Filipinos eye Canada as a lucrative place to work and live. The country offers a stable economy, high quality of life, and an open immigration policy that makes it easy for Filipinos to migrate there.
And with the recent changes in Canada’s immigration system, more and more Filipinos have been moving to this beautiful country as part of their plans for a better future. But with its huge land area, what Canadian cities are best to live in for Filipinos? Learn more about it in this guide.
- Living in Canada
- 1. Toronto
- 2. Vancouver
- 3. Winnipeg
- 4. Calgary
- 5. Edmonton
- Other Cities in Canada Worth Considering
- Tips on Choosing Where to Relocate in Canada
- Video: TOP 5 BEST CITIES to LIVE in CANADA for FILIPINOS | SAAN ba MAGANDA TUMIRA sa CANADA?
- Final Thoughts
Living in Canada
In April 2018, there were almost a million Filipinos in Canada, including individuals of Filipino descent. This included a mix of permanent residents, students, and naturalized citizens. As a percentage of the country’s population, Filipinos were the fourth-largest visible minority group. They were behind the Chinese, Black, and South Asian communities.
The large Filipino community in Canada shows that Filipinos and other racial minorities have a similar presence to that of Ottawa, the country’s capital. More than 300,000 Filipinos live in the city of Toronto alone. This makes it the city with the third largest Filipino population in North America, behind only Los Angeles and New York City. Most Filipinos living in Canada are concentrated in Ontario and British Columbia, which have large Filipino communities in their cities.
In fact, Filipinos have left a mark in these regions, with many Filipino businesses opening up. The Filipino population is also growing at a rapid rate, with more than half of this community being under the age of 35. The contributions of this community are felt throughout the country, from their work as doctors to their involvement in the arts, with the Filipino community being one of the most active and well-integrated ethnic groups in Canada.
According to 2019 data on the location of Filipino citizens in Canada as permanent residents or newly naturalized citizens, Toronto was by far the most popular choice, with approximately 119,000 people. When the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is included, the figure rises to about 192,000. As previously stated, this figure excludes thousands of second- and third-generation Filipino-Canadians and more recent immigrants on study and temporary employment visas.
Unlike other immigrant groups in Toronto, the growing Filipino community has opted to settle in downtown Toronto or one of its surrounding urban neighborhoods, rather than in the suburbs of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). This contrasts with trends observed in other big immigrant communities, such as Indians, who prefer to reside outside of Toronto but within the Greater Toronto Area. Because of the plethora of job opportunities in many fields, Toronto is an obvious choice for Filipino immigrants to Canada. If you want to move to Toronto, you should know that it will not be cheap.
Gelaine Santiago, a successful businesswoman who founded Cambio & Co., an online fashion retail business that bridges the cultural and economic divides between Canada and the Philippines, is one Filipino-Canadian who appreciates living in Toronto. Craftsmen create Cambio & Co. goods in the Philippines, and Cambio & Co. is the e-commerce platform that connects artists to a global clientele. Here’s to give us an idea of how much it costs to live in Toronto and to help you see whether this city is worth the investment.
Rent and the basic expense of living in Toronto are expensive in any case. The monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto in 2019 was approximately C$2,173 (Php 93,482.46), according to Numbeo. A monthly transportation pass costs about $150 (Php 6,453), whereas private childcare for one child costs about C$1,528 (Php 65,734.56) per month. If you are looking for a more economical option that is still within commuting distance of Toronto, consider one of the smaller cities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), such as Mississauga, Markham or Brampton. These cities are located just outside of Toronto and offer more affordable living options and a lower cost of living in general compared to the city itself.
The appeal of Vancouver to newcomers to Canada from the Philippines is undeniable. Aside from being a pioneer in the film and visual effects sectors, the city also offers employment opportunities in engineering, construction, health sciences, financial services, and various other fields. The number of Filipino nationals residing in Vancouver as permanent residents and naturalized citizens expanded dramatically in 2016 with the arrival of second- and third-generation Filipino-Canadians, temporary employees, and students.
This makes it one of the most important cities for Filipino immigrants in Canada. The number of Filipinos in Vancouver has increased by more than half over the last decade, from 13,730 to 22,852 in 2016 (according to Statistics Canada). And this trend is expected to continue as more and more Filipino students enroll at postsecondary institutions across Metro Vancouver.
The Greater Vancouver region’s large number of institutions and universities make it a popular destination for Filipino students. Many businesses in these industries are looking for highly skilled Filipino graduates.
