The noontime Zoom “meetup” is organized by the Commercial Real Estate Summit group (CRE Summit). During the session, experts will discuss various

What are some common mistakes made by new immigrants of Canada in Toronto?

One of the most common mistakes made by new immigrants in Canada is their choice of city. Newcomers are dazzled by the sights and sounds of popular Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver. They fail to realize the horrendous housing cost in both these cities which would eat up most of what income newcomers make when they arrive. Many new immigrants are forced to live in over-crowded and often sub-standard rooming houses in Toronto just to be able to afford some place to live.

Aside from the high cost of housing (including rent), it is also difficult for newcomers to find good jobs in Toronto where they face stiff competition. A lack of Canadian experience forces most new immigrants to accept lower paying jobs.

It is very important to choose carefully where you will settle as a new immigrant. Make sure to research job opportunities in your field, housing costs and availability, and other economic and cultural factors as they all play a crucial role in successful assimilation and success as a new immigrant.

Other common mistakes made by new immigrants in Canada is failure to build adequate credit history or the opposite, going overboard with credit cards and loans that could ruin their credit.

You may be interested in finding more options to consider when moving to Canada as an immigrant. Alberta is becoming more popular for its higher wages, employment opportunities, and high quality of life. You can check out the best 7 cities to move to in Alberta to add to your options.

Update 24 January 2018

I would like to add a bit more to my previous answer for the benefit of those who wanted some more information about it.

Toronto is a very popular landing destination for many Canadian immigrants. It is like the big Apple of Canada – attracting people from all walks of life with the promise of wealth.

For immigrants coming from smaller and less ideal cities in their own countries, the lure of living in this wonderful mecca called Toronto is too strong to resist. What they don’t realize is that Toronto, while truly wonderful as a city, is not so wonderful in terms of economic factors.

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Finding a job in Toronto is very, very difficult for an immigrant. I’ve actually known highly educated professionals such as doctors and dentists who migrated here and failed to get jobs because of “lack of Canadian experience” and less than adequate language skills. This is a reality that immigrants have to contend with upon arrival – the stiff competition and their lack of credentials based on Canadian job standards. What happens is that immigrants eventually find jobs but not in their own field and for far less money.

· Getting credentials recognized by proper government bodies and gaining employment opportunities are almost impossible to do before landing. It becomes a crazy cycle – you need experience in Canada but can’t find a job in your field.

· Housing in Toronto is a nightmare. Rent is astronomical and real estate for sale are way out of reach, unless you came to Canada with millions of dollars. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, as of December 2016, the average rent for a 1-bedroom unit in Toronto is $1,776. This price can get you a 2 or 3-bedroom home in less expensive cities in Canada.

· The average selling price for a standard home in Toronto as of end of 2017 was a whopping $822,681. Single family homes are well above the $1 million mark. This is 2 or 3 times more than in other less expensive cities. This price can already fetch you a very large home in other cities like Montreal, Quebec, Mississauga, Ottawa, Burlington, Hamilton, and in the outer parts of the Greater Toronto Area.

· Another big mistake many immigrants make coming to Canada is not ensuring language skills before landing. Sure, you can improve your English or French skills in Canada but that could take time and time means money. You may have obtained a passing IELTS score but it won’t be enough to get you a good-paying job.

· For some immigrants, culture shock poses a big challenge. Their culture (social and religious differences) inhibits them from venturing outside of their race, making assimilation into their new community more difficult. Thus, they either become isolated or they are restricted to interaction only with their own ethnic group. This is a huge mistake because it prevents them from developing higher language skills and becoming immersed in the Canadian way of life.

· I would say that many immigrants to Canada arrive with the misconception that they can benefit from opportunities in this country but can continue to live like they do in their own country.

Immigrants need to be ready to change along with the environment. Things work differently in Canada and you must know and embrace a new system. Young children will adapt faster to a new culture than their parents, thanks to their schools and new friends. Parents must be ready to change along with their kids to prevent many issues that arise in homes of immigrant families.

In closing, let me say that Toronto is a wonderful city but not for everyone to live in. This is particularly true for immigrants who may not have the financial resources to survive in this economic jungle.

There are many other parts of Canada that could be easier for immigrants to start over. You may want to check out the 12 Choice Cities for New Immigrants in Canada.