Best Places for New Canadians 2017: Top 100 - MoneySense

Best Places for New Canadians 2017

The top 100 spots for newcomers to the country

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Danee Georgiou and Joakim Keussen have lived all over the world. Their list of cities resembles something you might see on the back of a concert t-shirt: San Fransisco, Berlin, Melbourne. And like a rock band on the final leg of a tour, they were exhausted.

Two years ago the young couple was living in Berlin. “There was always something going on,” says Georgiou, 33, of her time in the German capital. “I constantly had a fear of missing out on things.” It sounds like a nice pitch for the city, but there were drawbacks too, adds Keussen, 25. “We both didn’t feel like we could raise a family in Berlin,” explains Georgiou.

They already contemplating making another move when Keussen got a recruiting call from Shopify to move to Ottawa to work as a senior designer. They were skeptical at first. Canada was never on their radar and neither of them had ties to the country. Keussen would visit twice before jumping at the opportunity. They expect to never look back.

Photo gallery: Top 10 Best Places for New Canadians »

Anyone looking to move to Canada would likely start with the cities they’ve heard of like Toronto and Vancouver or maybe Montreal. There are many other places with a lot to offer anyone searching for a new place to call home. Some might be surprised to see Ottawa at the top of this list—but you shouldn’t be.

Ottawa has a strong and diverse economy, fronted by government and well-paid high-tech jobs, which are a particular draw. It’s true the city isn’t quite as cosmopolitan as say Toronto or Vancouver, but it’s still a welcome blend of cultures and nationalities. One in five people in the city speaks a language other than French or English.

And for a big city, it’s also pretty friendly. The community index value for the city, a measure of how engaged residents are in the city, also compares favourably to other large cities.

The city has a way of cultivating this sense of community says Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. In 1970 it welcomed 4,000 Vietnamese Boat people and helped them settle in the area. Now those some of those same immigrants in the city are holding fundraisers to help Syrian refugees start a new life in Canada. “A lot of people felt we couldn’t do it,” says Waston. “What warmed my heart, was attending a fund raising with the Vietnamese community.”

Interactive tool: Find your best place to live »

“Canada is tricky to explain, but it quickly felt like home,” says Georgiou, who also works at Shopify as a recruiter. They love how the way they interact with the city as it changes with the seasons. Georgiou who was born and raised in Australia is particularly appreciative of the hot summers. Integrating into the city has been a breeze. Shopify not only helps with the transition, like a lot of tech companies in the area they actively push employees to live outside of work.

While Ottawa doesn’t quiet offer the level of grandeur that you’d find in some of the other places they lived, there are still more than enough food events and craft brewers and outdoor activities to enjoy.

In the coming weeks Gerogiou and Keussen plan to apply for permanent residency and keep the door open for eventual citizenship. For now they have no plans to leave. “I think we’d call Ottawa home,” says Keussen.

  • Best of the Regions Best of the Regions

Best Places to Raise For New Canadians – by region

Atlantic Canada: 

Fredericton, N.B. (No. 70)

Quebec:

Brossard, Que. (No. 4)

Ontario:

Ottawa (No. 1)

Prairies:

Regina, Sask. (No. 3)

Alberta:

Lethbridge, Alta. (No. 22)

British Columbia & the Territories:

Delta, B.C.  (No. 10)


