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Settling in Canada City of Chatham-Kent PROFILE

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Chatham-Kent is a safe affordable group of 23 cities, towns and villages in the heart of south-western Ontario.

Chatham-Kent Facts

Chatham-Kent website

Population: 104,075 (2011)

Location — Central Canada
In Southwestern Ontario, an hour’s drive from Michigan in the US.

Warm summers, moderate winters with some snow.

Chatham-Kent is a safe affordable group of 23 cities, towns and villages in the heart of south-western Ontario. Bordered by Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the Sydenham River, the area offers a rich quality of life.

Chatham-Kent is one of Canada’s best cities in which to do business, with a diverse population, low start-up costs for businesses, and close proximity to the US border and large urban markets.

Chatham-Kent Features:

  • Safe communities with a rich cultural heritage, active living and one of the most moderate climates in Canada
  • Three major US border crossings, and three international airports within a one-hour drive
  • Financial incentives for business owners
  • Affordable housing
  • Excellent local schools and two post-secondary institutions
  • A local hospital and health services for families and seniors
  • A new YMCA, theatre, recreation centre and convention / exhibition centre 
  • Pastoral countryside, wildlife areas, sport fishing and water sports


Chatham-Kent is proud of its history of welcoming people of all backgrounds. During the American Civil War, the area was a vital link in the Underground Railway that allowed thousands of slaves to escape to freedom in Canada.

Today, Chatham-Kent is a thriving multi-cultural municipality. The area includes an active francophone community in the town of Pain Court, where many local businesses and organizations offer services in French.

As of the 2011 National Household Survey, there were 8,700 immigrants living in Chatham-Kent — 8.5 per cent of the total population. Of these, 6.1 per cent — 530 people in all — arrived between 2006 and 2011.

Countries of origin
Mexico, United Kingdom, Netherlands, United States, Other places of birth in Europe, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Germany, Philippines.

First languages spoken
English, French, German, Dutch, Portuguese.

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

Countries of Origin

These are the 30 most common birthplaces of immigrants to Chatham-Kent.

Country of Origin Total Immigrant Population
Immigrants Arriving
Mexico 1,590 175
United Kingdom 1,345 0
Netherlands 1,185
United States 835 100
Other Places of Birth in Europe 580
Portugal 480
Italy 300
Poland 280 0
Germany 250 0
Philippines 185 35
India 140 30
Korea, South 135
China 120 25
Other Places of Birth in Americas 115
Viet Nam 115 0
Hungary 95
Pakistan 90 15
Jamaica 80 0
Other Places of Birth in Asia 75
Greece 65
Other Places of Birth 60
Other Places of Birth in Africa 55
France 50 0
Russian Federation 50 0
Ireland, Republic of 50
Iran 50 0
Croatia 45
Bosnia and Herzegovina 45
Trinidad and Tobago 40
Romania 40 0

‡ 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 this municipality.

Mother Tongue Number (2011) % of Population (2011)
English 91,055 88.6%
French 3,335 3.2%
German 3,145 3.1%
Dutch 1,400 1.4%
Portuguese 690 0.7%
Italian 550 0.5%
Polish 455 0.4%
Spanish 255 0.2%
Flemish 225 0.2%
Czech 220 0.2%

Source: Statistics Canada (2011 Census of Canada)


These are the religions with the most adherents in Chatham-Kent.

Religion # of Adherents (2011)
Catholic 34,015
No Religious Affiliation 21,810
Other Christian 15,425
United Church 12,850
Anglican 6,565
Baptist 4,105
Presbyterian 3,515
Pentecostal 1,980
Lutheran 490
Muslim 330
Christian Orthodox 325
Other religions 170

Housing Information

Chatham-Kent offers a wide range of ownership housing, including small and large houses and condominiums. Property taxes are low, and prices are lower than those in many surrounding communities, and much lower than those in Ontario’s largest cities.

There are also over 11,000 rental homes in Chatham-Kent — about 4,600 in small apartment buildings.

Average rents
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in April 2013 was $620 and a two bedroom apartment was $701. The average monthly rent for a three bedroom apartment was $654.

