Following more than a decade-long slump, Ontario is seeing an increase again in the number of immigrants settling in the province. In 2017, 39% of newcomers to Canada, that is 111,925, chose to settle in Ontario. Of that number, 85,500 settled in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In January of 2018 alone, 10,870 new permanent residents settled in Ontario, 8,600 of which were in the GTA, representing a 57.2% increase from January 2017.
The increase in immigration to Ontario is said to be caused by the economic downturn occurring in Alberta along with the high cost of living in British Columbia. Further, Quebec has jurisdiction over selecting its immigrants and the province’s numbers have remained stable at 18.3% of overall immigrants to Canada over the past decade. Immigration throughout the rest of Canada adds up to just under 15% of the total number.
Following the Harper government’s creation of the Express Entry immigration system in 2015, there has been a shift away from favouring immigrants with specific occupation criteria to instead a system which welcomes immigrants who possess Canadian education credentials and work experience. Prior to the Express Entry system, occupational limitations favoured immigrants with specialized skills such as those suited to the oil fields in Alberta.
At first this increase in immigration to Ontario was thought to be due to the massive resettlement of Syrian refugees who were sponsored to come to the province. Instead, numbers are showing how the results of the Express Entry system as well as the changes to the economy in the country’s Western provinces continue to favour Ontario.
Please see the graph below with statistics for immigration to Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec.
Borders Law Firm, situated in North Toronto, continues to grow and welcome clients who wish to settle in the GTA through the Express Entry system. The rise in the number of immigrants to the province helps Ontario maintain its status as the engine of economic growth in the country.