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Learn more about Ontario’s many cities beyond Toronto

Learn more about Ontario’s many cities beyond Toronto

Ontario is the most popular immigration destination for new permanent residents. In 2022, 42.2% of new permanent residents chose Ontario as their initial destination in Canada.

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Toronto is Canada’s most populous city and the capital of the province of Ontario. Toronto remains the most popular city for newcomers to Canada, and more than 128,000 new permanent residents moved to Toronto in 2022. In comparison, Montreal, which welcomed the second most newcomers, had about 53,000 people – less than half the number of newcomers settling in Toronto.

Beyond the busy streets of Toronto, Ontario has a myriad of cities, each with its own unique character and opportunities. Smaller cities offer benefits such as a better quality of life, more affordable cost of living and less competition for job opportunities. Newcomers can still find comparable services, career prospects and cultural communities in smaller cities than in larger Canadian cities.


Ottawa is the capital of Canada and the country’s fourth-largest urban area, with a population of over 1.4 million. As a political centre, the city provides access to many government jobs.

Ottawa is a major economic engine, providing jobs and opportunities in high-tech industries, government, and vital sectors such as health and education.

The city has rich ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity, making it the second largest destination for immigrants to Ontario, and a major magnet for francophone newcomers.

In addition, the city has numerous parks and beaches along the three major rivers and the historic canal that define Ottawa as a city.

According to the City of Ottawa’s website, a study conducted by Canadian Business ranked Ottawa as the best place to live in Canada based on income, car ownership, unemployment rate, housing, weather and lifestyle. Cultural factors were a key element of Ottawa’s high ranking.


Located halfway between Montreal and Toronto, Kingston is neither too big nor too small, with a population of around 150,000. Compared to Toronto, the cost of living here is 55% lower.

Kingston’s economy is stable and diverse, including global corporations, innovative start-ups, and governments of all levels. Kingston also offers access to world-class education and research institutions.

The city also has a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, a variety of great restaurants, and a university town vibe. In addition, Kingston is home to some of the best sailing in Canada, including both the open waters of Lake Ontario and the beautiful channels of the Thousand Islands.


Windsor is Canada’s southernmost city and is located on the left bank of the Detroit River, opposite Detroit Michigan. This allows residents to take advantage of the many opportunities available in both Canada and the United States.

The city is home to a wide variety of industries, including automotive manufacturing, healthcare, education, and more. With a growing economy and many companies looking to expand, it’s a great time to start a new career in Windsor.

One of Windsor’s biggest strengths is its low cost of living. Families and individuals on a budget can appreciate how affordable housing, food, and other necessities are here compared to other Canadian cities.

Finally, the city is home to a close-knit and welcoming community, making it a great place for families and newcomers to settle down.


London, also known as the “Forest City”, is filled with natural beauty, trees, and lots of greenery. Located in the heart of Southwestern Ontario between Toronto and Detroit, London is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities. London is quickly becoming a mecca for business, entertainment, recreation, and more.

For newcomers, the city offers affordable housing, low crime rates, excellent education and health care facilities.

London is also home to Western University. As one of Canada’s largest research-intensive universities, Western is home to researchers, faculty, and graduate students who are leaders in their fields.

Finally, the city has a rich culture that provides entertainment and excitement for residents of all ages through festivals, museums, sports, and fine dining.


One of Ontario’s largest cities, Kitchener–Waterloo has a population of over 378,000, while the region as a whole has a population of over 575,000.

Kitchener has a bustling tech and entrepreneurial environment, home to Google’s headquarters and many start-ups. There are also many other strong industries such as healthcare, education, and manufacturing.

The region is home to the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College, where students can take advantage of affordable housing, nearby amenities, and employment opportunities for young workers.

In addition, Kitchener is home to the largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany. Every October Kitchener celebrates its German heritage, with millions of people attending the multi-day festival.

In conclusion, there are many cities in Ontario. If you want to settle in Ontario, consider cities other than Toronto as each city offers a unique blend of opportunities and lifestyle.

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