Quality of Life

 Quality of Life

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More than a great place to start and grow a business, Ontario is a wonderful place to live, with two Ontario cities ranked in the top five in North America in Mercer LLC’s 2010 Quality of Living survey. Toronto is also among the top five globally in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2011 Liveability Index.

Wherever you are in this great province, you’ll find safe and welcoming communities, affordable cost of living, and robust public services including health care and education. Ontario offers a wealth of culture and commerce, and the great outdoors is always within easy reach.

Learn more about the advantages of living in Ontario:

A Safe and Welcoming Place to Live

Ontario cities are among the safest in North America, with violent crime rates well below those of large U.S. cities. Relative to the rest of the country, Ontario boasts the lowest crime rates per capita as well as the lowest incidences of serious crimes. Living in Ontario also means living in one of the world’s safest countries. In the first United Nations global study of homicide, Canada came in with the lowest homicide rate per capita among 46 countries in the Americas.

Ontario is a place where newcomers immediately feel a sense of belonging. We celebrate cultural diversity and protect people against all forms of discrimination through the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. With more than 13 million people and more than 150 languages spoken here, Ontario is Canada’s most populous and most culturally dynamic province.

Ontario Population by Language Spoken Most Often at Home
  Home Language Number of Speakers  
  English  7,826,375  
  Chinese (incl. Cantonese & Mandarin)  334,690  
  French  235,840  
  Italian  105,710  
  Punjabi  93,160  
  Spanish  80,315  
  Portuguese  72,120  
  Polish  65,055  
  Korean  40,720  
  German  31,390  
  Greek  25,195  
  Dutch  5,515  
  Japanese  4,760  
Source: Statistics Canada, Census 2006

Affordable Cost of Living

Many people who come to Ontario are pleasantly surprised to learn that our great quality of life doesn’t necessarily translate to a high cost of living. Compared to other places in the world, Ontario cities rank favourably in cost of living surveys, including Mercer's Worldwide Cost of Living survey for 2011.

Cost of Living Rankings, Selected Cities
City Rank at March 2011
Tokyo 2
London 18
Seoul 19
Beijing 20
Paris 27
New York 32
Toronto 59
Ottawa 114
Source: Worldwide Cost of Living survey 2011

Mercer 2011 Quality of Living Survey Index,
Top Cities in North America
Rank City Country
5 Vancouver Canada
14 Ottawa Canada
15 Toronto Canada
22 Montreal Canada
30 San Francisco United States
33 Calgary Canada
36 Boston United States
43 Chicago United States
43 Washington United States
47 New York United States
Source: Mercer Quality of Living Survey - Worldwide Rankings, 2011

Dynamic and Thriving Cities

Ontario cities are vibrant centres of culture, recreation and commerce. You’ll find a wealth of art, history, music, theatre, cuisine, sports and shopping. Ontario’s capital, Toronto, is home to national cultural treasures such as the National Ballet of Canada and the Canadian Opera Company. Ontario is also where you’ll find world-renowned attractions such as Niagara Falls, Algonquin Park, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Get more information about Ontario attractions at Ontario Tourism.

Want to learn more about Ontario’s great cities? Start by visiting these city websites:

High Quality Education

Ontario has thousands of public elementary and secondary schools, all offering English as a Second Language programs. Ontario also has a vast network of private schools, including those that focus on religion, alternative education or special needs. Whether your children attend a public or private school, you can be assured they’ll receive a high quality education; the 2009 results from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment puts Canada in the top 10 for scores in mathematics, science and reading – ahead of other G7 countries.

Ontario also offers high quality and affordable post-secondary education through a network of 20 universities and 24 colleges that train students in every field – from the skilled trades to the most advanced areas of science, engineering and business. On average, 2011 to 2012 tuition costs for an undergraduate degree in Canada was 35 per cent lower than in the United States.

Health Care for All

All citizens and permanent residents in Ontario can access universal health care services under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, which covers the full cost of doctor examinations, medical testing, emergency care and hospital care.

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