We’re going to kick off our coverage of the new rankings of the best cities to work as a youth in Canada with one small gripe. In the context of seeking employment, we think that ‘young adult’ might fit the age range (15-29) a little bit better, since the general consensus on youth seems to be more like 15 to 24-year-olds. It’s semantics, we know, but we are writers after all. Words matter, folks!

Ok, now that that’s out of our system, we can look at the 2021 rankings themselves. Called the Urban Work Index, the rankings are a combined effort between Youthful Cities and RBC Future Launch. Together, they created a whopping 76 different indicators for what makes a city good to work in as a youth, using 11 different topics.

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For reference, these topics are:

  1. Good Youth Jobs
  2. Public Health
  3. Income Generation
  4. Cost of Living
  5. Education + Training
  6. Equity+ Inclusion
  7. Public Transportation
  8. Climate Change
  9. City Economy
  10. Digital Access
  11. Entrepreneurial Spirit

For their rankings, they used Pivot Hub, which is an open-source collection of data featuring over 3,000 survey responses from youth nationwide. This huge collection of data let them rank 27 Canadian cities, and the results might surprise you.

work youth canada
Image via Youthful Cities

That’s because even within the top 10 cities, there’s a huge variation in size and location. For instance, Vancouver took home first place, overcoming its place among the bottom 3 for the cost of living. That’s because Vancouver is in the top 5 for a variety of other topics, like Diversity + Inclusion, Public Health, and Public Transportation.

Meanwhile, Hamilton was ranked 2nd compared to Toronto in 8th, showing that sometimes the burbs truly are better, even while you’re young. Toronto may have an edge when it comes to Public Transport, Digital Access, and Entrepreneurial Spirit, but the stats lean towards Hamilton in pretty much every other category. Who knew!

youthful cities
Image via Youthful Cities

Both Edmonton (3) and Calgary (6) landed within the top 10, being the only Prairie cities to do so. They got a huge edge when it came to the cost of living, coming 1st and 2nd respectively. However, they were hit hard by their rankings for Good Youth Jobs and City Economy, both ranking in the bottom 5 there.

Here is the complete top 10 overall ranking for best cities for youth to work in Canada;

1. Vancouver
2. Hamilton
3. Edmonton
4. Victoria
5. Montreal
6. Calgary
7. Ottawa/Gatineau
8. Toronto
9. Quebec City
10. Mississauga

So, if anything, this ranking of the top cities to work as a youth in Canada shows that you’ve got a lot to think about. Luckily, you can adjust the weight of each topic to tailor your own preferences. It’s a pretty neat tool, so we think you should check it out!