Ontario is Canada's most populous province, the one that contributes the most to the country's gross domestic product and receives the highest number of immigrants.

Want to immigrate to Ontario? Yes, you CAN DO it!


Located in east-central Canada, Ontario has a lot to offer to residents and visitors alike. From abundant nature to large urban centers, the province offers the most diverse options for leisure, work and business opportunities, having become the one that most attracts foreigners in search of a new place to settle. The capital Toronto is Canada's most populous city, with nearly 3 million inhabitants[1], and has the largest gross domestic product in the Country[2]. Canada's capital, Ottawa, is also located in Ontario.

Ontario is bordered by the Provinces of Quebec and Manitoba in Canada and, on the U.S. side, by several states such as New York and Michigan. The proximity of Toronto and New York makes these cities one of the main points of connection between the United States and Canada. Residents and tourists can travel from one city to another in a short time throughout the year, whether by plane, train, subway, bus, and car. In this part of North America are located the Great Lakes, the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world[3]. Between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie are situated the Niagara Falls, one of the province’s main tourist attractions.

The climate in Ontario varies from north to south of the province and according to the seasons. With the exception of the northern part, which has a dry and cold climate throughout the year, the climate is generally humid and hot in the summer, with negative temperatures and snow in the winter[4]. In certain regions, temperatures can vary greatly, reaching 40°c in the summer and - 40°c in the winter, with heavy snowfalls in the Lakes regions. As a result, large cities such as Toronto and Ottawa are adapted to long, cold winters, with underground infrastructure to facilitate the population commute during the colder months.

The province with the greater number of inhabitants is also the one that attracts the most businesses to the Country. In 2020, Ontario had more than 487,000 open companies, almost double of the second placed Quebec, with approximately 271,000[5]. In terms of employability, Ontario was the province with the most job openings in the country, registering more than 227,000 openings in May 2021. It also has the largest number of people employed, with almost 6 million registered workers, according to data collected also in May 2021[6].

On the other hand, the province has one of the highest costs of living in Canada, behind only British Columbia. According to data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation[7], the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Ontario in October 2020 was $1,408 Canadian dollars. In neighboring provinces such as Quebec and Manitoba the average rent was $856 CAD and 1,215 CAD respectively.

Strong economy, high employability and good geographic location are, undoubtedly, factors that attract many immigrants and for Ontario it is not different. The province has impressive numbers with regard to immigration. In 2020, approximately 83,000 immigrants were admitted to the province, against 29,000 in British Columbia and 26,000 in Quebec[8].

In addition to selecting candidates in the Express Entry pool, Ontario has several streams in its provincial program to attract immigrants. Within the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) there are specific streams for those who speak French, who have a job offer from an employer in the province, who have work experience in certain occupations in high demand, defined according to local economic priorities, for international students, and for entrepreneurs looking to start or purchase a business in Ontario.

Those interested in applying for the ONIP in the international student or job offer categories must complete an Expression of Interest online and wait to be nominated by the province to apply for permanent residency to federal government.

Ontario has been focusing its nominations on technology industry occupations. According to the Provincial Program results released in March 2021[9], 20% of the nominations issued by the province in 2020 were awarded to information technology professionals such as software engineers and designers and interactive media programmers and developers. According to the same report, in the same year, most of the immigrants came from India in first place, China in second, and Brazil in third.

Ontario also offers several opportunities for international students: it is the province with the highest number of post-secondary institutions in the Country: 909, including public and private colleges and universities, technical schools and language schools[10].

The numbers presented so far are impressive and so are the future opportunities. As in Canada as a whole, Ontario is counting on the steady growth of its population to further strengthen its economy, planning to receive even more immigrants in the coming years. Canada aims to receive 1.2 million immigrants by 2023 and Ontario will certainly be the destination for many of them.

Want to immigrate to Ontario? Yes, you CAN DO it!

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[1] City of Toronto Government. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/data-research-maps/toronto-at-a-glance/ - Accessed on August 5, 2021.

[2] Statistics Canadá. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=3610046801 - Accessed on August 5, 2021.

[3] United States Environmental Protection Agency.  https://www.epa.gov/greatlakes - Accessed on August 5, 2021.

[5] Statistics Canada. Table 33-10-0267-01 Canadian Business Counts, with employees, June 2020. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=3310026701 - Accessed on August 5, 2021.

[7] Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. https://www03.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/hmip-pimh/#Profile/1/1/Canada - Accessed on August 5, 2021.

[9] Government of Ontario. https://www.Ontário.ca/page/2021-Ontário-immigrant-nominee-program-updates - Accessed on August 5, 2021.

[10] The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials. https://www.cicic.ca/869/do_an_advanced_search_in_the_directory_of_educational_institutions_in_Canada.Canada - Accessed on August 5, 2021.