10 Best Small Town in Canada – 2028

What makes a “great” small town? The places that made it onto our list of Best Small Towns in Canada were chosen for their scenic vistas, laid-back vibe, and top-notch attractions. If you’re looking for a reason to visit Canada’s big cities, you’ve come to the right place. But if you really want to experience a place, you’ll want to visit a small town. A small town is a place where you don’t need a detailed itinerary or lengthy tour guidebooks. You’ll find the best adventures by walking around, talking to the locals, and just taking it one step at a time. Here’s our list of Top 10 Small Towns in Canada. 10 Top-Rated Small Towns in Canada best small town in canada

1. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Niagara on the Lake is one of Canada’s most charming towns. With a vibrant dining experience, charming B&Bs, and world-class golf courses, there’s plenty to do and see here.

Situated along Lake Ontario’s southern shores, just a few miles east of Niagara Falls, the picturesque town of 17,511 is a popular summer destination. With its long days, hot weather, picturesque scenery, and charming downtown, it’s easy to see why. 10 Best Small Town in Canada – 2028

2. Tofino

Tofino

Tofino is the town at the fork in the road, but instead of being a cul-de-sac, Tofino is bustling with an active community of outdoor lovers, especially surfers. It’s one of Canada’s warmest towns in winter, and it’s always lush and green. Tofino is a walkable city, with a vibrant main street lined with utilitarian and eclectic boutiques, boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries.

While Tofino is busy all year round, it’s at its best in the summer. When the sun comes out and the rain stops, the water glides, the mountains loom, and you can see why Tofino is one of Canada’s most popular small towns. 10 Top-Rated Small Towns in Canada

3. Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

Imagine closing your eyes and picturing the ideal seaside town. Most likely, what you’re picturing is Mahone Bay: charming churches, quaint shops, and homes painted the colours of an Easter egg. Situated in Nova Scotia’s Lunenburg County and with an estimated population of 1,036 people, the town continues to grow. In fact, it’s the fastest-growing municipality in Nova Scotia.

Mahone Bay was once the shipbuilding capital of the province, and you’ll find many reminders of its history as you wander through the town. Water is still a major part of the town’s economy, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the bay’s beauty. Stand up paddleboarding or boating are two of the best ways to enjoy the water. Shop in the town and you’re sure to find a souvenir made by one of the local artisans, and there’s a great selection of coffee, fish dinner, and homemade ice cream.

4. Dawson City, Yukon

Dawson City, Yukon

Today, the town of Dawson City has a population of 1,375, but it wasn’t always this small. At the height of the Klondike gold rush at the end of the 19th century, over 16,000 people were living in the town, hoping to capitalize on the gold rush’s success. Many of them eventually left to settle elsewhere, but — despite its small size — Dawson City is still the Yukon’s second-largest community.

Dawson City’s rich history is still alive today, and it’s easy to see why. The town is walkable and has embraced the rich history of the gold rush through its museums, tours and fun (if a bit kitschy) activities such as panning for gold, or posing in old-timey costume photos. A trip to Dawson City feels like stepping back in time in all the right ways.

5. Ucluelet, British Columbia

Ucluelet, British Columbia

Ucluelet is a small town located on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast, just south of world-renowned surf destination Tofino. Ucluelet has many of the things that Tofino has to offer: Surfing, beaches, resort and lodge options, fishing, hikes, whale watching, and fewer crowds.

There are galleries to explore, spas to indulge in, and hidden gem restaurants (although we suspect they won’t be around for long). With an estimated population of about 1,700, the locals know what it’s like to call themselves “Ukee”—and tourists are just beginning to discover it too. If you’re planning a trip to Pacific Rim national park reserve, don’t forget to set aside time to explore “Uke” (as locals call it).

6. Victoria-by-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island

Victoria-by-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island

The smallest of the exceptional small towns on this list is Victoria-by the Sea, which officially has a population of 74 people. However, this number increases in the summer as seasonal residents move in. If you’re looking for a picturesque seaside town in PEI, you’ve come to the right place. Victoria-by the-Sea is one of the best small towns in the province. It’s small and easy to walk to,

and every store you pass is worth a trip (the famous chocolate shop in particular is a must-visit). If you are planning a summer vacation, you’ll want to skip this town as it’s especially quiet during the winter months. But if you’re planning a day trip, it’s definitely worth it.

7. Jasper, Alberta

Jasper, Alberta

Whether you’re looking to hike the Rocky Mountains in summer or ski them in winter, there’s an activity for everyone. From alpine lakes to waterfalls, from ice canyons to dog sledding, from ice-skating to wildlife tours, the list of top activities in Jasper reads like a bucket list for an avid explorer.

With nearly 4,590 people who have made Jasper their permanent home, it’s safe to say that almost every tourist who visits wants to call it home. Although quieter than Banff, it’s no less awe-inspiring, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

8. Saint-Sauveur, Quebec

Saint-Sauveur, Quebec

Located in the heart of Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains, the picturesque town (population 9,888) is one of the most charming villages in the province. Although it’s less than an hour’s drive from Montreal, you’ll still feel like you’re in a remote mountain town, especially when the snow starts to fall. There are six ski resorts, so you’ll be able to ski almost every day of the week. We’ll do the maths for you:

you’ll stay for a week, ski almost every day, and shop, eat, and explore while the snow melts. With eight golf courses, there’s plenty of time to hit the links. The outlet mall is a great place to shop for bargains, but the city’s walkable downtown is the place to go if you’re looking for a cute boutique, bakerie, specialty food shop, or a fancy restaurant. 10 Best Small Town in Canada – 2028

9. Golden, British Columbia

There are many small, casual mountain towns in BC’s interior that deserve to be on this list – but Golden takes home our gold medal! Geographically, Golden is blessed with two major rivers – the Columbia and the Kicking Horse – as well as three impressive mountain ranges and five national parks nearby.

Life in Golden for many of the town’s 3,708 inhabitants revolves around taking advantage of the surrounding mountain scenery: hiking in summer, snowboarding or backcountry skiing at the Kicking Horse mountain resort (or both) in winter, and taking in the breathtaking views 365 days per year at one of BC’s best ski resorts. If you’re a foodie, you’ll be happy to know that Golden is home to some of the best restaurants in the province. Once you’ve had an adventure, it’s time to hit the town for a bite to eat.

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