Category Archives: new immigrants

New to Canada? Three tips to start your finances off right

New to Canada? Three tips to start your finances off right

Moving to a new country can be overwhelming but starting your finances off right can make all the difference as you build your new life.

 

As you begin your new life in Canada, here are three tips can get you headed in the right direction.

  1. Connect with resources that can help your family get settled.

There can be so much to do when you arrive in Canada—find a home, a job, schools, a bank—it can be hard to know where to start.

Scotiabank’s Newcomer Handbook gives you quick and easy access to things you need to know as you build a new life here. It’s available for free online and includes advice on:

  • 10 Things You Need to Know About Banking in Canada
  • Top 10 Tips for Settling in More Easily
  • Government Information and Assistance
  • Jobs and Careers
  • Health, Safety and Your Rights
  • Education and Training
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Embassies in Canada

After friends and family, a good place to begin when looking for a job is the Service Canada website as well as online job boards. If you need Canadian work experience, consider volunteering in your community.

The federal government also offers other newcomer support, to help get a language assessment and finding a language class, finding a place to live, signing up kids for school and learning about community services.

Your province is responsible for providing services like health care. All Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for public health insurance, which provides most services free of charge (health care in Canada is paid for through taxes). Information about your province’s health care program is available through the government of Canada website.

  1. Learn how to manage your money.

Building a relationship with a financial advisor at a bank in Canada is an important step in creating your new life. Start by visiting your local branch to open chequing and savings accounts and consider applying for a credit card. Your advisor can help you understand your needs and suggest the products that are right for you and your family. Check out the popular credit cards that the Scotiabank StartRightprogram has to offer. With more rewards than any other bank, you’ll be sure to find a card that meets your needs and rewards you in the process.

A credit card not only lets you charge purchases rather than pay cash, it also helps you establish a credit history in Canada. This will be crucial when you need to get a loan to start a business or buy a home. Banks learn a lot about your financial health by accessing your credit history and use it to decide whether they should lend you money.

More important information about credit history:

  • It’s your responsibility to review your credit report and ensure it doesn’t contain any errors
  • Try to pay your bills on time and in full to avoid a negative rating
  • Make sure you understand the terms and conditions
  • Never go over your credit limit
  • Make sure to contact local credit agencies if you need help managing debt
  1. Plan for your future.

Before long, you’ll find that you and your family have settled into your new life in Canada and will start thinking about buying a home or car, putting money aside for your children’s education and investing for your retirement. Having a financial plan is an important element to help you take control of your finances.

One of the first things you can do is evaluate your day-to-day cash flow and think about spending only on things you really need or value. Cutting a few dollars here and there from your daily expenses, even if it’s just $5 a day, can add up to big savings year over year. Where can you start? Cut out your daily luxury coffee, bottles of water, or lunch out once a week. If you saved and invested that daily $5, in 20 years you would have more than $50,000!1

A “Mapping Tomorrow” session with a Scotiabank advisor will go a long way in helping you achieve your unique goals in Canada. Want to learn more? Our expert advisors can offer practical advice and smart solutions to help you have the life you want in Canada.

Source: by Scotiabank  Learn more about Scotiabank’s StartRight Program.

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Census 2016: Canada’s population surpasses 35 million

Canada’s population increased to 35,151,728 last year largely driven by growth in the West, according to 2016 census data released Wednesday by Statistics Canada.

The country’s population has grown five per cent since the last census in 2011, when it was at 33.5 million, the highest rate of growth among G7 countries. However, the growth rate declined from the 5.9 per cent increase recorded in 2011.

About two-thirds of the increase recorded in 2016 was due to net immigration into the country, while the rest was from new births.

The majority, or 66 per cent, of Canadians still live within 100 kilometres of the southern border with the U.S.

The number of private dwellings grew nationwide by 5.6 per cent to 14.1 million.

The population continued to boom in Western Canada. The quickest pace of growth was recorded in Alberta (11.6 per cent), Saskatchewan (6.3 per cent) and Manitoba (5.8 per cent). The three prairie provinces recorded the most growth in the country for the first time since Confederation, according to Statistics Canada.

Alberta had been the fastest-growing province in the 2006 and 2011 censuses as well.

The rate of growth was higher than in 2011 in both Alberta and Manitoba, the only two provinces that registered an increased rate of growth from the last census.

It is important to note that the census was collected in May 2016, so does not fully take into account the recent economic slump in Alberta.

“The census compares 2011 to 2016, and we’ve seen 15 strong years of growth in Alberta,” says Karen Mihorean, director general of the education, labour and income statistics branch of Statistics Canada.

Mihorean said Alberta is unique among Canadian provinces for having strong numbers in all three factors that contribute to population growth: immigration, interprovincial migration and new births.

