Canada is a highly diverse country. With the local Canadian population in decline and the regional industries expanding at an exponential rate, the country's economic growth massively depends on a large influx of international immigrants coming into Canada, filling gaps in the Canadian labour market and stimulating the economy via buying Canadian goods. As a result, Canada is hugely open and welcoming to immigrants, with over 50 years of legal policy mandating that immigrants be treated with the fairness and respect they deserve and given as much support as possible in their assimilation into Canadian society.
Why are Canadian Cities so Diverse?
As a result of the abundant work opportunities, welcoming reception and certain other significant perks of life in Canada, like the high-quality education, fantastic infrastructure and a high average standard of living, Canada welcomes over 400,000 newcomers every year.
One of the major results of this influx of immigrants is that Canada is home to some of the most diverse cities in the world. As a result, many Canadian cities are widely considered the best places to immigrate to.
One of the major reasons for this is Canada's Multiculturalism Policy of 1971. This policy stated that the Canadian government was actively enforcing the cultural freedom of all individuals and providing recognition of the cultural contributions of diverse ethnic groups to Canadian society.
The policy is bent on both allowing and supporting the proliferation of a wide array of cultures in Canada, provided they subscribe to a basic understanding of mainstream Canadian culture, such as speaking functional English or French, obeying the laws of Canada and respecting the existing cultures in Canada.
As a result, Canada is seen as a haven for foreign nationals looking to take advantage of the abundant opportunities present in Canada without having to relinquish their cultural heritage.
Today, Canada's major population centers are some of the most multicultural places in the world, but which are the most diverse cities in Canada? Here, we look at the top multicultural cities in Canada and what it is about them that has caused people from all over the world to make these cities their new homes.
According to the World Population Review, Toronto is the second most diverse city in the world. It is the capital of Ontario, which has the largest provincial economy in Canada.
A huge portion of Canadian industry is in Toronto, meaning a high proliferation of jobs. In addition, due to the city's size and scale, residents can enjoy a vibrant, exciting lifestyle in one of the world's major cities. Toronto is also home to some of the best education in the world, including Canada's highest-ranked university, the University of Toronto, making it a hotspot for international students.
As the nation's capital, Ottawa is perfect for young up-and-comers to start their careers with a bang. Home to Canada's federal government, Ottawa benefits from some of the highest quality government services, education, healthcare and infrastructure in Canada, making it one of the best places to live in Canada as a foreign national.
Due to its political affiliations, Ottawa is also home to a unique mix of diplomats, politicians and business people, bringing in a strong mix of internationals from countries like Ireland, Italy, China and the UK.
Markham is the city in Canada with the highest concentration of residents born outside Canada, with a visible minority population of over 75%. Much of this population is from east, southeast and south Asia, with over 65% of the city's total population being primarily from Asia.
A major reason for this huge amount of international immigration into this city is its proximity to Toronto, as it's a part of the Greater Toronto area but doesn't have the same expensive living costs as the big city. According to Numbeo.com, Markham's living expenses, compared to Toronto's, are as follows:
|Monthly Cost of Living (excluding rent)||Markham||Toronto|
|Family of Four||4,753.91CAD||4,977.69CAD|
Rent is also significantly lower in Markham.
|Monthly Rent (in City Centre)||Markham||Toronto|
|Single Bedroom Apartment||2,025.00CAD||2,329.45CAD|
In keeping with the extremely diverse cities of the Greater Toronto Area, Mississauga is possibly the largest city in Toronto's orbit. As a result, it provides much of the lifestyle and opportunities of Toronto but with far cheaper housing costs and the opportunity to live just as close to the ocean. Mississauga also has a higher standard of living, with the average salary in the city being almost 10% higher than in Toronto, despite the lower cost of living, according to Numbeo.com.
As a result, Mississauga is a natural destination for immigrants looking to get the best start possible in Canada without breaking the bank.
As another one of Canada's major cities, the largest city in British Columbia, Vancouver is also a hugely popular destination for Canadian immigration. Its proliferating key industries like high-tech, tourism, agriculture and education provide many prime opportunities for foreign-born residents.
As a result, it remains one of the most diverse cities in Canada. According to the World Population Review, the European Canadian population of the city account for less than 50% of the total population, with the Chinese population of the city making up over a quarter of the city.
Vancouver is known as "The City of Neighborhoods" due to the concentration of certain ethnicities or nationalities within certain neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Portugal and Punjabi Market.
