55 Coziest Cities in Canada, 2018

The coziest cities in Canada

With alarm clocks going off when it’s still dark out, stiff office chairs that creak at the most inappropriate times, and stop lights that play the standoff game with your patience, it’s not always easy to feel comfortable in your everyday life. Fortunately, a sense of ease is exactly what cozy destinations provide.

What exactly is a cozy city? It’s a place with attractions that provide warmth, relaxation, and community. It’s a city with a welcoming hotel at the end of the night. It’s a town that says, “You’re family here.” To help create our annual coziest cities report, we looked at Expedia.ca hotel data. Each location chosen has at least 100 reviews, with a comfort score of 3.5 stars and higher. In no particular order, these are the coziest places in the country.

 

1. Canmore, AB

Nestled against the Rocky Mountains, Canmore is a place that inspires fire pits, relaxing spas, and sights that take your breath away. Given how many glowing reviews we saw, there’s definitely something magical about it.

While you’re here:

  • With views that look out to the Three Sisters mountain range and a menu that includes craft soda along with sudsy pints, Grizzly Paw Pub & Brewing Company is a top-notch cozy bar to unwind in.
  • When you’re ready to have your muscles kneaded and joints popped, there’s nothing better than a spa day. Make a date at the best in the city, Verde Day Spa, for pampering you deserve.

 

2. London, ON

Vinyl records and scenic sights of London, Ontario--a top cozy city in Canada

Top: LDprod/Shutterstock.com; Bottom Left: Megan V./Yelp; Bottom Right: Violet P./Yelp

London offers a little bit of something for everyone seeking respite from the chill: comfort food, rare vinyl record shops, and tons of community events. If you’re looking for local stores with sweet gems any hipster would fight you for, this is the place.

While you’re here:

  • Heroes Comics is a huge comic store with tons of rare and special finds. Take your time flipping through the wares, and keep an eye out for unique sports cards and toys.
  • If you’re one of those people who insists that it “sounds better on vinyl,” you’re going to love Grooves. Not only does this shop offer a ton of old and new records, they also host live performances.

 

3. Langley, BC

With berry fields and an old-fashioned movie theatre, the quaint town of Langley is a cozy place to visit just outside of bustling Vancouver, and it got top marks from visitors.

While you’re here:

  • Twilight Drive-in is a throwback to nostalgic days. Classic hot dogs and candy make the experience something right out of a movie.
  • Agritourism is a hallmark of this town. Walking through berry fields and trotting down the lane on a horse is just part of the adventure. Go on self-guided Circle Farm Tour to sample fruit wines and local cheese before strolling through the gardens and petting an alpaca.

 

4. Dartmouth, NS

Views of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, one of the coziest cities in the country

Top: Owen Byrne/Flickr; Bottom Left: Greenseas/Shutterstock.com; Bottom Right: El M./Yelp

History-rich Dartmouth serves up warm and fuzzy feelings. After going on a walking tour around the scenic buildings, pop into one of the many cozy eateries.

While you’re here:

  • If you need a cocktail to warm yourself up, look no further than The Watch That Ends the Night. Candle-lit tables invite you to have a seat and stay a while at this cozy bar and bistro. Craft cocktails like the Love Shack and Accidental Wes Anderson provide the perfect nightcap for the night.
  • Cozy, casual, and with options like braised beef brisket with a celery root and rutabaga puree, The Canteen on Portland will quickly turn into your new favourite place.

 

5. Sudbury, ON

Views of food and points of interest in Sudbury, ON, a comfortable city in Canada

Top Left: JasonParis/Flickr; Top right:< Aqnus Febriyant/Shutterstock.com; Bottom Left: Vivian L. via Yelp; Bottom Right: Vivian L./Yelp

Some towns are meant for rainy days, and Sudbury more than rises to the occasion. This destination has tons of coffee shops, indoor activities, film festivals, yoga studios, and a board game cafe with the A+ name of Let’s Scrabbalatte.

While you’re here:

  • What makes going to the movies even cozier? Wine! When you visit Imagine Cinemas Downtown Movie Lounge, you can grab a nice glass of red or white before settling into a comfy chair.
  • Other board game cafes can go home, because Let’s Scrabbalatte wins for best name. While you’re sitting in a cozy environment of couches and chairs, indulge in one of their signature ice cream sundaes before throwing on your best poker face and beating the competition.

