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Settling in Canada Brandon Profile

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Brandon is a welcoming community offering the employment and educational opportunities of Manitoba’s second largest city within minutes of quiet country living.


Brandon Facts

Brandon website

Population: 53,225 (2011)

Location — Western Canada
South-west Manitoba, 1 hour north of US border, 2 hours west of Winnipeg.

Four distinct seasons. Warm summers, bright snowy winters.

Brandon is a welcoming community offering the employment and educational opportunities of Manitoba’s second largest city within minutes of quiet country living.

Brandon offers some of the most affordable housing in Canada, a diversified manufacturing base, low crime rate, clean water and excellent indoor recreational facilities. Opportunities for downhill skiing, golf, fishing, and hiking are all a short drive away.

Brandon Features:

  • Voted Best Place to Live in Western Canada; second best in Canada for job prospects (MoneySense Magazine)
  • Ranked one of Canada’s Best Places to Raise a Family (Today’s Parent)
  • Low cost of living
  • A University, regional Community College and Emergency Services College. 
  • 17 km of river corridor and 45 km of paved walking trails
  • A regional health centre with a wide range of specialist services
  • A maximum in-city commute of 15 minutes; cottage country 20 minutes away
  • Ranked 6th sunniest city in Canada


Brandon Population

Brandon became a city in 1882 when thousands of people flocked to the new centre for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Today, Brandon is experiencing a new growth spurt. A growing economy, coupled with a labour shortage and a highly successful Provincial Immigration Program doubled the historic immigration rate in 2004.

Since then immigration has continued to climb, doubling from 642 immigrants in 2007 to 1433 immigrants in 2010. The majority of immigrant growth since 2006 has been in 3 language groups: Spanish, Mandarin and Ukrainian/Russian.

As of the 2011 National Household Survey, there were 6,295 immigrants living in Brandon — 12.1 per cent of the total population. Of these, 55.5 per cent — 3,495 people in all — arrived between 2006 and 2011.

Countries of origin
China, El Salvador, United Kingdom, Colombia, United States, Ukraine, Germany, India, Philippines, Other places of birth in Americas.

First languages spoken
English, Spanish, German, Chinese, French.

No religious affiliation, Catholic, United Church, Other Christian, Anglican, Pentecostal.

Countries of Origin

These are the 30 most common birthplaces of immigrants to Brandon.

Country of Origin Total Immigrant Population
Immigrants Arriving
2006 – 2011
China 1,035 865
El Salvador 830
United Kingdom 715 35
Colombia 590 560
United States 380 60
Ukraine 285 185
Germany 270 25
India 265 115
Philippines 265 185
Other Places of Birth in Americas 225
Other Places of Birth in Africa 185
Korea, South 145
Other Places of Birth in Asia 100
Mexico 95 10
Poland 85 0
Other Places of Birth in Europe 85
Ethiopia 75 45
Netherlands 70
South Africa, Republic of 65 25
Russian Federation 60 40
Pakistan 50 0
Ireland, Republic of 45
Other Places of Birth 35
Greece 30
Iran 30 0
Egypt 25 15
Nigeria 25 20
France 20 0
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 20 0
Lebanon 20 15

‡ Statistics Canada did not publish data for some countries of origin for recent immigrants.
Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

First Languages

These are the top ten “first languages” — the mother tongue spoken by people who live in the region.

Mother Tongue Number (2011) % of Population (2011)
English 44,660 85.1%
Spanish 2,035 3.9%
German 1,030 2.0%
Chinese, n.o.s.* 990 1.9%
French 920 1.8%
Ukrainian 790 1.5%
Tagalog (Pilipino, Filipino) 210 0.4%
Mandarin 205 0.4%
Russian 155 0.3%
Amharic 150 0.3%

* Not otherwise specified.
Source: Statistics Canada (2011 Census of Canada)


These are the religions with the most adherents in Brandon.

Religion # of Adherents (2011)
No Religious Affiliation 17,665
Catholic 9,835
United Church 8,645
Other Christian 6,175
Anglican 3,150
Pentecostal 1,635
Presbyterian 1,200
Lutheran 1,155
Baptist 890
Christian Orthodox 500
Hindu 235
Muslim 230

Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

Housing Information

Brandon Housing Information

Manitoba’s housing costs are amongst the lowest in Canada, putting home ownership in easy reach of most people.

Brandon has a variety of housing options in all price ranges and types, including houses and condominium apartments. For those who prefer to live in a rural setting, there are homes located minutes away from Brandon in the rural municipalities of Cornwallis and Elton. 

Average rents
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in April 2013 was $589 and a two bedroom apartment was $773. The average monthly rent for a three bedroom apartment was $992.