Vacancy rate and availability
In Chatham-Kent, the vacancy rate for one bedroom rental apartments was 6.4 per cent and for two bedroom apartments was 5.8 per cent. The vacancy rate of three bedroom rental apartments was not available. 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 8 per cent for one bedroom apartments, 7.1 per cent for two bedroom apartments, and the rate for three bedroom apartments was not available.

Home purchase prices
In Chatham-Kent, the average house price, in 2012, was $144,757.

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 websites can help you find a home:

Community of Chatham-Kent, Housing Directory

Community of Chatham-Kent, How do I apply for social housing?

Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Coordinator, Youth Retention and Immigration

Adult Language & Learning of Chatham-Kent

Cultural Connections



Chatham-Kent boasts three major US border crossings, three international airports, and is close to a network of international highways and railways. Over 1 million Canadians live within one hour of Chatham-Kent’s borders.

Chatham-Kent is a leader in Ontario’s Green Energy Strategy, attracting a variety of wind power and solar energy investors. It is home to a number of internationally-recognized companies, and the head office of Pioneer Hi-Bred (a Dupont Company) and Union Gas.

Chatham-Kent’s economic development strategy includes growth in agriculture, advanced automotive parts manufacturing, business process outsourcing, next-generation energy, retail/commercial and tourism. 

Job Search Help

These websites and newspapers advertise Chatham-Kent jobs:

Finding a Job portal

Private employment services may also be available.

Business Start-ups

Chatham-Kent co-ordinated a number of resources to help new businesses, including:

The following resources link to organizations offering advice and support to people starting a business in Chatham-Kent:

Business Help and Resources: Chatham-Kent
A comprehensive website, including data, available locations and business directory

Small Business Centre
Business information and support services to help entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed in Chatham-Kent.

Entering the Workforce

This organization helps immigrants evaluate foreign credentials

World Education Services Canada

These websites can help immigrants evaluate foreign credentials and enter the Chatham-Kent workforce:

Job Help and Resources
Includes information on accreditation, job hunting (including resources in Arabic, French, Mandarin, Spanish and Vietnamese) and working in Ontario.


Chatham-Kent is home to two post-secondary institutions, St. Clair College and the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus, and a wide array of adult learning opportunities. It is also within driving distance of universities and colleges in Windsor, London and Sarnia.

Chatham-Kent also offers a full array of elementary and secondary schools for children aged 6 – 18 through a public and a Catholic school system. Some children are educated through home schools or fee-based private schools.

Universities and Colleges in Chatham-Kent

University of Guelph — Ridgetown Campus
A satellite site of the University of Guelph, offering a degree program in Bio-Resource Management and diploma programs in agriculture, horticulture, veterinary technology and environmental management.

St. Clair College
Located in Chatham and Wallaceburg. Offers diploma and degree programs in business, technology, health and community services.

Elementary and Secondary Schools (for Children and Youth)

Overview of educational opportunities

Lambton Kent District School Board

St. Clair Catholic School Board

Counseil scolaire de district des ecoles catholique du Sud-Ouest

Private schools are also available.

Community Services

Chatham-Kent is a thriving multicultural municipality that welcomes people of all backgrounds. It has a wide variety of cultural communities that can help newcomers get settled, establish a network of friends and access information.

Newcomers can find everything they need to know about moving to Chatham-Kent through the Welcome Newcomers portal.

Language Training

Adult Language and Learning Program

Settlement Help

These organizations provide all kinds of advice and support to immigrants:

Cultural Coalition of Chatham-Kent
Offers settlement services, job search help and translation services

List of cultural communities
Contact information for a wide array of ethnic and religious communities

Information on community, social, health and government services in Chatham-Kent

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.

Chatham-Kent is home to many newcomers and immigrants — some who have just put down roots and others who have established a family legacy here. Our history is rich with stories of immigration and our future is brighter because of it.

Scroll down for encouraging stories of immigrants who have chosen to live in Chatham-Kent!


Read Newcomer Stories

Get the Whole Picture

Get the Whole Picture Logo

Canada has flourished through the impact of immigration  from the Black settlers in the 1800s, to the European immigrants of the 1950s, right up to recent newcomers from Latin America and Asia.

