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Canada’s Sunniest Cities (and How Much It Costs to Live There)

Skyline of a Canadian city during sunset
Pexels

Does the idea of waking up to the sun almost every day of the year speak to your soul? You’re not alone. Plenty of studies over the years have shown that natural light can help improve our mental health, physical health, and general well-being. So why wouldn’t you want to live somewhere that lights up your life?

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In Canada, some places are sunnier than others, thanks to landforms and bodies of water. The sunniest cities in the world continue to change based on climate, but some areas are definitely more light-filled than others.

Looking to relocate somewhere with a little more sun? Here are some of the best Canadian cities to move to if you want to see more of that big ball of fire in the sky.

What Is the Sunniest City in Canada?

According to weatherstats.ca, Calgary is the sunniest city in Canada, with 332.93 days of sun throughout the year. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to hang out in Calgary, from the Calgary Stampede and the various museums to the Calgary Flames and parks. It’s also where the Caesar — one of Canada’s most famous alcoholic beverages — was invented.

If you want to live in Calgary, the average home price as of March 2024 was $567,900, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). One-bedroom rentals averaged $1,711 monthly, as per rentals.ca, and two-bedroom retails averaged out at $2,073.

Related: The Average Cost to Rent a One-Bedroom Apartment in Canada

What Is the Least Sunniest City in Canada?

Prince Rupert, BC, ranks as the cloudiest city in Canada, with only 250.25 days of total yearly sunshine. As the rainiest city in Canada, it’s also known as The City of Rainbows. In the winter, that rainfall translates to plenty of skiing options (Shames Mountain is one of the Top 10 ski resorts for total snowfall in North America).

In the summer, many cruise and other ships stop in Prince Rupert, making the city an essential port for ferries and trade. In March 2024, the median list price of homes in Prince Rupert was $398,871, compared to $426,517 in February 2024.

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Related: The Best Places for Gen Z to Live in Canada

What Are the Top 10 Sunniest Cities in Canada?

Here’s a breakdown of the sunniest cities in Canada and how many sunny hours they received over the past year, as per weatherstats.ca and a report in Zoocasa.

1. Calgary, AB

2,405 hours of sun

2. Winnipeg, MB

2,372 hours of sun

3. Regina, SK

2,338 hours of sun

4. Saskatoon, SK

2,328 hours of sun

5. Edmonton, AB

2,299 hours of sun

6. Thunder Bay, ON

2,168 hours of sun

7. Fort McMurray, AB

2,096 hours of sun

8. Hamilton, ON

2,087 hours of sun

9. Victoria, BC

2,086 hours of sun

10. Ottawa, ON

2,061 hours of sun

Related: This is Where Home Prices Are Dropping Most in Canada This Winter

How Much Does It Cost to Live in The Top 10 Sunniest Cities in Canada?

Interested in moving to a sunnier locale? According to the Zoocasa report, here are the average home and rent prices in the Top 10 sunniest cities in Canada.

1. Calgary, AB

Average Rent: $1,885

Average Home Price: $582,591

2. Winnipeg, MB

Average Rent: $1,530

Average Home Price: $373,023

3. Regina, SK

Average Rent: $1,318

Average Home Price: $282,961

4. Saskatoon, SK

Average Rent: $1,302

Average Home Price: $355,885

5. Edmonton, AB

Average Rent: $1,461

Average Home Price: $389,896

6. Thunder Bay, ON

Average Rent: $1.532

Average Home Price: $264,538

7. Fort McMurray, AB

Average Rent: $1,336

Average Home Price: $465,420

8. Hamilton, ON

Average Rent: $1,989

Average Home Price: $820,553

9. Victoria, BC

Average Rent: $2,408

Average Home Price: $919,777

10. Ottawa, ON

Average Rent: $2,260

Average Home Price: $618,644

Related: Real Estate Agents Across Canada Share Their 2024 Predictions

Why Are Some Cities Sunnier Than Others?

According to Meteorologist Christy Climenhaga, the prairie provinces enjoy more hours of sunshine because the climate is drier. As you move into areas close to big bodies of water and moisture-filled air, you’ll also be closer to more cloud cover and precipitation.

That isn’t the only reason, though. As Climenhaga explains, the western Prairies are under what is called a rain shadow. Basically, they’re sheltered from rainy winds by the Coast and Rocky Mountains, so they get fewer clouds, less rain, and more sun.

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Air pressure also factors in. Jet streams (bands of strong wind in the upper levels of the atmosphere) in the Prairie provinces create higher air pressure, which results in less cloud cover. Storms that do occur tend to be fast, and they typically come in the evening after the sun has already been out.



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