Vacancy rate and availability
In Brandon, the vacancy rate for one bedroom rental apartments was 1.5 per cent and for two bedroom apartments was 0.8 per cent. The vacancy rate of three bedroom rental apartments was 1.1 per cent. This was the proportion of rental apartments that are vacant and ready for move-in in April 2013.

The proportion, in April 2013, of apartments that are vacant or for which the present occupant has given notice to move-out was 1.6 per cent for one bedroom apartments,  0.8 per cent for two bedroom apartments, and 1.1 per cent for three bedroom apartments.

Home purchase prices
In Brandon, the average house price, in 2012, was $194,936.

For more up-to-date information, see CMHC's Housing Market Information website, and the Canadian Housing Observer.

Housing Help

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation — Housing information for Newcomers

These agencies can help you find housing:

Economic Development Brandon
Comprehensive list of housing resources

Manitoba Housing
Provincially-managed subsidized housing. Applicants must be Canadian citizens, landed immigrants or refugees. How to apply.


Brandon Employment

Brandon is the education, health, retail, service and entertainment centre for southwest Manitoba. It is a major centre for agriculture-related industry. But the Brandon economy also has enough diversity to remain stable despite peaks and valleys in the farm economy.

Key employers include: farm fertilizer production, manufacturing, pork processing, metal fabrication and trucking; Federal, Provincial and Municipal government; local university and colleges; regional health care centre; international event hosting; and services.

Job Search Help

These web sites list jobs in Brandon:

City of Brandon
Lists municipal job postings for the City of Brandon

Employment Manitoba

Private employment services may also be available.

Business Start-ups

These organizations offer advice and support to people starting small businesses in Brandon:

Manitoba Entrepreneurs & Small Business website

Economic Development Brandon
Email: econdev@brandon.ca

Brandon Chamber of Commerce
Email: gm@brandonchamber.ca

Business Development Bank of Canada
940 Princess Ave.
Brandon, MB R7A 0P6
Phone: 204-726-7570
Fax: 204-726-7555

Community Futures Westman
Email: bdc@cfwestman.ca

Entrepreneurship, Training & Trade
Rm 127 – 340 9th Street
Brandon, MB R7A 6C2
Phone: 204-726-6908

Entering the Workforce

This organization helps immigrants evaluate foreign credentials

World Education Services Canada

These organizations help immigrants find jobs:

Career & Employment Youth Services
A non-profit organization that works with youth between the ages of 15 and 30 with all aspects of their job search, including career counseling, referrals to employment, free internet access.


Brandon Education

Brandon is the only Canadian city with a population less than 50,000 to offer a University, Community College and Fire and Emergency Services College, along with several private vocational schools.

The publicly funded Brandon School Division provides schooling for students from Kindergarten to grade 12 within Brandon. The Division is large enough to offer the wide range of educational and student support services found in larger centres, but small enough to recognize individual needs and focus on community development. Located within Brandon are 3 traditional high schools, 1 alternate high school and 16 early and middle years schools. French Immersion programming is offered from Kindergarten to Grade 12 at 3 division schools, with one of the schools being single track French programming. The Division also offers vocational training at Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School.

Brandon has one independent Christian school offering classes from kindergarten to grade eight. This school’s curriculum is consistent with the Department of Education standards established for the Manitoba Education system. Students attending this school are required to pay tuition.

Universities and Colleges in Brandon

Brandon University
Founded in 1899, this university offers has a full slate of undergraduate programs and select graduate level research programs.

Assiniboine Community College
A 50 year-old college nationally recognized for its excellent program offerings across a wide spectrum of diploma programs and its applied research program.

Manitoba Emergency Services College
Training for fire-fighters, paramedics and emergency services attracting students from across Canada.

Elementary and Secondary Schools (for Children and Youth)

Brandon School Division

Private schools may also be available.

Community Services

Brandon has welcomed close to 5,000 immigrants in the past ten years. Every neighbourhood and school includes newcomers. Immigrants have also become business leaders. Several immigrants have become highly successful housing developers, and a significant number of our professors, instructors and physicians are also newcomers.

Settlement Help

These organizations provide all kinds of support to immigrants:

Economic Development Brandon
Online Information and links to immigration-related resources.

Westman Immigrant Services
Provides language assessment, English classes, family literacy, Settlement Services and Employment Assistance, including credential recognition. WIS can also match immigrants with community volunteers for friendship and support.

Assiniboine Community College
Offers free English as an Additional Language classes to people tested and referred by Westman Immigration Services.

Citizen and Immigration Canada
Provides information on coming to Canada to immigrate, study, work and live. On this website you will find forms, policies and regulations, research, services, publications and visa offices.

Other Help

These websites provide information on public transit, child care and government support programs:

Economic Development Brandon Relocation Package
Available in English, Spanish and Mandarin. Provides information on public transportation, childcare, education and recreational facilities, housing, etc.





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