Ontario, Canada is one of the biggest provinces of Canada. The province is home to some of the beautiful and most liveable cities on the planet. Like Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Burlington, and many more cities. There is a lot of places to go around in Ontario, Canada, if you want to. Ontario is a target for many of the immigrants who are looking to move into Canada besides provinces like British Columbia and Quebec.
Being a home to some of the biggest cities in Canada, Ontario has a lot of opportunities to offer to incoming people. There is more to say about Ontario than any other province in Canada. Ontario, as many experts say, is the seat of the national economy as well as the national politics of Canada. It has a reputation for being the costliest province in Canada. It has a dense concentration of natural resources and minerals that sustains a productive industrial activity to take place in Ontario.
Ontario is a very rich province to live in Canada. It’s cities like Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and Oakville are some of the expensive cities in the province, on the other hand, these cities also provide some of the best financial opportunities that help you to sustain yourself well in such seemingly expensive cities.
If you are looking to move to Ontario, Canada, to start a new life for yourself, this article will give you all the necessary things that you need to know before arriving in Ontario. From the opportunities that are abundantly available to the life that you can make yourself here, we will give you the specific things that you need to remember at the end.
General Facts about Ontario, Canada
How Ontario Gets its Name
The name Ontario translates to a big lake in the Iroquoian language, a language spoken by the old native settlers of this region in Canada. It also means a beautiful lake in the language. The name Ontario has been named after the largest lake in Ontario, Canada, Lake Ontario
Ontario is the second-most populous province in Canada, with an area of nearly one million square kilometers in size larger than the European nations of France and Spain. It has a population of 14,745,040 people as per the latest census taken in the 2nd quarter of the year 2020.
Native Population of Ontario
The Algonquians, Iroquians, and the Hurons are some of the native populations that inhabited the region of Ontario for thousands of years. These indigenous populations slowly were wiped off fro the land due to invasions and pandemics that followed the first European settlements in Ontario, Canada.
The first European settlers to arrive in Ontario where the British and French in the 17th century. The British eventually ended up dominating most of Ontario after the Seven Years War in which the British won over the French. Due to this, the Eastern half od Ontario is predominantly French while the Western half is English.
Oliver Mowat was the first premier of the province of Ontario. Once Ontario was given full status of provincehood, Ontario under Oliver Mowat started to become an economically powerful province within Canada. It was due to Sir Oliver Mowat’s efforts; the Canadian bureaucracy became largely de-centralized. Provincial governments secured a fair share of power from the centralized federal government.
Ontario, through the years, has established itself as the manufacturing hub of Canada. It accounted for nearly 50% of all Canada’s annual manufacturing ability every year. The Northern Ontario province is filled with natural resources, and mining and lumbering are some of the crucial economic activities of the province.
Population density and concentration of minerals
While the population density is mostly concentrated around the Southern side of the province, all the mineral and natural resources are concentrated around the Northern side.
The province is home to the nation’s capital Ottawa. The capital of Ontario is Toronto; it is the most expensive city in Canada to live in. Toronto is the seat of the nation’s as well as the state’s economic activity.
Expensive and Affordable Cities
While Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Oakville, and Burlington are some of the most expensive cities, cities like Thunder Bay, Windsor, Sudbury, London, and Kitchener ar some of the affordable cities in Ontario, Canada.
The iconic Niagara Falls that you might remember seeing in wallpapers and calendars posters is situated in Ontario, Canada. There is a city in Ontario, called Niagara Falls, that is named after this waterfalls.
What are Some of the Best Cities to Live in Ontario, Canada?
Ontario, as we said earlier, has some of the best cities in the world to live in. These cities offer a great quality of life, excellent education for children and students, and a lot of business opportunities for people to earn enough money to live a decent independent life. In this list below, we have curated a list of 10 best cities you can choose from to live in.
Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, is undoubtedly one of the best cities in entire Canada, as well as Ontario, to live in for people. Being the capital city of the country, do not assume that this is more suitable for only national politicians who have their businesses centered around the city. Ottawa has a pretty low unemployment rate at 4.5% and an incredible good average income of $61,000 and a median household income of $91,000. Who hates to live in the capital city of one of the best countries in the world.
Toronto is the capital city of Ontario, Canada, and ranks as one of the best metropolitan cities in the world and Canada. Toronto is also the most costly city in Canada and Ontario. The city has a population of 2,731, 571 people. Toronto is one of the cities in the world with a high standard of living; the city has been developing a broad entrepreneurial scene supporting lots of new startup companies. We call it fondly the “Silicon Valley of Canada.” Toronto has an average household income of at least $83,000. Toronto is a very multicultural city, with half of its population born outside Canada. Nearly 49% of the total city’s population belongs to visible minorities.
