The top cities in Canada that South Africans are emigrating to

 ·11 Feb 2024

Canada is a hotspot for South African emigrants, with thousands flocking to major urban centres.

As per Canada’s latest census in 2021, 51,590 South Africans live in the North American country.

These numbers could have since grown, as John Dunn, Citizenship and Immigration Director, Sable International, said that Canada was one of the top five countries that South Africans emigrated to in 2023 – alongside Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

More South Africans could soon make the move, with Dunn noting that the outcome of the National elections will determine the South African emigration numbers in 2024.

Canada is a popular destination for South African emigrants and also needs skilled workers to maintain its economy as it has one of the world’s oldest populations and lowest birth rates.

South Africans have historically scored highly in the popular Express Entry Program for skilled workers due to their strong English language skills, the ability to obtain skilled work, and the higher education they may have done when they were younger.

South Africans living as permanent residents in Canada will also not be affected by the extension of the ban barring foreigners from buying residential property.

The Canadian government passed the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by the Non-Canadians Act in 2022 to stop foreign investors from buying residential property in Canada and to ensure that Canadian citizens were still able to enter the housing market.

The ban has been extended from January 1, 2025 to January 1, 2027, but it does not apply to people who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Biggest cities

Looking at the Census data, nearly half (21,540) of all South Africans in Canada can be found in the province of Ontario.

Canada’s most populated city, Toronto, is also where the most South Africans can be found, with 13,165.

9,005 South Africans follow this in the popular filming location of Vancouver, British Colombia.

Overall, there are nine cities in North American country that house over 750 South Africans:


Toronto, Ontario 13,165


Vancouver, British Colombia – 9,005


Calgary, Alberta – 3,590


Edmonton, Alberta 2,595


Hamliton, Ontario – 1,590


Ottawa, Ontario 1,335


Victoria, British Colombia – 1,245


Montreal, Quebec – 770


Kelowna, British Colombia – 770


Read: “Rather safe than sorry” for South Africans looking to get citizenship in another country

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