Ontario experiencing revival in immigrant arrivals

The number of immigrants settling in Ontario is rising for the first time in more than a decade, new figures show.

Although Ontario has long been the most popular Canadian province for immigrants, the numbers settling there has been on the decline for a number of years. At its peak, in the mid-2000s, more than half of all immigrants moving to Canada took up residence in Ontario.

However, by 2016, the number of immigrants settling in the province had slumped to a low of just 95,828, accounting for 36.8 per cent of all arrivals.

Last year, though, thanks in part to a booming economy and rejigged immigration programme, the number of immigrants arriving to live in Ontario was on the rise once again. In total, 111,925, or 39 per cent of the 286,480 new arrivals to Canada in 2017, settled in the province.

The vast majority of Ontario’s newcomers (85,500) settled in the Greater Toronto Area, which saw an increase of 5.4 per cent from two years earlier.

Experts say that another reason for the immigration bump in Ontario can be attributed to the economic downturn in Alberta. The western province saw immigrant arrivals drop to 42,100 last year from 49,200 in 2016.

“Ontario, especially Greater Toronto, is again the place to go to for new immigrants. Both Alberta and British Columbia are not doing so well,” said Jack Jedwab of the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration. “In Alberta, the economy is bad. In BC, it is hard to find an affordable place to live. In Greater Toronto, it is still the historical magnet for immigrant settlement.”

Article published 23rd April 2018