When you think of Alberta, you remember the Rocky Mountains, the badlands, the parks, the glistening glacier lakes, and of course, the large oil industries.
Alberta is one of the most beautiful provinces in Canada with its impressive scenery.
It parades some of the nicest places to live in Canada but even the haven has dangerous spots.
There are some not-so-good places in Alberta you may need to know before deciding where to live in the province.
When deciding where to live in Canada, several factors are usually considered depending on what works best for you: the cost of living, job prospects, quality of life, and level of safety are all essential.
All these you can get in Alberta except for a few places.
Lethbridge, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Sylvan Lake, Drayton Valley, Alberta, and Rocky Mountain House have all continuously topped the crime index in Alberta with Lethbridge occupying the 55th spot out of over 400 cities in the world.
They also offer the least in terms of standard of living within the province, yet, have high tax rates.
Worst places to live in Alberta
These places occupy undesirable spots on the province’s unemployment rate, tax rate, access to health care, serenity, crime severity index, and cost of living.
Lethbridge, found in the southern part of the province comes off as the most dangerous to live in Alberta.
It is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and is about an hour’s drive from Calgary.
Lethbridge is a popular destination for tourists.
Tourists often find themselves hiking and camping in the mountains, visiting the Waterton Lakes National Park, and enjoying the city’s many museums and art galleries.
But this city ranks highest in crime rate in Alberta. According to Numbeo, Lethbridge is the highest-ranked crime-affected city in Canada.
Lethbridge crime rate
Lethbridge occupies the 55th position in crime rate out of over 453 cities in the world, scoring 63.89 with just 36.11 as its safety score.
That’s how dangerous it can be to live here!
Cities with crime rates between 20 and 40 are considered to be low-crime cities.
The ones with crime rates between 40 and 60 are considered moderate, cities between 60 and 80 are high, and cities with crime rates beyond 80 are considered to be very high.
The crime rate in Lethbridge has become a menace in the city with drug abuse complementing other types of crime in the city.
For such a promising city, Lethbridge has joined the ranks of other cities plagued by crime and drug abuse.
A safe injection site has been established in the formerly lovely downtown area, which has brought up many issues for the locals.
Due to theft, several neighborhood businesses have closed, and those that are still open spend a lot of money securing themselves.
Customers no longer want to stroll down the street to their once-favorite establishment.
The crime rate has affected not just businesses but jobs, the city’s economy, and the standard of living.
In addition to the crime rate in Lethbridge, the weather isn’t favorable.
Because of the city’s closeness to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Lethbridge experiences windy weather, warm summers, and mild winters.
From June through September, the warm season normally lasts four months and has a daily average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius.
The temperature drops to below zero between November and March, with a daily average of 5 degrees Celsius.
The issue of the wind is another one. In the summer, it can be quite windy and dry.
Lethbridge is among the worst places in Alberta to live because of the unpredictability brought on by crime, business closures, bad weather, and a dearth of decent jobs.
- Red Deer
Just behind Lethbridge is Red Deer, located in central Alberta.
The city is known for its oil and gas industry, as well as its strong agricultural presence.
Red Deer is home to a number of art galleries, museums, and historical sites.
The city also offers a wide variety of activities, so whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, you’ll never be bored. However, you may need to worry about being mugged.
Red deer crime rate
Red deer has a crime rate score of 61.75 which is significantly higher than the national average, and it’s only getting worse.
The city sits comfortably in the 71st position on the global crime index.
In 2018, Red Deer had a crime rate that was nearly 50% higher than the average for all of Canada.
And it’s not just violent crime that’s on the rise – property crimes are also up significantly.
A report from a Red Deer Advocate Magazine shows that the city has recorded an increase in violent and property crime with an average Violent Crime Severity Index (VCSI) of 75.25%, which places it 10th in Canada for violent crimes.
The city is also ranked 37th in terms of killings committed, 77th in sexual assaults, 8th in crimes involving illegal firearm possession, 6th in armed robberies, 24th in crimes involving assault, 4th in burglary thefts, 21st in drug sales and trafficking, and 8th in crimes involving fraud.
Thus, if you’re looking for a safe place to live in Alberta, you might want to cross Red Deer off your list.
Several factors contribute to Red Deer’s high crime rate, including a lack of befitting jobs, drug addiction, and a lack of opportunities for youth.
While it’s not the safest place to live, Red Deer does have some redeeming qualities.
It’s close to nature and the blessing of several parks and trails and a growing arts and culture scene are all admirable.
So, if you’re willing to take the risk, Red Deer might be worth considering but who wants to risk life?
You? certainly not.
- Grande Prairie
Nicknamed the “Swan City”, Grande Prairie was one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities between 2001 and 2006.
It is a city in northwestern Alberta within the southern portion of an area known as the Peace River Country.
Grande Prairie lies at the junction of Highway 43 and Highway 40, about 456 km (283 mi) northwest of Edmonton and 260 km (160 mi) north of Calgary.
