Canada is a popular destination for Nigerian immigrants due to its diversity, welcoming communities, and abundance of opportunities. Deciding where to settle in Canada as a newcomer can be daunting. The country is geographically massive with hundreds of cities and towns to choose from.
Certain areas of Canada tend to be more favored by Nigerian immigrants due to established communities, career prospects, comfortable climates, and overall quality of life. Here are some of the top locations Nigerian immigrants should consider calling home when moving to Canada:
1. Toronto, Ontario
As Canada’s largest metropolitan area, Toronto has one of the country’s biggest Nigerian populations estimated around 200,000. Numerous established Nigerian communities are present throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
- Established Nigerian community organizations, churches, mosques, restaurants, grocery stores, and cultural centers
- Wide range of professional industries providing career opportunities – finance, tech, healthcare, education, and more
- Highly multicultural – 50% of Toronto residents born outside of Canada
- Milder climate due to proximity to lakeshore
- Excellent public transit systems
- Major international airport connects easily to Nigeria
Toronto offers newcomers the optimal blend of Nigerian culture and Canadian diversity.
2. Calgary, Alberta
With a Nigerian population around 17,000 concentrated in the northeast quadrant, Calgary has grown into Canada’s third most popular city for Nigerian immigrants.
- Strong oil and gas industry providing engineering and energy sector jobs
- Lowest tax rates among major Canadian cities
- Close proximity to the scenic Rocky Mountains
- More sunny days compared to other major Canadian cities
- Lower housing costs than Toronto or Vancouver
- Diverse array of shopping, dining, arts, and sports entertainment
Calgary provides a comfortable lifestyle and abundant economic opportunities.
3. Edmonton, Alberta
Similarly, Nigeria’s community has expanded substantially in Alberta’s capital city. Estimates sit around 14,000 residents of Nigerian background living in metro Edmonton.
- Thriving oil industry with opportunities in engineering and technical roles
- Lower cost of living, especially housing, compared to Toronto or Vancouver
- Excellent public education system with great schools
- Vibrant multicultural community welcoming to immigrants
- Easy access to natural landscapes like mountains, lakes, and forests
Edmonton appeals as an affordable urban area with jobs and nature.
4. Ottawa, Ontario
As Canada’s capital city, Ottawa has long welcomed Nigerian immigrants seeking stable government and technology jobs. The Nigerian community approaches 14,000 residents.
- Numerous federal government and technology jobs
- Prestigious universities – Carleton University and University of Ottawa
- Pleasant neighborhood communities outside the downtown core
- Abundant parks and green spaces spread throughout the city
- Milder climate due to Great Lakes region
- Lower rents and property prices than Toronto or Vancouver
Ottawa provides plentiful jobs, green spaces, and an affordable capital region lifestyle.
5. Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver’s moderate coastal climate and mountainous landscapes attract many Nigerian immigrants each year. Estimates pin the Nigerian population around 8,000.
- Natural beauty including waterfront cities, temperate rainforests, and mountain ranges
- Technology and port-related jobs
- Canada’s most temperate climate with limited snowfall
- Highly multicultural metro region
- Easy access to outdoor recreation like skiing, hiking, kayaking
- Direct flights to Nigeria and globally connected airport
Vancouver offers ideal mild weather in a spectacular geographic setting.
6. Montreal, Quebec
As the economic capital of French Canada, Montreal has large English, French, and multicultural communities including a growing Nigerian population.
- Lower rents and cost of living compared to Toronto or Vancouver
- Vibrant arts, culture, nightlife, and food scene
- Major university and technology hub – McGill University, École Polytechnique Montréal
- Pleasant neighborhood vibes with historic architecture
- Easy access to the Laurentian mountains for skiing and lakes for water sports
Montreal provides affordable big city living blended with European charm.
7. Winnipeg, Manitoba
Winnipeg has long been a popular destination for Nigerian immigrants to Canada. The city’s Nigerian population approaches 9,000 residents.
- Tight-knit Nigerian community centered north of downtown
- Lowest rents of any Canadian metro area
- Major educational center – University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg
- Numerous jobs in healthcare, trades, manufacturing, and financial services
- Access to pristine lakes, parks, and wilderness areas
- Four distinct seasonal temperatures providing varied activities
Winnipeg appeals as an affordable small city with a strong Nigerian community.
8. Kitchener – Waterloo, Ontario
Home to two major universities, Kitchener-Waterloo has attracted growing numbers of Nigerian students who choose to stay after graduating.
- Thriving tech startup scene – “Canada’s Silicon Valley”
- Continued jobs growth in fields like engineering, manufacturing, healthcare
- Highly ranked public school system
- Low crime rates and family-friendly neighborhoods
- Cheaper housing prices than nearby Toronto
- Vibrant nightlife and multicultural communities
Kitchener-Waterloo offers attractive tech and education sector jobs.
9. St. Catharines – Niagara, Ontario
The Niagara region appeals to Nigerian immigrants with vineyards, natural scenery, and proximity to major highways.
- Wineries and agriculture provide unique job opportunities
- Close access to the U.S. border via Niagara Falls and Buffalo
- Outdoor recreation including hiking, boating, and wine tourism
- Part-time student jobs readily available in the hospitality sector
- Public colleges like Niagara College and Brock University
- Low housing prices and rents outside of Niagara Falls
Niagara delivers scenic charm, outdoor recreation, and affordability.
10. London, Ontario
Centrally situated between Toronto and Detroit, London has an established Nigerian population choosing it for moderate housing prices and educational opportunities.
- Home to prestigious Western University
- Manufacturing jobs with companies like 3M and General Dynamics
- Lower taxes and unemployment than the Ontario average
- Historic downtown with unique shops, pubs, and cafes
- Close proximity to large metro airports in Toronto, Hamilton, and Detroit
- Four distinct seasons with natural recreational activities
London provides a stable environment between two Great Lakes.
Other Notable Cities
Beyond the major metro regions, some smaller and mid-sized Canadian cities also have growing Nigerian populations to consider:
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Education and agricultural jobs with a friendly prairie city feel
Regina, Saskatchewan – provincial government jobs and urban amenities on the plains
Kelowna, British Columbia – Warm climate and lakeside living in the Okanagan Valley
Abbotsford, British Columbia – Jobs in agriculture and manufacturing near Vancouver
Windsor, Ontario – Automotive manufacturing jobs near Detroit
Surrey, British Columbia – Part of metro Vancouver with developing tech industry
Brampton, Ontario – Suburb with a large Nigerian population near Toronto
Calgary, Alberta – Oil/gas jobs near the Rockies with lower taxes
Choosing Where to Call Home
With livable communities across the country, Canada offers Nigerian newcomers abundant choice when picking a destination. Consider your career aims, preferred climate, proximity to amenities, access to culture, and more.
Settling in established Nigerian communities within major metro regions provides the greatest access to cultural resources. But Canada’s mid-sized cities also offer more relaxed living and career options to consider.
Wherever you choose, Canada offers the chance to plant roots and achieve your dreams while remaining connected to Nigerian culture.