 

6. West Kelowna, BC

Vineyards in West Kelowna, a top cozy destination in Canada

Top: Christina C./Yelp; Bottom Left: Pamela D./Yelp; Bottom Center: Little Straw Vineyards/Yelp; Bottom Right: Simran M./Yelp

If you’re looking for a cozy vacation, you’re probably already on a flight to Okanagan Valley. According to reviews, it looks like West Kelowna is really doing it right when it comes to lots o’ wine, lots o’ beer, and lots o’ comfort.

While you’re here:

  • If you’re asking yourself, “where can I find a cozy place to have a drink?” we know the perfect spot. Quail’s Gate is a family-run farm that’s been open for over 60 years. You’ll find a beautiful winery and bistro here, surrounded by vineyards.
  • Little Straw Vineyards isn’t just known for their Tapestry white blend; it’s also the only place that produces Auxerrois Icewine in the country.

 

7. Belleville, ON

Located along the Bay of Quinte, Belleville might not be quite the secret gem it claims to be—judging by the sheer number of praises in the reviews. The town’s name translates to “beautiful village,” and those pretty, lapping waters and community vibes make this a truly cozy destination.

While you’re here:

  • Make new friends in Downtown Belleville, where all the nicest people hang out. You can find festivals like Flavours of Fall, Christmas in the Village, and Savour the Chill & Stay Awhile (a soup competition).
  • Rent some kayaks or paddle boards from Bay of Quinte Yacht Club to see the gentle shore from a different angle.

 

8. Fredericton, NB

Drinks and live music in Fredericton, New Brunswick, a top cozy city in Canada

Top Left: Tam L./Yelp; Top Center: Sean McGrath/Flickr; Top Right: 11th Mile/Yelp; Bottom: Martin Cathrae/Flickr

As the capital of New Brunswick, Fredericton has attractions on par with big city life—like the Silver Wave Film Festival and NB Spirits Festival—but with a population of around 50,000, it’s also got a fantastic sense of community that will leave you welcomed and comfortable.

While you’re here:

  • Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market has been called one of Canada’s top 10 community markets. Find all the homemade treats you could possibly want and make some new friends along the way.
  • If you’re a crafter, this is your new favourite town. There are craft shows through the seasons, with the Fredericton Christmas Arts & Craft Show one of the best events of the year.

 

9. Ottawa, ON

Art and cat cafes, which make Ottawa one of the coziest places in Canada

Top: Facto Photo/Shutterstock.com; Bottom Left: Stacey B./Yelp; Bottom Center: Chi Yu Y./Yelp; Bottom Right: Paul L./Yelp

Ottawa may know a thing or two about miserable winters, but it also knows how to stay warm in the chill. There are tons of art galleries, museums, and indoor gyms sprinkled throughout the city. Just ask yourself what kind of tempo you’re looking for, and you’ll find what you need.

While you’re here:

  • Love caffeine? Love cats as much as you love caffeine? Then, friend, you need to head to the Feline Cafe, where you can enjoy a cappuccino in the lounge, while playing with cats up for adoption.
  • When it comes to art in this town, you can either spend your afternoon at the National Gallery of Canada…or you can become an artist in your own right. Create your masterpiece at The Mud Oven, a paint-it-yourself ceramics studio. #nailedit.

 

10. Truro, NS

With brick-lined buildings and plenty of lush green trees, Truro is a delightfully cozy retreat. Its popular food scene and winding parks (to walk off all the treats) certainly don’t hurt.

While you’re here:

  • Loose leaf tea, piping hot sticky buns, and used books all make NovelTea Bookstore Cafe a home away from home for bookworms.
  • The year-round Truro Farmers Market is always a popular meeting spot in town, but it kicks it up a notch during the holidays. Indulge in mulled cider while taking in the tree lighting in Civic Square and admiring various Christmas wares for sale.

 

11. Hinton, AB

Fresh pine air and a sense of getting back to nature—not to mention cooking up a few s’mores—give Hinton a nice, relaxing feel. This is where you’ll want to wear your best cable-knit sweater and take a tumbler of coffee with you on a walk around town.

