Cleaning jobs in Canada

Cleaning jobs in Canada

How much do Canadian cleaners earn?

In some provinces, cleaners are in high demand and can immigrate under simplified programs. To migrate to Nova Scotia you only need to know the language at school level, have a year of work experience in the profession and enough money in your bank account to live in Canada for a couple of months.

If you have the opportunity to work in Canada as a temporary resident, working as a cleaner can increase your chances of staying in the country for permanent residence. There are programs from provinces that are specifically interested in cleaners, for example, Saskatchewan has special conditions for hotel and restaurant workers.


The average wage for janitors in Canada as of April 2022 is $17.19 CAD per hour. There are cities where the average wage is higher: in Calgary and Edmonton janitors are paid more than $19 CAD an hour.

Cleaning companies are more picky in their selection of personnel, but they also promise a salary higher than the market average. For example, the company Scrubbi, whose rating on the portal Indeed 4.8 out of 5 (based on 702 employee reviews), pays cleaning professionals $23.48 CAD per hour. Overall, workers are happy, although the company does not reimburse the cost of cleaning supplies and fuel for the machine. But employees have flexible hours and usually they have an opportunity to choose a client near their home. And in Canada it is customary to tip service personnel.

Cleaning supervisors, the people who train and supervise staff in cleaning companies and supervise cleaning crews, make even more. In Ontario, for example, they are paid $24-27 CAD an hour.

A separate field in cleaning is car washing. This requires experience with different tools for cleaning, polishing, waxing, and knowledge of car specifics. Such specialists are paid from $15 to $25 CAD per hour.

State of the industry as a whole

IBISWorld, an industry research company, cites the following data on the cleaning industry in Canada as of October 2021:

  • market size — $9 billion CAD;

  • number of enterprises — 34,031;

  • number of employees — 191,252.

There are organizations of cleaning professionals in Canada. Some of them are more focused on creating links between large firms across the country, including those that sell cleaning products. But there is, for example, the Canadian Healthcare Housekeepers'Association (CHHA). It addresses the professional concerns of those who keep a hospital clean and promotes their skills.

Various trade unions, which all the cleaners of a particular firm or individual members of the profession join, also fight actively for the rights of employees. The standard situation in Canada is when the union seeks higher wages for employees, more paid sick days and other bonuses.

In late 2021, Sodexo Corporation, which provides hospital cleaning in London, Ontario, did not pay employees for a month because its payroll software was attacked by hackers. In early 2022, the local chapter of the International Union of North American Workers filed a collective complaint with the labour inspectorate and resolved the problem. The workers themselves did not have to collect evidence, nor did they have to go anywhere in person.

Not everyone thinks subcontracting catering staff is a good thing. Simon Fraser University in British Columbia conducted a study in early 2022 comparing the working conditions of its own janitors and subcontracted catering workers with those of the same workers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria. It turned out that the subcontractor pays less than the living wage in Vancouver. It is an expensive city, the living wage there is higher than the legal minimum wage and is $20.52 CAD per hour.

The working conditions of the workers also left much to be desired: few breaks during the day, few sick days, racist attitudes, and the lack of bonuses available to university employees. The union did not stand idly by and negotiated with the cleaning company, but they could not reach a compromise.

One conclusion can be drawn from this: you need to choose an employer in a foreign country much more carefully than in his native country, especially if you sign a long-term contract and under the terms of the immigration program has no right to break it without good reason.

Learn more about work visas to Canada in a separate article on our website.

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