Canada is a multicultural country with many diverse cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa, with half or more of their population being immigrants.
Many people immigrate to Canada due to education and employment opportunities, high quality of life, and universal healthcare.
If you’re considering moving to Canada, take a look at this list of the top 10 places to live in Canada for immigrants this year.
Best Cities to Live in Canada for Immigrants
Here is our list of the top 10 best cities to live in Canada for newcomers.
1. Toronto, ON
- Average cost of living: $1,412.50 (single person, without rent)
- Unemployment rate: 5.9%
- Crime rate: 41.74
Toronto is one of the best places to live in Canada for young adults, immigrants, and families. It is the largest city in Canada and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Immigrants are warmly welcomed to Toronto as there are so many people from all different backgrounds.
Many newcomers to Canada head to Toronto for the many study and employment opportunities, as the city is the centre of many Canadian industries. The Greater Toronto Area is home to many tech start-ups, as well as a large presence of film, media, industrial, and financial industries.
It is very easy to get around the city as it is well-connected by public transport. Although Toronto has one of the highest housing market prices, there is a low unemployment and crime rate.
2. Calgary, AB
- Average cost of living: $1,450.10 (single person, without rent)
- Unemployment rate: 5%
- Crime rate: 36.80
Calgary is known as the most welcoming place in Canada to foreigners, which is why it is near the top of our list as one of the best places to live in Canada with a family.
Over a million foreigners live in Alberta, with more than half who are not permanent residents that have come to study and work. Calgary is home to more than 200 cultural groups speaking over 100 different languages.
Calgary has a diverse and prosperous local economy with many agriculture, energy, and transportation jobs. It has plans to expand and develop newer industries like tourism, health and life sciences, and financial services.
3. Ottawa, ON
- Average cost of living: $1,415.30 (single person, without rent)
- Unemployment rate: 3.5%
- Crime rate: 27.24
Ottawa is one of the best cities in Canada to live and work. Many people have moved to Ottawa from all over the world for the job and housing market. People speak many different languages, and it is quite a diverse city.
Many people living in Ottawa are bilingual, as it is close to both Toronto and Montreal. The city has a great transportation network, making it easy to get around.
Ottawa has a lower cost of living compared to many other large cities in Canada and a relatively low crime rate. It has a growing tourism industry, and public employees are the largest sector here. If you want to work for the government, Ottawa is one of the best places to go.
4. Vancouver, BC
- Average cost of living: $1,375.50 (single person, without rent)
- Unemployment rate: 4.7%
- Crime rate: 38.67
Vancouver is another large city in Canada where many people choose to immigrate. Immigrants make up most of the city’s population, so it is not uncommon to see Nigerian, Muslim, Filipino, or immigrants from other countries.
Vancouver is one of the world’s most liveable cities, and for a reason. The BC healthcare system is top-notch, and the city is well-connected by public transit.
The property market is at an all-time high, but Vancouver’s diverse economy, education opportunities, and mild weather make up for it.
5. Halifax, NS
- Average cost of living: $1,326.40 (single person, without rent)
- Unemployment rate: 4.9%
- Crime rate: 41.16
Halifax is a port city that has a slower pace of life than big cities like Vancouver and Toronto. The city offers several options for immigration and has been listed as a Destination on the Rise by TripAdvisor.
Halifax is a cultural city that hosts many activities and festivals and is home to museums, art galleries, and theatres.
Thanks to the bridge connecting Bedford, Halifax, and Dartmouth, there are many education and employment opportunities, access to great healthcare, and public facilities.
Halifax is a great city for anyone who likes the outdoors, as it is a coastal city with many outdoor activities in the summer and winter.
6. Burlington, ON
- Average cost of living: $1,210.30 (single person, without rent)
- Unemployment rate: 4.3%
- Crime rate: 29.73
Located close to Toronto, Burlington is one of the best places to live in Canada for families and immigrants. It is the perfect place for someone who wants to live in a city that is within a short distance of Toronto and in close proximity to nature.
Burlington has over 580 hectares of parkland, with many hiking trails and even a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve.
