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If you're thinking of moving to Canada from Australia, there are a few things you should know. This short guide provides an introduction on why people move to Canada from Australia, and how they go about the task.

Let’s get ‘er done.

Why people move to Canada from Australia

Here’s why moving to Canada from Australia could be the right move for you.


While Alberta (Calgary, Edmonton) and Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Regina) feel the impact of low global commodity prices, it’s business as usual in the bustling provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, where Vancouver and Toronto are the most popular destinations. Quebec is also surging, with huge job gains recently in the Montreal area.

Increased funding in infrastructure projects will see strong employment prospects across the country over coming years.

Australians are highly regarded in Canada as hard workers, as are other workers from other backgrounds who have made the move to Australia and would now consider another move to Canada.

Australians working in Canada

You’ll find Australian workers in offices, resorts, and other workplaces across Canada. However, there are some trends worth noting when it comes to Australians working in Canada. First, a well-travelled route for Australians is to land in Vancouver and head straight up the road to the nearby ski resort town of Whistler, where you’re just as likely to hear Australians accents on the streets and slopes as any other accent.

鶹ӳý has a Whistler destination guide, packed with key information on finding accommodation, getting work, local transport, the perks of mountain life, and making sure you can stay beyond your initial work permit validity period.

But Whistler is not all there is to Canada. The seasonal nature of work opportunities in ski resorts means that many Australians who fall in love with Canada and want to stay long-term gravitate towards the big cities, where more secure employment opportunities abound. See our destination guides for helpful information on all the major locations.

Canadian immigration options for Australians

Australians are among the most fortunate potential applicants for immigration to Canada. When it comes to temporary work permits, Australians are the only national group to receive an unlimited quota of working holiday slots under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. Moreover, these two-year open work permits for Australians are now available for those aged up to 35.

Many Australians who pitch up to Canada on a working holiday want to stay, in which case they are likely to be in a good position. Not only is skilled Canadian work experience a valuable factor when transitioning to permanent residence (see this page for a breakdown of what is considered skilled employment in the context of resort work), but Australians also score highly for English language ability (naturally), as well as . All of these factors are assessed under Canada’s Express Entry immigration system, as well as a range of Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams.

Canada may be more like Australia than you think

In addition to both currencies showcasing royalty and both of these nations containing vast open wilderness with pockets of urban living, Canada may be more like Australia in other ways. So if you’re moving to Canada from Australia, the culture shock may be less extreme than you imagine.

Consider the major cities.

Sydney v Toronto

Sydney (pop: 5.2m) is Australia’s most populated city and is situated in the most populated state/territory, but it is not the nation’s capital. However, it is the financial and commercial hub of Australia, with many of the largest companies headquartered there. Sydney is vibrant and buzzing, continually attracting people from around the world.

For any of the above points about Sydney, we could have been talking about Toronto (GTA pop: 6.4m), where around half the population was born abroad. Both are amazing, exciting cities with plenty to offer residents and newcomers. Aussie Torontonian Chelsea Lydnon has written an expert blog on 5 things every Aussie needs to know before moving to Toronto.

Want to connect with some Aussies living in Toronto? Check out the on Facebook!

Melbourne v Montreal

If you want a major international comedy festival and a packed festival calendar generally, head to Melbourne (pop: 5m). Or, head to Montreal (GMA pop: 4.1m), where you’ll find more of the same but with a  francophone twist. It’s basically impossible to get bored in either of these cities, even in winter.

And please, try the food.

Adelaide v Calgary

With a strong independent mindset and cosmopolitan lifestyle, Calgary and Adelaide (both around 1.3m) share plenty in common. Densely-packed skyscrapers soon give way to beautiful countryside, the perfect setting for weekend trips in both locations.

Weather in Canada

Tell anyone that you’re moving to Canada from Australia, and you’ll likely be greeted with this question: “Will it be very cold over there?”

If you want cold weather, you can certainly find it in many Canadian cities during the winter, but Canada has mild locations too.

Vancouver’s climate is more hospitable for those used to milder conditions. A typical day in July is 22°C or higher, while in January it’s around 6°C. Toronto will have occasional extremes in winter and summer.

Canada’s reputation for cold weather isn’t universally true. Remember: Canada is a huge country spanning six time zones, so its weather varies wildly. Think of it in a European context: just because it’s -20°C in St Petersburg, doesn’t mean it’s -20°C in London!

It means you get a full breadth of four distinct seasons no matter where you are. It may even provide some respite for those who struggle to cope in the higher temperatures Australia offers.

Active lifestyle

With a nice climate, excellent public services, and beautiful scenery to accompany your run, many newcomers report that they find themselves more likely to stay fit in Canada than they did at home.

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what Jane O’Hara, who moved to Vancouver, told us:

“It seems easier to live a healthy lifestyle. The great outdoors is just on your doorstep and people take advantage of it on a daily basis – walking on the beach, running or cycling on the seawall, taking public transit to the nearby mountains, where you can also go hiking or snowshoeing.”

It’s little wonder that Vancouver has one of the lowest obesity rates in North America.

And if you’re moving to Canada from Australia and want to mix things up, there are other options too. Take a look at these quirky ways for staying fit in Toronto,

Moving to Canada from Australia? We’re here to help

Our company was founded by Ruairi Spillane, who himself relocated from Ireland to Vancouver. He has delivered seminars in Western Australia, and understands the challenges of moving to Canada from Australia.

We’ve created a free, downloadable magazine which can help you explore your options. Simply fill out your details on this page, and we’ll email you your Getting Started Guide.

If you’re looking for jobs in construction and engineering, check out our . Outpost helps connect local and international talent with great companies across Canada.

And if you have any questions, you can join our active Facebook groups. You’ll be able to ask questions and learn from the experiences of the thousands of newcomers who have already made their move. Find our groups below:

Plus, if you’re considering a move to Toronto, we recommend checking out the on Facebook!

About the author

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Stephanie Ford

Finance, Law and Immigration Writer
Stephanie is a content marketer who has written for law firms (with a focus on immigration and privacy), legal tech companies, and finance professionals for more than 9 years. She earned a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning in Australia. Stephanie is now a permanent resident of Canada and a full-time writer at 鶹ӳý.
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