It’s simple to see why so many newcomers from the Philippines have chosen British Columbia’s largest city as their Canadian home away from home. Vancouver is probably the only major Canadian city with a moderate climate, and its natural beauty is astounding for outdoor aficionados. The lone exception is housing. Unfortunately, renting or buying property in Vancouver is not cheap. A one-bedroom apartment in downtown Vancouver may cost anything from C$2,050 (Php 88,191) per month to C$12,481 (Php 536,932.62) per square metre, according to Numbeo.
Many consider Mable Elmore’s election to the British Columbia Legislative Assembly in 2009, whose mother came from the Philippines to Canada, to be a watershed event for Filipino community leaders. During her tenure, Elmore has been a strong advocate of the Filipino community. Elmore was re-elected in 2013, where she served as the spokesperson for immigration and temporary foreign workers, as well as the deputy spokesperson for finance. Elmore was re-elected to this position in the 2017 provincial general election. Following the change in government, she became Parliamentary Secretary for Poverty Reduction in British Columbia in July 2017.
Her stamp in the history books of the Filipino community will be remembered as a woman who made a difference in her community and for all immigrants, regardless of their origin.
Winnipeg is perhaps the most surprising entry on the list of top cities for Filipinos in Canada, but this should not be the case. Winnipeg, dubbed “The Heart of the Continent,” has a long and illustrious history with Filipino immigration. The first significant migration of Filipino immigrants to Winnipeg occurred in the 1980s, and the multigenerational community has risen from strength to strength since then.
Winnipeg now boasts the third-largest Filipino population in Canada and the greatest in per-capita population, at little under 10%. Over 57,000 Filipino citizens lived in Winnipeg as permanent residents or naturalized Canadian citizens in 2016. Furthermore, the Filipino population in Winnipeg expanded by 26.2 percent between 2011 and 2016, the second-highest rise over this five-year period behind Calgary. But what draws so many Filipinos to Winnipeg?
Winnipeg’s economy was recently classified as the third-fastest expanding among Canada’s major cities and is also regarded as one of the most diverse. Furthermore, Winnipeg has some of the lowest rental prices in Canada, making it excellent for Filipino newcomers to Canada who wish to locate their own apartments after arriving in Canada rather than sharing an address with roommates. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Winnipeg should cost around C$995 (Php 42,804.90) per month. The recently opened Canadian Museum for Human Rights, as well as the Centennial Concert Hall and the ever-popular Winnipeg Folk Festival, are all located in Winnipeg. If you become homesick, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the gastronomic joys of home at one of the city’s many wonderful Filipino restaurants.
Finally, there are numerous success stories of Filipino political leaders in Winnipeg to draw on. Dr. Rey D. Pagtakhan, who served as a cabinet minister in the Liberal governments of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, and as a member of the Federal Parliament from 1988 until 2004, is perhaps the most notable.
You might think that Calgary, with its fondness for all things cowboy, isn’t high on the list of probable destinations for Filipinos relocating to Canada, but you’d be mistaken. According to the 2016 census, there were 53,450 Filipino citizens in Calgary. This, combined with the thousands more on study permits and temporary employment permits, makes the city one of the most appealing destinations for Filipino immigrants relocating to Canada.
Calgary has a population of about 1.3 million people, making it Canada’s fourth-largest metropolitan region. Many Filipino immigrants with engineering, mining, or related backgrounds flock to Calgary. Calgary is in the middle of the pack of Canadian cities in terms of cost of living. It is less expensive than Toronto and Vancouver, but more so than Montreal, the Atlantic cities, and Winnipeg.
A one-bedroom apartment in one of Calgary’s major districts will most likely cost around C$1,200 (Php 51,624) per month. If you have a family and are willing to live in the suburbs, you should be able to find a quality three-bedroom property for around C$1,540 (Php 66,250.80) per month.
Edmonton is the most northern ‘major’ city on the North American continent. It is also where hockey icon Wayne Gretsky played and won multiple Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers, and it is home to nearly 45,000 Filipino citizens who are naturalized citizens or permanent residents of Canada as of 2016.
With average daily temperatures in January of roughly 11.7 °C, making Edmonton your permanent home, especially if you’re traveling directly from Manila or elsewhere in the Philippines, is something you’ll want to think about carefully if the cold bothers you. Having said that, Edmonton is Canada’s sunniest city, embracing Mother Nature’s brutal extremes with numerous festivals and community activities throughout the year.
Despite the local economy’s recent recession, Edmonton still has a lot to offer visitors from the Philippines. The city, like Calgary, is an oil center, but there are also many opportunities in construction, engineering, and related businesses. Edmonton has a relatively low cost of living. A one-bedroom apartment in the city’s urban center will cost roughly C$1,200 (Php 51,624) per month, while the identical property in the outskirts would cost around C$975 (Php 41,944.50) per month, according to Numbeo.
