Ontario is a large province in the southwest region of Canada. One of the earliest places of European settlement on the North American continent centered along the shores of Lake Ontario. The province has since grown into a multicultural, socio-economic juggernaut in the present day, possessing Canada’s sources of international tourism to the country.
The citizens and permanent residents of Ontario enjoy a high standard of living that is founded on the highly diversified economy of the province, which covers all aspects of the industry from primarily agricultural to highly specialized professions in IT and Health/medical services.
On top of this, the people and communities of Ontario are generally the most culturally and ethnically diverse in Canada, ensuring that no new immigrant to the land should feel isolated so long as they seek the people to whom they belong.
Top Ten Best Places to Live in Ontario
If you’re looking to move to Ontario but are struggling to find the most suitable place to your needs and wants, we have narrowed down the list of eligible places to the top ten best places to live and work in Ontario. Please read through the choices presented to see if they pique your interest and make an informed decision that is to your liking.
Canada’s 10th largest city, it provides a regional hub for its surrounding communities. The city offers affordable housing, beautiful parks, excellent education, state-of-the healthcare facilities, culture, and low crime rates. Known as the “Forest City”, the city abounds with natural beauty that one can observe through the sheer amount of trees and green space you’ll find. If you want to have the urban lifestyle of a big city or the security and appeal of a small town, London is a great place to live and raise a family.
London has a Public Art and Monument Program that provides for creating public art in London. This has the effect of improving civic pride and provides points of focus for community celebration, opportunities for meaningful employment for artists, and renews interest in tourism and investment in the city.
For students, London has the benefit of being a Canadian hub of higher education, medical research, technology, and manufacturing. Located among the interconnected lakes and rivers of southwestern Ontario, it is a key location for the supply chains and transportation in the province.
The top industries in London are:
- Professional services
- Digital media and technology
Hamilton is a city that lies in the southeastern region of Ontario. Over the years, due to its strategic location in natural resources, it has become one of Canada’s leading industrial centers. It is the national iron and steel industry leader due to consistently having the highest production output. The list of other prominent industries in Ontario includes:
- Railroad equipment,
- Automotive parts,
- and Candy.
Rounding out the local economy in terms of importance includes health care, government administration, and education. Hamilton is also the center of an extensive fruit-growing district and a finance hub. It has some of Canadas’largest open-air markets
Rail and freeway connections to Toronto serve the city of Hamilton while also connecting it to Buffalo, New York, U.S.
The riverport on its shore carries cargo that includes coal, grain, steel, and petroleum products. On the western edge of the city can be found McMasters University (founded in Toronto in 1887 and moved to Hamilton in 1930), which is highly noted for its nuclear research. Hamilton Place, an impressive arts center, serves the performance artists of Hamilton.
The Waterloo Region is a mid-sized town located at the center of southwestern Ontario's famous Greenbelt. It possesses all the amenities of a large urban center yet strives to and continues to maintain the charm of a rural community.
Each of the municipality's three cities offers its own unique settlement experiences
The hub of urban activity is located in the region's largest city: Kitchener. Entrepreneurship lies at the heart of this town and is exemplified in the communities spirit of working together. The culture of innovation in the town has made it so that start-ups and small businesses are some of the largest employers in the community.
Take a trip along the many cultural festivals and markets along the down area or watch a show or sporting event at any one of the major venues in the town.
Two of the highest-ranked universities in Canada are located in Waterloo, and the town perennially attracts some of the best and brightest minds around the world.
Highly revered and sought-after Institutes such as the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, Centre for International Governance Innovation, and the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum Nano Centre are located in Waterloo. Award-winning architecture, unique shops, and fantastic restaurants line the streets of uptown Waterloo.
With more than 630,000 people, the Waterloo Region is one of Ontario’s fastest-growing regions. At the center of its growth is that it has remained an interconnected community that is connected by high-quality transit, walking trails, cycling, and the ever-scenic Grand River.
Oakville, which is nestled in between Toronto and Niagara on the shores of Lake Ontario, is known for its picturesque harbors, vibrant shopping districts, the active arts community, and some of the best wining and dining to be in the Greater Toronto Area.
The Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit form the primary location for Oakville. Only 30 km from downtown Toronto, it has easy access to highways which connect it to the rest of the country. The town was founded by Colonel William Chisholm in 1857. He purchased the land at the mouths of the 16 Mile and 12 Mile riverbanks.