Get the whole picture of immigration in Chatham-Kent through the stories of local newcomers!

The Muharrems

Let the story of the Muharrem family help you appreciate the sometimes forgotten  luxuries of living in Chatham-Kent. This is a friendly, supportive community that offers many opportunities.

Brian Machado

As the owner and head chef of the Chatham Breakfast House and Grille, Brian Machado makes a positive statement about Chatham-Kent through his world class culinary offerings. His story explifies the opportunities available here.

Dick Bulsink

In 1982, Dick Bulsink left his home in the Netherlands to take over Stekelbos Watch & Clock Repairs in Wallaceburg. This story demonstrates the rewards of integrity and courage, and the value of succession planning.

Master Sun Jung

A chance encounter on a train led Master Sun Jung out of his native land of South Korea to build a Taekwondo legacy in Canada. Keep reading to learn more about Master Sun’s journey, and the impact he has made in Chatham-Kent.

The Dutch Market

Charles Huls, son of Dutch immigrants, has been building up his business The Dutch Market to become the major European imports giant it is today. Since 1987, he has been cultivating growth and creating opportunities for many in Chatham-Kent.

Melina Marchand

Melina Marchand left her life in New York City for a new home with her husband (a Tilbury-native) in Chatham-Kent. She is a great example of a newcomer from just across the border who seeks opportunities to invest her skills into the future of her community.

Schinkel's Legacy

Schinkel’s Legacy in Chatham-Kent processes and distributes quality meat across Ontario. Its name captures the significance of the Schinkel’s story and the example that the Schinkel family has inspired us with: support our community and local businesses.

Joseph Grootenboer

Thunder Bay native Joseph Grootenboer demonstrates the passion, faith and hard work required to cultivate a small business venture. As owner of River Bell Market Garden in Dresden, Joseph has a fresh vision for the future of Chatham-Kent's farm-to-table agriculture scene.

Terry Johnson

Since coming to Chatham-Kent from England, Terry Johnson has helped grow his business into an incredibly successful international company. His insights into business growth speak to the benefits of planning for the future and embracing cultural diversity in Chatham-Kent.

Karel & Cheryl

Karel Vitamvas and Cheryl Knight moved to Chatham-Kent in 2011 and have truly made their home here. The success of their small business CK Spices, Coffee & Teas in Wallaceburg exemplifies what can be accomplished when you are committed to your community and care about your customers.

Watch Newcomer Videos

A man in japanese chef attireTwo Words

Local newcomers and other residents describe what Chatham-Kent means to them in two words. [1:01]

A man and woman in two separate photos about to speakWelcome Home to Chatham-Kent

A diverse group of local newcomers discuss why they love Chatham-Kent and reveal the opportunities they are able to take advantage of locally. [12:44]

I Love Chatham-Kent

Local newcomers and other residents discuss why they love Chatham-Kent [0:40]


Newcomer Employment Stories

Dan Levesque

English and French [1:56]

Dr. Will Saxena

English and Hindi [2:57]

Derek Conley

English [1:10]

Newcomer Entrepreneurship Stories


I Love Chatham-Kent (Business)

English [0:55]

Hugo Ramos

English and French [1:56]

Mike Hatfield - English

English [2.46]

Mike Hatfield - French Subtitles

English and French [2:46]

Rudy Zubler

English and Swiss [2:43]

Newcomer Education Stories

Amir Naveed

English [3:19]

Anthony Dube

English [1:44]

Lynn McGeachy Schultz and Enjum Efroz, St. Clair College

English [3:40]



Things to Do

A bunch of kids playing on play equipment in Mitchell's Bay

Photo courtesy of Jackie Plank,
Chatham Camera Club

Chatham-Kent offers great dining, shopping, beaches, parks, programs, and nationally renowned events and attractions. We offer amazing opportunities for individuals and families to enjoy and to participate in.

Entertainment and Attractions

Whether you’re in the mood for a performance at our beautiful Capitol Theatre, catching a movie at our state-of-the-art Galaxy Cinema, or simply enjoying a local dining experience, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Chatham-Kent. Beyond shows and dining, Chatham-Kent is home to enriching historical sites, museums, art galleries, natural attractions and tourist attractions, including the RM Classic Car Exhibit – one of North America’s finest classic car collections.