British Columbia also grew faster than the national average, by 5.6 per cent. Just under 32 per cent of Canadians now live in the four western provinces, compared to 38.3 per cent in Ontario, 23.2 per cent in Quebec and 6.6 per cent in Atlantic Canada.

Low growth in Atlantic Canada

The four Atlantic provinces recorded the lowest growth in the country: 1.9 per cent in Prince Edward Island, one per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador (where more deaths than births occurred in some years) and 0.2 per cent in Nova Scotia. New Brunswick’s population decreased by 0.5 per cent, the only province with a decline since 2011.

“From East to West, population growth gets stronger and that’s a trend we’ve seen for the last few censuses,” says Mihorean. “In Atlantic Canada, it’s a case of seeing people leaving these provinces for other parts of the country.”

– 2011: Canada census shows people moving west

Ontario remained Canada’s most populous province at 13.4 million, an increase of 4.6 per cent from 2011. But Ontario’s growth rate was lower than the national average for the second consecutive census period, the first time that has happened in more than half a century.

Quebec’s population grew 3.3 per cent to 8.2 million, followed by British Columbia at 4.6 million, Alberta at 4.1 million, Manitoba at 1.3 million and Saskatchewan at 1.1 million. The population in Atlantic Canada was 2.3 million, with just under 924,000 residing in Nova Scotia.

The North was home to nearly 114,000, led by the Northwest Territories. The population of Nunavut, which at 12.7 per cent had the highest growth rate of any province or territory due to its high fertility rate, moved ahead of Yukon.

Western cities record greatest growth

While the rate of growth slowed in Canada’s three largest metropolitan areas, 35.5 per cent of Canadians now call Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver home.

Toronto remains the country’s largest metropolitan area at 5.9 million, increasing by 6.2 per cent since 2011. Montreal’s population has surged past the four million mark to 4.1 million, while Vancouver’s population now stands at 2.5 million, up 6.5 per cent.

With growth of 14.6 per cent, the highest of any metropolitan area in the country, Calgary is now Canada’s fourth largest city at 1.4 million, moving ahead of Ottawa-Gatineau (1.3 million). Also at 1.3 million, Edmonton is the only other Canadian city with more than a million residents.

The six fastest metropolitan areas were all in Western Canada: Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Lethbridge, Alta., and Kelowna, B.C., with all but the last posting growth of more than 10 per cent.

At the other end of the country, however, all of Atlantic Canada’s metropolitan areas recorded a slower rate of growth than in 2011, while the population of Saint John fell by 2.2 per cent — largely due to residents moving to other parts of Canada.

Sylvan Lake, Alta., was the fastest-growing census agglomeration, growing by 19.6 per cent since 2011, while Campbellton (mostly in New Brunswick but partly in Quebec) had the greatest decrease at 9.3 per cent.

Among municipalities with at least 5,000 residents, Warman, Sask., had the highest rate of growth since 2011 at 55.1 per cent, followed by the Alberta communities of Blackfalds (48.1 per cent) and Cochrane (47.1 per cent). Bonnyville, Alta., had the fastest rate of decrease at 12.9 per cent.

The population and dwelling counts mark the first set of data from the mandatory short-form 2016 census to be released by Statistics Canada. Further releases, including those related to gender, language, immigration and labour, will follow throughout 2017.

The data will assist decision-making across all levels of government and provide sociologists, demographers, urban planners and businesses with a wealth of information.

Source: CBC.ca – Éric Grenier

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These figures suggest just how much immigration drives Canadian housing demand

canadian-housing-immigration

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:

Canada:

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)

 Europe:

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 one market to target in Toronto?

It may be the one market many investors are now overlooking, but one industry veteran argues Toronto is still a great buy for potential landlords.

“Everyone is concerned about all the condos being built in Toronto but every year there are 81,000 new permanent residents coming to the city,” Andrew Adams, vice president of finance and investments for Capital Developments, told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “Compare that to the 95,000 total new residents in Toronto; prices and rents are growing.”

Prices in Toronto jumped 14.9% year-over-year in February to $685,728. Condos, however, remain a more affordable option at an average of $403,392.

One neighbourhood Adams is bullish on is the Yonge and Eglinton area in mid-town Toronto.
“The Yonge and Eglinton area is one of the strongest markets for investors in Toronto,” Andrew Adams, vice president of finance and investments for Capital Developments, told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “It’s got the Yonge line and the Eglinton LRT and it’s one of the strongest rental markets in the city.”

According to Adams, there are two types of condo buildings available in the neighbourhood; older, circa 1970 apartment-style condos and new-build condos that boast modern amenities and finishes.
The older condos often yield rents in the $2.60-$3.00 per square-foot range, while the newer units earn investors, on average $3.00-$3.50 per square-foot, Adams says.

“The Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood has everything you need; the RioCan Centre has recently been updated, it has great access to public transit, and its surrounded by great amenities,” he said.