The city boasts diverse and excellent opportunities in terms of access to healthcare, schools, and employment opportunities.
Finding a job is not too hard in Burlington, but if you work in Toronto, you can easily drive there within an hour.
7. Oakville, ON
- Average cost of living: $1,224.78 (single person, without rent)
- Unemployment rate: 4.1%
- Crime rate: 25.87
Many immigrants move to Oakville for its prime location and connection to Toronto. Like Burlington, it is a perfect location for anyone who wants to be surrounded by nature but not too far from the bustling city of Toronto.
It is only 30 minutes from downtown Toronto and an hour from Niagara Falls. Many families and children live in Oakville as there are many recreational activities, festivals, arts, culture, and more.
If you’re looking for work in the life science or manufacturing industries, there is no shortage of jobs as the city is a base for the Ford Motor Company, General Electric, and Siemens offices.
8. Quebec City, QC
- Average cost of living: $1,315.50 (single person, without rent)
- Unemployment rate: 4.10%
- Crime rate: 15.03
Quebec is one of the best provinces to live in Canada for immigrants, and Quebec City is no exception. This is one of the oldest cities in North America with a lot of history. It has beautiful architecture and is even a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Because of its history, it is a prime location and hub of culture, history, art, parks, museums, and more. Many people move to Quebec City as it has a close feel to a European city.
Quebec City has a high employment rate, low crime rate, and an affordable cost of living for many. One thing to consider, however, is the language. French is the city’s primary language, and less than 2% of residents speak English fluently.
9. Saskatoon, SK
- Average cost of living: $1,282.20 (single person, without rent)
- Unemployment rate: 4.3%
- Crime rate: 48.93
Saskatoon is a community-oriented city that feels like a village. It is very welcoming to newcomers and is one of the best places to live in Canada for single females as well as families.
Communal living is big in Saskatoon. There are many public parks, sports grounds, and playgrounds, as well as a weekly farmer’s market and weekly events.
There is a wide job market, with positions available in IT, manufacturing, biotech, and agriculture.
The cost of living is quite low, thanks to the wide plains and local agriculture.
10. Gatineau, QC
- Average cost of living: 3% higher than the Quebec average
- Unemployment rate: 4.3%
- Crime rate: 36.63
Just across the river from Ottawa, Gatineau is a popular place for many immigrants to live in Canada. Gatineau is in an entirely different province, and French is widely used.
Gatineau is a popular destination for families, as housing costs and income taxes are generally lower. Childcare is also cheaper and subsidized.
Downtown Gatineau is home to a university, a well-connected transport system, restaurants, and many industries. It’s easy to get around, as the entire downtown core only takes about 20 minutes to walk through.
How to Choose the Best Places in Canada to Live and Work
As an immigrant, it can be difficult to choose the best cities and provinces in Canada to live and work. You should consider a few factors, such as the cost of living, location, access to jobs, and amenities.
Do you want to live in a big city with many education and work opportunities? Toronto and Vancouver are two top choices.
If you prefer living in a more rural, community-oriented city, Halifax and Saskatoon may be better suited for you.
British Columbia is one of the most immigrant-friendly provinces in Canada. It has a fast immigration and easy documentation process with the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program.
Most immigrants move to Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, or Montreal. Toronto is the number one choice, as it is the most multicultural city in Canada.
Canada is the number one country that is most welcoming to immigrants. It has been ranked #1 in quality of life by the United Nations and is widely known to be the most accepting of newcomers.
New Brunswick is the cheapest province to live in Canada, with the average cost of living at $1,501 per month, including rent (for one person).
According to Forbes, Columbia has the easiest residency process, and the Dominican Republic has the easiest residency to maintain.
Most immigrants settle in the United States. The US has more than 50 million foreign-born residents.
As of April 25, 2023, a single person immigrating to Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program should have at least CAD $13,757.
Toronto, ON, and Vancouver, BC, are the cities in Canada with the most job opportunities. The main industries are technology, healthcare, business, tourism, and finance.
Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec are the top provinces in Canada for new immigrants.