerthan-average poverty, and women’s access to leadership positions;
  • Cities with a strong public sector, like Victoria (1) and Gatineau (2), see narrower gaps in wages and employment;
  • Of Canada’s largest cities, Vancouver (5) scored highest, with Toronto (10) maintaining its middle of the pack status and Montreal falling from 6th to 15th place;
  • Sexual assault is the one violent crime not on the decline in Canada, and every city still struggles with high rates of sexual and domestic violence. StatsCan estimates only one in 20 sexual assaults are reported to police;
  • Edmonton (18) continues to have one of the largest wage gaps in Canada.

“Statistics will never be a substitute for the full experience of lives lived. But as signposts they mark the spot where more attention is needed from our political leaders and policymakers,” McInturff adds. “We hope they follow through.”


Download The Best and Worst Places to be a Woman in Canada 2017: The Gender Gap in Canada’s 25 Biggest Cities is available for download on the CCPA website.
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact: CCPA Media and Public Relations Officer Alyssa O’Dell, (613) 563-1341 x 307, [email protected] or cell (343) 998-7575