Ontario is a unique Canadian province, located in southeastern Canada between the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec and immediately north of the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota in the United States.
While Ontario ranks as the second largest province in Canada (after Quebec), boasting an area of around one-million square kilometers, and although all of the provinces and territories in Canada are special in their own way, there are several features of Ontario that distinguish it among its peers, including the following:
- Ontario has the largest population (14.8 million as of 2021) of any of the provinces or territories in Canada;
- One-third of all the people living in Canada live in the province of Ontario;
- Toronto, Ontario, has the highest population (2.8 million as of 2021) of any city in Canada;
- The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has the largest metropolitan population (6.25 million as of 2021) in Canada;
- The CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, is the tallest tower in the Western Hemisphere, soaring an astounding 553.33 meters (1,815 feet, 5 inches) into the Canadian sky. It also has a revolving restaurant with great views of Toronto, so if you immigrate to Ontario and are in Toronto, the CN Tower is a “must-see!”
- One-third of all the fresh water on Earth is contained in the 250,000 lakes located in the Canadian province of Ontario!
- Most of the Canada-US border running through Ontario is defined by water (such as the Great Lakes, for example);
- Horseshoe Falls (the part of Niagara Falls located inside of Ontario, Canada) has the most energy of any waterfall on the North American continent, as defined by the rate of water flow and vertical drop of the falls (which is 53 meters);
- The largest freshwater island on the planet (Manitoulin Island, which has an area of 2,766 square kilometers) is located in Georgian Bay, Ontario;
- Ontario is the leader for Canada’s manufacturing industry and does a great deal of business (particularly related to the auto industry) with the US state of Michigan just across the border to the south;
- Toronto has increasingly become a key Canadian and global high-tech hub;
- The capital of Canada (Ottawa, population one-million in 2021) is located in Ontario;
- Ontario has the strongest economy of any Canadian province or territory, accounting for 37% of Canada’s GDP;
The top economic sectors in Ontario include: government, manufacturing, financial services, technology, mining, forestry and tourism.
Another interesting aspect of Ontario is that this province is a prime destination for immigrants to Canada. For example, 153,340 immigrants moved to Ontario as Canadian permanent residents in 2019.
In terms of Ontario immigration, Toronto, in particular, has become home for many immigrants to Canada from across the globe. For example, 117,720 new Canadian permanent residents moved to Toronto during 2019. It is forecast that by 2031, close to 80% of all the people living in Toronto will either be immigrants or the children of immigrants!
Living in Toronto
Whether you’re visiting Toronto or have actually moved to this magnificent, modern city, you will discover that Toronto offers endless entertainment and other opportunities.
For example, if you’re “into” culture and the arts, you can enjoy the theater, a ballet or a concert at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts; listen to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall; watch a play at the Princess of Wales Theatre; spend the day appreciating creativity on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario or the Royal Ontario Museum; and attend the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which is usually held in September.
Are you more of a sports fan? If so, you’ll be able to join thousands of cheering people at a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey match or Toronto Blue Jays baseball game; watch the horses race around the track at Woodbine; or visit the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Just want to relax? The tranquil greenery of Edwards Gardens, High Park, Centre Island, Toronto Island Park and the Allan Gardens Conservatory awaits you!
Toronto also has fabulous restaurants, numerous places to go shopping and a “happening” nightlife.
So, why do so many foreign nationals who plan for Ontario immigration ultimately decide to move to Toronto? This should now be obvious, but aside from Toronto being a large, beautiful, multicultural city with much to do and a flourishing immigrant community, it also has a thriving economy and opportunities for employment.
Toronto’s economy accounts for 20% of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) and has been expanding at an average yearly rate of 2.4 percent for the past several years.
The top business sectors in Toronto include distribution, finance, film and television, technology, telecommunications, tourism and wholesale.
No wonder the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Toronto as the 9th “most livable city” in the world in June 2023, out of the 173 major cities evaluated around the globe.
Thus, if you have been thinking about Canadian immigration and applying for a Visa to Canada and/or possible Canadian citizenship, you may want to seriously consider moving to Toronto, Ontario, to start your new life.
Ottawa – Canada’s Capital City
Ottawa is also a favorite location for Ontario immigration by those who have been granted a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada. In fact, there are around 202,605 foreign-born residents who live in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa.
Ottawa tends to attract a lot of foreign nationals who have made Ontario immigration, are well-educated and have a high salary history, but Ottawa offers something for everyone.
The top business sectors in Ottawa include the provincial and federal government, technology, healthcare and tourism.
Like many capital cities around the globe, Ottawa has plenty of sites to see, such as: Canada’s beautiful Parliament building (be sure to watch the “changing of the guard”); Canada Aviation and Space Museum; National War Memorial; National Gallery of Canada; Canadian Museum of Nature; Canadian War Museum; National Arts Centre; Canada Science and Technology Museum; and the Royal Canadian Mint.
NHL Hockey fans will enjoy watching the Ottawa Senators compete on the ice and while Ottawa doesn’t have a MLB (major league baseball) team, baseball fans can still have fun watching the minor league team, the Ottawa Fat Cats, play at the Ottawa Baseball Stadium.
If you feel like relaxing, you should enjoy the peacefulness of Ottawa’s Arboretum (Experimental Park), taking a walk along the historical Rideau Canal or, perhaps, the silent serenity of the Notre Dame Basilica.
As with Toronto, Ottawa also has a lot of excellent eateries and a thriving nightlife.
Other Major Cities in Ontario
Besides Toronto and Ottawa, other major cities attracting Ontario immigration are Mississauga (population 668,549), Brampton (population 593,638), Hamilton (population 771,000), London (population 511,000), Markham (population 328,966), Vaughan (population 306,233), Kitchener (population 233,222), and Windsor (population 217,188), to name just some of the great places to settle in Ontario after being granted a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada.
Thus, as you plan for Canadian immigration and go through the process of applying for a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada, Ontario immigration should be among the options you consider in terms of which Canadian province you want to live and work in.
DISCLAIMER: This guide is not and shall not be considered as professional or expert advice.