Category Archives: immigration

These figures suggest just how much immigration drives Canadian housing demand


Canadian immigration is set to reach its highest annual rate in a century this year as at least 300,000 newcomers are expected, a fact Scotiabank says is a tailwind for Canada’s housing market.

While those new to Canada don’t generally make the leap into homeownership right away, notes Scotiabank Economist Adrienne Warner, sooner or later most do.

“New immigrants typically first choose rental accommodations, but eventually have homeownership rates similar to Canadian-born residents,” Warren explains in the bank’s latest Global Real Estate Trends Report.

The Canadian homeownership rate was 69 per cent in 2011, the most recent year Statistics Canada provides this census data for.

Canada’s hottest major housing market is also the country’s leading migrant destination, according to the Conference Board of Canada, a non-for-profit research organization.

Nearly a third of those 300,000 expected to settle in Canada are Toronto bound, notes Alan Arcand, the associate director of the board’s Centre for Municipal Studies.

“Toronto is the main… destination for immigrants in Canada and immigrants are the biggest driver of population growth today in Canada,” says Arcand.

“It’s important to realize that Toronto adds about 90,000 people a year to its population. So the whole CMA (census metro area) of Toronto grows by a city every year, a mid-size major city,” he continues, adding, “All those people coming need places to live, so that drives the housing market.”

This is why the Conference Board forecasts housing starts (a measure of how many units construction begins on in a given period) will waver between around 38,000 to 41,000 through the 2016-2020 period. Arcand says this is around the 10-year average.

Population age demographics also fosters housing demand, says Scotiabank’s Warren.

“The number of Canadians in their prime homebuying years is projected to continue to grow through the end of the decade, though at a slower pace than in recent years,” she explains.

Source: BuzzBuzzNewscanada – 

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Did You Know? Mississauga Has the Same Population As…


Once a suburb, always a suburb.

Or is it?

Although one could probably concede that Mississauga can still be defined as something of a suburban satellite city, it’s impossible (and inaccurate) to classify it as quaint or quiet or small. With a population of 713,445 people and several grand-scale urbanization projects moving forward (M City, Inspiration Lakeview, etc.), it’s safe to say that Mississauga is, in fact, a big city — albeit one that’s still developing its identity.

If you look at Mississauga’s population, you’ll see what we house almost the same number of people as world famous cities.

In fact, here’s a list of cities with similar populations to ours (often lower!), based on 2015 estimates:


1)    Edmonton (812,201)

2)    Winnipeg (663,617)

United States:

1)    Seattle, Washington (684,451)

2)    Denver, Colorado (682,545)

3)    El Paso, Texas (681,124)

4)    Detroit, Michigan (677,116)

5)    Washington, D.C. (672,228)

6)    Boston (667,137)

7)    Memphis (655,770)

8)    Nashville (654,610)

9)    Portland (632,309)

10) Oklahoma City (631,346)

11) Las Vegas (623,747)

12) Baltimore (621,849)


1)    Zagreb, Croatia (790,017)

2)    Valencia, Spain (786,189)

3)    Leeds, U.K. (774,060)

4)    Krakow, Poland (761,069)

5)    Frankfurt, Germany (732,688)

So, there you have it! We may not be as much of a household name as Leeds or Frankfurt or Boston, but we have almost as many (and sometimes more) people.

It really puts things into perspective.

We’re bigger than we think.

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The 9 ‘habits of highly effective’ immigrants!


One of the greatest challenges immigrants face in any country is a lack of direction and strategy to help them settle and excel in their respective professions.

Just like the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen Covey has inspired millions of individuals, groups and organizations globally in their pursuit of success, these habits can be very beneficial in the immigration context as well.  People who feel indecisive about what they want, what they need and how to achieve their goals can learn from these habits, adapt them and practise them in accordance to their needs.

For those unfamiliar, the seven habits are listed below and I can guarantee that immigrants can relate to them with ease and benefit from them.


Habit 1: “Be proactive”

You are responsible for your future and you will decide how to shape it. You cannot wait for things to happen, but instead have to create them to your benefit. Take control and proactively research on areas of your interest so that you are prepared.


