Most Canadian Immigrants settle in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal

Most recent immigrants to Canada are settling in the 5 largest Canadian cities. Approximately 80 per cent of Canadian immigrants have chosen to settle in Canada's five largest urban centres including Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa. The census metropolitan area of Toronto attracted the largest share of new immigrants, nearly 3 times greater than its share of the total population in Canada. The trend toward immigrant settlement in these three urban centres has been growing over time. A Statistics Canada study shows that the most important reason for choosing a particular destination in Canada is because family and/or friends are already there. The second most important reason is whether there are good job prospects in the area.

Immigrants have further contributed to the increase in the visible minority population in the large urban centers of Canada. In Canada, visible minorities are defined as "persons, other than Aboriginals, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour." The term is used as a demographic category used by Statistics Canada in connection with that country's multiculturalism policies. In 2001, 49% of the Vancouver population and 42.8% of Toronto's population were visible minorities. In March 2005, Statistics Canada projected that the visible minority proportion will comprise a majority in both Toronto and Vancouver by 2012. According to Statistics Canada's forecasts, the number of visible minorities in Canada is expected to double by 2017.

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