Home / Selecting the Perfect Canadian Province for Your Relocation: A Step-by-Step Guide – Part 1

Selecting the Perfect Canadian Province for Your Relocation: A Step-by-Step Guide – Part 1

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Selecting the Perfect Canadian Province for Your Relocation: A Step-by-Step Guide – Part 1

Canada is the second largest country in the world. How do you even begin choosing where to live in Canada? To help you make the big decision, we’ve gathered some information and resources to help you understand what each region offers.

Canada comprises 10 provinces, and three territories spread over six time zones. You could further divide the regions by geography, from the Rockies and the west coast to the prairies in the center of the country, and the “Canadian Shield” marked with plateaus across most of central Canada, and finally, the rolling Appalachian mountains that roll towards the Atlantic Ocean. To the North, you’ll find Arctic tundra and a lifestyle unlike most of the world. Before choosing a province or territory to move to and call home, looking at all your options is important.

Be sure to click on the links we’ve provided as resources that will help you understand how each province or territory approaches key aspects of living in that particular place.

With that picture in mind, here is a broad overview of each Canadian province and territory.



The most popular Prairie Province for newcomers, Alberta is home to a diverse landscape of prairies and mountains.

While Alberta winters can be pretty cold, those living in southern Alberta benefit from “Chinooks.’ Warm air from the Pacific blows through and melts the snow, giving people a break from winter in cities like Calgary, Lethbridge, and Medicine Hat. The seemingly quick and contrasting weather events in the province have birthed the famous saying, “If you don’t like the weather in Alberta, wait 10 minutes.”

Alberta is known for its oil sands, with opportunities for oil and gas industry workers throughout the province, especially in cities toward the north, such as Fort McMurray.

Alberta’s capital, Edmonton, is home to the largest shopping mall in Canada and the second-largest in North America, the West Edmonton Mall.

There is no provincial sales tax in Alberta, nor do Albertans pay payroll taxes or a health premium. Overall, Albertans pay the lowest taxes in Canada.

Skiers and snowboarders also flock to the Rockies along the province’s western region. You’ll find slopes in Banff, Jasper, and Pincher Creek, among other hot (well, cold) spots for winter sports.

Population size: 4,647,178 as of 2023

Newcomers choosing Alberta in 2022: 122,475

  • 49,460 permanent residents
  • 44,475 temporary workers
  • 28,540 international students

Average household income: $119,700 in 2020

Average home price: $446,263 in March 2023

Top universities: University of Alberta, University of Calgary

Top colleges: Bow Valley College, NAIT, Red Deer Polytechnic

Main industries: Oil, gas and mining, manufacturing, agriculture, finance, insurance and real estate, tourism, transportation, and utilities, business and commercial services, education

Largest Cities: Edmonton, Calgary, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Red Deer

Immigrate to Alberta. Follow the link, fill out the form, and get professional consultation from our experts.


British Columbia


If forests, mountains, and the great outdoors are your thing, then British Columbia might be the place for you.

Ski and snowboard slopes are abundant throughout B.C., and hiking trails into the boreal forest.

The B.C. climate is relatively mild compared to the rest of Canada, especially in the Lower Mainland, home to most B.C. residents, and Vancouver Island.

You’ll find palm trees on Vancouver Island, home to the province’s capital city of Victoria, as well as the city of Nanaimo. The city you might have heard of, Vancouver (not on Vancouver Island), sits along the coast of mainland Canada overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Moving inland toward B.C.’s Southern Interior, you’ll find the likes of Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley. Here you can expect arid to semi-arid weather and even a small desert region in Osoyoos.

B.C. is Canada’s third most populous province and the most populous in Western Canada.

When it comes to the cost of living, B.C. can be one of the more expensive places to live. Housing costs are particularly high, especially in Vancouver. But, cost of living factors does not seem to stop newcomers from moving to B.C., as the province consistently ranks as one of the top landing locations for new permanent residents.

Population size: 5,399,118 (2023)

Newcomers choosing B.C. in 2022: 247,885

  • 61,230 permanent residents
  • 103,500 temporary workers
  • 110,155 international students

Avg. household income: $108,600 (2020)

Avg. home price: $960,067 (March 2023)

Top universities: UBC, Simon Fraser Univ., Univ. of Victoria

Top colleges: Camosun College, Douglas College, Langara College, Okanagan College

Main industries: Agriculture, construction, film, fisheries, forestry, high technology, manufacturing, mining, tourism

Largest Cities: Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Abbotsford, Nanaimo

Immigrate to British Columbia.  Follow the link, fill out the form, and get professional consultation from our experts.




Ontario remains by far the most popular destination province for newcomers to Canada. However, while the number of newcomers choosing Ontario continues to grow in absolute terms, the proportional share has shrunk slightly over recent years.

Ontario is Canada’s most populated and the home of Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, and the biggest city, Toronto.

Toronto is North America’s fourth-largest city and home to several corporate headquarters. Toronto is also the most diverse city in Canada. More than half of urban Torontonians are newcomers, and more than 55 percent are visible minorities.

Beyond the bright lights and big cities of southern Ontario, newcomers to Canada can connect with other communities of people from around the world in smaller cities across the province –  municipalities like Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, Timmins, and Thunder Bay all have their own immigration programs, providing newcomers with a direct pathway to permanent residency.

Ontario is also home to some of Canada’s top universities, including the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo.

The winters are typically cold in Ontario, though milder in southwestern Ontario, and it often snows, whereas summers are hot and humid across most of Ontario.

