Explore your City Chart Below

How to Read the City Charts

Each spoke on the city's wheel represents how many points it received. Longer spokes are assets to build on.

Shorter spokes are areas to address. The number in the middle represents the total points accumulated by the city out of a possible 1310 points.










Quebec City

St. John's












Youth Population: 21.50%

Minimum wage as of November 2018: $15.00

Edmonton is the overall winner for urban work for youth. In all four themes, Affordability, Education, Employment

and Entrepreneurship, it has a number of top 10 finishes for attributes, making it a well-balanced city for youth in urban work. It does solidly on a number of measures of Affordability, including winning most affordable transport. It comes in fourth for affordable education

but scored low on other measures of education in the city, pointing to a potential area of improvement for the

city. In Entrepreneurship, it takes third in government attitudes, making it a great option for youth looking for an entrepreneurial environment.


#1 Edmonton 

Youth Population: 20.4%

Minimum Wage as of November 2018: $12.00

Gap to #1: 6 points


Montreal is a great city for youth to work. If it was a bit more affordable in transportation it would have been our #1 city overall. It ranked 10th overall in affordability but 13th in affordable transport. Its low cost of education (3rd) helped it to a 4th overall in that theme. It has fewer post secondary school per capita than other Canadian cities which landed it the second lowest ranking on access. Entrepreneurship is thriving in Canada’s largest Francophone city ranking second in entrepreneurial spirit. Its first place rank in Employment is driven by a strong economic profile and in basic employment. Montreal just needs to convert more jobs into fulltime ones to further its lead.


#2 Montreal 


Youth Population: 21%
Minimum wage as of November 2018: $14.00

Gap to #1: 16 points

Ottawa’s biggest strengths are in the affordability and employment themes, where it finishes 1st in both affordable utilities and in basic employment. Just steps out of 1st place overall, the nation’s capital would see a higher finish through improvements in its infrastructure for entrepreneurs, including greater access to incubator and coworking spaces.

#3 Ottawa 

Youth Population: 19.8%
Minimum wage as of November 2018: $14.00

Gap to #1: 32 points

Sudbury’s performance is a tale of a split city - on the one had it does very well across the affordability indicators, including finishing first overall in both the cost of housing and

the cost of leisure. However, elsewhere it struggles - finishing near the bottom of the pack in terms of the city’s overall economic profile, as well as its Employment attributes. Finally, entrepreneurs take note: there’s a niche to be filled, as the city finishes at the bottom of each attribute in the entrepreneurship theme.


#4 Sudbury 


Youth Population: 20%
Minimum Wage as of November 2018: $14.00 Gap to #1: 48 points

Kitchener/Waterloo finishes 2nd overall in affordability, scoring in the top 3 of the majority of the attributes in that theme. The region also bolsters high basic employment and decent affordable education totals.

#5 Kitchener/Waterloo 

Youth Population: 19%
Minimum Wage as of November 2018: $14.00 Gap to #1: 58 points


Hamilton does well across the majority of the affordability attributes, finishing 5th overall in the theme, but shows poorly in the remaining themes, where the city finds itself 14th overall for employment and 16th and 17th overall for education and entrepreneurship, respectively.


#6 Hamilton 

Youth Population: 18.60%
Minimum Wage as of November 2018: $12.00 Gap to #1: 68 points

Quebec City’s real strength comes from Education where it ranks third. It has great access. Its low housing cost (4th) are tempered by high utilities cost (14th) which contributes to an overall rank of 9th across our affordability theme. The provincial capital struggles with Entrepreneurship ranking 15th overall but 18th in Entrepreneurial spirit. It comes middle of the pack in Employment at 12th. This is primarily driven by a very low career employment ranking where Quebec City ranked 20th. At least it is creating jobs - ranking 7th in basic employment.