The city has everything it needs to be great with agriculture, the forestry industry, and oil and gas driving its growth.
Grande Prairie has everything working for it except for its undesirable position in Alberta’s crime chat.
It sits comfortably well in numerous crime and drug-related chats.
Grande Prairie has a relatively very high rate of violent crime, which contributes to its high crime rate score.
As well as property crime, which makes it very hard to live comfortably in the city.
And just like many other cities in the country, the tax rate here in Grande Prairie is quite high.
Grande Prairie’s non-residential municipal mill rate for 2021 was 17.1%, up 6.67% from 16.1 in 2020.
It can be daunting residing here, especially on the local side.
- Sylvan Lake
Located on the north shore of Sylvan Lake in the Municipal District of Sylvan Lake, Sylvan Lake is a town in central Alberta.
The town is known for its proximity to Red Deer, as well as its many beaches and lakes.
Sylvan Lake is also home to several businesses and industries, including several oil and gas companies.
While these companies should be a blessing for Sylvan Lake, the reality is not the case.
The crime rate in Sylvan Lake isn’t telling a positive story about the industries in the town.
In 2017, 1,691 crimes were committed in Sylvan Lake.
18.7% more crimes were committed in Sylvan Lake last year than the year before, and 28.4% more crimes were committed there in the prior five years.
These crimes affect negatively the growth and standard of living in Sylvan Lake.
Though the cost of living is low in Sylvan Lake, residents aren’t comfortable moving freely on the road due to fear of robbery and attacks.
- Drayton Valley, Alberta
Dratyon Valley is a town in central Alberta, known for its oil and gas production.
The town is situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
There are numerous hiking and biking trails in the area, as well as several provincial parks.
Drayton Valley is also home to several museums and historical sites.
There are so many things amazing about this town except for security, the crime rate of Dratyon Valley is quite high.
The standard of living is also low when compared to other small towns that are just as sophisticated as Dratyon Valley.
In addition to the crime rate in Dratyon Valley, Over the past 15 years, from 2001 to 2016, the unemployment rate in Drayton Valley has increased at a rate of 0.31% per year.
Furthermore, Drayton Valley’s non-residential municipal mill rate for 2021 was 13.4%, up 4.33% from 12.8 in 2020.
The non-residential sector saw the biggest growth over the previous year, rising by 4.33% to 13.4.
Even though Drayton Valley is quite cool for outdoor activities, it is still one of the worst places to live in Alberta.
Where is the highest crime rate in Alberta?
Lethbridge has the highest crime severity index rate in Alberta, with a score of 138.65, down from 141.79 the previous year.
Surprisingly, Winnipeg is also growing in numbers and currently sits at 116.29.
The crime index changes every year thus, Lethbridge can always get better.
What is the safest place to live in Alberta?
St. Albert and Okotoks are the safest cities in Alberta. However, the entire province (Calgary and Edmonton included) is considered safe and great for families except for a few places.
Calgary has a low crime rate and is home to a variety of safety-conscious amenities and services.
Edmonton is another safe option, particularly for families. It has a number of family-friendly neighborhoods and a growing number of safety initiatives.
Ultimately, the decision of where to live in Alberta is up to you.
However, if you are looking for a safe place to call home, Calgary or Edmonton are both great options.
What is the most crime-ridden city in Alberta?
The most crime-ridden city in Alberta is Lethbridge (Alberta). In 2018, there were 8,492 reported incidents of violence in the city, which is an increase of 3% from the previous year.
The number of homicides in the city also rose by 4%, with a total of 55 reported cases.
What is the nicest place to live in Alberta?
Everyone’s preferences are different in terms of what they want in a city. However, there are some places in Alberta that are consistently rated as being particularly nice to live in.
Calgary, for example, is often praised for its high quality of life, while Edmonton is praised for its affordable housing and diverse population.
Other popular places to live in Alberta include Medicine Hat, Cochrane, AB, and St. Albert, AB
Most dangerous places to live in Alberta
Lethbridge is one of the most dangerous places to live in Alberta, it is ranked first among Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) in 2021 (with a score of 128.7) in the police-reported Crime Severity Index (CSI).
Lethbridge has a reputation for being a dangerous city with a number of poverty-ridden neighborhoods in Lethbridge hotspots for crime.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a place to live. These include the cost of living, the quality of life, the crime rate, and the job market.
Each person has different priorities, and what may be the perfect place for one person may not be ideal for another.
For example, a young professional may prioritize a place with a good job market, while someone with a family may prioritize a place with a low crime rate.
But in all, the cost of living, the quality of life, the crime rate, and the job market are all important factors that differentiate the best place to live and the worst places to live.
Judging by these factors:
- Red Deer
- Grande Prairie
- Sylvan Lake
- Drayton Valley and Rocky Mountain House have the worst ratings and are considered the most dangerous places to live in Alberta.