While you’re here:

  • Tie on your favourite scarf and slip into your trusty boots as you walk along Beaver Boardwalk. This gorgeous trail allows you the comfort of nature without a care in the world.
  • Whether you’re looking for cocktails or espresso, a spinach feta quiche or a bacon-filled BLT, The Old Grind is a warm cafe for a hot treat.

 

12. Sidney, BC

Book nerds, unite! There is absolutely nothing cozier than a friendly bookshop filled to the brim with old tomes and brand-new best-sellers. As it so happens, Sidney is known for their book scene, making it not only a cozy destination, but a most charming town, as well.

While you’re here:

  • There are a ton of book shops to choose from, but if you’re looking for the most popular locations, make stops into Beacon Books, The Haunted Bookshop, and Tanner’s Books.
  • With a name like The Surly Mermaid, you bet this place was going on our list. With views of the water, rustic wood decor, and savory eats, it’s a place to make any person (or mer-creature) let go of grouchy hungry pains and relax.

 

13. Swift Current, SK

We’re pretty sure you’re only allowed on the Coziest Cities list if you have pie. And that’s more than taken care of in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

While you’re here:

  • Don’t miss tea service at Doc’s Town. In the Country Pleasures Tea Room, you can enjoy a slice of old fashioned pie with a hot beverage. Doc’s Town is a heritage site, and has an old blacksmith shop, one-room school, community hall, and other historical buildings.
  • When the weather turns blistery, duck into the popular Art Gallery of Swift Current. Since it first opened in 1974, this centre has been a go-to for local artists, displaying everything from traditional to contemporary art forms.

 

14. Campbell River, BC

Any place with an abundance of bed and breakfasts is going to win points in our book. Campbell River doesn’t skimp on coffee shops and community markets, either. When you’re looking for nice, cozy place in BC, this is it.

While you’re here:

  • As the largest independent book shop in town, Coho Books is a must-stop. Find new releases and recommended favourites, and prepare for the weekend to whiz by as you get lost in a new tale.
  • Yoga and a pint? Live music? Craft beer? Beach Fire Brewing and Nosh House is one cozy place to chow down and enjoy a night.

 

15. North Vancouver, BC

Art galleries and scenic sights in North Vancouver, a top cozy Canadian city

Top: Lijuan Guo/Shutterstock.com; Bottom Left: Julia S. via Yelp; Bottom Center: Tony Hisgett/Flickr; Bottom Right: Ron P. /Yelp

North Vancouver gets plenty of attention for its outdoors scene. But given how high this town rated for comfort level, we suspect it’s not just an extreme place for sports; it’s an extreme place to unwind. You might even experience what the Dutch call “hygge”—extreme cozy contentment.

While you’re here:

  • There’s something magical about walking into a restaurant and letting the smell of slow-roasted meat envelop you. If you’re looking for a top cozy restaurant in North Vancouver, Meat at O’Neills is a taste of old-school Ireland. Indulge in rustic meals and homemade soups.
  • When you want a cozy night at the theatre, you just have to pick which one. Favourites around here include Presentation House Theatre and Deep Cove Stage Society.

 

  1. Burlington, ON
  2. Burnaby, BC
  3. Whistler, BC
  4. Drumheller, AB
  5. Osoyoos, BC
  6. Chilliwack, BC
  7. Mississauga, ON
  8. Parksville, BC
  9. Edmundston, NB
  10. Prince George, BC
  11. Courtenay, BC
  12. Richmond, BC
  13. Grande Prairie, AB
  14. Airdrie, AB
  15. Kamloops, BC
  16. Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
  17. Tofino, BC
  18. Invermere, BC
  19. St. John’s, NL
  20. Sault Ste. Marie, ON
  21. Blue Mountains, ON
  22. Halifax, NS
  23. Saskatoon, SK
  24. Ucluelet, BC
  25. Regina, SK
  26. Ottawa, ON
  27. Nelson, BC
  28. Calgary, AB
  29. Mont-Tremblant, QC
  30. Quebec City, QC
  31. Vernon, BC
  32. Orillia, ON
  33. Gatineau, QC
  34. Oakville, ON
  35. Winnipeg, MB
  36. Charlottetown, PEI
  37. North Bay, ON
  38. Huntsville, ON
  39. Brandon, MB
  40. Squamish, BC

 

Header image via Bogdan Sonjachnyj/Shutterstock.com

Click here to see our previous list
There is a moment when a trip becomes a vacation—and that’s when you get to melt into the cozy bed of your suite. A truly relaxing holiday is time spent in a remarkable city all afternoon and coming back to a welcoming hotel when you’re ready to unwind. Here at Expedia.ca, we believe in vacations that can leave you happy from dawn to twilight, and have the perfect recommendations for you.