The city, Hamilton, is one of the leading industrial centers in Canada and the most industrialized city in Ontario, Canada. Hamilton is home to several notable manufacturing corporations in the world. Hamilton is the center of the Golden Horseshoe region in Ontario, which consists of highly industrialized cities in Ontario. It has an average household income of $75,000. It has a population of 536,917 people. Hamilton has become a friendly destination as a hub for young entrepreneurs.
Oakville is a city that has been consistently ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Ontario. Oakville is also an industrialized city hosting companies like Ford, its headquarters, and manufacturing plants. If you are working in Toronto but really cannot afford to live in an expensive city like that, we suggest you choose to make your home at Oakville as it is more pocket friendly and provides a significantly high standard of living. Oakville is just 38kms with a half an hour drive from Toronto. It currently has a population of 193,832 people and is the largest township in Ontario, Canada.
Burlington is one of the cities that is part if the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario. So, Burlington is close to other major cities like Oakville, Hamilton, Toronto, and Mississauga, whether it is for a vacation or business, other major cities are less than an hour’s reach from Burlington. From Burlington to Toronto, it is 59kms; 45 minutes drive, Oakville is 24kms; 18 minutes and Hamilton is 18kms; 15 minutes. This city is the best place to raise your family comfortably. The average household income is $88,084, and the population is 192,294.
Cobourg is a relatively tiny town in Ontario, Canada, with a population less than 20,000 at 19,763. The city is located bordering the northern side of Lake Ontario. Though far from other major cities, the town offers a peaceful and hustle free life to its residents, and it is an excellent place for many Canadian residents to own a vacation home in this city. It has an average household income of $70,321. Cobourg, after all, is not a bad choice of place to live in Ontario.
Waterloo is another major technological and manufacturing hub in Canada. The Waterloo city is famous worldwide for its top universities in Canada, like the University of Waterloo and Wilfred Laurier University. The city has a population of approximately 114,000 and an average income of $87,662.
Kitchener and Waterloo together referred to as “KW,” are Twin Cities due to the proximity to one another. Kitchener is one of the most affordable cities in Ontario, Canada, to live in. The city provides a decent standard of living to its residents. Kitchener has a population of 470,015 people and an average household income of $81,900. Kitchener has improved a lot today from what it was previously, and it is still becoming better and better every day.
Do not confuse this London city to that London city in England, UK. Ontario has its own in London. London is pretty much far away from towns like Hamilton, Toronto, Oakville by approximately a 100kms. London was one of the critical manufacturing hubs until 2008, following the economic recession in 2008, the manufacturing industry started declining. Now technological services are the other alternative that is quickly growing up in London. So London, in recent times, has been busy creating its entrepreneurial scene. The city has a population of 383,825 people.
For more information on London, Ontario click here
Windsor is one of the cheapest places to live in Ontario with a significantly good standard of living. Windsor provides a family-friendly environment with low crime rates and unemployment rates. The city has a population of 234,000 and an average household income of $59,000. Windsor is a pretty decent city for a decent life.
Cost of Living in Ontario, Canada
In one of our previous articles, we wrote briefly about the Cost of living in Ontario, Canada. Ontario is a vast province, so the cost of living in each city differs significantly from one another easy example; the cost of rent for a single bedroom apartment at Hamilton might just be $900 while at a city like Toronto, the rent costs around $2,200. Toronto is the most costly city in Ontario, as well as in Canada.
For a family of four in Thunder Bay, Ontario, the average cost of living is approximately $4,100, and for a single person, it might be roughly $2,000. You can very easily find a separate bedroom apartment for $1,200 in London, Ontario, in Ottawa for at least $1,400 and in cities like Windsor and Sudbury for the least of $800. Double bedroom costs in Toronto may easily cost you around $2,500. Toronto, in general, is less affordable for middle-class families.
Income taxes and other taxes in Ontario, like the Provincial Tax Rate of 11.5% and a Federal Tax Rate of 15%. In aspects like Sales Tax, each province charges its percentage of Sales tax on consumers like Provincial Sales Tax and Good and Services Tax; in Ontario, the Harmonised Sales Tax (a combination of GS and PST) is at 13% while other provinces charge a 15%. The taxes in Ontario, Canada are comparatively lower.
Read our article 6 Interesting aspects of Cost of living in Ontario, Canada.
While Toronto might not be the best option in terms of affordability, other cities like Ottawa, Hamilton, Waterloo, Kitchener, and London are some of the suitable options for affordability. Toronto might be more suitable for the business class people as they might more easily manage the cost of living in Toronto. Try looking for cities near Toronto that have comparatively a lesser cost of living and just as much as opportunities like in Toronto. Again cities like Waterloo, Hamilton, Kitchener, and Oakville are some of the most decent cities in Ontario to live at.
Working in Ontario, Canada
If you are a foreigner wanting to move into Ontario, Canada, for work, then you can try yourself through the Provincial Nominee Program of Ontario or called the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program works in association with Canada’s Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada to select its suitable immigrant workers with eligible knowledge and practical skills in any particular trade.
