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Canada: Expat Destinations and Jobs

If you expect to see wilderness, forests and moose when moving to Canada, we’re afraid we have bad news for you. Your expat life may be less about Canada’s stunning scenery, and more about visa applications and finding a home. InterNations helps you gather important info before your relocation!
In Canada, urban centers and untamed wilderness exist side by side.

The Number One Destination

The most popular destination for expats is still the southern part of Ontario. The majority of expats work in the Greater Toronto Area. With more than 5.5 million people, Toronto’s greater metropolitan area on the shore of Lake Ontario is Canada’s most important commercial, financial and economic center.

Expats are also drawn to Toronto for its ethnic diversity. With a little over half of its residents born outside of Canada, Toronto is the most prominent example of the multiculturalism Canada is so famous for.

But What about the Others?

Other popular expat destinations include the metropolitan areas of the Western provinces, most notably Vancouver and Edmonton. Montréal, the largest city in Québec, Canada’s only francophone province, is in high demand among expats as well. In recent decades, the northern parts of Alberta have gained increasing importance as a destination for both workers from other parts of Canada and expats from all around the globe.

Due to Alberta’s rich natural resources, especially the massive oil reserves in the Athabasca oil sands, expats with skills in engineering are in high demand. While salaries for foreign specialists are exceptionally high, severe weather conditions and a lack of local infrastructure make the region a less than ideal place to live, especially for expats with families.

The Challenge of Job Hunting

On the one hand, Canada offers tremendous opportunities for expats. On the other hand, the market for lucrative expat jobs is very competitive: Canada continues to be one of the most popular expat destinations worldwide.

However, if you possess skills which are currently in demand and already have prior work experience, your chances of getting an expat job in Canada are very good. In general, expats should be fluent in either English or French, depending on the province where they would like to work. Speaking both languages may improve your chances, as many Canadian companies operate in both parts of the country.

Which Professions Are Sought After

As mentioned above, professional skills in engineering and natural sciences are extremely helpful, especially if you want to work in the oil sands in Northern Alberta. In addition to such jobs related to primary industries, many expats come to Canada to work in the service sector. Telecommunications, finance and insurance or next-generation technologies such as bioengineering are particularly popular. Randstad has a list of the most in demand jobs in Canada in 2017.

Due to a high shortage of healthcare personnel in Canada, the chances for applicants in this sector have also been good in recent years. No matter in which sector you would like to work, intra-company transfers are always easier than finding a job in Canada on your own: the potential employer faces fewer bureaucratic hurdles.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

Andrey Vasilyev

"When moving to a huge city such as Vancouver, InterNations made it easy for me to find fellow expats and the network that I needed."

Amarilis Castillo

"InterNations make networking in such a large city so much easier with their events and extensive information."

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