We analyzed thousands of verified Expedia.ca hotel user reviews from our 2015 data, and found the top Canadian cities with the highest comfort ratings. These reviews referenced everything from pillows to fireplaces and anything in between. We’re shining our spotlight on the top 10 cities, with shout-outs to the other top choices—all which were rated 4.0 and higher out of 5.0. Without further ado, here are the top picks for the coziest cities in Canada!

1. Emerald Park, Saskatchewan

Regina
Maybe it’s the 18-hole Aspen Links Country Club or maybe it’s the feeling of being away from it all while still staying close to city life, but Emerald Park knows what it means to be a cozy city. Give those muscles a workout at Communiskate or fill up on some comfort food at The Ice House, and feel perfectly at ease on your vacation.

2. Waterloo, Ontario

resize-body-02-waterloo
Your phone could be ringing, your to-do list might only be half checked off, but when you’re getting your muscles kneaded at Sanctuary Day Spa in Waterloo, Ontario, nothing else matters. After your massage, take a seat on the Waterloo Central Railway for a relaxed trip around the countryside, then enjoy some suds at Innocente Brewery or pinot at Sole Restaurant and Wine Bar. You’ll quickly figure out why this is one of the best places to travel to in Canada.

3. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Sitting in a plush chair with a glass of swirling cabernet is cozy personified. And for the best wines in the country, you simply have to make a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Make some time to visit Konzelmann Estate Winery for lakeside views, Silversmith Brewing company for some brews, and soak it all up with dinner from esteemed spots like The Cannery and The Irish Harp Pub. You might also want to pick up souvenirs from the Scottish Loft or a comfy hat from BeauChapeau.

4. Yorkton, Saskatchewan

Give yourself a much needed break with a visit to Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Stretch out those irons at Deer Park Golf Course, try out some new flavours at OLiV Tasting Room, stroll through Godfrey Dean Art Gallery, and sink into a cozy booth seat at Browns Social House to round out the night.

5. Enfield, Nova Scotia

Fresh air, good food, a quiet place away from the bustle? Yes, Enfield, Nova Scotia, is one cozy spot to visit. Breathe it in when you walk through the shaded pathways of nearby Shubenacadie Wildlife Park. When you start hearing your tummy rumble, just head back to town for a warm meal from Curly Portables Pub and Grub.

6. Brossard, Quebec

Life is pretty grand when you find yourself on a rooftop spa in Brossard, Quebec. Home to SkySpa, this cozy town offers you total relaxation. Feel free to continue your ‘treat yourself’ vacation with dessert at Zyara or wine at Siam Thai. A town that’s both relaxing and sophisticated? Oh yes: This is why Brossard is one of the best cities to visit in Canada.

7. Edmundston, New Brunswick

Edmonston
With old-fashioned lights and a quaint bridge over calm waters, Edmundston is both a scenic and cozy city. Find peace and quiet with time in De la Republique Provincial Park, which is located along the Madawaska River. After your walk, make a trip to Petit-Sault Brewers for some suds, Frank’s Bar and Grill for a good steak, or Acadie Gourmet for snack.

8. Levis, Quebec

Levis
If views of the St. Lawrence River weren’t enough, sitting in your cozy hotel room with a box of sweets from Chocolats Favoris is what dreams are made of. Spend some time in Levis, Quebec, and remember to swing by Maison Alphonse-Desjardins to learn more about the town, and Le Corsair for some craft beer with the locals. You can cheers to vacationing in one of the most beautiful Canadian cities.

