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Living in Canada, a French dream


DECRYPTION - For several years, the country with the maple leaf has attracted the French in search of renewal, a better quality of life and wide open spaces – an even stronger desire since the pandemic. But if Canada needs immigrants, don't get in there who wants...

This article is taken from the

special Figaro "From East to West - Living in Canada why not you?"


This number offers you to answer the questions you ask yourself as simply as possible.

This, with the help of practical texts, maps and testimonies from French people living in Canada.

It's hard to do better: in 2021, Canada won the ultimate title of "best country in the world", beating Japan, Germany and Switzerland.

The study, carried out in 78 countries and among 17,000 people by the American magazine

US News & World


, crosses different parameters (economic growth prospects, entrepreneurship opportunities, cultural influence, agility, etc.) Canada, in addition to rank number one in the overall ranking, also finished first in the categories "quality of life" and "social objectives" (consideration of human rights, environmental issues, gender equality, religious freedom, etc.)

This is enough to further reinforce the French in their dream of expatriation!

Because the country with the maple leaf, which is also famous for its wide open spaces and its postcard landscapes, has become a destination of choice for all those who wish to live abroad.

Some 100,000 French people have already settled there* and, year after year, Canada attracts like a magnet both young and old, families and singles, employees and entrepreneurs.

In 2021, Canada issued 20,165 study permits to French nationals (compared to 11,860 in 2015) and admitted 12,685 permanent residents of French nationality (compared to 5,850 in 2015).

Last year, France was the fifth source country of immigration in the country (behind India, China, the Philippines and Nigeria).

The historical ties between our two countries are not for nothing in these migratory movements.

“France is a co-founding nation of Canada, with the British and the indigenous peoples,

recalls Benjamin Boutin, director of the France-Canada association.

And, despite the centuries, the country still has the image of a new world to be built, a land of opportunities and freedoms.

Moreover, the many political, economic and cultural exchanges that exist between the two shores of the Atlantic also contribute to Canada's power of attraction.


Read alsoWhen to go to Canada?

Weather, climate, activities… The best period by region

Admittedly, the months of health crisis (and border closures) were not really conducive to mobility.

But cravings for that matter have not come to a halt, quite the contrary.

“We have noticed an enthusiasm for Canada during the pandemic,

confirms Sophie Auger, manager of the migration program at the Embassy of Canada in France.

We organized two virtual editions of the ''Destination Canada'' mobility forum in 2021: that of February received 30,000 registration requests and that of November, 178,000!

“With the confinements, we had time to think, to define our priorities, to see if we wanted to continue to follow a line drawn or not”,

“a comfortable situation in France”

, have decided to reinvent themselves by leaving Aix-les-Bains (Savoie) for Edmundston (New Brunswick).

For the couple in their thirties and their 8-year-old granddaughter, everything happened very quickly: thanks to a friend who had already settled in Canada, Michael found a job remotely as a chef in a casino.

In three months, the family packs up and, since October 2021, enjoys a much more “serene” daily life.

“I loved my job and my company, but there was constant stress,

” says Michael.

Here, the pace is more relaxed – moreover, when you have three days off, you feel like you're on vacation!


For Céline, who is a hairdresser, the “benevolence”, “civility” and “positivity” of Canadians make all the difference.

"In the living room, they don't hesitate when we're five minutes late – they even tell us to take our time, which can be a bit confusing

," smiles this lover of the cold, who easily found a job there.

Rojas family.


Because if Canada is so attractive to aspirants to renewal, it is also because of its dynamic labor market.

Due to the aging of the population (by 2025, 20% of the population will be 65 years old and over), the country has experienced, for several years, a significant shortage of manpower, further accentuated by the Covid crisis.

In August 2021, Statistics Canada counted 871,600 vacant positions (including 219,000 in Quebec).

Some sectors are particularly under pressure, such as catering, health, construction and even trade.

To meet its needs, the country plans to welcome 431,645 permanent residents in 2022, 447,055 in 2023 and 451,000 in 2024 (a total of 1.33 million immigrants by 2024).

“In a post-pandemic context, immigration is seen as an essential tool for economic recovery,

underlines Sophie Auger.

The French represent an interesting public because they are people who travel, open to the world and French-speaking.

We also have many French-speaking communities across Canada – not just in Quebec – and these also have staffing needs, whether in terms of schools, health care or cultural services.


Read the fileSettling in Canada: successfully arriving and settling in

Be careful though: if the country with the maple leaf is actively recruiting newcomers, do not enter whoever wants on the territory.

Canada practices selective immigration and selects candidates according to several criteria (age, studies, work experience, skills in English and French, etc.) For the authorities, this process is also a guarantee of successful integration.

Because mistrust!

If the grass may seem greener across the Atlantic, expatriation remains a challenge and, each year, French people return, disappointed with their experience.

To avoid disappointment, "

you have to go there with a certain humility and the desire to contribute to a society different from ours

," warns Benjamin Boutin, who deplores the fact that Canada is

“an attractive country but one that we know very little about”


*As registration in the consular registers is not compulsory, it is difficult to know precisely the number of French people living in Canada



8,965,588.85 km2 (2nd largest country in the world, after Russia)


38,436,447 inhabitants (as of October 1, 2021)


: 3.9 people per km2


 : ten provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Colombia -British, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador), three territories (Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut), six zones

Most populated cities:

Toronto ( 2,794,356

inhabitants), Montreal (1,762,949 inhabitants), Calgary (1,306,784 inhabitants) and Ottawa (1,017,449 inhabitants)

Unemployment rate:

5.3% (in March 2022)

Annual GDP per capita

 : 58,016 dollars (in 2020)

Source: Statistics Canada

Canada from East to West Le Figaro

"From East to West - Living in Canada why not you?"

, €8.90, available at newsstands and on

the Figaro Store


From East to West - Living in Canada why not you?

Le Figaro

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-07-05

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