The town has an abundance of parks and protected lands that you can visit using one of the many navigable trails located in the town. A tour of the Oakville Museum or Oakville Galleries is easy to book, and you can also explore the great outdoors at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.
Some of the highlights the town's history revolves around and which we are sure you’ll enjoy includes:
- immigration, and
- The Underground Railroad,
Barrie was established in 1837 in Simcoe County, southeastern Ontario. The town is located along Kempenfelt Bay, an arm of Lake Simcoe situated 55 miles (90 km) from Toronto.
The town's economy was, from the beginning, heavily influenced by the lumber industry. Allandale Village to the south was annexed in 1897.
Services and diversified manufacturing are the basis of Barry's economy today, with tourism and resorts also playing an important economic role. Centennial Park, located immediately to the town's north, Simcoe County Museum and Archives, and Springwater Provincial Park are some of the town's most well-known attractions. In 1967, the Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology was founded in Barrie.
For a theatrical experience, you can go to Barrie's Five Points Theatre, a world-class facility located in Barrie's downtown and under the management of the Recreation and Culture Services Department. It comes fully equipped for stagings of professional theatre, music, dance, workshops, films, presentations, and conferences.
Burlington is a city that’s located at the western end of Lake Ontario, opposite Hamilton, where they’re both separated by Hamilton Harbour (Burlington Bay). Settled in 1810, the town was a beach resort and fruit-growing center until it was developed after 1950 when urban sprawl connected it to the northeast of the Toronto metropolitan area.
Today, it is a lakefront residential city. Industries in the town include manufacturing metal tubing, chemicals, and brushes. Burlington Bay Skyway's toll bridge linked the town with Hamilton and was completed in 1958.
Thanks largely to its location on Lake Ontario and proximity to Hamilton and Toronto, the town of Burlington has continued to develop economically in the past decades. Familiar sights also include The Queen Elizabeth Way (1939) for commuters.
Most employment for the community comes from industries such as:
- retail trade,
- health care
- and social assistance
- and professional services
Within Burlington is the famous Royal Botanical Gardens, which has a main section that features over 1,500 plant types. The Burlington Art Gallery has the largest collection of contemporary Canadian-made ceramics. Famous Musical acts from the city include Walk off the Earth, Finger Eleven, Spoons, and Sarah Harmer.
Toronto is the capital of the province of Ontario. Its popularity as a settlement destination has made it the most populous city in Canada, rich in multicultural diversity, and the center of finance and commerce in Canada.
Toronto is an important international trading center due to its location on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, which borders the United States and has easy access to Atlantic shipping via the St. Lawrence Seaway and to major U.S. industrial centers via the Great Lakes.
The city is also located on the edge of the most significant farming land in Canada, with a favorable climate where you can grow various crops. This has made Toronto a transportation, distribution, and manufacturing center.
Toronto’s importance as a financial center is reflected by the significant number of banks headquartered in the city and the dominant stock exchange capitalizing on the country's many mining operations, particularly in the Canadian Shield to the north of the country.
Toronto is driven by specialized service industries, which are the:
- Real estate,
Toronto is the Center of lifestyle and culture in the country, with significant musical, film, and sporting start and brands hailing from the city such as Drake, The Weeknd, David Cronenberg, and the Toronto Raptors hailing from the city.
Windsor is the seat of the county of Essex. It is located on the left (south) bank of the Detroit River, across from Detroit, Michigan. It was settled in 1701 by French farmers
Windsor’s strategic location astride a navigable waterway right across the heart of Detroit allowing it to develop into both an important railway terminal and a Great Lakes port. This consequently attracted many industries, including several U.S. branch industrial plants that were large. The adjoining cities of East Windsor, Walkerville, and Sandwich were all annexed to the city in 1935 with Riverside being annexed in 1966.
The city is a center of commerce and manufacturing. It serves a farm area that is rich in the production of fruits, vegetables, corn (maize), soybeans, grain, tobacco, and potatoes. The leading manufacturers include
- Motor vehicles and parts,
- Foods and beverages, medicinal and pharmaceutical preparations,
- Salt processing,
- Industrial machinery, and
- Iron and steel products.
The leading port of entry from the United States into Canada is Windsor which is supported and enabled in this task by two tunnels, car ferries, and a suspension bridge connecting it with Detroit. The University of Windsor, founded in 1963, is located in the city.
