Jamaicans Are Choosing Ontario to Live, Work and Study: See Why

Canada By Serra Pinto Avimlah May 24, 2023

If you’re thinking about moving to Canada from Jamaica, chances are you’re considering Ontario as a destination. Ontario is the most popular Canadian province for immigrants, including those from Jamaica. But what makes it such a popular place to live, work and study?

Life for Jamaicans in Ontario

Ontario is home to Canada’s capital, Ottawa and its biggest and most highly populated city, Toronto. Toronto is perhaps the world’s most welcoming for immigrants – people born abroad make up about half of its population. It’s also a staple of ‘best city’ lists,. For instance, the 2022 Global Liveability Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit rated it the eighth most livable city in the world.

The multicultural nature of Ontario means it’s easy to create a sense of community. In Toronto, you can even find an enclave known as ‘Little Jamaica’, which is an immigrant hub for people from Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Wherever you are in Ontario, you can turn to the Jamaican Canadian Association for support and to find local events to keep you in touch with your roots.

One of the things to know if you’re moving to Ontario from Jamaica is that life in Canada isn’t cheap and Ontario is no exception. In fact, Toronto jostles with Vancouver for the title of ‘Canada’s most expensive city’, and housing is particularly costly here. However, other areas of Ontario are far more reasonable in terms of living costs. Plus it’s worth remembering that Toronto offers an excellent job market, and you may be able to find a higher paying job in the city.

You should also be aware that the winters in Ontario are often extremely cold. While this can be challenging, and come as a culture shock, these frozen months are often incredibly beautiful too. The summers, on the other hand, are often hot and glorious. For many, experiencing all four seasons so distinctly is part of what makes Ontario so special.

Working in Ontario

You can find work in all kinds of industries in Ontario, from tech and healthcare to farming, and the province is home to the Canada headquarters of some of the world’s biggest brands. These include Google, Apple, McDonald’s, Citibank and Nordstrom. There’s also a buzzing startup culture, along with plenty of tourism opportunities, media and film studios.

The average salary for Ontario is $68,074ⁱ CAD, and you can expect to earn more in the bigger cities.

Toronto has the third largest workforce in North America, and the largest in Canada. Here, average salaries are 14% higher than the national average, at $71,906 CAD.  In Ottawa, you can also expect to find high paying jobs, with the average salary coming in at $71,192.

Sending money to Jamaica from Canada

If you’re living and working in Canada, you might want to transfer money across the world. It’s so easy to send funds back to Jamaica, or wherever you need it to go, when you use Western Union.

Our dedicated app, which lets you track all your transfers, in real time, makes it more convenient.

Studying in Ontario

Ontario is a great choice for international students. It offers some of Canada’s top educational institutions, including its highest ranked university, The University of Toronto (ranked #18 in the world), fourth-highest ranked McMaster University in Hamilton, and the University of Ottawa which comes in at #7. These are just three out of the 45 colleges and universities found in the province.

Increasing numbers of Jamaican students are coming to Canada – for instance, in 2010 there were just 400; by 2019 this had grown to 3,500. And its universities tend to welcome many international students from across the globe, so you’ll be in good company.

Considering Moving to Canada from Jamaica?

Canada is a great destination if you’re considering emigrating from Jamaica. The two countries are considered to be strong international friends and Canada is one of the country’s most open to immigration in the world.

In recent years, Canada has also updated its immigration policies, and some changes should be beneficial to those looking to move into the country. For example, Canada has increased immigration targets, such as planning to open its doors to 450,000 immigrants each year by 2025, to help it make a full economic recovery after the pandemic. So now is a great time to be thinking about making a new start in this beautiful country.



ⁱas of 2023