Niagara one of safest large urban areas in Canada, new study suggests

Website Rentola looked at the 34 largest census metropolitan areas in Canada. Photo credit: City of Welland


The St. Catharines—Niagara census metropolitan area (CMA) is the eighth “safest” metro area in Canada, according to a new study by rental search engine website Rentola.

The study ranked Canada’s 34 largest CMAs for “overall security and well-being” using data collected from Statistics Canada across five indicators: number of citizens per police officer, crime severity index, violent crime severity index, non-violent crime severity index, and crime solving rate.

The study used a scale ranging from 1 to 10, where 1 represents the lowest or worst value, and 10 represents the highest or best value. 

St. Catharines—Niagara scored a total index value of 6.40. 

Barrie, ranked first by Rentola, scored a 7.13. Second place Brantford and third place Guelph recorded a 7.00 and 6.84, respectively. Last place Winnipeg, for context, scored a 4.59. 

In terms of individual indicators, St. Catharines—Niagara did best on the violent crime severity index, nabbing a score of 9.00 – good enough for fifth in Canada. The violent crime severity index measures offenses such as a homicide, sexual assault, and robbery. 

In terms of overall crime severity index, St. Catharines—Niagara finished a respectable 12 of 34. For number of citizens per police officer, the metro area earned spot 14. 

The St. Catharines—Niagara metro area, which has a population of 433,604 (2021) and notably excludes Grimsby and West Lincoln, did less well when it came to non-violent crime severity index and crime solving rate.

In regard to the former, which “encompasses all crimes that do not resort to physical violence”, such as embezzlement, fraud, and the like, St. Catharines—Niagara scored a 3.30, placing the area in the bottom half of the list (20).  

In regard to crime solving rate, St. Catharines—Niagara finished 22 of the 34 metro areas assessed, bad enough for fourth worst in Ontario.

The crime solving rate “calculates how effectively the police force, the justice system, and other law enforcement agencies operate in the area in order to tackle crime. This can be from the number of solved cases to charges made (or lack of).”

As Rentola concludes, “Although the safest cities in Canada have notably lower crime rates compared to other areas, it’s essential to recognize that no city is completely immune to all types of crime.”

“However, the top-ranked cities have demonstrated effective safety initiatives, community engagement, and proactive measures that significantly contribute to their overall safety.”

To view the entire list, click here. 

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