Other Cities in Canada Worth Considering
- Vaughan: The city of Vaughan is located in the York Region, which is north of Toronto. It was the fastest-growing municipality in Ontario during the past decade. If you’re looking for a city with a low cost of living but still has many opportunities, Vaughan is worth considering. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is C$935 (Php 41,500). Also, the city has a good economy and is expected to continue growing. The average salary in Vaughan is C$58,856 (Php 2,390,647) per year.
- Richmond Hill: Located in the south-central portion of Ontario, Canada, and the York Region, this city is also one of the most populous municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area. If you’re looking for a city with a low cost of living but still has many opportunities, Richmond Hill is worth considering. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is C$1,020 (Php 44,240). The city has a good economy and is expected to continue growing. The average salary in Richmond Hill is C$61,170 (Php 2,613,843) per year.
- Oakville: Located in southern Ontario, Canada, the city of Oakville is situated near Hamilton and Toronto. It is also within the region of Lake Ontario’s Halton. If you’re looking for a city with a low cost of living and good job opportunities, Oakville is worth considering. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is C$1,017 (Php 44,124). The city has many restaurants, shops, and other amenities, making it a great place to live.
- Markham: The city is located in the York Regional Municipality of Ontario, Canada. It’s also known as the “City of Lakes”. For those looking to move to Canada, it’s worth considering Markham as a place to live. It boasts a low crime rate and is close to Toronto. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is C$1,067 (Php 45,838). Markham, Ontario is a thriving city. Many IT companies have relocated to Markham. The city has world-class theater, a strong economy, and a variety of family-friendly attractions.
- Saanich: The municipality of Saanich is located in British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. It is part of the Greater Victoria region. In the region of Saanich, residents have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of natural ecosystems and habitats that provide them with plenty of wildlife. Agriculture and residential areas also contribute to the area’s biodiversity. If you’re looking for a city that offers you the best of both worlds, then Saanich is the place to be. The municipality has many parks, gardens, and other green spaces. It also has several beaches where residents can enjoy swimming in the ocean or relaxing on the sand.
Tips on Choosing Where to Relocate in Canada
Given the fact that Canada is such a big country and has many different regions, it’s important to take some time to learn about the different communities in which you could settle down. The type of weather, lifestyle, culture and economy are just some factors that will affect your decision. For instance, if you want to be close to nature but still enjoy modern amenities like shopping centers and restaurants, then Calgary might be the ideal place for you. Here are some tips that will help you make the right decision.
1. Consider Your Lifestyle Needs Before choosing where to move
it’s important to take some time and think about what kind of lifestyle you want for yourself and your family. Are you looking for a quiet place where there’s less traffic? Or do you prefer living in an area with plenty of shops, restaurants, entertainment centers and other facilities?
2. Consider the Climate
In addition to lifestyle needs, it’s important to consider the climate. For example, if you live in a place with extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes or tornadoes, then Calgary is not for you.
3. Consider Housing Costs
Another factor that will affect where you choose to live is the housing costs. If you’re looking for a place that has affordable housing, then Calgary may not be right for you. The average home price in Calgary is around $419,000! This means that if you’re planning on moving here and buying a house, then you’ll need to make sure you have enough money saved up first.
4. Consider Job Opportunities
Another thing to consider when choosing where to move is the available job opportunities in the area. If you’re moving to Canada to find a new job or start your own business, then it’s important to ensure that plenty of companies are hiring in the city you will choose. In terms of job opportunities, Canada is one of the best places to be! The unemployment rate in Canada was 5.8% in 2018, which means that there are plenty of jobs available. If you’re looking for a place to move and work, then consider Vancouver or Toronto—these cities have some of the highest job opportunities in all of Canada!
Video: TOP 5 BEST CITIES to LIVE in CANADA for FILIPINOS | SAAN ba MAGANDA TUMIRA sa CANADA?
In this video, the vlogger talks about the five best cities in Canada that are ideal for Filipinos. If you’re still undecided about where to live in the country, this video will help you make an informed decision. It will also give you an idea of how much it will cost to live in each of these cities.
So there you have it – our guide to the top five places for Filipino immigrants to live in Canada. Whether you are traveling to Canada from the Philippines via Express Entry, a study permit, or with family, you can be confident that you will encounter many warm and familiar sights and sounds no matter where you wind up in Canada.
We hope that this article has helped you to narrow down your options and that you will have a safe and enjoyable time in Canada! And, if you migrated to Canada from the Philippines and have any observations regarding your new home, even if they aren’t featured above, please let us know! We’d love to hear any information or advice you have for our fellow Filipinos.
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