The Top 100

Rank Name Province City Size Population Population
Change
(2012 to 2017)
Estimated Unemployment Rate Regional Unemployment rate Median Household Income Average Household Discretionary Income Average Household Net Worth Avg. Value Of Primary Real Estate Avg. Rent Vacancy % Home to income ratio Travel To Work By Public Transit % of pop. Who say English/French is not their first language
1Ottawa CVOnt.L974,7015.5%5.0%6.5%$91,122$57,260$631,905$481,223$1,2043.0%4.213.8%21.0%
2Waterloo CYOnt.M109,5325.4%5.4%5.6%$90,726$54,852$710,206$467,659$1,0981.4%4.34.1%25.1%
3ReginaSask.M226,68210.9%5.7%4.5%$83,178$56,360$428,940$378,617$1,1095.5%3.73.5%13.6%
4Brossard VQue.S87,8427.4%7.0%6.2%$73,711$48,765$552,418$395,627$7934.2%4.116.3%36.7%
5BrandonMan.S50,6346.2%7.7%6.1%$71,811$46,400$322,026$285,708$8443.3%3.32.5%19.6%
6GuelphOnt.M134,8326.0%5.6%5.6%$83,447$47,113$516,064$490,591$1,0791.0%5.25.2%18.2%
7Thunder BayOnt.M111,4150.1%5.5%5.6%$70,929$46,375$349,161$269,059$9405.0%3.22.4%11.1%
8Oakville TOnt.M211,02510.0%5.8%6.8%$111,468$72,845$1,303,745$879,261$1,4231.1%5.88.0%29.3%
9LondonOnt.M399,1254.7%6.9%5.6%$68,459$44,509$428,006$326,499$1,0022.1%3.84.9%19.3%
10Delta DMB.C.M108,9435.6%6.0%6.1%$97,174$58,892$955,028$820,429$1,113-7.35.9%27.7%
11Blainville VQue.S58,0996.4%4.2%5.8%$93,677$52,538$575,467$373,781$7793.9%3.54.8%6.2%
12KitchenerOnt.M238,9514.5%5.9%5.6%$74,656$43,295$405,032$396,963$1,0332.6%4.65.2%26.4%
13Aurora TOnt.S60,0967.7%5.9%6.8%$99,328$67,090$1,179,111$814,390$1,2703.1%5.85.3%25.2%
14Burlington CYOnt.M199,8588.6%5.5%6.9%$93,893$57,730$862,227$710,453$1,2941.1%6.25.5%18.2%
15WinnipegMan.L736,0287.1%7.4%6.3%$72,265$44,503$399,382$330,022$1,0672.8%3.88.5%24.0%
16Ajax TOnt.M124,4898.5%7.0%6.8%$103,983$55,464$585,154$573,539$1,2126.0%5.110.8%20.6%
17Vaughan CYOnt.M330,3069.1%5.1%6.8%$101,325$61,637$1,265,691$959,514$1,3271.3%7.66.7%52.3%
18Newmarket TOnt.S89,5956.9%5.9%6.8%$96,053$54,925$750,212$700,481$1,1781.7%6.35.3%21.6%
19North Vancouver DMB.C.S91,9845.6%6.4%6.1%$99,393$69,980$1,575,419$1,264,378$1,4490.1%9.48.4%23.4%
20BarrieOnt.M149,5727.1%6.5%5.6%$86,518$46,376$419,495$429,222$1,1532.2%4.64.1%9.6%
21Gatineau VQue.M283,7064.4%4.7%7.0%$71,300$42,665$287,600$300,848$7636.3%3.510.6%9.5%
22LethbridgeAlta.S95,2938.0%9.7%6.6%$81,598$60,661$707,258$435,799$9398.5%4.32.5%13.0%
23Cambridge CYOnt.M136,8303.9%5.8%5.6%$83,564$46,706$432,153$411,770$1,0651.6%4.43.4%18.1%
24Halton Hills TOnt.S67,0948.7%5.2%6.8%$110,086$60,390$816,020$659,079$1,1400.6%5.32.3%12.2%
25SaskatoonSask.M268,12713.3%6.2%6.3%$76,938$53,065$462,103$431,700$1,10110.3%4.23.8%17.5%
26St. Albert CYAlta.S72,37211.3%8.3%6.8%$133,871$82,998$787,660$466,879$1,3225.6%3.14.4%9.0%
27Québec VQue.L552,5284.6%3.3%5.2%$59,904$40,307$304,661$300,648$8164.8%49.9%3.7%
28Hamilton COnt.L566,2764.7%7.5%6.9%$70,412$45,546$500,649$459,992$9654.5%5.26.1%22.9%
29Port Coquitlam CYB.C.S60,3666.2%6.3%6.1%$88,337$53,455$575,767$608,518$1,0651.2%5.98.5%28.9%
30Saanich DMB.C.M117,7814.3%3.9%7.5%$82,867$51,421$892,539$709,974$1,2060.5%7.16.9%17.5%
31Longueuil VQue.M247,7154.7%6.4%6.2%$56,412$36,192$267,986$318,020$7334.9%4.512.5%12.2%