Habit 2: “Begin with the end in mind”

“Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” is a very common phrase in interviews to determine your long-term goal, commitment and vision. If you don’t have your end in mind, create one for your new destination both at a professional and personal level.


Habit 3: “Put first things first”

Learn to prioritize your tasks. You have to plan and execute certain phases in accordance to the need of your project so that you achieve your outcomes effectively.


Habit 4: “Think win-win”

Respecting, valuing and accommodating the opinions of other people and aligning them according to your personal objectives is a very effective success model. Immigrants need to understand the feelings of others and develop mutual beneficial interventions especially as plenty of conflicts can arise from within and external factors in a new country.


Habit 5: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”

Most immigrants can become arrogant and ignorant when it comes to change as they find it difficult to leave their comfort zone. I feel this habit is important in understanding the culture, norms and work ethics of a new country and then presenting your skills within this context.


Habit 6: “Synergize”

Working towards your objectives in isolation can be very stressful as it generates lack of openness and inability to understand diverse perspectives. Sharing your passion, ideas and goals with family, friends and new groups through networking helps in constructive results.  “Two heads are better than one” and working cooperatively with others to achieve your goals in a new country can be a very effective habit.


Habit 7: “Sharpen the saw”

Continuous investment in yourself in terms of knowledge, skills and attitude is critical for immigrants in a new country. In today’s world you have to equip yourself with innovative tools and continuous professional and personal development. For example, you may have the technical knowledge but how to present or put your message across effectively may require improving your soft skills.


Habit 8: “Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs”

This habit is important for inspiring immigrants within the context of identity, ownership and pride in oneself. The key to success is in giving and sharing what you have achieved with those who are aspiring to find their way. Helping others find their path and their direction is a sign of greatness and motivation.


Another important habit for immigrants: resilience

Although not part of Covey’s legacy, perhaps the most significant habit for immigrants is resilience. It is vital that you remain positive emotionally and physically during this important change. Leaving a country and adapting to new laws, systems and culture can be very difficult and stressful for yourself and your family leading to depression, demotivation and low self-esteem.

You will have to build your resilience like any other soft skill and develop and acquire a strategy allowing you to bounce back with more zeal and motivation every time you fail or get misguided.

The fate of your success will depend on how well you plan, develop and execute these habits effectively. They say that old habits die hard and developing new ones for immigrants will be not easy unless they are injected with passion, persistence and positivity.


Source: Canadian Immigrant – Ahmed Nabeel Alvi – January 2016


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The world has 41 per cent more migrants now than in 2000, UN reports

Canada is home to the seventh largest number of migrants, around eight million, who have arrived from foreign countries  — people like Maria Karageozian and her father Hagop, who were reuinited at the Armenian Community Center of Toronto on Dec. 11, 2015.

Canada is home to the seventh largest number of migrants, around eight million, who have arrived from foreign countries — people like Maria Karageozian and her father Hagop, who were reunited at the Armenian Community Center of Toronto on Dec. 11, 2015.

The number of people who migrated to foreign countries surged by 41 per cent in the last 15 years to reach 244 million in 2015, according to a United Nations study released Tuesday. Of those people, 20 million are refugees. The UN is planning a series of meeting to address migration in 2016, including a March 30 gathering in Geneva where countries will be invited to pledge resettlement spots for Syrians fleeing civil war. But while the Syrian refugee crisis has gripped the world’s attention, it is but a drop in the sea of international migration.

Here are some highlights from the report.


Where are migrants going?

The vast majority go to Europe, home to 76 million international migrants in 2015, or two-thirds of the total. By individual country, however, the United States had by far the largest portion of the world’s migrants — 47 million, or a fifth of the total. Germany and Russia shared the No. 2 spot with about 12 million each, followed by Saudi Arabia (10 million), Britain (nine million) and the United Arab Emirates (eight million.) Canada ranks seventh on this measure, with slightly fewer than eight million migrants.


Where are migrants coming from?

