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Expat Market In Canada – All You Need To Know About Expats Before Targeting Them

Renowned for its welcoming, open-minded environment in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation and faith, Canada is also consistently ranked within the top 20 in the United Nations annual Human Development Index (HDI), which is a summary measure that considers factors such as life expectancy, job opportunities, quality of schooling etc. This places Canada as a popular destination among the expatriate community.

Read on to learn more about the expat market in Canada and how to better target them!

What is an Expat?

An expatriate, or expat, is an individual living and working in a country other that his or her country of citizenship but retains their original nationality. For instance, if you are Singaporean living in Canada for either work or school, you’re considered an expatriate.

An expat is more than just a foreigner, he/she is an individual who gives the majority of his/her time and attention to a country whose language, culture, and lifestyle differs from their own. In return, they learn to adapt to a new country and a new culture while fitting into their original culture.

Behaviours of Expats in Canada

Understanding expat behaviours will allow businesses to better target expats. Let’s find out what some of these behaviours are.

Expat Market In Canada – All You Need To Know About Expats Before Targeting Them

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Where do they live

According to the 2016 census conducted by Statistics Canada, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver accounted for the largest share of immigrant population, with Toronto hosting 35.9% of immigrants in Canada.


According to HSBC’s 2017 expat explorer survey,  60% of expats own properties in Canada which is higher than the global average of 37%. The remainder tend to stay in rental accommodations. Furthermore, 51% of expats in Canada live in a better property since their move, compared with 39% of expats globally.


Expats in Canada command an average gross personal income of USD93,173 per annum, according to the HSBC Expat Explorer in 2017. This means that the purchasing power of Canadian expats is very high.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in a country varies from person to person depending on several factors, such as one’s income, lifestyle, and his / her overall phase in life.

Many expatriates report having a lower cost of living in Canada than that in their home country.

According to Mercer’s 2020 survey of expatriate living costs, Vancouver (rank 94) overtook Toronto (rank 98) to become the most expensive Canadian city in the ranking, followed by Montreal (rank 137) and Calgary (rank 146). Ranking 151, Ottawa is the least expensive city in Canada.

What do Expats in Canada do?

It is worthy to note that different states generally cater to different groups of expats. For instance, expats in Ontario or British Columbia typically host expats looking for job opportunities in the IT sector as they both have targeted tech draws linked to the Express Entry system which helps to fill the demand for tech professionals

On the other hand, provinces such as Saskatchewan, Alberta or Manitoba usually cater to those in search of jobs in the farming sector.

Additionally, positions such as industrial butchers, long haul truck drivers, food and beverage servers, nurse’s aides and home support workers are highly in demand in Canada and expats can move to Canada through the Atlantic Immigration Program.

Channels used by Expats in Canada

There are several online communities that have emerged where expats can talk about their lives, interests, and exchange ideas with each other. Such communities include Canadian Expat, InterNations, and others. These communities often share expat news, blogs, forum topics, events, etc. as well as articles and advice from various experts in the various fields.

There are also several ways that expats can connect with each other, usually through the use of various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The content of the community in these communities vary from topic to topic. While most of them provide a detailed insight into what the lives of expats in Canada are like, some of them also can discuss other topics of interest to them.

Marketing to Expats in Canada

Traditionally, companies have been trying to target expats as a singular group. However, it is crucial to understand that expats can come from extremely diverse background. For instance, the wants of a young professional will largely differ from that of a pensioner. Hence, as an expatriate service provider, it is important for companies to recognise its specific target group and adapt advertising campaigns accordingly.

According to the 2016 census conducted by Statistics Canada, most expats belong to the 25 – 64 years age group.

Today, social media has increased connectivity among people. Digital profiles are available online where expats can get to know each other before meeting. Furthermore, the current COVID-19 pandemic propels the adoption of connecting over social media. Therefore, social media channels are a good way to reach and engage expats.

It is important for companies to produce content with a personal touch and voice, as it increases connectivity and is deemed less promotional. Additionally, informational content that shares insights, experiences, tips and tricks to make life easier for expats in Canada is another way to connect with the expat community.

It is also important to adequately understand the native language of the expat target group your company is trying to engage. Not all expats are native English speakers, and it might be worthwhile to tweak campaigns to suit this need.

Lastly, one of the key priorities of expats is looking for a group of like-minded individuals. Thus, companies can consider hosting virtual or physical events to bring these people together, while at the same time marketing a product or service.


Canada is one of the most desirable countries for expatriates around the world. With a variety of growing opportunities, the country has attracted many expats over the years, which developed a huge expat market in Canada. There are many reasons why people choose to relocate to Canada, but the best one of all is the quality of life that it offers. With the variety of careers available as well, there are many career paths that any Canadian expat can explore.

Here at Moovaz, we have a team of skilled experts who know exactly what it takes to market your company to the expat community in Canada. As an end-to-end relocation platform that serves expat from all over the world, our services are well-received by expats across the globe. With growing opportunities in the expat market, enhancing customer experience and understanding the customer is more important than ever.

Partner with Moovaz today to promote your business to the expat community.

Feel free to contact us if you wish to partner with us.

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