Ontario is the most popular, recognizable, populous, and rich province of modern Canada. The size of Ontario is staggering. Its territory is larger than France and Spain together. The province extends for 1609 km from infertile soils on the coast of the Hudson Bay in the north to densely populated cities in the south. Most of Ontario lies in the area of the Canadian Shield. The bulk of the population is concentrated in the southern part of the province. The shield extends almost to Ottawa. Once logging and timber transportation was striving in the province. Now Ottawa has become the capital of the country in the full sense of the word: there are many museums and other attractions.
Ontario - a region-country is unlike other regions in terms of its natural beauties. Stretched on the vast territory, it is the only province bordering with Great Lakes – central vessel, connecting not only Ontario, but the whole of Canada and the USA, and with all the North-American mainland. The nature of this province appeals to any person as well as its great history. Maybe this is why the great classic of American literature J.F. Cooper chose Lake Ontario as the starting point for the main characters of his famous pentalogy. The story about the American trapper and his Mohican friend suggests that the modern history of the North American continent originated in these places.
The province of Ontario is the economic center of Canada and; as a result, all types of industries are presented in the province, especially in Toronto and other cities. Strong modern service and information economy are developed in the province, including solid manufacturing foundation. Different businesses and non-commercial international organizations choose Ontario because there is the seat of government and most federal ministries.
The auto industry is the number one manufacturing sector with Canadian world-leading companies. Recent years are marked with major investments by main manufacturers in new plant and technologies.
As for natural resources, the province has a long established mining sector, which includes nickel, and iron mines. Lumber, pulp, and paper industry are generated by vast forests. Eco-tourism attracts more people who want to spend their recreational activities in the natural environment offered by Ontario.
Since the 1930s, Toronto has been Canada’s main financial-service center. The Toronto Stock Exchange is the largest in the country. In fact, the headquarters of all major banks, many insurance companies and brokerage houses, and of large legal, accounting, and management-consulting firms across Canada are located in Toronto. The English-speaking advertising industry in Canada is thriving in the city. The US-based companies found their way to establish themselves in Toronto. The US-based companies film motion pictures and television shows in Toronto and a few smaller towns. The gambling industry is also very dynamic. Once illegal, today it attracts American and Canadian gamblers. Key public services are centered in Ottawa and Toronto.
Currently, the unemployment rate doesn’t exceed the national average rate and constitutes 6.8%. Ontario offers a full range of professions due to its thriving economy, job opportunities starting from agriculture to information technology. However, the province targets more tech workers. Many foreign workers alike have been invited through the Human Capital Priorities Stream. This stream helps Ontario’s technology sector attract highly skilled workers, such as computer network architects, web developers, machinery and aerospace engineers, etc. So these people should significantly add to the tech sector in cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Waterloo, which have all experienced job growth in recent years.
Those willing to find a job in Ontario can avail of a few online resources. A very common resource for job search is Job Bank. The Maytree Foundation is a good website for young professionals who seek to start working in the province as soon as possible. The government of Ontario also assists newcomers in finding employment - visit this website and the settlement services of the province.
If you are a foreign businessman willing to open a business in Ontario, SBECs is an excellent source offering helpful tools for entrepreneurs. Physicians with medical degrees acquired outside Canada should visit Ontarioimgschool. In addition, great job search engines are Monster, WowJobs, Workopolis, and Indeed.
Once in Canada, you have to take into account that despite plentiful sources, many jobs are still hidden. It means there are jobs you won’t be able to find in the advertisement. You’ll have to make people know about yourself, that is, attend job fairs, contact employers, meet new people. One of the best ways to secure Canadian work experience is volunteering. You can find volunteer opportunities here.
However, prior to applying for a job in Ontario, you need to consider a few things. First, this is a Social Insurance Number without which you won’t be able to start working in Canada. Secondly, you will need to get your education credentials and qualifications assessed by the Word Education Services. In fact, there many credential assessment agencies and you need to make sure you have chosen the right one. To find out more, visit the Ontario Immigration website. Foreign workers with skills in trade need a Red Seal certification. Finally, ensure your English or French language skill meets at least minimum standards.
Education is the cornerstone of this province, without which everything else would not be possible. High-quality post-secondary education is the path to obtaining a residence permit in Canada. As a matter of fact, local authorities give preference to qualified and skilled specialists who have received a Canadian education. And it is an education in Canadian universities and colleges that allows students not only get first-class professional skills but also feel themselves real Canadians and join the Canadian way of life.
Trent University is one of the most research-focused universities in Canada and one of the main scientific luminaries in Ontario. If you are interested in ecology, biology, and chemistry, then here you can work with the latest equipment; communicate with the most prominent minds of these areas. If you are aiming for more practical professions or private business, Wilfrid Laurier University will be an excellent choice for you. According to the rating of the respected Canadian edition Maclean's Magazine, this university is one of the five best in Canada for bachelor programs.
Ontario has a special institution, which provides technological education. University of Ontario Institute of Technology is the ideal choice for students who want to find their vocation in programming, engineering, computer science, mathematics, and any other adjoining fields.
Brock University is one of the main universal universities in Ontario. If you can’t find a suitable program in other colleges and universities, among the hundreds of courses in the Brock University, you can easily choose the education that matches your interests. For example, Brock is the only university that offers a bachelor program in sports management.
More than 220,000 people in Ontario refer to themselves as First Nations.
There are over 100 of First Nation communities throughout Ontario and each of them is unique in their beliefs, language, and history. Less than half of these communities are small and remote, where you can feel a Canadians’ deep connection to their land. Meanwhile, nearly 65% of their First Nations people reside in large urban regions, where you can experience contemporary cultural habits of dining, arts, and events.
Nowadays, over 50,00 Inuit people continue to preserve their culture in their homeland Nunavut. They are attached to the Northern landscapes by keeping their language and beliefs, though some Inuit move to the southern part of Canada to find a better job or education. Many of them (around 3,000) live in the main urban regions of Ontario and have significant input to the urban landscape of arts and culture.
The territory, which surrounds the Great Lakes and covers the historic Northwest is home to a distinct Indigenous people - Metis, also with a unique history, culture and language. They are descendants of people born of relations between First Nations women and European men. An outgrowth of spur trade lead to Metis settlements and today it is part of the accumulated history, language, and identity.
Ontario Main Cities
Toronto is called “New York run by the Swiss” for its cleanliness and safety of the city. Very often visitors compare the city to New York as it is the economic capital of the country and home to the head offices of many of the largest Canadian companies. There are many events and cultural communities in Toronto.
Another name that Toronto gained is “global city”. Across the city, you can discover different neighborhoods, from Greektown to Little Italy, and from Chinatown to Little Portugal and Koreatown. Toronto’s advanced economy attracts a lot of immigrants each year, this is why there is the highest percentage of foreign-born residents in the world.
If you want to experience life on the edge, then you should definitely visit CN Tower or try EdgeWalk – the world’s full circle hands-free walk on a 5ft wide ledge encircling the top of the tower. Learn about world culture and natural history in the Royal Ontario Museum or see the blue suede shoes worn by Elvis. Emerge yourself into the bustling nightlife in bars, bistros, and restaurants, and this is just a glimpse of what can be done in this vibrant city.
Ottawa is the capital of Canada. Located in Eastern Ontario on the border with Quebec, it is connected to the Gatineau region on the other side of the provincial border. The city is often called Ottawa-Gatineau. As in Toronto, many national and international companies prefer to set their offices in Ottawa. The high-tech sector stands out from other industries.
Ottawa is a very safe and friendly place for living that makes it a desirable destination for immigrants. Around 20 percent of the city’s population is foreign-born.
A city of festivals, Ottawa hosts year-round special events. Tulip festival sprang up by a gift of 100,000 bulbs from the Dutch Royal Family. If you like blues music, then you should attend a blues festival or enjoy jazz sessions during the Ottawa Jazz Festival.
Housing in Ontario
Houses are in particularly expensive in Ontario’s main cities like Toronto and Ottawa. So it is more affordable to rent a house in suburb cities like Sudbury or Kingstone, which are close to the city. In addition, communities are really amiable there, offering good education and healthcare.
You can choose from different types of accommodation. Apartment buildings are spacious and, usually, are owned by one person or company available for rent. Studio assumes one room with a kitchen area and bathroom for one person. Families can find a larger apartment with more space, such as additional bedrooms, etc. A large multi-unit building where each unit belongs to the inhabitant is called a condominium; each unit is called a condo. The so-called “townhouses” represent a row of houses, which can be separated or individual. Toronto also has lots of duplexes and triplexes; these houses are divided into 2 or 3 separate apartments, one on top of another.
Certainly, before you decide where to live in Ontario, you have to consider factors such as job opportunities, urban or rural, public transportation, weather and other things that might have an impact on your settlement.
Ontario Immigration Helpful Links
Before you move to a new country, it is important to ensure a place to stay. If you have friends or relatives in Ontario, you might plan to live with them. However, most people rent apartments, and you can choose to rent either a short-term or a long-term rental. The first two weeks you may choose to live in a temporary place. Use Yellow Pages, booking.com and expedia.com to find a list of hotels and motels.
You can look for a home on your own or hire a real estate agent, which will also help you with a mortgage, insurance, and legal procedures. For a full list of certified real estate agents, check out the Ontario Realtors Association.
You can look for appropriate accommodation on Kijiji, Zoeken and Craigslist. People with low income can take advantage of the Co-Operative Housing and affordable housing programs. In co-operative housing, some tenants cover rent based on their income, while others pay market price rent. The idea is they together share responsibility for the housing. Under the affordable housing, tenants pay rent based on their income.
Any property requires insurance. If something bad happens to your property, like damage, the insurance will cover the cost of repairs. In fact, banks will not proceed with a mortgage without insurance.
If you choose to rent you will have to pay your monthly rent, including utilities. You might be additionally charged for the parking place. As a rule, tenants must pay a security deposit, which they get back when they move out.
Pet lovers need to check with the landlord whether pets are legally allowed in the house they are planning to rent.
The province of Ontario is one of the most attractive for immigration in Canada. Toronto, the largest city in the country, is the "economic engine" of Canada. It is easier to find a well-paid job in Toronto and make connections because there you can find diasporas from different countries. Also, the province borders with the North American states; it is on the border with the state of New York. The pride of both countries lies here - Niagara Falls. In case you don’t have enough points for immigration under the federal program, you can consider the immigration option for the provincial program of Ontario, which consists of the following programs:
Ontario Foreign Worker Stream
To apply for the Ontario Skilled Worker stream, candidates must have a full-time job offer from an Ontario employer. The applicant’s occupation must match NOC Level O, A or B; he should also have at least two years of full-time work experience in the same occupation. In some cases, the offered job might require a license or other authorization. The candidate also must provide a language test certificate (IELTS, CELPIP, or TEF Canada). Not the least, he should demonstrate the intention to settle permanently in the province.
Ontario International Student Stream
The International Student Stream is open to active international students. They must have completed at least a two-year complete study program at a recognized post-secondary educational institution in Canada.
This is an employer-driven program which requires Graduates a full-time job offer from the Ontario employer. In some cases, the offered job might require a license or other authorization. Not the least, they should demonstrate the intention to settle permanently in the province.
Ontario Masters Graduate Stream
The Masters Graduate Stream is an immigration stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. It gives international graduates with an Ontario master’s degree the opportunity to permanently live and work in Ontario.
The Ontario Master's Graduate Stream is open to international students with a valid student permit; they must have completed at least one year of the study program in a recognized post-secondary educational institution in Canada. The applicants also must prove language ability in English or French on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) – CLB 7. Not the least, they should demonstrate the intention to settle permanently in the province and the ability to support themselves financially. And finally, candidates must have relevant training or accreditation for their job.
Ontario Ph.D. Graduate Stream
The Ontario PH.D. Graduate Stream is an immigration stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. It gives international graduates with an Ontario Ph.D. degree the opportunity to permanently live and work in Ontario.
The International Student Stream is open to international students with a valid student permit; they must have met all the requirement necessary for the Ph.D. program at a recognized post-secondary educational institution in Canada. However, not all international students are eligible - scholarship students won’t be able to apply for the stream from Ontario. They will have to leave Canada and apply from their home country. In addition, they should demonstrate the intention to settle permanently in the province and the ability to support themselves financially. And finally, candidates must have relevant training or accreditation for their job.
Ontario Human Capital Priorities Stream
The Ontario Human Capital Priorities Stream enables the OINP to search the Express Entry pool for eligible candidates with strong English or French language abilities. Candidates must be eligible for one of the programs – Federal Skilled Worker Class or the Canadian Experience Class. Those applying for the Federal Skilled Worker Class must have at least one year of paid full-time work experience in the occupation Level O, A or B. Candidates must have at least five years of cumulative work experience from the date of the application.
Applicants under the Canadian Experience Class must have at least one year of paid full-time work experience in the occupation Level O, A or B. The work experience can be cumulative within three years from the date of the application. Candidates also must prove language ability in French on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) – CLB 7 in English. Not the least, they should demonstrate the intention to settle permanently in the province and the ability to support themselves financially. And finally, candidates must have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of their bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. degree.
Ontario French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
Ontario has a large French-speaking minority population. The province says the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream encourages its efforts to increase francophone immigration by 5% of overall immigration.
The French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream enables the OINP to search the Express Entry pool for eligible Francophone candidates with strong English language abilities. Candidates must be eligible for one of the programs – Federal Skilled Worker Class or the Canadian Experience Class. Those applying for the Federal Skilled Worker Class must have at least one year of paid full-time work experience in the occupation Level O, A or B. Candidates must have at least five years of cumulative work experience from the date of the application.
Applicants under the Canadian Experience Class must have at least one year of paid full-time work experience in the occupation Level O, A or B. The work experience can be cumulative within three years from the date of the application. Candidates also must prove language ability in English or French on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) – CLB 7 or higher. Not the least, they should demonstrate the intention to settle permanently in the province and the ability to support themselves financially. And finally, international candidates must have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of their bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. degree.
Ontario Skilled Trades Stream
Candidates under the Skilled Trades Stream must have at least one year of paid full-time and cumulative work experience in Minor Group 633 or Major Groups 72,73 or 82 of NOC. The work experience in the indicated occupation must be obtained within two years from the date of the application. Candidates also must prove language ability in English or French on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) – CLB 5 or higher. Not the least, they should demonstrate the intention to settle permanently in the province and the ability to support themselves financially. And finally, international candidates must have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of their bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. degree.
Ontario Corporate Stream
The Corporate Stream is an immigration stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). This stream is for international companies looking to establish a business in Ontario or buy an existing business in the province. Your business must be successfully established in order to qualify for nomination for permanent residence.
Ontario Entrepreneur Stream
International entrepreneurs must have at least three years of full-time business experience in the last 5 years in order to be eligible for the Ontario Entrepreneur Stream.
Your experience must be as a business owner or as a senior manager (business management). As a business owner, you must have had an active role in the business and owned at least one-third of the business. As a senior manager, you must have had senior decision-making responsibilities in the business.