There are three main categories under ONIP in which the foreign workers are selected. They are:
1) Employer Job Offer category
If you got a job offer already from an established and verified Canadian based employer, then you are eligible to apply under this category. This category has further three streams; they are:
a)Foreign Worker Stream
Under this stream, specific workers with relevant theoretical knowledge and practical skills are picked up to work in Ontario, Canada. To apply for the Foreign Worker stream, you must include several documents like your identity documents, status documents, employer documents, job offer, and work history documents. Along with all this, you must be having your most updated resume of all your records.
To know more about the documents, check this link OINP Documents Checklists: Foreign Worker Stream.
b)International Student Stream
If an international student who has recently finished his/her academics from any recognized colleges around Canada or in Ontario is looking to seek a job and work in Ontario itself, he/she is eligible under the required conditions of this stream.
Applicants must have finished at least half of their studies in Canada; they must have applied for this stream within two years of completing their graduation and must be employed in a full-time job that is classified under National Occupation Classification as 0, A, B.
c)In-Demand Skills Stream
Under this In-demand skill stream, workers classified under the National Occupation Classification as C, D are eligible. The occupations under this category are nurse aides, transport truck drivers, painters, assemblers, inspectors, general laborers, and other professions that do not reacquire immense theoretical and practical knowledge.
The number of occupations is 23 under this stream, out of which 13 of them are outside the Greater Toronto Area. For more information on this click here Ontario Employer Job Offer Category: In-Demand Stream
2) Express Entry
Under the Express Entry category, three main streams target foreign nationals who possess a particular set of skills that makes them ideal to be part of Ontario’s labor Force.
a) Human Capital Priorities Stream:
The Human Capital Priorities Stream is also a part of the Express Entry stream. So, to appear for the Human Capital Priorities Stream, one must have an active and updated profile in Express Entry Canada to get Notifications of Interest from OINP. Once you have received the notification on interests, you can go on to submit the relevant applications for the OINP.
b) Ontario French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream:
It is mandatory to maintain an active and updated Express Entry profile system for this as well. The minimum required qualification for appearing under this stream is to possess an at least intermediate to professional language proficiency in languages like English or French.
c) Ontario Skilled Trade Entry:
It is mandatory to maintain an active and updated Express Entry profile to appear under this stream. For those foreign nationals who possess relevant skills as per the National Occupation Classification and work experience in Ontario, Canada can apply for Ontario Skilled Trade Entry.
3) Human Capital Category
The Human Capital Category has two main streams the Master’s Degree Stream and the Ph.D. Stream.
a) Master’s Degree Stream:
Under this stream, foreign nationals with a Master’s degree in one of the recognized universities around Ontario will be granted to work in Ontario, Canada, under an employer-based in Canada. Once candidates receive approval under this category, they are further eligible to apply for Permanent Residency in Canada.
This stream is not aligned with the Express Entry system, so candidates applying under this stream will have to wait until one year until their application processes are done rather than six-month processing time of Express Entry applications. The stream opens only two times a year and is kept open until all the slots are filled. You need not have a ready job offer from an employer to apply under this stream.
More importantly, applicants have to apply within two years of finishing their Graduation in Canada. You must be a resident of Ontario, Canada while you apply, at least one year of academics must be done in a university that is recognized in Ontario, Canada and must have an intent to settle in Ontario in Canada.
For more information on this visit Masters Graduate Stream- OINP
b) Ph.D. Graduates Stream:
Under this Ph.D. Graduate stream, students who have finished their Ph.D. degrees in Ontario can apply for under this stream. The rules to happy more similar to that of the rules under Master’s Graduates Stream.
For more information about this visit Ontario OINP Ph.D. Graduate Stream
If you are a foreign business owner looking to create jobs or looking to buy a business in Canada and further develop it, the Business Category is useful for that purpose. Business Category has only one stream named Entrepreneur Stream.
To qualify under the business stream, you must be a qualified business that is capable enough to make an investment that is most likely to provide an economic benefit to the Ontarian economy and provide job offers to the local Ontarian workforce. The same eligibility is required for the business partner that is involved.
You must be having at least 24 months of business experience out of 60 months os the existence of the business. You must be having enough experience as a business owner or as a business manager. You must have decision-making responsibilities in the business you are involved in. There are various other eligibility requirements and legal qualifications for your business to operate in Ontario, Canada, legally.
For more information, this visit here OINP Entrepreneur Stream.
What More Should You Know?
Almost all the essential things that you need to know about Ontario, Canada, and your visit to this place have been covered in this article. Ontario, Canada, is a fantastic place in Canada with a lot more opportunities than anywhere in Canada. Whether it is education or work, Ontario has a wide variety and scope of choices for you to choose from freely without any pressures.