32Markham TOnt.M344,5578.5%7.6%6.8%$92,329$58,341$1,202,922$946,996$1,2711.4%8.18.2%59.3%
33Edmonton CYAlta.L973,75512.2%10.1%6.8%$84,865$59,056$510,793$469,827$1,2297.0%4.39.6%29.6%
34Coquitlam CYB.C.M138,1516.9%6.9%6.1%$80,825$49,934$790,894$793,321$1,1231.9%8.110.0%43.0%
35Richmond Hill TOnt.M211,8417.0%7.4%6.8%$71,922$55,178$1,246,188$1,059,612$1,3270.7%9.49.2%61.0%
36Repentigny VQue.S85,6262.8%4.7%6.7%$77,896$45,298$365,299$293,317$7174.9%3.44.5%5.8%
37Mississauga CYOnt.L802,2727.2%7.5%6.8%$85,588$51,789$719,658$691,426$1,2761.4%6.79.3%48.3%
38Laval VQue.L434,0175.6%5.4%8.5%$66,449$40,614$412,399$365,417$33.0%4.58.9%30.9%
39North Vancouver CYB.C.S53,6056.7%5.9%6.1%$67,209$41,557$663,775$906,374$1,4320.3%10.913.8%31.2%
40Milton TOnt.M107,24717.6%4.0%6.8%$114,128$55,565$721,124$634,980$1,2481.8%5.44.2%29.1%
41Caledon TOnt.S67,6978.5%5.1%6.8%$100,214$66,257$1,108,884$769,024$1,3271.3%5.82.2%21.3%
42Langley DMB.C.M116,9157.8%4.7%6.1%$94,233$58,469$922,000$766,515$1,3191.2%6.92.5%15.7%
43Toronto COnt.L2,882,6145.4%8.4%6.8%$62,285$49,239$794,583$808,377$1,3411.3%819.3%44.2%
44KingstonOnt.M132,7573.5%5.3%7.3%$71,011$46,829$490,337$378,930$1,1192.6%4.24.8%9.4%
45Richmond CYB.C.M210,5398.1%6.0%6.1%$93,911$46,734$991,692$926,614$1,3531.0%10.37.9%57.5%
46Pickering CYOnt.S98,7416.6%8.3%6.8%$103,664$59,075$776,452$634,214$1,3271.3%5.37.9%18.6%
47Whitby TOnt.M136,2966.9%6.8%6.8%$103,442$56,169$650,311$577,398$1,1031.1%4.97.2%13.6%
48Vancouver CYB.C.L669,6606.0%7.4%6.1%$62,938$45,250$997,799$1,348,591$1,7570.8%14.815.9%46.6%
49St. Catharines CYOnt.M136,5541.0%6.6%6.9%$65,265$41,211$410,409$333,466$1,0082.4%4.32.8%15.2%
50Châteauguay VQue.S51,3566.4%7.0%6.2%$65,026$41,497$284,224$264,124$775-3.46.7%9.8%
51Maple Ridge DMB.C.S84,3876.8%6.0%6.1%$89,525$49,877$592,510$579,164$9470.5%5.95.9%13.4%
52CalgaryAlta.L1,326,81913.1%9.0%8.5%$88,670$72,067$733,978$517,030$1,2606.9%3.910.1%29.8%
53Brampton CYOnt.L607,1139.6%7.1%6.8%$88,831$49,529$542,885$599,148$1,2431.2%6.17.0%44.7%
54Lévis VQue.M146,8303.8%2.4%6.4%$77,911$46,485$346,183$287,403$7444.6%3.34.3%0.8%
55Surrey CYB.C.L527,5477.9%7.2%6.1%$82,166$50,756$696,992$711,382$1,0060.4%7.27.7%45.4%
56New Westminster CYB.C.S73,5847.0%7.1%6.1%$69,035$40,729$399,744$546,270$1,2170.4%6.717.1%34.1%
57Terrebonne VQue.M115,6326.0%3.9%6.7%$81,512$44,159$323,545$305,038$7272.2%3.54.0%7.3%
58Niagara Falls CYOnt.S87,9382.6%6.4%6.9%$67,159$40,459$384,963$335,520$9452.3%4.42.1%16.4%
59Abbotsford - MissionB.C.M150,0157.9%7.2%6.1%$75,931$46,390$550,887$490,198$9280.5%5.51.3%31.6%
60Medicine HatAlta.S64,5483.3%8.2%6.6%$81,027$55,504$497,398$335,088$8255.4%3.41.8%8.9%
61Wood BuffaloAlta.S78,0089.6%6.8%9.3%$196,285$120,607$463,550$524,111$1,45417.8%2.421.5%19.8%
62Burnaby CYB.C.M248,7936.8%8.6%6.1%$68,715$43,499$782,804$902,864$1,3180.8%10.614.8%55.2%
63Prince GeorgeB.C.S72,134-1.6%7.5%7.4%$83,250$52,454$299,389$220,572$8274.2%2.42.3%9.1%
64Oshawa CYOnt.M166,5276.5%8.9%6.8%$77,242$43,456$393,585$411,204$1,1212.1%4.85.2%10.5%
65WindsorOnt.M219,3731.0%8.7%7.6%$58,221$36,678$281,799$226,424$8402.9%3.31.8%26.5%
66Red Deer CountyAlta.M106,62010.9%7.3%8.3%$94,743$88,694$1,054,577$516,588$1,01613.6%3.43.3%11.6%
