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  • Writer's pictureAlejandro Gonzalez

Pros and cons of settling down in a small Canadian city

Suppose you want to live in a small, peaceful city where you can afford housing, outdoor space, safety, income equality, and an immigration pathway. In that case, Canadian small cities may be your choice.

Small city in Atlantic Canada
Small city in Atlantic Canada

Landing from your home country in a rural city can offer you unique opportunities not available in big cities. The most significant advantage is the chance to live a quieter, more relaxed lifestyle, away from the noise, traffic, and stress of city living.

In Canada, cities with a population of 100,000 to 1 million are considered medium-sized, while those with less than 100,000 are considered minor cities or small.

The pros of settling in a small town

Cheaper and larger homes and more spacious lots

The average sale price of a home in Toronto could be $1M, while in small communities, real estate changes hands at an average price of $563K.

Meanwhile, depending on several factors, renting an apartment in Toronto may cost $2,500 or more per month, while renting a place in a small city in Manitoba or Alberta could cost less than $1400.

Rural properties are frequently larger and more spacious than city dwellings for those planning to purchase a home and often come with more land.

Canadian big home
Canadian big home in Waterloo - Ontario

More chances to get clean air and explore forests around

If you are a nature lover, and your hobbies are skiing, hiking, fishing, running, photographing or hunting, you can enjoy it just outside your doorstep.

Lower living costs

Food is an essential expense, and the cost will depend on the size of your family. For example, a family of four may spend $800-CAD 1,200 monthly on groceries, plus utility bills ( heating, electricity, internet service), etc.

In some provinces, such as Manitoba, Sasckawechan, and the Atlantic Canada region, you will need a lower budget to meet your living costs.

An immigration pathway

The government of Canada has an immigration program intended to extend immigration benefits to some rural communities within the country.

This is the Rural and Immigration Northen Pilot, and we are listing the names of the participating communities:

  • Sudbury (Ontario)

  • North Bay (Ontario)

  • Timmins (Ontario)

  • Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario)

  • Thunder Bay (Ontario)

  • Brandon (Manitoba)

  • Altona/Rhineland (Manitoba)

  • Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan)

  • Claresholm (Alberta)

  • Vernon (British Columbia)

  • West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson) (British Columbia)

Winnipeg - Canada
Winnipeg - Canada

More affordable tuition for International students

If you count on a limited budget to study, you may consider pursuing studies in a DLI in a small city in Canada.

Having said this, pursuing higher education in big and well-known Canadian cities usually means that you will be spending more than 30% more than someone in a small town in Atlantic Canada, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.

Amazingly, there are some small cities within Ontario, such as Timmis, Thunder Bay, London, and Waterloo, where you can achieve your educational goals for less money.

The cons of settling in a small town

Studies have found that some challenges you can face by settling in a small town vary from lacking proper public transportation to small newcomer communities, dependence on a car, less qualified job opportunities, limited networking, and low wages.

We hope that this article has been helpful to you.

If you want to talk to me to guide you through the process of immigrating to Canada, whether a large or small city, write to me at 

I am Alejandro Gonzalez, a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
I am Alejandro Gonzalez, a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant

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