9. Airdrie, Alberta

Simple pleasures make Airdrie a comfortable refuge on the prairies. With afternoon tea at Hayloft and locally sourced food at the Airdrie Farmers Market, this town knows the good life. And when you want to get to know it a little better, just head to Nose Creek Valley Museum to learn more about the area or Brewsters Airdrie to savour local ingredients blended together.

10. Vaughan, Ontario

You might be surprised to find that a city known for its amusement park is also well-regarded for its cozy atmosphere, but somehow Vaughan, Ontario, does it. When you’re not spending time with your family on the coasters, you can also enjoy cakes and sweets at Sorelle and Co., or sink your fork into a truly authentic bowl of pasta at Anna Maria Trattoria.

11. Sidney, British Columbia

12. Nisku, Alberta

13. Lloydminster, Alberta

14. Markham, Ontario

Feel totally at ease in the world when you find yourself at the Markham Civic Centre overlooking the calm waters. Good entertainment and beautiful views are just some of the reasons this town is beloved.

15. Drummondville, Quebec

16. Halifax, Nova Scotia

17. Chilliwack, British Columbia

18. Leduc, Alberta

19. Mont-Tremblant, Quebec

20. Abbotsford, British Columbia

21. Riviere Du Loup, Quebec

With a hot cup of tea and savoury crepe from Café L’Innocent, it makes perfect sense why Riviere Du Loup is considered such a cozy town (not to mention a top city to visit in Canada).

22. Sun Peaks, British Columbia

23. Sherwood Park, Alberta

24. Gatineau, Quebec

25. Leamington, Ontario

26. Oakville, Ontario

27. St. John’s, Newfoundland

Take a walk along the coastline and admire the boats bobbing in the habour when you visit St. John’s. This isn’t just a top cozy town, it’s also one of the coolest places in Canada.

28. Winnipeg, Manitoba

29. St. Catharines, Ontario

30. Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia

31. The Blue Mountains, Ontario

32. Vernon, British Columbia

33. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Slip into a cozy seat by the window and enjoy a train trip around the forest trees and valleys in Sault Ste. Marie. With views like these, it’s easy to understand why people consider this place as welcoming as home.

34. Timmins, Ontario

35. Invermere, British Columbia

36. Ucluelet, British Columbia

37. Quebec City, Quebec

38. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

39. Squamish, British Columbia

40. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

It’s hard to feel anything less than perfectly relaxed when you’re floating down the largest indoor mineral pool in Canada. Experience it for yourself when you visit Moose Jaw’s Temple Gardens Mineral Spa.

41. West Kelowna, British Columbia

42. Sydney, Nova Scotia

43. Tofino, British Columbia

44. Stratford, Ontario

45. Moncton, New Brunswick

46. Courtenay, British Columbia

With cheese from Comox Valley Farmers’ Market and wine from Beaufort Winery, you’re in for a beautiful vacation in cozy Courtenay.

47. Hamilton, Ontario

48. Swift Current, Saskatchewan

49. Fernie, British Columbia

50. Osoyoos, British Columbia

51. Richmond, British Columbia

You simply can’t beat the flavours of a hot, traditional-style dinner. Add authentic Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Malaysian dishes to your list of vacation comfort food when you visit Richmond, British Columbia.

52. Victoria, British Columbia

53. Whistler, British Columbia

54. Nelson, British Columbia

55. Dieppe, New Brunswick

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About Author

Jennifer Cuellar

Jennifer Cuellar is a writer, an avid explorer, and fan of all things Games of Thrones-related. When she’s not sipping tea in a café by the beach, she’s off writing about wondrous cities you simply have to visit. From mountain peaks to downtown streets, there’s a world of adventure waiting to be explored. She spotlights top cities to tour, which attractions you’ve got to see, and off-the-beaten path activities to try during your next vacation. Let’s go travel!

7 Comments

  1. Love articles like this! Though I just can’t help myself when I see the usual mix up between Dutch and Danish. Hygge is a Danish word, not Dutch 😉

    Reply
  2. Not even close…..sorry, you obviously haven’t been to many of these places. I wouldn’t consider some of these places cozy if you lit them on fire!

    Reply
  3. You had some credibility until I saw Prince George on the list. And yes, It’s Three Sisters, not Three Cites for your #1 location being Canmore….the View our son has out his front room window!

    Reply

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