Burlington is a medium-sized city that is located along Lake Ontario. It is part of the Hamilton metropolitan area and is only about 60 kilometres from the city of Toronto. The city is also part of the Niagara Peninsula and the Golden Horseshoe. Learn what the city offers newcomers with this guide to living in Burlington, Ontario.
Canada is one of the best countries to live in the world. But it’s also remarkably diverse culturally, economically, and geographically. The province and the city you choose to call home will have a big impact on your financial success once you arrive in the country. While Toronto gets a lot of attention, other cities close by, like Burlington, Ontario have a lot to offer new immigrants. So, it’s important to research a potential landing spot. Understanding the local economy, job opportunities, and housing are important factors in your decision.
About Burlington, Ontario
People are drawn to the city because of its natural beauty, waterfront, and great infrastructure, making it an ideal location for commuters. It has a diverse economy and its location between Toronto, Hamilton, and proximity to the United States border make it prime for economic growth. There are many highly desirable areas within the city.
In 2022, Resonance Consultancy ranked Burlington as one of Canada’s 25 Best Small Cities. The city took first place in the Safety subcategory, often a key consideration when selecting a new community.
In 2019, Maclean’s Magazine rated Burlington as Canada’s Best Community and Best Community in Canada for Families. This was based on factors such as the local economy, commute, crime, amenities, and culture.
Burlington was originally established as a village in 1874. It received city status in 1974, the same year it surpassed 100,000 residents. Today, there are nearly twice as many residents.
How Many People Live in Burlington, Ontario?
The city of Burlington has a population of 186,948 according to the 2021 Census. This is a 2% increase from 2016. The city is the 28th biggest population-wise, making it an ideal location for newcomers interested in moving to a smaller city.
How to Find a Job & Build a Career in Burlington
Burlington’s Local Economy
Burlington has a diverse economy that is not dominated by a single industry. However, it is known for agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation because of its strategic location. The city is home to over 13,000 businesses, employing more than 85,000 people. If you are looking for work in Burlington, consider these top industries:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Software development
- Professional and technical services
- Clean technologies
- Food and beverage
- Information and communication technology (ICT)
Major Employers in Burlington
The city offers newcomers job opportunities from a diverse collection of employers in the region. Some of the major employers in Burlington are:
- Boehringer Ingelheim
- EMC Corporation of Canada
- Evertz Microsystems
- Sofina Foods Inc.
Career Pathways in Burlington
The Burlington Economic Development Centre is a partner in the Global Skills Strategy (GSS) from the Canadian government. This program looks to attract skilled individuals from other countries. This is an opportunity for newcomers to secure a work permit. You can also search for jobs by looking at company websites or by collaborating with local recruiters such as Randstad Canada, Elby Professional Recruitment Inc, and AppleOne Employment Services.
The Burlington Housing Market
Is Housing Expensive in Burlington, Ontario?
Burlington is a desirable city to live in Ontario. So, housing costs reflect this. The city has some of the highest real estate and rental costs in the province. It’s following the same trend as other cities in the region such as Oakville, St. Catharines, and the Niagara region.
The Burlington housing market has a lot to offer. There are a variety of neighbourhoods to consider during your search. They include Aldershot, Alton Village, Brant Hills, Dynes, Headon Forest, Longmoor, Palmer, Plains, Tansley and many others.
Finding a Place to Rent in Burlington
Burlington is one of the most expensive cities in Ontario for rentals. Rates start at about $1,500 and go up from there. The average cost to rent an apartment in Burlington is $2053 for a 1 Bedroom, $2,349 for a 2 Bedroom, and $2,260 for a 3 Bedroom. Use Rentals for Newcomers to search for available rental units in Burlington. Here, you can also find current rental prices in Burlington.
Once you find a place to rent, make sure to protect it with in Canada, property owners may request proof of insurance as part of the rental agreement. Your landlord’s insurance policy will not cover you.
Get more information about renting a home: Renting in Canada: What Newcomers Need to Know.
Buying a Home in Burlington
Buying a in Burlington can be expensive. How much you pay for a home will depend on its location within the city, size, features, and other factors. According to the real estate website Zolo, the average house price in Burlington is $1,245, 837 (As of July 2022). The average price of a townhouse is $831,000 and the average price for a condo is $628,000.
Find out more about buying your first home in Canada: First Time Home Buyer: Newcomer Tips.
Driving & Public Transit in Burlington
Driving in Burlington, Ontario
Burlington is located along a major transportation corridor. Several major highways run through the city including Highway 403, Highway 407 ETR, and the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). Many people commute in the region and highway traffic can delay driving times. Road conditions can be difficult during the winter.
All drivers are required to have a valid Ontario driver’s licence. You need to be 16 years old to start the graduated licencing process.
Get more information about driving in Canada:
Burlington Public Transit
Burlington has a good public transit system in place. So, if you don’t drive, you can still get around the city easily. Burlington Transit offers bus service throughout the city. There are also 3 commuter GO Train stations in the city – providing residents with quick access to the Greater Toronto Area.
Community Support for Newcomers
Newcomers to the city have access to community support through the Halton Region. The Halton Newcomer Strategy Steering Committee engages the community to empower newcomers living in Halton. Newcomers also have support through Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Centre for Skills Development.
