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Canada’s indigenous, French and British traditions, gives the nation its complex character. However, since this cool, northern country experienced a huge wave of immigration in the years following World War II, in addition to the constant infusion of US culture, a multicultural identity has started to seep through the cracks of the British/French cultural stronghold, and with it, a long and evolving period of economic expansion and prosperity. Furthermore, since 1975, a series of land rights agreements have been signed with Canada’s native people, setting an example for other colonial nations to provide land rights to their indigenous populations.

Situated between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Canada is the world’s second largest country after Russia. Nearly 90% of Canadians huddle along the southern border with the USA and much of the rest of the land is lake and river-filled forest, mountains, plains and even a small desert. Canada’s largest city Toronto has become its multicultural capital with more than 100 languages spoken on its streets. It has been estimated that 23% of the population was born abroad (according to the 2021 consensus) and UNESCO has voted Toronto the world’s most diverse city.

As of 2023, about 500,000 immigrants come to Canada every year and in 2023 around 375,000 Canadian citizenships were granted. As a tribute to Canadian citizenship, a ten- day festival Celebrate Canada is held each summer beginning on National Aboriginal Day which is on June 21, and includes Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27, and ending on July 1 which is Canada Day.

English and French are the country’s two official languages, though the province of New Brunswick is the only official bilingual area in the country. Quebec City was founded by the French in the early 1600s and became home to about 3000 French settlers. In 1670 the British arrived, and for a while, the two European cultures coexisted peacefully. By the middle of the 18th century the Seven Years’ War erupted, after which, Canada became part of the British Commonwealth. Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown, but has developed economically and technologically in parallel with the U.S. The French influence over Quebec and other parts of the country can be seen in architecture, music, food and religion. Unfortunately, there is a continuing constitutional impasse between English and French-speaking areas, which has raised the possibility of a split in the federation.

Full country name: Canada

Area: 9.985 million km² (3.855 million mi²)

Date of Confederation: July 1, 1867

Provinces: Ontario (pop. 15.1 million) – Capital: Toronto (pop. 2.928 million)- as of 2024

British Columbia: (pop. 5.5 million) – Capital: Vancouver (pop. 2.683 million)-as at July 2023

Quebec: (pop. 8.73 million) – Capital: Quebec City 851,061 and largest city- Montreal (pop. 4.342 million)-as of 2024

Other provinces: Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan

Territories: Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, Nunavut

Population: 36.92 million (as at May 2018)

Capital city: Ottawa (pop: 1.021 million as at May 2018)

People: European (52.5%), North American (22.9%), Asian (19.3%), North American Indigenous (6.1%), African (3.8%), Latin, Central and South American (2.5%).

Languages: English, French and 53 native languages

Religion: Roman Catholic (29.9%), other Christian currents (29.2%), and minorities from most of the world’s major religions.

Government: Parliamentary democracy

Prime Minister: Mr. Justin Trudeau since November 2015.

Governor-General: Mary Simon since July 2021.

Army: Voluntary – The Canadian Forces consists of professional soldiers only from age 17.

Weekend: 2 days -Saturday, Sunday

Currency: Canadian Dollar (Can $), $CAN 1 = $US 0.74 (as of Feb 2024).

Trading partners: USA, Japan, EU (UK, Germany, Netherlands), China and South Korea

Major Industries: Processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, transportation equipment, chemicals, fish products, petroleum and natural gas.


As an affluent, high-tech industrial society, Canada today closely resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, patterns of production, and high living standards. This overall expansion was mirrored in nearly all facets of the Canadian economy. Canada’s continuing economic boom has rippled straight across the nation. Long removed from an economy based almost exclusively on natural resources, Canada is rapidly moving toward a knowledge-based economy built on innovation and technology. Goods-producing industries account for 33% of the national economy, while the Canadian services sector employs three out of four Canadians, and generates two-thirds of the gross domestic product.

Unfortunately, the lure of higher pay, lower taxes, and the immense high-tech infrastructure in the U.S. has goaded Canadian professionals south of the border. Nevertheless, this flow of Canadian nationals has given way to the Canadian Government’s new immigration plan – for the next five years and beyond, the government is to emphasize the admission of a greater number of skilled immigrants with abilities to contribute directly to Canada’s economic and social development.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Harmonized Sales Tax(HST): The GST and HST are broad-based taxes on most goods and services you buy. The rates vary according to the different provinces in Canada.

Corporate Tax rate: 15 per cent (as at Feb 2024).

Income Tax: Highest personal rate is 33%. Personal Income tax is levied on a progressive scale.

Employment: Employment in Canada is stable. With a constant stream of skilled workers to the U.S. there are many professional employment vacancies waiting to be filled.

Cost of living: In the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, the Canadian Bureau of Statistics shows that the average cost of living can be around CAD 18,340 annually for 2024.