Despite the province of Quebec not being known for its diversity, Montreal is, in fact, one of the most diverse cities in Canada. Currently, Montreal plays host to over 670,000 visible minorities. As Quebec is famously a French-speaking province, it is a major hotspot for French-speaking African and Middle Eastern nationals. However, Montreal is also home to large communities from South Asia, Latin America, China, and the Philippines.
A huge driver for internationals to come to Montreal is many job opportunities, as much of Quebec's industry is centred around it. On top of this, the French language and European culture offer an element that you can't quite get anywhere else in Canada, and with much of the best French Language education in Canada being in Quebec, Montreal is a fantastic place for families to start a new life in their language.
As the largest city in picturesque Alberta, Calgary is also a huge centre for multiculturalism in Canada. With a rapidly-growing population, and a high concentration of jobs in tech, digital media, logistics, aerospace engineering and agribusiness, Calgary is rife with opportunities for locals and internationals alike, making it one of the best places to live in Canada as a foreign national.
While most of the city's residents are Canadian-born, the city has a sizeable population from China, Africa, the Philippines, South Asia and Latin America. Calgary is also a popular destination because of its relatively low cost of living in comparison to other Canadian cities and the fact that the vast majority of the locals speak entirely in English, making it a highly accessible place to make your start in Canada.
Hamilton has one of the fastest-growing multicultural populations in Canada, with the population size increasing by almost 20% every five years, according to Hamilton's latest census. At only 61 kilometres from Toronto, Hamilton offers plenty of opportunities to gain fantastic opportunities in the big city while being far enough away to be cheaper and more peaceful than the vibrant city environment.
The proximity to the industry in Toronto and the growing industry in Hamilton itself have attracted large and hugely diverse groups from particularly Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, giving the city the hugely diverse feel that all of the cities in the Greater Toronto Area are famous for.
As the capital of Alberta, Edmonton is a hugely multicultural city for many the same reasons. With its relatively low cost of living, burgeoning industries and reputation for welcoming immigrants. Edmonton was famously Canada's oil city, so it has a large amount of local wealth, which has given the city excellent infrastructure and allowed local businesses to grow and increase throughout the city.
Edmonton is often lauded as a beacon of multiculturalism in Canada and is home to Canada's oldest Mosque, the Al-Rashid Mosque.
Another major perk of Edmonton is the famously high-quality education around the city. Tertiary institutions like the Concordia University of Edmonton, the University of Alberta and King's University are major highlights for international students.
If one of the cities on this list is the perfect new home for you, you should ensure you start your Canadian journey on the right foot. A fantastic way to ensure your application process is swift and easy to utilize the expertise of an immigration consultant. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) can help you find the right immigration program you ensure you have the best possible chance of realizing your Canadian dream.
Another one of Ontario's hugely diverse cities is Brampton. According to the latest Canadian census, Brampton is home to over 230 nationalities, with residents speaking over 90 languages. Over 50% of Brampton's residents were born outside Canada.
Much like Markham, Brampton has become one of Canada's most popular destinations for international immigrants due to its proximity to Toronto and its generally low cost of living compared to the larger cities.
At only 31km away from Toronto, the daily commute to Toronto from Brampton is relatively simple, being only a 34-minute drive, 39-minute bus trip or a 42-minute train ride away. This means Brampton has access to all of the opportunities and vibrant lifestyles of the big city with lower living costs and a greater concentration of certain nationalities.
Which are the Easiest Cities in Canada to Move To?
Many cities in Canada are easier to move to if you have some of the skills required by that city's economy. This map shows which jobs are most in demand in each Canadian province and, by extension, which cities are best for you.
Alternatively, here's a breakdown of the easiest provinces to get permanent residence for and how to apply.
Can I Effectively Practice my Religion in Canada?
Canada is hugely respective towards and protective of religious freedoms and is home to places of worship for dozens of religions countrywide. This directory gives you an overview of how to find your place of worship in Canada.
How Can I Study in One of These Cities?
To study in a Canadian city, you need an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), such as a University or College. Here's a directory of all of the universities in Canada that are designated to allow the enrolment of international students.
Find Your Home Away from Home in Canada
With all of these fantastic new homes for international immigrants in Canada, chances are you want to see how you can be a part of these fantastic international communities. With over 100 immigration and visa programs, finding the best way into Canada can be difficult.
To ensure your application process goes smoothly, you should seek out expert help. Our RCICs are certified and have years of experience helping people reach their Canadian dream. Our experts can help evaluate you to find the right program for you, fill out your application forms, help and advise you through your entire application process and even curate your CV to Canadian standards.