Source: Canadian Real Estate Wealth by Justin da Rosa 23 Mar 2016

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Mississauga Set to Welcome Another Iconic High-Rise

The urbanization of Mississauga is continuing with the emergence of another stylish, modern high-rise condominium.

While City Centre has been the focus of most condo developers, some companies are looking beyond Square One to fast growing neighbourhoods in need of sleeker and more urbane skylines. With the Erin Mills area growing fairly rapidly, Daniels has cornered the market and erected three buildings in Erin Mills Parkway and Eglinton region. The brand built the West Tower Residential Condominiums and the Skyrise Rental Residence in the neighbourhood and is about to put its third Erin Mills property — Arc Condominiums — on sale.

“We have very deep roots in this [neighbourhood],” says Daniels spokesperson Dominic Tompa. “We’ve been building there since the 80s.”

When we say Daniels has the market cornered, we don’t mean it simply boasts more buildings than other developers. It has a literal community in the area, known as Daniels Erin Mills. The company calls the area a “mixed use” community designed for residents who want to “live, work, play, grow and shop” in and around their home.

Targeting the growing Erin Mills area is wise. For years, the sleepy neighbourhood was content to be home to Erin Mills Town Centre, Credit Valley Hospital and pockets of family homes. There was ample living space, but not a lot of options for play (unless you count the long-dead EMTC mini-golf course and Montana’s). With EMTC being reinvigorated by a dramatic facelift and more shops and restos popping up in the community, the time to further urbanize the evolving space was ‘nigh.

While some people shake their fists at any new skyscraper, it’s hard to deny that Arc is going to look pretty cool.

“The design is very unique,” says Tompa. “It has a luxury cruise ship feel, so it’ll be unique for the skyline. It has a lot of character. We’ve got 15,000 sq. ft. of retail space and two floors (or 50,000 sq. ft.) of office space [going into the building]. People will be able to work and shop there.”

When Arc is built, the three buildings (Arc, West Tower and Skyrise) will share an exclusive space that will boast an outdoor courtyard, gardening plots, a running track and more.

“It’ll anchor the community,” Tompa says. “We’re bringing in the farmer’s market as well. Backyard Farmer’s Market will be in the plaza area in the base of the Arc.”

In terms of amenities, Arc’s offerings are not dissimilar from other Mississauga high-rises. Residents can expect a full-court gymnasium, fitness centre, outdoor terrace with barbecues, a bookable lounge and meeting space, a smaller lounge with comfy seats and a bookable party room.

As far as prices go, people shopping for affordable condos will be pleased to know that some units start in the low 200,000s. In terms of design, features and finishes are selected by interior design company HOKand the uniquely-shaped suites (which will be influenced by the curvaceous design of the building) will boast nine foot ceilings, laminate flooring, quartz countertops, custom-designed cabinetry with soft-close drawers and stainless steel appliances.

In terms of demand, Tompa says Daniels is seeing a lot of interest.

“We’re just starting to be out there with the building itself and a lot of people are waiting for it to come out.”

Since Daniels has been present in the area for three decades, Tompa has noticed an interesting trend in terms of demographics. Rather than primarily attracting first-time homebuyers or singles, the condos are appealing to long-time residents who are ready to downsize within their long-term neighbourhood.

“It’s really interesting, we had a lot of local buyers who wanted to downsize to West Tower,” he says, agreeing that Daniels has, in this case, sort of been able to follow and adhere to the lifestyle requirements of residents moving through the lifecycle. “You can walk to the hospital, which is good for people who have retired. It’s across the street from the mall and restaurants. It’s a really nice location and even though it’s Mississauga, you could live here and not need a car.”

For those interested in purchasing a unit, registrants can join the Arc Condominiums Inner Circle by visiting the website. Inner Circle members will receive an invitation to attend the first advance sale before the public gets a kick at the can. They’ll also get a more comprehensive selection of suites, floors and views. If you’re interested in joining, expect to pay a one-time fee of $300. That $300 will be applied towards your purchase or, in the event you decide not to buy an Arc suite, refunded in full.

As for the retail space, Tompa says Daniels does its best to curate the occupying businesses to suit resident’s needs.

“We try to curate a community. You need a place to shop and be entertained and play. It’s a place to spend your time. The east side of Arc will have the retail space and it’s a little too early to know who will occupy it. There [will be] a restaurant at the base and a pharmacy. We try to get the right fit for the community.”

As for when units will go on sale, Tompa expects people will be able to start purchasing in late May or early June. The building will offer everything from studio suites to three-bedroom units.

“There’s a growing demand for three-bedroom units. Some people are coming from 200,000 sq. ft. houses and still want the extra space and other [residents] are families with children. We’re recognizing and accommodating that demand.”

Click on link to get more info on this new condo development. 

Source: Insauga.com by Ashley Newport on February 24, 2016

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The 9 ‘habits of highly effective’ immigrants!

people

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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