Whenever you move to a new place, part of settling in is getting to know the area. When you are moving to a new country, that means there is a lot to learn. Canada is no exception, partly because as the world’s second largest country, it’s a big place. The amount of space, open country and variety of landscapes is a large part of not just the country itself, but how the communities around Canada have developed.
With all that space though, the population is remarkably small, just 35 million people live in the 10 million square kilometers of land that make up Canada as a country. It’s that combination of huge space and relatively few people that make Canada such a unique place to be. The sense of belonging that Canadians get from being together within this vast expanse of land, the understanding of community, has also played into how the country works for everyone too.
As a result, Canada is viewed as a very good place to live, scoring highly compared to many other countries in the Better Life Index and other similar assessments. Education is a particular highlight, along with life expectancy and employment prospects, reflecting government policy focus. The national, universal healthcare system provides excellent medical support throughout life and is itself something many immigrants find incredibly attractive.
History of Canada
There have been people living in the area we now know as Canada for a very long time, with Aboriginal people being part of the landscape pretty much as long as there have been people on this earth. Others came and went, with Vikings settling on the east coast of the country around 1000 AD, leaving behind wonderful artifacts that have taught us much about Viking life.
However, Canada itself is a relatively young country, with its roots in the colonial expeditions. Both French and British explorers first settled the land in the 1500’s, by the 1700’s France had ceded its claim, and Britain remained in control. However, those French speaking regions remained and still, do today.
Canada as a country can into being as a federal construct in 1867, under the terms of the British North American Act. Initially, this fledgling country was comprised of four provinces and three territories. Today that has grown to ten provinces and three territories, with the final province leaving its British rule and joining Canada being Newfoundland in 1949.
Canadian Facts you may not know
Canada has two national languages, French and English. This goes back to the initial settlers over 500 years ago, where both Britain and France formed colonies in the region. Canada remains part of the Commonwealth, the group of countries that were once part of the British empire.
Canada is a representative democracy, with Canadians voting to elect their representatives to the House of Commons, situated in Ottawa. Canada remains a constitutional monarchy, and still hold the British Monarch as Sovereign Head of State, although this is a purely ceremonial role without any political power.
Canadians are, in general, enthusiastic about sport, ice Hockey being the most popular, both in how many participate, and how many watch the professional teams. However, the national sport is actually Lacrosse, a sport that many will not have heard of, played with sticks that have nets fastened to the ends, and rubber balls.
Maple Syrup, drawn from the sap of Maple trees, is one of Canada’s most known food treats, along with poutine, which features French fries, cheese curds, and beef gravy. Poutine originated in Quebec but is a treat enjoyed by Canadians right across the country today.
Why Choose Canada to emigrate to?
Canada is a growing country that welcomes and values immigrants. Multicultural and friendly, Canadian society is built upon the concept of community, making it a wonderful place to start a new life. Because of its relatively small population, Canada needs immigrants to maintain its growth, with many programs and processes in place to assist new arrivals to settle.
Basic rules on immigration are set at the regional level, meaning each province or territory will have their own procedures and regulations. Please check details for each province to be clear on the legislation that will apply for your individual situation.
Provinces and Territories
There are ten provinces and three territories within Canada. They are diverse, shaped by the people who settled there and the geography of each region.
Alberta – Part of Western Canada, Alberta is a region of natural beauty. From its beautiful sunshine to the soaring mountains and vast forests, it’s a place for those who love open space and fresh air. With high standards of living and a powerful economy driven by the oil and gas industry, Alberta is an amazing place to live.
British Columbia – Another west coast province, British Columbia (known as B.C.) is known for outdoor adventure. From skiers to mountain bikers, the Rocky Mountains bring visitors from Canada and beyond, with world famous areas like Whistler providing an array of attractions. A thriving economy and excellent job prospects make for great living standards and a very desirable place to live.
Manitoba – Manitoba offers a relaxed, friendly environment, with a strong economy and thriving jobs market. With over 200 languages spoken in the province, this is a region built on immigration, and they have the exceptional infrastructure in place to help newcomers establish their new lives here. Known as the polar bear capital of the world, it’s a wildlife haven and a fantastic place to build a new life.
New Brunswick – Found on the east coast with the Atlantic Ocean at its edge, it is a province with a border to the U.S. as well. As such, it’s a great location for easy access to Boston and New York. With a relatively low cost of living and thriving economy, the rivers, lakes, and access to oceans make it a water-lovers paradise.
Newfoundland and Labrador – This is as far east as Canada reaches, Labrador being part of the mainland, Newfoundland being an Island off the coast in the Atlantic. Often seen as one of the best places to live and work with a thriving economy and job opportunity. It is a province full of history and culture, the lowest crime rates in North America, and natural beauty that will continue to amaze no matter how long you spend there.
Nova Scotia – Another eastern province, Nova Scotia is all about the ocean. Fishing is a major source of employment and leisure. The world’s largest lobster producer, Christmas Tree supplier and wild blueberry producer, Nova Scotia offers amazing scenery, wonderful living standards and growing job market and economy.
Ontario – With its diverse economy covering everything from finance to manufacturing, Ontario is a great place for building a new life. As you may expect from a tourist destination popular the world over, it has plenty to offer outside the practicalities like a thriving job market and high living standards. Beautiful scenery and a true multicultural society, Ontario doesn’t just embrace immigration, it is built on it.
Prince Edward Island – The smallest of the eastern provinces, Prince Edward Island, has a lower cost of living than many areas of Canada, with some of the lowest crime rates in the region. It’s a fantastic place for employment, with the economy supporting hi-tech industries such as aerospace and biosciences. The renewable energy industry is thriving here too, providing significant employment opportunity.
Quebec – Found in north eastern Canada, Quebec is a French speaking province, and with more than 1 million lakes and rives found within its borders, water plays an important role in both economic and entertainment for its inhabitants. A notably strong economy, one of the features of Quebec over the years has been its ability to adapt to changing times, maintaining economic strength, and providing excellent opportunities, for all.
Saskatchewan – With its beautiful wide-open spaces and wonderful quality of life, Saskatchewan is a wonderful place to live. It offers a lower cost of living than many and a thriving economy that is built on an abundance of natural resources.
Northwest Territories – A territory rich with natural resources, the 43,000 people who live here across 33 communities enjoy great employment, excellent government amenities and beautiful surroundings. With 11 official languages, many of them from the aboriginal people who descend from those first settlers, this is a diverse community with a lot to offer.
Nunavut – Although part of Canada for over 100 years, it has only been a separate territory since 1999. The name means ‘our land’ in the Inuktitut language, spoken by the native Inuit people who have lived here for thousands of years. At 33,000 people this is the smallest population of any Canadian province or territory, but in an area with a wealth of natural resources, mining and technology provide a strong and growing economy.
Yukon – Sitting at the northwest corner of the country, the population of Yukon numbers 34,000 and mostly live within the capital, Whitehorse. A fantastic place to live for those who love the outdoors, it has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and offers exceptional job prospects.