Jewish community

Jews began arriving to Canada in the middle of the 18th century and were granted full civil rights in 1832. Russian oppression in the late 19th century brought a new influx of Jewish refugees, as did World War II (although during the war, Canada closed its immigration policy to Jews). Canada’s largest Jewish communities are situated in Toronto (100,000) and Montreal (91,000), followed by Vancouver (30,000). The level of intermarriage has increased over the last ten years but remains significantly lower than in the United States. Most of the community is Ashkenazi, but there is a large population of French-speaking Moroccan Jews in Montreal. Twenty-five percent of all the Jews who immigrated to Canada in the past ten years were born in the Soviet Union. an estimated 21,500 Israelis live in Canada today.

26% of Canadian Jewry have identified themselves as Conservative, 17% as Orthodox and 16% as Reform Jews. There are synagogues in nearly all the communities and Kosher food is widely available. Toronto and Montreal have 12 Jewish schools and several Yeshivot. There are also Jewish schools in Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Ottawa. In Montreal some 60% of the Jewish children attend Jewish primary schools, and 30% attend Jewish high schools. In Toronto the figures are 40% and 12% respectively.

Israel and Canada have full diplomatic relations. In addition to the embassy in Ottawa, there are consulate generals in Toronto and Montreal. Canada boasts several impressive synagogues, notably in Montreal and Toronto. Montreal’s old Jewish neighborhood, the Main, draws many visitors. The Beth Tzedec Synagogue in Toronto houses the Canadian branch of the New York Jewish Museum, which features the Cecil Roth collection of Judaica. There are also small Holocaust museums in Toronto, Winnipeg and Ottawa.

More information on the Canadian Jewish community

Settling In


Like other Commonwealth countries, Canada’s education system facilitates both public and private schools. There is no federal system of education and the provinces and territories provide funding and dictate the curriculum. There are many private schools in the bigger cities and most of them are partially funded by the provinces. Jewish schools are private and therefore high fees are payable. In Quebec, there are two public school systems, one for French speakers and one for English speakers. Generally, however, English is the language of instruction in schools.

Several language programs cater for adults and children. For children, there are several programs within the school system. The federal government program for adult immigrants offers: free language training for adult newcomers who want or need basic English or French, the choice of studying part time, full time, evenings, or weekends, depending on your needs, your schedule, transportation and child-minding.

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Canada hosted more than 800,000 students in 2022

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Health care

All Canadian residents are eligible for health coverage through the federally governed but provincially executed health scheme “Medicare”. Health coverage normally becomes effective three months after the date you establish residency. Most of the health benefits are covered across Canada. You will receive a health card from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to show your entitlement to health care services, which pays for a wide range of services that are medically necessary. Supplementary health benefits are received by some members of the community (pensioners, children, welfare recipients) including prescription drugs, dental care, vision care, assistive equipment, and appliances. There is also a private system that supplements (not duplicates) the public system, which allows for private hospitals and shorter waiting lists.

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Two-thirds of the occupied housing stock in Canada is owner-occupied. 52.6 per cent of Canadian housing are single-detached homes while the rest of Canada’s occupied housing stock is comprised of multiple-unit dwellings. Apartment housing is most common in Canada’s large urban centres (Toronto, Vancouver & Montreal), where single-detached homes typically make up less than half of the housing stock. Homeownership rates in these areas are generally lower than the national average.

If you are considering rental accommodation, there are many options such as apartments, flats, bachelor or studio apartments, duplexes, townhouses, houses, or condominiums all of which can come furnished or unfurnished. Check classified ads in the internet, community newspapers or rental magazines. If you are considering buying a house, a townhouse or condominium, check the internet, local newspapers and new home magazines for listings of homes for sale. A real estate agent can help you find a home. You can also try

Residential Mortgages Residential Mortgages are available for the purpose of purchasing residential real estate.

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Canada’s greatest attribute is its natural environment. This provides for lots of hiking, canoeing, kayaking and white-water rafting in national parks throughout the country. These parks including: Killarney Park, Ontario and Gaspésie Park and Mont Tremblant Park. Quebec. For beach-goers, the East coast affords warmer waters and Canadians flock there during the short summer season. Skiers are spoilt for their choice of alpine and cross-country skiing – with good cross-country skiing found all through Canada. The main alpine ski canters are world class and the famous Whistler ski resort is found north of Vancouver in British Columbia. Niagara Falls in Ontario is a must-see for any Canadian resident. Ecotourism in Canada is also popular, and there are also many trips specializing in the culture of the Native people.

Useful links

Canada and Immigration

The Government


Social Security

Customs & Quarantine




Education System

Media Outlets

Canadian News Wire –

The National Post newspaper –

Tourism and Leisure

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