Northwestern Ontario, one of Canada's largest yet most sparsely populated regions, wants to attract British immigrants. The 32 diverse communities that make up this relatively unknown region along Lake Superior, have come together to launch a new immigration recruitment strategy that promises British newcomers the best of all worlds.
Northwestern Ontario's communities are actively inviting the British to find a new home, job or business opportunity in the region. With only one out of its 32 communities having a population greater than 10,000, the focus of this new strategy is to promote community renewal through population growth, knowledge and investment attraction, and other economic development opportunities.
In particular, new graduates and skilled workers are wanted because there are currently more positions to be filled in certain sectors than there are qualified candidates. The regional labour market has a very urgent need for professionals in the health care, science and technology sectors. Furthermore, an aging population has resulted in a surplus of businesses for sale.
Northwestern Ontario is located in the centre of Canada and while the region may not be easily recognizable by name, its assets are recognized worldwide. They include the nature of Lake Superior; the world's largest freshwater lake, and the City of Thunder Bay; recently voted the most affordable urban centre to live in the world. A small but steadily growing population of British newcomers has started to discover Northwestern Ontario as an immigration destination in Canada.
Stephanie Suarez immigrated to Thunder Bay at age 26. Disillusioned by the escalating cost of living and poor quality of life in England, Stephanie opened her own business in Northwestern Ontario. Within 3 years, she had won several business awards including Influential Young Woman of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and one of Canada's Top10 One's to Watch by Canadian Marketing Magazine.
Says Stephanie; "I would have to be a multi-millionaire in London, England to live the type of lifestyle I enjoy in Northwestern Ontario. I am the envy of my British friends who face long commutes and work days just to pay for a shared apartment, let alone start a family or their own business. I am certain that the opportunities in Northwestern Ontario are unmatched anywhere else in the world."
Fifty-something's, Stephen and Rita Ash, recently sold their 3-bedroom semi in West Yorkshire to retire to Northwestern Ontario. "We are enjoying a retirement lifestyle here that would never have been within our reach in England. We can golf, sail, travel and eat in the best restaurants on a pension that would have only covered basic living costs back home. Add the low crime rate, cleanliness and friendly people, and it reminds us of what England used to be like years ago," says Stephen Ash.Northwestern Ontario's communities have launched a new website portal http://www.immigrationnorthwesternontario.ca to help prospective newcomers learn more about living, working, learning and doing business in the region. In addition, a marketing campaign is running across major cities in Britain over the next few months. The initiative has been funded by the Ontario and federal governments through the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement.