Moving to the smaller cities of Canada has become a lot easier and more beneficial for immigrants thanks to the Provincial Nominee Programs. Besides offering numerous job opportunities, these cities provide high quality yet affordable living.
The Provincial Nominee Programs help the provinces and territories of Canada to attract more immigrants to cities outside their capitals. Ever since Canada introduced the Provincial Nominee Programs in 1999, the share of immigration to three of the largest provinces in Canada–Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia—has come down from 85 per cent to about 70 per cent today.
Besides the PNPs, the federal government has also launched a few immigration programs such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot to promote regional immigration. The government is also planning to launch the Municipal Nominee Program (MNP) to promote immigration to smaller cities.
Most of the Provincial Nominee Programs also have immigration streams for attracting immigrants to regional areas. In early 2020, Ontario launched the Regional Immigration Pilot for promoting immigration to the regions of the province. Almost 80 percent of the immigrants who come to Ontario prefer to settle down in its capital region called the Greater Toronto Area. It means the other cities in the province are struggling to attract immigrants.
Why move to smaller cities of Canada?
Good career opportunities are one of the major reasons why skilled workers from across the globe prefer to move to Canada. Compared to bigger cities, smaller cities of Canada offer better job opportunities as the demand of workers is greater in these places. The number of young workers is also extremely low in these cities and they need young immigrants to fill the vacancies left by Canadians who are retiring from services.
The unemployment rate in most of the smaller cities in Canada is lower to national average. As the labour markets of these cities are less competitive, immigrants find it easier to land in a lucrative job.
In big Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver, the cost of living is higher compared to smaller cities. Even if a new immigrant manages to land in a well-paying job in one of these cities, they will be spending more on housing compared to those living in smaller cities. While the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Toronto is $1600, it is only about $900 in Moncton and $600 in Trois-Rivieres.
Residents in smaller cities of Canada enjoy better quality life. As the traffic is less on roads, the commute time to and from the work place is low. You can spend your free time for cultural and recreational activities similar to that of larger cities. Some regions are also famous destinations for outdoor activities such as skiing, fishing and hiking. It is also easy to make new friendships in smaller cities as the communities here are more tight-knit.
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