Stay Informed

Best Ontario Cities for Newcomers

May 20, 2022 | Newcomer

Are you thinking about moving to Ontario? Many newcomers choose Ontario to be their new home because of its diversity and the strong economy. It is important to choose a city that best fits your needs and situation, so doing research on where to live can be helpful.

We’ve made a list of the top 3 cities in Ontario we believe are great places to live.

Kingston, Ontario

Located in southeastern Ontario, Kingston is just a short drive from major cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa. It is also a very safe and clean city with popular festivals, excellent entertainment, and many historical properties. In fact, from 1841 to 1844, Kingston was the first capital of Lower and Upper Canada.

The average cost for a 1 bedroom apartment is $1,364 and a two bedroom $1,928, making it a much more affordable option over other major cities like Toronto.

Kingston has been voted the most cyclable city in Ontario, with plenty of bike lanes throughout the city. There is also Kingston Transit which provides convenient and accessible bus services within Kingston. There are plenty of beautiful lakes, rivers, conservation areas and provincial parks, making it a great place to partake in many outdoor activities.

The KCHC–Immigrant Services Kingston and Area program offers a variety of settlement programs and services.

London, Ontario

London is located in Southern Ontario, just a 2.5-hour drive west from Toronto. There are excellent education and healthcare facilities, as well as beautiful parks and trails. It is known as the “forest city” as it boasts lots of natural beauty, trees, and greenery.

London is a very safe city, with low crime rates. The city also offers affordable housing, making it a great place for newcomers. A 1 bedroom apartment costs on average $1,332 and a 2 bedroom $1,687.

The London Public Transit (LTC) offers accessible bus services and accommodates people with disabilities and special needs. London also has great bike routes and multi-use pathways, making it a great place for walking and cycling.

There is also excellent community support for newcomers as the city continues to become more diverse. Settlement agencies include London-Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership, The London Cross Cultural Learner Centre, LUSO Community Services, Northwest London Resource Centre, South London, Neighbourhood Resource Centre, College Boreal, and YMCA of Southwestern Ontario.

Windsor, Ontario

Windsor is a city located in southern-western Ontario, on the Canadian border right across from Detroit, USA. Windsor is a growing city filled with diversity, with over 20% of its population having been born outside of Canada. There are plenty of housing and rental options, making it one of the most affordable large cities in Ontario. The average cost of a 1 bedroom apartment is $1,152, and a 2-bedroom, $1,535.

Windsor public transit supplies bus services throughout the community, running 15 bus routes. The city offers many things to do, like local festivals, biking trails along the Detroit river, a music scene, and great outdoor spaces.

The Windsor Essex County Local Immigration Partnership offers a strong support system for newcomers. It is an initiative of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to help communities provide newcomer services. Other settlement agencies in Windsor include the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario, Multicultural Council of Windsor-Essex County, and New Canadians’ Centre of Excellence Inc.