Some Of The Most Popular Places For Immigrants To Live In Canada

By on January 16, 2014

Approximately 250,000 people move to Canada each year, typically to work and to provide a better life for their family. As a result, there are some popular cities that see a large influx of new residents because they’re the best places to find jobs and quality schools.

Here, in alphabetical order, are 13 of the most popular places for new immigrants to live when they first move to Canada:


Calgary is the largest city in the province of Alberta, and is located on the shores of the Bow River. It’s one of the largest cities in Canada, and was ranked by Forbes Magazine and the Mercer Quality of Living Survey as the World’s Cleanest City. Calgary is often rated amongst the most liveable cities in the world. The oil and gas industries provide a majority of the income for people living and working in Calgary, though jobs are beginning to diversify. Close to the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is also home to the world’s most extensive skyway with tunnels connecting many office buildings.


Edmonton is Alberta’s capital, and second-largest city. The weather is dry, though the winters are cold. The city is located on the North Saskatchewan River, with many parks along the shore, and like Calgary the city has a history founded on the oil and gas industries. Edmonton is known as the Festival City, and is a culturally significant location. The Edmonton International Fringe Festival rivals the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the city’s International Film Festival is another very popular event.


Hamilton is a port city in Ontario, with more than 100 waterfalls within city limits. More than 20% of Hamilton’s residents are first generation immigrants. The city is very industrial, and is home to the McMaster University campus with more than 20,000 students. Sporting venues and theatres can be found in abundance.


Mississauga, on the shores of Lake Ontario, was initially developed as a Toronto suburb. Growing over time, it’s now a city with its own identity. The people of Mississauga, known as Saugans, are typically fairly wealthy. Jobs are comparatively easy to find, and Canada’s busiest airport (Lester B. Pearson International Airport) is within city limits. Square One, one of the largest shopping malls in the country, can be found in Mississauga. The city is also home to Celebration Square where events and festivals are hosted and where facilities include a stage, winter ice rink/summer wading pool, giant TV screens and a restaurant.


A UNESCO City of Design, Montreal is a modern place to live and is the largest city in Quebec. It’s ranked amongst the best places in the world to study at university level, and the city has hot and humid summers along with cold and snowy winters. French is more widely spoken than English, and the city is a hub for industry and commerce. Companies with offices in Montreal include EA, Ubisoft and Eidos Interactive, the Royal Bank of Canada and the National Bank of Canada, the National Film Board of Canada and Cirque du Soleil. People often refer to Montreal as Canada’s Cultural Capital.


Ottawa, standing on the bank of the Ottawa River, is the fourth largest city in Canada and is Canada’s capital city. It’s regularly ranked as the best place to live in Canada, and is a multicultural destination and one of the country’s most educated cities. Winterlude – Canada’s largest festival – takes place in Ottawa, as do many other events. Most jobs in the city are in the technology industries, though you’ll find that there are plenty of companies working in all industries as you’d expect from a city of Ottawa’s size.


Canada’s largest city, Toronto is home to more than 2.6 million people. Toronto has something for everyone, and despite the city’s large size and its abundance of commercial buildings and skyscrapers there are still plenty of parks and city squares providing open space for residents to enjoy. There are also many theatres, sporting venues and museums. Toronto has a prominent financial district, home to major banks and the Toronto Stock Exchange, whilst other major companies include Four Seasons Hotels and a variety of media organisations.


Vancouver is a seaport city in British Columbia. It’s the country’s most densely populated city and is one of the most diverse cities in Canada. It’s consistently rated amongst the best cities for quality of life, and it plays host to a variety of major international events. More than half of the people living in Canada didn’t learn English as their first language. Vancouver is a warm city throughout the year, by Canada’s standards, with average temperatures rarely dropping below freezing even in the middle of winter.


Winnipeg is a historic trade city, with commerce and manufacturing industries making up the bulk of the economy. It’s a diverse city, and with museums and theatres in abundance it plays host to a variety of famous festivals and international events. Close to the Canadian Prairies, Winnipeg is the largest city in Manitoba and has plenty of things to do for families with children.

Do you live in one of these cities? Are you planning to move to Canada, and have you decided where you’re going to live? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.


David Hurley is an American travel writer living in Canada. Having moved around a fair bit, he is especially fond of Toronto.


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