Language Support in Burlington
New immigrants have access to language support through the LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) program via the Centre for Skills Development. There are two locations in the city. One on Appleby Line and another on South Service Road.
Personal Finance & Banking
Having a strong personal finance plan is essential to get off to a good start in your new surroundings. All local banks and credit unions in Burlington offer programs for immigrants to open a bank account, get a credit card, and even apply for a mortgage. Visit a local branch to get started.
Get more banking tips for newcomers:
Burlington’s Education System
The city offers a variety of education options for children and adults. There are public, private, French, vocational, and post-secondary education institutions to further your education.
Elementary and High School Education
Burlington schools are part of the Halton District School Board. Catholic schools are part of the Halton Catholic District School Board. There are 29 public elementary and 6 public high schools, 14 Catholic elementary and 3 Catholic high schools, and 10 private schools in the city.
Post Secondary Institutions
One area where Burlington is lacking is post-secondary education. The city is home to the McMaster University DeGroote School of Business and the Oxford College of Arts, Business and Technology. However, the city is close to other big cities with major colleges and universities. So, there are still a lot of options within a short drive.
Read more about education in Canada:
Where to Get Medical Care in Burlington, Ontario
The Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital is the main care facility in the city. You can also visit walk-in clinics to receive non-urgent care if you don’t have a family doctor. There are also hospitals in surrounding cities.
In case of an emergency call 9-1-1. This number is the same no matter where you live in Canada.
Residents also have the option to buy additional to help cover the costs of prescription drugs and services that are not covered by OHIP. Many employers also offer healthcare benefits as part of your employee benefits package.
How to Find A Family Doctor in Burlington
Getting a family doctor is important to maintain your health and well-being. Residents in Burlington and across the Halton region can search for doctors accepting new patients through the Halton Region website. You’ll see a list of doctors who are currently taking on new patients. Call the office to apply.
Get more information about health care in Canada: Steps to Access Free Health Care in Canada.
What is Day-to-Day Life Like in Burlington?
Things to Do in Burlington
Burlington has a lot to offer residents. It has a beautiful waterfront and natural attractions and it’s only a short trip from some of the top tourist attractions in Ontario.
Public Spaces & Attractions
The city offers a diverse collection of attractions to check out, with the Burlington Waterfront Trail at the top of the list. Also be sure to explore the Art Gallery of Burlington, Brant Street Pier, and Beachway Park if you want to hit the beach. If shopping is your thing, check out the Mapleview Shopping Centre.
The city also has a variety of summer festivals including Ribfest, Children’s Festival, Appleby Line Street Festival, Concerts in the Park, and Culture Days.
Restaurants & Nightlife
If you want to experience the best cuisine in the city the Taste of Burlington is a must-attend event. You’ll receive recommendations for the best food to try. The city has more than 300 restaurants. Some of the best include The Carriage House, Spencer’s at the Waterfront, Paradiso Restaurant, and Downtown Bistro & Grill.
Nature & Natural Landscapes
The city is known for its natural landscapes. You can explore them at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Spencer Smith Park, Mount Nemo Conservation Area, LaSalle Park, Cherry Hill Gate, and Kerncliff Park.
Sporting Events & Concerts
Burlington is not home to any professional sports teams. There are a variety of minor sports franchises. If you are to check out a concert, see the local listings at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre, This Ain’t Hollywood, and The Carrigan Arms.
Culture & Diversity in Burlington
Burlington is not an overly diverse city. About 16% of the population are visible minorities. This is approximately 30,000 residents. There is a large English, Irish, Scottish, and German population. The largest visible minority is East Indian, which is about 4% of people.
Burlington is a predominantly Christian community. 70% of people identify as Christian. 2% identify as Muslim, 1.1% as Hindu, and 1% as Sikh.
The Weather in Burlington
Burlington’s climate is humid continental. The city is known for high winds, especially during the winter. But it has all types of weather throughout the year – hot sunny days, rain, snow, sleet, and a mixture. The climate is moderate compared to the rest of Canada. The temperature averages about 28 degrees Celsius in July and August, and dips to as low as -8 degrees in January
Common Questions Immigrants Ask About Living in Burlington
Is Burlington a Good Location for Immigrants?
There are a lot of great reasons for immigrants to consider Burlington. Its regarded as one of the best cities to live in Ontario. Its strategically located in the province and provides you with access to the best places to explore within a few hours’ drive. There is low unemployment and a lot of job opportunities for newcomers. So, yes, it is a good place for immigrants to consider moving.
What are the Disadvantages of Living in Burlington for New Immigrants?
Since it is a highly desirable place to live, real estate and rent are expensive. You will have higher living expenses compared to other cities. The city also has a small minority population. But it does have community programs in place to assist newcomers.
What are the Benefits of Living in Burlington?
Burlington has a diverse economy. They are actively working to attract skilled immigrants to work in a variety of industries. So, there are a lot of job opportunities. The city also has a strong transportation network, allowing you to explore opportunities in other areas. It’s a beautiful city with lots of nature to explore, making it ideal for families.
For more information, tools, and free webinars about living in Canada visit our Settling in Canada resource page. We’ll help you to settle successfully!