Where are Canada’s singles? The census found them

Singles attend a speed dating event. EPA/PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW

Are you looking for love in all the wrong places? If you’re trying to find a single woman in Cold Lake, Alta., then yes. Probably.

But if you’re willing to move to find someone special, or at least someone available, the census might be able to provide you with some leads.

Here’s what the census says about the dating pool and how to improve your chances – although Statistics Canada can only help with problems related to availability, not your personality or attractiveness. Sorry.


First of all, it’s hard to overstate the importance of looking for the right age group. There’s no gentle way to say it: women tend to live longer. So, there are a lot of single older women out there.

There are more single young men than young women though, and the sexes are about evenly unavailable between ages 35-50.

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Where the single people are

There are a lot of single elderly women in pretty much any city in Canada and a lot of single 15-19-year-olds of both sexes everywhere.

For a more nuanced look at local dating pools, we have to focus a bit more. Looking at single people aged 20 to 60, we can find many cities that skew male, a few that skew female, and a large number where there’s about an even ratio of single men to women.

If you’re looking for women, head to Pointe-à-la-Croix, Que. In this tiny town connected by bridge to Campbellton, N.B., there are about 12 single women for every 10 men. The larger cities of Cobourg, Ont., and North Battleford, Sask., have similar ratios.

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Campbellton actually has one of the most even single male-to-female ratios in the country, as do the larger cities of Fredericton and Ottawa, which all count roughly 10 single women for every 10 single men.

If you’re looking for a single man, go to Petawawa. There are about two men for every woman there. Hopefully, you like military men.

Cold Lake, Alta., has about six women for every 10 men and Wood Buffalo – which includes Fort McMurray, Alta. – has about seven single women for every 10 men.

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But let’s say you’re not interested in the ratio of men to women, you just want to know where the most single people are.

Fair enough. In that case, get to one of Canada’s biggest cities. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have the most single women and the most single men – not surprising since they also have the most people in general. There are slightly more single women in Ottawa than Calgary and slightly more single men in Calgary than Ottawa.

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Generally, the bigger the city, the bigger the potential dating pool.

Keep in mind though – just because these people exist, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to be interested in you. But it’s not you, it’s them.

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