#7 Quebec City 


Youth Population: 21%
Minimum wage as of November 2018: $14.00

Gap to #1: 72 points

Mississauga performs well in the affordability and employment themes, finishing 6th and 8th overall, respectively. Ontario’s high

relative minimum wage helps the city place high in affordability, while its high number of available jobs on online job sites paints a decent picture regarding career employment. This Southern Ontario city needs work in the areas of education and entrepreneurship to really be a great place for youth to work.

#8 Mississauga 


Youth Population: 18.14%
Minimum wage as of November 2018: $12.65 Gap to #1: 78 points

Victoria excels as a place for youth to navigate the education to work transition. It comes in the top five for three of our Education attributes: access to education, affordable education and access to work integrated learning. Like other cities in British Columbia, it is impacted negatively by affordable housing opportunities. For youth looking to bridge their studies with the world of work, Victoria is a strong location. Victoria made the top 10 in all attributes in Employment. It comes middle of the pack as a place for young entrepreneurs.

#9 Victoria 


Youth Population: 16%
Minimum wage as of November 2018: $14.00

Gap to #1: 91 points

It’s no secret that Toronto has an affordability crisis. Whereas most of the other Ontario cities excel in this theme, the provincial capital finishes 20th overall in terms of affordable housing, pulling down the city’s overall finish. Elsewhere, Toronto does poorly on basic employment (21st) and affordable education (17th), but rises to the top in entrepreneurial spirit (1st), entrepreneurial space (1st), career employment (2nd) and economic profile of the city (2nd)

#10 Toronto 


Youth Population: 21.50%
Minimum Wage as of November 2018: $11.15 Gap to #1: 94 points
Gap to top: 102 points

St. John’s is a tale of two cities. Its strengths can be found in Education (1st) and Entrepreneurship (8th), but it has catching up to do in Employment (19th) and Affordability (15th). Affordability would have been even lower if it were not for the cost of housing which was second cheapest to Sudbury. Newfoundland has always been known for its reasonably priced education but it also led in

Work Integrated Learning. While the Canada’s most easterly city was the strongest in the nation in basic employment this year, it dropped to 15th place in career employment. Perhaps the new Oceans Supercluster will fuel even more entrepreneurship bringing more full-time jobs to the city.

#11 St. John's 


Youth Population: 19.4%
Minimum Wage as of November 2018: $11.25

Gap to #1: 99 points Gap to top 10: 8 points

Moncton really shines in Education, with respectable scores in the other three themes. It ranks 10th for entrepreneurship and a respectable 7th in employment. The total number of post secondary institutions for the relatively small population vault Moncton to 1st in access to education. It further supports students with a strong Work Integrated Learning focus placing 3rd. Affordability of Education really holds this maritime city back. Moncton has inexpensive housing (5th) but expensive utilities (16th). It ranked 6th overall in career employment.

#12 Moncton


Youth Population: 20.00%
Minimum wage as of November 2018: $15.00 Gap to #1: 113
Gap to top 10: 22

When looking at the reality for work for youth, Calgary benefits from the holistic approach. In terms of youth unemployment rate, it has the second highest of the cities at 14.80%. However, Calgary has other attributes that make it shine when considering the future of work in the city for young people. It scores well on affordability measures, with top 10 finishes in utilities, leisure, clothing, transport and affordable education. Calgary needs more focus on Education and Entrepreneurship where it places 14th and 18th respectively.

#13 Calgary


Youth Population: 18.2%
Minimum wage as of November 2018: $12.65 Gap to #1: 130
Gap to top 10: 39

Kelowna is a new addition to our Index, coming in one place above Vancouver, which may come as a surprise for youth looking for a city in British Columbia to work in. It is negatively impacted by affordable housing, with high housing costs for youth looking to live in the city. Yet for students, it may be a great city to navigate the education to work transition. Kelowna ranks 4th in accessible education and 5th in summer jobs for youth. Kelowna does excel in entrepreneurship, landing on 7th place overall in that work theme.

