Canada is one of the safest countries on earth. It is safer than the United States of America, the United Kingdom and most European countries. Only Switzerland, Finland and a few other European nations along with New Zealand may be deemed just as safe. However, Canada has witnessed an increase in violent crimes in the last ten to twelve years. The scenario back in 2005 was much better. In 2015, the national average of violent crimes per capita had increased by 4.5%. This is mostly being contributed by a rise in crimes across the cities on the west coast.

Safety and danger are realities and they are also perceptions. Hence, if you ask Canadians, they would have a certain list of the most dangerous cities in the country. If you check the crime index as recorded and published officially, then the picture would be slightly different.

A Mainstreet/Postmedia poll whose findings have been recently published listed Winnipeg as the most dangerous city in Canada, followed by Toronto and Montreal. Saskatoon and Edmonton completed the list of five most dangerous cities in Canada. In Edmonton, a majority of people find it safe but 41% deem it unsafe. Saskatoon is deemed by 45% as safe and 40% consider it unsafe. Montreal is safe for 45% and unsafe according to 44%. Toronto is deemed safe by 46% of respondents and 47% consider it unsafe. Winnipeg is deemed safe by only 35% of respondents and 56% of those surveyed consider it unsafe.

Now, here lies the problem with such surveys. Realities and perceptions may vary. The same poll result found Ottawa to be the safest city in Canada, according to those surveyed. Ottawa is indeed one of the safest cities in Canada but so is Toronto if one goes by the last Crime Severity Index of 2015. Let us hence refer to the Crime Severity Index to list the five most dangerous cities in Canada.

• Grand Prairie in Alberta is the most dangerous city with a score of 211.6, which is 22.4% higher than the score in 2013-2014 and is 141.9 greater than the national average of 69.7.

• Red Deer, also in Alberta, takes the second place with a score of 182.

• Prince George in British Columbia is the third most dangerous city with a score of 149.9.

• Victoria, also in British Columbia, is fourth most dangerous with a score of 139.9.

• Surrey completes the list of 5 most dangerous cities in Canada with a score of 128.2.

Overall, the crime rate in Canada is much lower than in most countries around the world. Happy travels!