People swimming in a large indoor pool with a blue slide, under a glass roof

Photo courtesy of Jean De Bruyn,
Chatham Camera Club

Chatham-Kent offers an abundance of activities for you and your family to participate in. Music, drama, sports, hobbies, events and festivals – we've got them all! Visit our Recreation, Events & Activities page to connect yourself to these opportunities.

You should also check out our information on youth recreation and special interests.

Day-to-day Life

Life is about more than work and responsibilities. We want to help you:

Stay informed

Visit the Chatham-Kent Events Calendar or Chatham-Kent Tourism to learn more about what’s waiting for you in Chatham-Kent.

Contact Information
Chatham-Kent Tourism
Toll Free:







Health & Wellness

A group of bikers on a path surrounded by trees in Wheatley Provincial Park

Photo courtesy of the Chatham Camera Club

Chatham-Kent proudly offers quality health care and other amenities that contribute to overall health and wellness. It is our pleasure to connect you with doctors, specialists, programs, facilities and resources that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle for you and your family.

Getting Started

If you are new to Ontario, we hope you find comfort in knowing that our health care system is known as one of the best in the world. However, before you can enjoy the health care benefits here, you must first apply for coverage under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

OHIP covers most medically necessary services, and is available to landed immigrants, permanent residents, Canadian citizens and registered Indians under the Indian Act. Please visit our OHIP page to learn how you can apply for coverage, receive your Ontario Health Card, and begin benefiting from the excellent health care service Ontario provides.

Making Connections

We are very confident in the quality of health care available in Chatham-Kent. The municipality offers excellent health care provision, from competent staff in state of the art facilities. It is our pleasure to help connect you to a family doctor, dentist and other health care professionals. We can also provide you with information about specialists, alternative medicines, fitness gyms and programs, and other contributors to overall health and wellness.

We also want to connect you with information about our local hospitals and what you should do if you or someone you know requires emergency medical attention. Within Chatham-Kent we have two hospital locations, one in Chatham and the other in Wallaceburg. Both are part of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and offer emergency service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Chatham-Kent is also a 9-1-1 community. In case of an emergency, call 9-1-1 and emergency service and assistance will be provided to you. The phone service is free of charge, although a fee may be charged if transportation by ambulance is required.

Family & Daily Life

Chatham-Kent is a safe and affordable community for families, couples and individuals at all stages in life. Our communities have tons to offer, from childhood into retirement.


There are many resources to help parents in Chatham-Kent, including the Best Start program, which is offered through Ontario Early Years Centres (OEYC). Other resources can be found through our Public Libraries and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, as well as Childcare and Youth Services pages.


We want your child to be exposed to every opportunity possible. Please use the following links to inform yourself about the programs, activities, events and clubs available to your children:


Come Back to C-K 
See why these people came "baCK" to  Chatham-Kent!

Learn more about our "baCK to Chatham-Kent" program.

Newcomer Videos:
C-K in "Two Words"

Watch and read more Newcomer Stories and learn why they chose Chatham-Kent!


Our community offers amenities and activities to help seniors enjoy life in safe communities and pursue healthy active lives. We have many resources and services geared toward seniors, as well as recreation opportunities.

Helpful Resources

The resources below are meant to help you improve and better enjoy your life in Chatham-Kent. To stay informed about other engaging community initiatives, connect with us on Facebook, by "liking" our Facebook page.

Chatham-Kent Public Library

The Chatham-Kent Public Library (CKPL) has eleven branch locations across Chatham-Kent, connecting our communities with information and inspiration.

CKPL runs many programs and events, such as:

  • Storytime for infants and toddlers
  • Movies @ Your Library
  • Book Readings
  • Craft workshops
  • Computer Workshops

Click here to learn more about CKPL's Programs & Events.

You should also learn more about the CKPL's:

Places of Worship

Chatham-Kent has many places of worship that provide programs and services for individuals and families. These may include children's programs, special interest groups, support programs and services, and social events.

Provincial and Federal Government Resources



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