Best cities in Canada for Expats

Cities in Canada for Expats

To help you find the right city for your needs, we’ve compiled this list of the top destinations for expats in Canada.
Please keep reading for an overview of each city and what living there is like as an expat.

City Summary and Commentary Score (1-10) Reasoning

Large Cities

Toronto Toronto’s multiculturalism, jobs, healthcare, and quality of life attract expats, making it an ideal home abroad. 8

Toronto’s multicultural, diverse, jobs, healthcare, education; an ideal expat haven.

Montreal Montreal’s bilingual culture, top universities, vibrant arts, and affordable living are ideal for expats seeking a dynamic, European-inspired city. 7 Vibrant arts, lower cost of living than Toronto, but competitive job market, especially for non-French speakers.
Vancouver Vancouver, a top choice for expats, offers a high quality of life, scenic beauty, and diverse opportunities in a vibrant, multicultural environment. 9 Among the world’s best cities to live in, boasts a mild climate, stunning scenery, and high-quality of life, despite high living costs and job competition.

Medium-sized Cities

St. John’s Friendly community, scenic landscapes, and rich cultural heritage offer a unique and welcoming experience for expats seeking a peaceful coastal life. 6 St. John’s, a charming city with a distinct culture and scenic beauty, faces limited job prospects and high living costs owing to its remote setting.
Halifax Known for its maritime charm, friendly locals, and affordable living, offers a welcoming haven for expats seeking a vibrant coastal lifestyle.”  7 Historic charm, tight-knit community, lower living costs, and limited job opportunities in certain sectors
Québec City It’s European flair, rich history, and bilingual environment, provide a unique and culturally enriching experience for expats seeking a welcoming community.”  8 Quebec City offers a rich history, coupled with a European flair and lower living costs but limited jobs for non-French speakers
Ottawa Offers emigrating expats a diverse and inclusive community, excellent quality of life, and numerous career opportunities in various sectors.  9 Canada’s capital with a strong sense of community, high living standards, diverse jobs, bilingual, and lower cost than Toronto, Vancouver.
London A welcoming city with a vibrant community, excellent education, and diverse opportunities, making it an ideal choice for expats.  6 Affordable cost of living, good quality of life, limited job options in specific fields
Winnipeg Friendly, affordable, diverse city, with a great sense of community ideal for expats seeking a welcoming home.  7 Multicultural city, affordable living, good quality of life, competitive job market in specific sectors.
Calgary Calgary, a dynamic city with strong job prospects, outdoor activities, and a high quality of life, offers a promising opportunity for emigrating expats.  8 Dynamic city, strong economy, good job prospects, high living standards, though high costs and extreme weather.
Edmonton Thriving economy, diverse job opportunities, and excellent quality of life provide a promising prospect for emigrating expats.  7 Growing city, strong economy, jobs in oil and gas, lower living costs than Calgary, but extreme weather.
Saskatoon Its friendly community, affordable living, and diverse job opportunities offer a welcoming environment for emigrating expats.  6 Friendly, affordable, good quality of life, limited job options in specific sectors.
Regina Welcoming city, with affordable living, a strong community, and growing job opportunities, ideal for emigrating expats.  6 Small, friendly, affordable, good quality of life, limited job options in specific fields.
Victoria Scenic, culturally- diverse, mild climate, friendly community, and vibrant environment ideal for expats  9 Mild climate, scenic, have lower living costs than Vancouver, and limited job options in specific fields.

Small Cities

Burlington Peaceful, community-oriented city with excellent schools and scenic surroundings; perfect for expats.  8 Small, friendly, high quality of life, good jobs, lower living costs. 
St. Catharines Charming, peaceful, affordable, strong community; ideal for expats.  7 Small, friendly city in Niagara, good quality of life, limited job options in specific fields.
Kelowna Scenic Okanagan Valley, a vibrant community and mild climate, ideal expat living  8 Small, friendly city, a mild climate, beautiful scenery, high quality of life, high living costs, and a competitive job market
Abbotsford Friendly community, affordability, outdoor activities, ideal for expat families seeking a peaceful environment.  7 A small, friendly city in Fraser Valley, has lower living costs than Vancouver, and limited job options in specific sectors.
Barrie Scenic lakeside charm, and friendly atmosphere, ideal for expats seeking a tranquil lifestyle.  7 Small, friendly city, with good quality of life, though limited job options in specific sectors
Guelph Scenic, close-knit community, top-notch education, sustainable living—ideal for expats seeking balance  8 Small, friendly city, high quality of life, good jobs, lower living costs than larger cities.
Kingston A historic city with lively arts, friendly locals, and a strong community, welcoming expats in search of cultural richness. 8 Small, friendly city, with a rich history, strong community, and high quality of life, though limited job options in specific sectors.
Thunder Bay Amidst breathtaking nature, welcoming locals, and affordable living, Thunder Bay beckons expats in search of tranquility and peace  6 Small city on Lake Superior, with good quality of life, and limited job options in specific sectors.
 Charlottetown Coastal charm, friendly community, and affordable living—ideal for expats seeking a tranquil island life.  7 Offers a small, friendly environment with lower living costs and a high quality of life, though job options can be limited in specific sectors.



Use this list of top cities for expats in Canada to narrow down your options. Consider what’s most important to you – big city energy, affordable costs, seaside living, or a thriving job market. Wherever you choose, embrace all the history, charm, and opportunity Canada has to offer. With a high quality of life, thriving job market, and lively cosmopolitan cities, Canada offers expats an appealing mix of culture, history, and opportunity.


Scores are subjective and based on a holistic evaluation of factors such as job opportunities, quality of life, cultural experiences, affordability, family friendliness, and overall appeal to expats. The reasoning for each score takes into consideration the city’s strengths and potential drawbacks for expats looking to migrate, settle, or work in Canada. These scores aim to provide a general overview and may vary based on individual preferences and priorities.


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