Join over 5 million Irish immigrants who now live in Canada, taking up residence in Toronto, Vancouver, Saskatoon and Calgary. Many Irish immigrants move due to a lack of opportunities in Ireland, a decision that can be incredibly difficult to make. This stress however, has been made easier by the growing number of Irish communities, creating organizations, groups and websites dedicated to Irish immigrants.
As an integral part of Canadian society, Irish holidays are celebrated in major cities, while Irish cuisine is enjoyed by the masses.
How does life differ?
Canada and Dublin are both known for having high costs of living, meaning that your expenses when immigrating will be very similar or less in some areas.
Irish looking for similar weather, will be drawn to Vancouver which boasts mild weather in comparison to the rest of Canada. Many other areas of the country experience extreme conditions with winters dipping to lows of -10 with heavy snow and wind, while summers can be very hot and humid.
Canada boasts a very impressive health care system, which many Irish immigrants have found to be superior to that of Ireland. The extent of these services differs in each province and many immigrants may find that it takes longer than expected to qualify for health care.
Which city should I live in?
Known as the trendy cities in Canada, Vancouver and Toronto are often the first place that most immigrants tend to think about. These bustling, multicultural cities offer an exciting lifestyle with plenty of opportunity to experience the best in theatre, dining and outdoor activities.
Vancouver is an English-speaking city, ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world. Many prestigious universities including The University of British Columbia are found in the city with hundreds of thousands of international students attending.
Many immigrants have moved out to areas like Calgary where employment opportunities are greater. Surrounded by the alluring Rockies, life in the suburbs is often favorable with plenty of schools, space and affordable housing.
Culture and religion.
Multicultural and diverse, Canada caters to all religions with mosques, Sikh and churches in every part of the country. Over 38% of Canadians are Catholic with many immigrants adding to the increase in these statistics.
What are my job prospects?
As Irish immigrants are highly educated, you may be persuaded to move to the lesser-known areas of Saskatoon and Calgary, where skilled workers are always in demand. Rich in natural resources, engineers and construction workers can find jobs in the oil and agriculture sectors.
Recruitment companies are often looking for skilled workers with a balance between technical ability, people skills and work ability – qualities often found in Irish immigrants.
As Canadians speak English and French primarily, job opportunities may be dependent on your ability to speak one or both of these languages. You should therefore conduct extensive research into each province and city when looking into finding a job as the language barrier can be greater in certain areas.
Activities in the communities.
Irish immigrants can feel at home in Canada with many community groups, theatre companies and sports clubs. Annual events bring the Irish and Canadian people together to celebrate tradition and culture. The Toronto Irish Film Festival celebrate the best in Irish cinema with tributes to up and coming as well as established Irish film makers in Canada and Ireland.
Many dedicated websites provide the platform for fellow Irish immigrants to meet and discuss their experiences in Canada. The Irish association of Toronto is a collection of contacts and groups for Irish-Canadians interested in finding Irish dancing classes, the best shopping spots and many other services.
Join a sports team like the Montreal Irish rugby club or the Ottawa Gaels Football Club. These teams cater to the experienced and novice players who want some fun and exercise while bonding with other Irish players.