#14 Kelowna


Youth Population: 21.50%
Minimum wage as of November 2018: $12.65 Gap to #1: 143
Gap to top 10: 52

Vancouver, as a hub in Western Canada, may be expected to come out on top in our rankings, but when holistically looking at urban work, has room for improvement. Its biggest weakness is Affordability, being the most expensive city in affordable housing. It excels in Employment, with top marks in career employment and city economic profile. Youth looking at the future of work can still consider Vancouver an excellent city, but it will need to proactively ensure its an affordable city as well. Ranking middle of the pack on entrepreneurship should be addressed going forward.

#15 Vancouver


Youth Population: 19%
Minimum Wage as of November 2018: $14.00

Gap to #1: 153 points

Gap to top 10: 62 points


Oshawa does very well on the affordability theme (3rd) and then poorly across education (19th), entrepreneurship (21st) and employment (21st). In terms of attributes, it does well in affordable health (2nd) and affordable housing (6th).

#16 Oshawa

Youth Population: 21.7%
Minimum wage as of November 2018: $13.46 Gap to #1: 159
Gap to top 10: 67

Canada’s geographic sprawl means there are a lot of cities for youth to consider for work - and Yellowknife should be one of them! The city ranks high on career- level work measures, meaning it could be a great fit for youth seeking their
next big career break. Yellowknife is innovative, with strong results in all the entrepreneurship categories and one of the best government environments

for nurturing innovation. However, Yellowknife is weighed down with some of the most unaffordable costs in daily goods.

#17 Yellowknife


Youth Population: 20.6%

Minimum Wage as of November 2018: $11.55 

Gap to 1st: 172 points

Gap to top 10: 81 point 


Charlottetown’s main strengths are its employment and entrepreneurship attributes. It’s population is the second smallest in this index and that seems to negatively impact its affordability and limits education options for youth. The PEI city was near the bottom of all affordability attributes except housing where it placed 11th nationally. Having one incubator and one co-work space with a small population helped its Entrepreneurship rankings. 

#18 Charlottetown

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle
  • G+ - Grey Circle
  • YouTube - Grey Circle
  • Pinterest - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle

Youth Population: 22.90%
Minimum wage as of November 2018: $11.06 Gap to #1: 173
Gap to top 10: 82

Young workers in Saskatoon may enjoy its top 10 finish in basic employment rates and career employment rates. But Saskatoon is negatively impacted on cost of living,
with high costs on transport, utilities and leisure. Saskatoon also boasts a high
level of accessible education but does not do as strongly in work-integrated

learning and summer jobs, meaning students may look to other cities to gain their first professional experiences. Saskatoon does achieve a top 5 ranking in the entrepreneurship theme which is a good place to build from

#19 Saskatoon

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle
  • G+ - Grey Circle
  • YouTube - Grey Circle
  • Pinterest - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle

#18 Charlottetown

Youth Population: 20.50%
Minimum Wage as of November 2018: $11.00

Gap to #1: 178 points

Gap to top 10: 87 points

Halifax has an affordability problem. The city may seem affordable but a low minimum wage ranked it 16th of 21 cities on Affordability. On Education, Halifax is mixed with great access to post-secondary schools, but the highest student debt levels. More positively, Canada’s largest East Coast city ranked 5th overall in employment and 9th in entrepreneurship. It could use more spaces for entrepreneurs. A new proposed Innovation District may help.

#20 Halifax


Youth Population: 20.70%
Minimum wage as of November 2018: $11.35 Gap to #1: 225
Gap to top 10: 134


Youth navigating the beginning of their work future will be drawn to its sixth-place finish in accessible and affordable education. Winnipeg is impacted by low scores in basic and career employment and on affordability measures. On
the flip side, Winnipeg has an impressive score on youth employment centres (#7), hinting at dedicated efforts in the city to ensure youth are successfully equipped to navigate urban work. One big area of focus should be entrepreneurship where Winnipeg ranked 20th overall.



#21 Winnipeg




  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon

© 2018 Decode Inc.