The largest portion comes from Asia: about 104 million or 43 per cent. While Europe takes in the biggest number of migrants, it also contributes a large number: 62 million, or 25 per cent of the total. Latin America and the Caribbean was the third-largest regional source of international migration, with 37 million, or 15 per cent. Only two per cent (four million) are from North America.

India had the world’s biggest diaspora, with 16 million people, followed by Mexico (12 million), Russia (11 million), China (10 million) and Bangladesh (seven million) and Pakistan and Ukraine (six million each). The UN counts around 1.3 million Canadian migrants living abroad.

Who are the migrants?

 They are almost equally divided by gender: 48 per cent are women. Not surprisingly, most are working-age. The median age of migrants in 2015 was 39. A significant portion — 15 per cent — were under 20 years old. But country populations will not get any younger as a result. The UN said international migrants can help ease old-age dependency ratios in some countries but will not halt the long-term trend toward population aging. All major areas of the world are still projected to have significantly higher old-age dependency ratios in 2050.

What does this mean for the world population?

The vast majority of the world’s people stay put. Migrants made up just 3.3 per cent of the global population in 2015, up from 2.8 per cent 15 years ago. Still, international migration is growing faster than the world’s population, with significant consequences for many regions.

Migrants make up 10 per cent of the populations of Europe, North America and Oceania. In North America and Oceania, migrants have contributed to 42 per cent of population growth since 2000. It was a different story in Europe, where the population would have declined over the same period had it not been for the influx of migrants. Even if current migration levels continue, Europe’s population is still projected to decline over the next 35 years because of its surplus of deaths over births.

Source: Alexandra Olson The Associated Press, Published on Wed Jan 13 2016

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Non-permanent residents are force in Canadian economy: CIBC

Non-permanent residents have helped drive the housing markets in Ontario and B.C., says CIBC.

CBC News Posted: Apr 29, 2015 1:12 PM ET

CIBC finds growing TFW and student demographic could affect housing market, consumer spending

Non-permanent residents make up an increasing number of the under-45 generation in Canada, more than doubling to 770,000 in the past decade, according to a CIBC study.

That means they are a substantial demographic force and have an impact on housing activity and consumer spending, particularly in Ontario and British Columbia. In total, there are 450,000 more non-permanent residents in Canada now than there were 10 years ago.

CIBC found almost half these people are temporary foreign workers, or workers on contracts, an increase of 10 percentage points in the past 10 years.

About 38 per cent are students, a five-percentage-point increase, but the number of refugee claimants waiting for word on their status in Canada is making up a smaller percentage of the group, at 12.2 per cent.

“Unlike immigrants, the TFWs don’t have a predictable impact,” said Benjamin Tal, CIBC economist and author of the report.

He said many of people in this cohort of 384,200 non-permanent workers are in middle-income and professional jobs, and have every expectation of gaining status to remain in Canada.

That means they are boosting demand for rental properties and contributing to overall retail spending like other middle-income Canadians. Some are even taking the plunge into the housing market, despite their temporary status.

Because almost 95 per cent of these people are under age 45, they make up an important demographic of young workers, helping counteract the decline in the number of Canadian-born people in that age group.

Large numbers in Ontario, B.C.

The most powerful demographic and economic impact is not in the tight labour markets of Alberta and Saskatchewan, but in British Columbia and Ontario, Tal found.

The number of non-permanent residents tripled in Ontario between 2006 and 2013. If those people hadn’t arrived, the province would have lost 120,000 people in the important cohort that is forming households and powering economies.

In B.C., the number in the 25-44 age group would have been flat if the non-permanent residents total hadn’t doubled.

“It is not a coincidence that those two provinces are also the ones to experience long-lasting strong housing market activity,” Tal said in his analysis.

The implication is that any new federal policies to alter the status of TFWs should take into account their importance as spenders in the Canadian economy.

“The main issue is to take into account the economic impact of such large numbers. The number is big enough to change the trajectory,” Tal said.

He said the 2013 numbers, which he drew from Statistics Canada, may underestimate the number of non-permanent residents in Canada compared to more recent figures from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

He points to a 14 per cent growth in new permits for TFWs and nine per cent growth in extensions in 2014. There is very little evidence such workers are returning to their home countries, he said.