As it is such a popular destination province, specific Ontario destinations come with a higher cost of living than the national average. However, workers in such places may offset higher living costs with bigger paychecks. This is particularly the case in the GTA, a sprawling region containing 25 urban, suburban, and rural municipalities around the City of Toronto.

Population: 15,386,407 as of 2023

Newcomers choosing Ontario in 2022: 696,885

  • 184,725 permanent residents
  • 222,540 temporary workers
  • 289,620 international students in 2022

Average household income: $70,100 in 2020

Average home price: $881,946 in March 2023

Top universities: University of Toronto, Queen’s University, University of Waterloo, Western University, McMaster University

Top colleges: Humber College, Canadore College, Conestoga College

Main industries: Agriculture, mining, automotive, technology, aerospace, life sciences, financial, retail

Largest cities: Toronto, Ottawa, London, Burlington, Waterloo, Hamilton, Guelph, Oakville

Immigrate to Ontario. Follow the link, fill out the form, and get professional consultation from our experts.



Manitoba is a Prairie Province located in the center of Canada. The province has several large lakes with long, sandy, freshwater beaches. And while the winters are long and cold, Manitobans have developed means to have fun in the winter: snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, curling, hockey, skating, tobogganing down Roger’s Hill—the list goes on. Wintertime festivities include the Festival du Voyageur, celebrating the province’s French Canadian heritage, and the rodeo in Brandon called the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair.

During the hot summertime, you can take advantage of the many festivals in Winnipeg and throughout the province. From Folklorama, where the ethnic groups of Winnipeg put on live entertainment and serve traditional food in pavilions throughout the city, to Canada’s second-largest powwow, Manito Ahbee Pow Wow, a celebration of Indigenous cultures.

You will also find the world’s polar bear capital in Manitoba, along the Hudson Bay, in a town called Churchill. But you can’t drive there — you have to fly or settle in for a two-day train ride from Winnipeg. By the way, let’s take a moment to remind ourselves how big Canada is: it takes two days by train to get between two locations in Canada’s sixth-largest province.

Population size: 1,431,792 as of 2023

Newcomers choosing Manitoba in 2022: 56,660

  • 21,645 permanent residents
  • 20,310 temporary workers
  • 14,705 international students

Average household income: $97,300 in 2020

Average home price: $338,022 in March 2023

Top universities: University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg

Top colleges: Assiniboine Community College, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology

Main industries: Agriculture, advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, heavy-duty vehicles and equipment, mining, the creative industries

Largest cities: Winnipeg, Brandon, Steinbach

Immigrate to Manitoba. Follow the link, fill out the form, and get professional consultation from our experts.



Congratulations on reaching Saskatchewan, where the prairies stretch as far as the eye can see, offering endless skies and breathtaking sunsets. Be prepared for extreme seasons with cold winters and hot summers.

Known as a farming province, Saskatchewan’s industries also include mining, manufacturing, and oil and gas. Regina, the capital, lies in the south along the Trans-Canada Highway. Saskatoon, the most populous city, boasts a vibrant arts scene and lends its name to the delectable Saskatoon berry.

Explore Little Lake Manitou, a mineral-rich body of water where you can float effortlessly. Embrace the prairie life in this diverse and welcoming province.

Population: 1,186,308 (2022)

Newcomers choosing Saskatchewan in 2022: 40,695

  • 21,635 permanent residents
  • 10,650 temporary workers
  • 8,410 international students

Average household income: $99,800 (2020)

Average home price: $321,400 (March 2023)

Top universities: University of Saskatchewan, University of Regina

Top colleges: Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Cumberland College, Southeast College

Main industries: Agriculture, energy, forestry, life sciences, manufacturing, mining, minerals, oil and gas

Largest cities: Regina, Saskatoon

Immigrate to Saskatchewan. Follow the link, fill out the form, and get professional consultation from our experts.

Nova Scotia


Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s Atlantic provinces, so fisheries are traditionally a big industry, along with shipbuilding and manufacturing. Because the province had a lot of Scottish immigrants – the clue is in the name, Latin for “New Scotland” – it has rich Gaelic and Celtic cultures.

To live in Nova Scotia is to be surrounded by the sea, rolling green hills, and farmland. The capital city is also the largest, Halifax. It is home to Dalhousie University, the largest university in Atlantic Canada.

Nova Scotia is also home to Peace by Chocolate, a chocolate company founded by a family of Syrian refugees that became so famous they made a movie out of it. You can find it in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Like to watch the tides come in? The Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia has the world’s highest tidal range: every day, 160 billion tones of seawater move in and out of the bay. If you are lucky, you may even spot some whales there.

Population size: 1,007,049 as of 2022

Newcomers choosing Nova Scotia in 2022: 38,530

  • 12,650 permanent residents
  • 12,725 temporary workers
  • 13,155 international students

Average household income: $87,900 in 2020

Average home price: $376,600 in March 2023

Top universities: Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, Acadia University

Top colleges: Nova Scotia Community College, College of Continuing Education

Main industries: Construction, manufacturing, real estate, fishing, agriculture, transportation, finance, film, natural resources

Largest cities: Halifax, Cape Breton, Sydney

Immigrate to Nova Scotia. Follow the link, fill out the form, and get professional consultation from GLC’s experts.

Final Thoughts

Initiating your journey in Canada might not always be without challenges, but unraveling the complexities of your finances and mastering the Canadian banking system ought to be straightforward. Scotiabank is dedicated to simplifying newcomers’ financial obstacles when relocating to Canada. Our commitment lies in offering tailored solutions and guidance to assist newcomers in reaching their economic aspirations during their initial days and weeks in the country.

Ready to start your new life in Canada? Fill out our Free Assessment Form and evaluate your chances of immigration.

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