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Niagara, a welcoming place for everyone

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Niagara, a welcoming place for everyone

Seven reasons why Niagara should be on your radar if you are looking to make a move.

When newcomers first arrive in Canada, many think about settling in a large city. But some newcomers want a different lifestyle from the city, or want to explore smaller communities and more affordable housing.

Niagara is a place that is still within reach to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and offers a welcoming place for newcomers. If you’re looking to make a move, here are seven reasons why Niagara should be on your radar.

1. Niagara has a growing population that is becoming more diverse. In the last ten years, immigrants to Niagara have come from the Philippines, China, India, Colombia, Pakistan and Jamaica to name a few. There are a growing number of cultural groups, faith groups, and even grocery stores focused on Asian foods, Latin American foods, and South Asian and Halal foods.

2. Convenient access to the necessities. Niagara is a large geographical area that is made up of 12 municipalities, which are a mix of urban centres, small towns and rural communities. What this means is that there is easy access to stores, shopping malls, and transit, but the communities are small enough where you can get to know your neighbours and get involved with local groups.

3. Agencies to support newcomers. There are four settlement agencies in Niagara: Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, YMCA Employment and Immigrant Services, Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre, and the Fort Erie Multicultural Centre. These agencies can help with some of the basics, like finding a place to live, starting your job search, and finding a school or day care.

4. Educational opportunities. There are a number of degrees, diplomas or professional development courses that can be accessed through two local institutions, Niagara College and Brock University. Both institutions are well regarded with excellent programs, and Niagara College was just named the top research college in Canada. If you’re interested in English as a second language courses, there are many options available through settlement agencies, the District School Board of Niagara, the Niagara Catholic District School Board, Brock University and Niagara College.

5. More affordable housing options. While the cities are known for expensive rent and rising home prices, Niagara’s average rent in 2018 was $981 per month, and average price of a home was $413,000.

6. A quality of life that’s perfect for families. Because tourism is such an important draw to Niagara, there is access to an abundance of resources. In addition to the multiple events, festivals, concerts and shows that take place on a regular basis, there are also many outdoor recreation areas including trails for hiking and biking, parks and picnic areas, beaches and activities for children. Niagara is also the centre of Ontario’s fruit belt, meaning that some of the best fruit and vegetables in the province can be accessed from local farms and farm stands.

7. GO Train access. The GO Train currently has limited daily services from Toronto to St. Catharines and Niagara Falls. They will be expanding to Grimsby, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls with new stations and more frequent daily service over the next three years, making the Greater Toronto Area more easily in reach.

Learn more about why Niagara is a great place for newcomers at https://welcomeniagaracanada.com/

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