Expat’s Guide to the Best Cities in Canada

Expat’s Guide to the Best Cities in Canada
A woman draped in a flag of Canada.
A woman draped in a flag of Canada.

Canada stands out as a top destination for expatriates, with its cities consistently ranking among the best globally. This guide shines a light on the best cities in Canada for expats, with a special focus on Calgary. Known for its friendly communities and economic opportunities, Canada welcomes those seeking a new home. Each city presents a unique set of benefits, making Canada a mosaic of possibilities for expats. This introduction sets the stage for a detailed exploration of what makes Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and other Canadian cities ideal for expatriates. Let’s embark on a discovery of Canada’s urban gems!

Why Canada?

Canada consistently ranks as an ideal destination for expats seeking a new home. Its welcoming attitude and high quality of life stand out globally. In this nation, expatriates find a harmonious blend of professional opportunities and a lifestyle that balances work and leisure. The country’s approach to diversity and inclusion particularly appeals to those from varied backgrounds. Here, expats don’t just find a place to live; they discover a community ready to embrace them with open arms. The healthcare system is also a major draw, renowned for its efficiency and accessibility. This, coupled with the country’s stable economy and political environment, makes it an attractive choice for many seeking a fresh start. Its natural landscapes, ranging from rugged mountains to tranquil lakes, provide a picturesque backdrop to everyday life, further enhancing its allure. This unique combination of factors makes Canada not just a destination but a place to call home.


Toronto is widely regarded as one of the best cities in Canada for expats, primarily due to its diverse and inclusive culture, robust economy, and abundant employment opportunities. As Canada’s largest city and a global financial hub, Toronto offers many job opportunities across various sectors, such as finance, technology, media, and healthcare. The city’s thriving tech scene, often referred to as “Silicon Valley North,” is home to numerous tech giants and startups, offering ample opportunities for professionals in the tech industry.

The city also boasts an excellent quality of life, with numerous parks, museums, and cultural events. For instance, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is a major draw for the entertainment industry, while the city’s financial district is a hub for business professionals. These factors, combined with a high standard of living and a supportive expat community, make Toronto a top choice for expats seeking opportunities and a vibrant lifestyle in Canada.


Vancouver, another top destination for expats in Canada, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, a mild climate, and thriving economic sectors. The city’s economy is diverse, with strong film and television production, technology, and trade industries. Known as “Hollywood North,” Vancouver is a hotspot for the entertainment industry, attracting film, television, and digital media professionals. The tech sector is rapidly growing, focusing on green technology and software development, providing numerous opportunities for IT professionals and engineers.

The quality of life in Vancouver is one of its most compelling features for expats. Surrounded by mountains and water, the city offers a range of outdoor activities, from skiing and snowboarding in nearby Whistler to sailing and kayaking in the Pacific Ocean. This connection to nature and a cosmopolitan urban environment make it a desirable location for those seeking a healthy and active lifestyle.


Calgary, a city in the Canadian province of Alberta, offers a unique living experience for expats. Known for its dynamic atmosphere, Calgary blends modern urban living with stunning natural surroundings. Firstly, Calgary’s location is ideal. Nestled at the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, it promises breathtaking views and ample outdoor activities. The climate here varies, with warm summers and snowy winters offering a range of experiences for all. In terms of employment, Calgary excels. It’s a hub for the energy sector, and opportunities abound in technology, finance, and healthcare. The city hosts numerous festivals and boasts a vibrant arts scene and various culinary delights. For those moving to Calgary and hiring movers, it’s wise to engage local pros in the process. They understand the nuances of the city and can make relocation smoother. They offer valuable insights into neighbourhoods, helping newcomers settle in quickly.


Montreal stands out as a favoured destination for expats in Canada due to its unique blend of European charm and North American dynamism. Industries like aerospace, video game development, and artificial intelligence research buoy the city’s economy. It’s a global hub for AI, attracting tech professionals and researchers. Additionally, Montreal’s video game industry is one of the largest in the world, hosting studios like Ubisoft and Warner Bros. Games. This creates a wealth of opportunities for those in creative and tech fields.

The city’s cultural vibrancy is another draw for expats. Montreal is famous for its festivals, including the world-renowned Montreal International Jazz Festival. Besides, Montreal’s cost of living is generally lower than in other major Canadian cities, making it an attractive option for those seeking an urban lifestyle without the high expenses. The presence of prestigious universities like McGill and Université de Montréal also contributes to its dynamic and youthful atmosphere.

Navigating Challenges: Tips for New Expats

Navigating a new country can be daunting, but expats can ease their adjustment period with the right approach. Firstly, brace for the weather. Canada’s climate varies greatly, so research your specific region and prepare accordingly. To find a home, explore various neighbourhoods online and connect with local expat communities for insights. They often share valuable tips about living costs and lifestyle nuances.

Understanding local customs is crucial. Canadians value politeness and inclusivity, so embracing these traits helps them blend into the community. Networking is also a key to professional success. Attend local events and join professional groups to build connections. Learning French is beneficial, especially in bilingual regions.

Lastly, maintain an open mind. Embracing new experiences and cultures enriches your expat life, making your transition smoother and more enjoyable. Every challenge is an opportunity to grow and learn in your new Canadian home.

Final Thoughts on the Best Cities in Canada

With its unique allure, each city offers a welcoming environment, promising job markets, and a high standard of living. As you weigh your options, consider the insights and experiences shared here. Canada awaits, ready to offer you a home that’s not just a place to live but a community to thrive in. Embrace this opportunity and explore all that Canadian cities have to offer!