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The Most Attractive Cities for Migrants – Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa

Canada's most attractive cities for Brits moving abroad

Canada’s wild beauty and financial strength have kept expats flocking to the True North for decades and, according to a recent poll, it is still the second most desirable destination for Brits moving abroad. While Toronto has traditionally been the most popular choice for new arrivals, the economic and cultural changes of the last decade have drawn more and more to Canada’s other big cities. So we’ve decided to take a look at exactly why Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa are the most attractive cities for migrants.



Alberta’s largest city and the commercial and economic centre of the southern half of the state, Calgary is the vibrant heart of Canada’s booming energy industry. Alberta’s vast oil sands, estimated to be second only to Saudi Arabia, are central to Calgary’s wealth and many expats move to the city to seek opportunities in the petrochemical and energy industries.

Calgary is an entrepreneurial city, and there are good employment prospects across a range of sectors from finance and technology to tourism and media. But, with the Rocky Mountains and two beautiful rivers on your doorstep, there is far more to Calgary than work and it is that idyllic work-life balance that attracts so many to the city.


As a major port and the final destination of the great trans-Canadian highway, Vancouver has long been central to Canada’s wealth and global significance. Due to its popularity with Canadians and expats alike, there is much competition for the best jobs, but there are plenty of great opportunities for ambitious expats, particularly in IT, media and biotechnology.

Vancouver has much to offer potential expats outside the office, with the spectacular scenery of British Colombia all around, from the pristine slopes of Whistler to the pretty shores of Okanagan Lake. Vancouver also boasts world class healthcare, education and transport making it particularly attractive for British expats.


Long overshadowed by the brighter lights of Toronto to the west and Montreal to the east, Canada’s capital city is attracting increasing numbers of expats due to the extremely high quality of living offered by this modern, friendly city. Ottawa is officially a bilingual city, rich in culture and home to some of the best museums, galleries and festivals in Canada, including the excellent Winterlude festival.

While the public sector dominates Ottawa’s job market, there are great opportunities across a variety of sectors.  Technology is performing particularly well and several large corporations such as IBM and telecoms giant Bell have their headquarters in the city. If that’s not enough, Ottawa is surrounded by beautiful landscape, with picturesque rivers and the beautiful Gatineau Hills on your doorstep.

With so many great destinations, anyone considering a move to Canada is truly spoilt for choice. If you’d like to find out more about the country, take a look at our guide for potential expats –Destination Guide: Canada.

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