Countless theatrical and musical performances take place at any given time across the city and the riverfronts are home to many cultural festivals.
Stratford is located in the southeast of Ontario. It is primarily situated along the Avon River, right in the heart of a dairy-farming community that prides itself on its products. William Sergeant (or Sargint) founded the community in the winter of 1831-1832 when he built the Shakespeare Hotel near the Avon River.
The town and river used to be called Little Thames before it was changed to its current name in honor of the name given to the hotel by the founder of the town
Since the summer of 1953 the Stratford festival, named in honor of William Shakespeare's birthplace, has been held in the town and is it’s a most well-known cultural event.The theatrical performances of the festival, particularly the revivals of plays by Shakespeare, were directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie originally and are held at the Avon Theatre.
The center of Stratford’s park system is Lake Victoria which was crafted in the early 20th century through the damming of the Avon. It was originally done to supply water to one of the city’s numerous mills. Railway repair shops, light manufacturing, and engineering workshops, in combination with the creative arts and tourism, form the basis of the city’s economy.
Saint Catharines is a municipal city in southeastern Ontario. It rests on the shore south of Lake Ontario, right before the entrance to the Welland Ship Canal. It was named after Robert Hamiltons’s first wife and has endured from humble beginnings as a small settlement to become the center of the fruit belt in Niagara and the Welland Ship Canal’s largest city.
St. Catharines annexed the neighboring towns of Merritton and Port Dalhousie in 1961, an act which doubled its population and stretched its boundaries from the Niagara Escarpment to Lake Ontario all the way east to the canal.
The Garden City is one of the monikers for St Catharines and doubles as the annual Royal Canadian Henley Regatta site. An industrial center, the town is well-versed in:
- Automotive parts
- Heavy electrical appliances
- Structural-engineering goods
- Paper and wood products
- Canned fruits and vegetables
St. Catharine's handful of vineyards produce vintages that can stand proudly alongside some of the world’s top wines and are worth a visit when traveling along the Niagara Wine Route.
The Niagara Grape and Wine Festival is centered in St. Catharines and is the largest wine festival and street parade in Canada. The historic Montebello Park in the downtown area is alive with activity for two consecutive weekends in which wine and food events, live entertainment, and exciting activities are held throughout the day.
What Life in Ontario can Offer You
Ontario is Canada’s largest populated province. However, the large expanse of habitable land ensures that there is more than enough fair opportunity for newcomers to find a home. The large population also means that the province benefits from being the beneficiary of the largest amount of financial capital investment, grant, trade, and human capital recipient through immigration.
All of these factors have made Ontario the center of Canada's industry, commerce, lifestyle, and culture. If you want to become a part of the growing prosperity of this province then there has never been a better time to do so than today.
Ontario is also a major source of international tourism to Canada since it has two of the most visited places in the entire country: the city of Toronto and Niagara Waterfall, a recognized contemporary natural wonder of the world.
How can I Move to Ontario, Canada?
If you want to move to Ontario, there are a number of different immigration visa programs, streams, and pathways from which to choose from that include:
- Human Capital Priorities Stream (in line with Express Entry)
- French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream (in line with Express Entry)
- Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream
- International Students category
- Express Entry Skilled Trades & French Worker Stream
During the process of your eligibility assessment a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score will be generated on your behalf. You can calculate your own CRS score here on our site should you be curious to go through a preliminary evaluation.
Start an Exciting Life in Ontario Today!
Ontario awaits, with all the wonder and splendor that it offers. To get there in a hassle-free process that is relatively quick and easy, we recommend using one of our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs).
By asking you all the relevant questions and facilitating the entire application process on your behalf, you will have a much higher chance of succeeding in your application and finding yourself on Ontario’s shores soon enough.
What is the Best Place to Move to in Ontario?
Toronto, Canada’s metropole of trade and industry is the best place to move to in Ontario if you’re looking to capitalize on socio-economic opportunities.
Which City has the Best Nightlife in Ontario?
Toronto is a vibrant city where the people are constantly on the move around the clock, giving the city its characteristic atmosphere of a 24/7 city that never sleeps with nightlife to boot.
What is the Most Culturally Diverse City in Ontario?
Brampton has the highest percentage of immigrants relative to the overall population of the town in Canada. This has given the town a strong sense of multiculturalism that makes it one of the most tolerant and accessible to immigrant places in Canada.