Living and working in North Bay, Ontario

Living and working in North Bay, Ontario

The attractive community of North Bay participates in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program.

Photo: Axel Drainville / CC BY-NC 2.0

North Bay is a town of 52,000 people. It is in a convenient location in the province of Ontario: on the shores of a picturesque lake, 350 km from Toronto and Ottawa, near the Great Lakes and Algonquin Provincial Park.

North Bay’s location on the map (each circle is 100 km):


North Bay is participating in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program because it needs an influx of new people to develop the local economy. Read the requirements for immigration to North Bay in our article.

There are few immigrants in the community: they make up only 5% of the total population, and more than half of them moved to Canada before 1981. The majority of immigrants come from the U.K., the U.S., Italy, and Germany. The majority (87%) of North Bay residents speak English, and 12% speak French.

Meanwhile, North Bay has a lot to offer to immigrants.

Transport accessibility: the Gateway of the North

For its strategic location, North Bay is called the Gateway of the North. The town originated from the development of the Canadian Pacific Railway in this area, and it remains an important transport hub, with trains running to Toronto and mining sites in the north.

North Bay also has an airport with flights to Toronto and other communities in Ontario, as well as flights to Cuba from December to April. It is the only airport in northern Ontario with a 3 km long runway that can accommodate almost any aircraft.

Work: medicine, technology, film production

Many North Bay residents are employed in the health care industry. In particular, medical professionals are employed at the central hospital, where the world's first telerobotic surgery was performed. Many people also work in such industries as commerce, education, hospitality, and government.

Other important sectors of the local economy are technology, aerospace, and manufacturing. The service, tourism, and transportation industries also play an important role in the town's economy. In addition, the community authorities are actively promoting the image of North Bay as an attractive filming location. Numerous movies and TV series have already been shot here.

Nevertheless, North Bay's unemployment rate is still above the Canadian average.

Living in North Bay: affordable prices

One great advantage of North Bay is the lower cost of living compared to major Canadian cities. For example, according to Numbeo, prices for consumer goods in North Bay are 15% lower than in Toronto, but prices for groceries are 15% higher.

As for rent, accommodation is as much as 39% cheaper compared to Toronto. For example, you can rent a one-bedroom apartment in downtown for $1,250 CAD compared to $2,100 CAD in Toronto. But wages are lower in North Bay, too.

Even though North Bay is small, you will not get bored there. In and around the town, you will find everything you need: 3,400 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, 8 golf courses, 6 marinas, 42 lakeshore beaches, 74 parks, and over 100 miles of multi-use trails, cruises, and unique attractions like the Heritage Railway and Carousel rides.

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