67Victoria CYB.C.S87,3875.1%4.4%7.5%$53,288$34,255$435,509$574,166$1,2240.5%8.38.8%12.9%
68Strathcona County SMAlta.M109,68012.0%7.4%6.8%$130,942$89,201$962,500$514,234$1,3593.2%3.23.3%9.0%
69BrantfordOnt.M100,4423.5%7.0%6.9%$68,241$40,861$325,190$301,757$9112.2%3.92.4%9.7%
70FrederictonN.B.S60,8055.4%6.6%8.9%$63,285$42,270$328,704$286,656$8384.3%3.62.8%6.9%
71Clarington MUOnt.S95,5947.9%6.2%6.8%$97,472$50,970$530,597$480,444$9790.2%4.63.7%6.6%
72PeterboroughOnt.S83,3942.5%8.6%4.9%$67,196$38,845$408,402$321,190$9821.0%4.13.1%5.5%
73NorfolkOnt.S65,6751.1%6.3%6.9%$70,547$44,410$499,483$373,109$6832.4%4.60.5%11.4%
74Welland CYOnt.S53,3682.2%7.6%6.9%$65,058$38,271$301,554$261,341$9151.4%3.61.0%9.4%
75ChilliwackB.C.S88,6459.3%8.1%6.1%$74,846$42,826$489,978$457,237$8721.5%5.61.1%11.2%
76KelownaB.C.M134,3979.9%5.5%9.3%$71,038$47,677$705,218$510,948$1,0520.6%5.63.1%11.5%
77Sault Ste. MarieOnt.S74,710-2.5%6.8%7.6%$69,050$44,118$330,526$247,110$8733.1%3.12.1%8.1%
78Greater SudburyOnt.M164,8180.0%6.3%7.6%$78,956$50,724$387,783$316,977$9905.3%3.33.2%5.9%
79SherbrookeQue.M167,6355.6%7.3%7.0%$53,225$35,642$251,440$258,242$6196.3%3.93.3%5.5%
80Chatham-KentOnt.M105,467-0.5%10.2%7.6%$62,715$41,065$339,129$207,192$7633.1%2.71.3%8.0%
81Saint-Jérôme VQue.S76,9118.9%6.3%5.8%$54,179$33,611$218,256$240,657$7205.4%3.71.9%2.3%
82Dollard-Des Ormeaux VQue.S53,1445.0%7.0%11.0%$78,854$52,798$730,247$504,877$8692.5%4.89.5%37.7%
83Montréal VQue.L1,785,4685.3%8.7%11.0%$48,261$32,117$309,197$478,859$7994.0%7.419.3%32.8%
84KamloopsB.C.S89,5742.0%6.9%9.3%$83,004$50,107$477,399$384,328$9491.1%42.8%8.5%
85HalifaxNSL426,5374.9%6.1%7.0%$71,162$40,824$384,647$340,296$1,0632.6%47.1%6.9%
86NanaimoB.C.S92,3576.6%5.6%7.5%$66,710$40,497$494,534$439,399$8951.5%5.61.9%8.8%
87MonctonN.B.S75,4016.3%8.1%8.1%$60,235$37,406$242,508$231,842$7936.5%3.22.6%3.6%
88SarniaOnt.S73,758-0.6%13.8%7.6%$78,754$48,955$432,698$266,098$9993.8%2.91.6%7.6%
89BellevilleOnt.S50,597-0.2%6.1%7.3%$69,972$38,131$332,761$279,342$9803.1%3.82.1%5.2%
90Mirabel VQue.S52,05417.8%3.8%5.8%$80,564$40,913$306,461$331,100$7404.3%42.5%1.6%
91Saint-HyacintheQue.S55,0762.0%6.3%6.2%$55,783$33,896$290,554$256,054$6403.7%41.1%3.4%
92Grande Prairie County No. 1Alta.S66,95212.8%7.0%7.9%$110,179$88,565$879,718$516,620$1,02219.8%3.32.5%8.4%
93Saint-Jean-sur-RichelieuQue.S96,6952.9%4.9%6.2%$62,998$38,526$314,968$309,440$6732.8%4.23.8%1.3%
94AirdrieAlta.S55,87720.3%7.4%8.5%$113,222$61,110$428,647$402,756$1,24212.5%3.42.4%8.5%
95North BayOnt.S55,5110.3%7.0%7.6%$62,750$43,988$320,935$297,603$9182.9%3.62.8%3.7%
96GranbyQue.S67,1273.8%5.7%6.2%$54,949$35,352$309,635$293,367$6373.1%4.40.7%3.4%
97DrummondvilleQue.S76,5994.4%4.9%6.8%$51,558$35,215$232,239$191,182$5822.8%30.8%1.8%
98Trois-RivièresQue.M136,5112.3%5.6%11.3%$51,769$35,216$247,482$202,139$5876.2%3.12.3%1.8%
99Saint JohnN.B.S69,279-1.7%10.0%9.0%$58,273$35,063$212,425$221,332$7308.6%3.33.8%3.8%
100Kawartha LakesOnt.S76,6092.0%6.2%4.9%$71,723$43,832$525,500$398,367$1,1010.3%4.70.8%3.9%

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Best Places for New Canadians 2017

Ranked based on unemployment rates, diversity and more.

 

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