Which is the Best Province to Live in Canada?

Published on: November 9th, 2023
Last updated: March 12th, 2024

A question we are often asked is, “What is the best province in Canada for immigrants?” With Canada being the second-largest country in the world, deciding where to start can be overwhelming. Canada has a total of ten provinces and three territories, each with its own unique charm.

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Choosing the Right Canadian Province for You: Factors to Consider

Choosing the best province to live in Canada is a decision that should be based on a variety of factors to ensure it aligns with your individual preferences and priorities.

  1. Start by considering your career prospects, as different provinces may offer varying job opportunities and industries.
  2. Next, think about your lifestyle preferences – whether you prefer the vibrant city life of Toronto or Vancouver, the cultural richness of Quebec, or the tranquility of the Maritimes.
  3. Climate plays a significant role, with provinces like British Columbia offering mild winters and others like Alberta experiencing more extreme weather.
  4. Assess healthcare, education, cost of living, and housing options.
  5. Additionally, consider your cultural and language preferences, as well as proximity to family and friends. It’s crucial to conduct thorough research and potentially visit the provinces to get a firsthand feel for what suits you best.
  6. Ultimately, the ideal province for one person may not be the same for another, so choose the one that aligns with your unique needs and aspirations.

To help you get started, here are four of the best Canadian provinces to live in:

1.    Ontario

Ontario is by far the most popular province for new immigrants coming to Canada. In 2021, Ontario received about half of all new Canadian permanent residents.

Ontario’s most popular city is also the largest in Canada. Among the newcomers that indicated Ontario as their province of destination, a majority intended to settle in the city of Toronto. Toronto is one of the most metropolitan and multicultural cities in the world, with more than half of residents belonging to a visible minority group.

Ottawa is the second most popular city in Ontario and is also the capital of Canada. Ottawa is considered one of the safest cities in Canada. Canada’s capital city also offers a high quality of life and low living costs.

There’s no doubt that the winters in Ontario can get cold. In some parts of Ontario, the winter months can see temperatures below -40°C. It’s all worth it once the summertime comes around, with hot months getting up to above 30°C.

Ontario boasts a strong economy, generating 37% of the national GDP, mainly through a combination of resources, manufacturing expertise, and exports. The province is also the home to nearly 50% of all employees in high-tech, financial services, and other knowledge-intensive industries.

2. British Columbia

Located on the west coast of Canada, British Columbia is known for its beautiful natural landscape. After Ontario, British Columbia was the most popular province of destination for new immigrants in 2021. British Columbia is often considered the best province in Canada for immigrants looking for outdoor adventures and milder temperatures.

British Columba’s most popular city is Vancouver. Located on the Pacific coast of Canada, Vancouver boasts stunning ocean and mountain views. Vancouver also has a thriving art scene and is a popular film location for major motion pictures.

The second most popular city in British Columbia is Victoria. Victoria is also the capital city of the province of British Columbia, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Victoria’s slow pace, charm, and unique geography make it the ideal city for any lowkey outdoor enthusiast.

British Columbia is a great province for those who prefer their winter on the moderate side. The coastal regions of British Columba have some of the mildest winters in all of Canada, rarely dropping below freezing temperatures. The interior and central regions tend to have colder and snowier winters, but also have hotter summers than the coast of B.C.

B.C. offers a diverse economy, dominated largely by service industries. Other main industries in B.C. include agriculture, construction, film and television, forestry, fisheries & aquaculture, high technology, manufacturing, mining, and tourism.

3. Quebec

Quebec is the third most popular province for newcomers coming to Canada. Quebec is the best province in Canada for immigrants that enjoy cultural activities and appreciate the French language.

The largest province in Canada, Quebec, is famous for its wealth of culture, maple syrup production, and the French language. Although French is the official language of Quebec, the provincial government provides certain protections and services for the English-speaking population. While it is possible to get around Quebec without speaking French, it is a good idea to learn the language. Luckily, Quebec offers free courses to new immigrants that want to learn French.

Montreal is Quebec’s most populous city and the third most popular among new immigrants. As North America’s number one host city for international events, Montreal is often considered Canada’s most cultural city; here, you can enjoy various established music, comedy, and film festivals year-round.

Quebec City is the second most popular destination among immigrants settling in the province. The unique French-speaking city strikes a balance between history, modernity, culture, and nature. Residents in Quebec City don’t stay idle in the cold months – the city offers a host of unique winter activities and attractions, including the major Winter Carnival, tobogganing in the middle of the city, or visiting the Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel).

Quebec’s climate is known for its extremes. While in parts of the province, temperatures in the winter months can drop the cold months can drop as low as -40°C, the summer months can experience temperatures as warm as 35°C.

The economy of Quebec is diverse, largely dominated by the manufacturing and service sectors. Quebec also invests significantly in research and development, with growth in industries such as:

  • information and communication technology;
  • electronics and optics-photonics;
  • life sciences and health technologies;
  • food and nutrition;
  • video games and digital solutions;
  • insurance and finance services;
  • green and smart building; and
  • artificial intelligence

4. Alberta

Finally, the fourth most popular province among immigrants is Alberta. Located in Western Canada, Alberta offers some of the most popular natural attractions in the country. Alberta is known for its large deposits of oil and natural gas, cattle farming, Rocky Mountains, and Dinosaur Provincial Park.

Calgary and Edmonton are Canada’s fourth and fifth most popular cities among immigrants, respectively, they are the top two sunniest cities in the country, with more hours of sunshine than any other Canadian city. The abundant sunshine helps Albertans get through the winters – parts of the province can get as cold as -51 °C. Once the summer months roll along, temperatures warm significantly, parts of the province experience temperatures as warm as 35°C.

Calgary is Alberta’s largest city by population. Located in the foothills of the stunning Rocky Mountains, This city is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and is also host to the famous Calgary Stampede & Exhibition, one of the largest outdoor rodeos in the world. If you are interested about life in Calgary, read our full guide about Moving to Calgary.

Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta and the second most populated city in the province. There is never a shortage of activities in Edmonton, a city that hosts over 30 festivals annually. Edmonton also hosts Canada’s largest planetarium and has previously held the title for the world’s largest mall.

Alberta’s largest industry is the oil and gas sector, followed by industries such as agriculture, forestry, education, tourism, finance, and manufacturing. Alberta also offers lower taxes than the rest of Canada, making it the best province in Canada for immigrants looking to save money.

Now is the time to move to Canada

As Canada’s population ages and fertility rates drop, demand for immigration is high. Canada plans to welcome a record number of newcomers over the next three years. With increased immigration targets and more efficient processes in place, now is a great time to make the move to Canada.

Interested in learning more about your options to immigrate to Canada? Complete our free online assessment form today!

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