In 2020, five Canadian provinces received around 256,000 immigrants. The top-ranked province received more than 127,000 immigrants while the other four provinces received 128,500 immigrants.
And what is that province that got almost as many immigrants as four other Canadian provinces? Ontario. Preferred province for skilled workers—Ontario. Biggest tech hub in Canada attracting foreign tech workers—Ontario. Very popular destination for international students—it’s Ontario again!
These numbers may make any skilled worker or young student think that Ontario is the obvious destination for anybody thinking of moving to Canada, right? Not necessarily.
Ontario—Staring at a Brain Drain
More than a quarter of all adults in Ontario have considered moving to a different province in the last 12 months. This figure jumps to close to half among Ontario residents aged between 18 and 29 years.
Among the middle aged, four of every ten people aged between 30 and 44 years have considered moving out last year. Among immigrants, more than 45 percent of those surveyed want to move out of Ontario.
Ontario may be the preferred landing destination for any skilled worker moving to Canada but why don’t people want to stay there? The reason—lack of affordable housing!
Key Factor—Quality of Life
Good job and high salaries are all fine but there’s more to choosing a province than just good career prospects. What’s the point of an above-average paycheck if you still cannot afford a big home in a good locality in the city of Toronto?
Where’s the sense in living in a city or province where you have to travel miles to work and your children have to do the same to attend a good school? Money is relevant only as long as it helps you enjoy a good quality of life.
The problem with provinces like Ontario and even British Columbia is that un-affordable housing makes it almost impossible for immigrants and native residents to enjoy a good life here.
With no clear solution in sight, even those comfortably settled in the present are considering moving out because there are no good future prospects for themselves or their children.
Factors to Consider When Assessing Quality of Life
Affordable housing is the first and most-important parameter when assessing the quality of life in a province or city. Can you get good rental accommodation suitable to your standard of living in a good locality or community?
Can you and your working spouse realistically plan about buying a home after a few years after providing for your children and other family expenses?
If housing is so costly that it’s virtually impossible to live without compromising on your lifestyle, then even a good job with an Express Entry ITA is not going to guarantee a good life in Canada.
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how access to quality healthcare is so important. Getting a cheap home that is far away from schools, social amenities, and hospitals would mean the idea of moving out to a less-expensive and less-crowded destination like the Atlantic provinces would sound a lot more attractive.
Use Professional Immigration Assistance Smartly
Canada immigration programs are so transparent and merit-centric that hiring an immigration attorney may seem like a waste of money and time. However, analyzing the quality-of-life factors and balancing them with money and job factors can be very complicated and confusing.
In such a scenario, the option of telling an expert what you are seeking from your future life in Canada and relying on him or her to come with the best immigration options for you can prove very useful.
If one can avoid the housing problems of Ontario and buy a home quickly in an Atlantic province with no compromise in career and job prospects, then why would anybody ignore such an option?
Planning your immigration strategy solely based on numbers and what other immigrants are doing can prove to be an expensive mistake over the long run. The smarter option would be to do it once and do it right with an immigration attorney by your side.