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Settling in Canada St. John’s PROFILE

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St. John’s offers all the amenities of the greater Canadian community while keeping its “small town,” European flavour.

St. John’s

St. John’s Facts

St. John’s website

Population: 196,965 (2011)

Location – Atlantic Canada
Canada’s most easterly city.

Third most temperate climate in Canada. Mild, snowy winters, variable summers.

St. John’s offers all the amenities of the greater Canadian community while keeping its “small town,” European flavour.

For companies and families relocating to St. John’s, the city offers a natural environment, quality educational and medical facilities, clean air, safe streets and inexpensive housing.

St. John’s features:

  • An “A” ranking as one of Canada’s most desirable cities for immigrants
  • Newfoundland and Labrador’s financial, cultural, commercial and government centre
  • Fifty per cent of the total provincial GDP
  • Memorial University — Atlantic Canada’s largest university
  • Its famous jelly-bean coloured downtown row houses
  • Many hiking trails and lookouts carved into the city’s seaside hills
  • A location on the Avalon Peninsula, ranked by National Geographic as the “World’s Top Coastal Destination.”


St. John’s

St. John’s is an historic city settled by people of English or Irish descent, and ninety-four per cent of the population is English speaking.

However, the St. John’s metropolitan area has welcomed 62 per cent of immigrants to Newfoundland and Labrador. Immigrants come from 100 different countries and speak 90 languages.

Known throughout Canada as a free-spirited city, St. John’s offers many opportunities to celebrate cultural and religious diversity.

As of the 2011 National Household Survey, there were 5,880 immigrants living in St. John's – 3.0 per cent of the total population. Of these, 27.5 per cent – 1,615 people in all – arrived between 2006 and 2011.

Countries of origin
United Kingdom, United States, China, Other places of birth in Asia, India, Other places of birth in Africa, Other places of birth in Europe, Germany, Pakistan, Iran.

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

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

Countries of origin

These are the 30 most common birthplaces of immigrants to St. John’s.

Country of Origin Total Immigrant Population (2011) Immigrants Arriving 2006 – 2011
United Kingdom 1,480 90
United States 915 180
China 355 130
Other places of birth in Asia 330
India 260 70
Other places of birth in Africa 245
Other places of birth in Europe 215
Germany 170 0
Pakistan 155 150
Iran 130 30
Ireland, Republic of 125
Bangladesh 115 75
Other places of birth in Americas 90
Taiwan 90 60
Russian Federation 85 0
Nigeria 80 40
Philippines 80 65
Other places of birth 75
Sri Lanka 70 0
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 60 0
France 55 0
Colombia 50 35
Poland 50 0
Portugal 45
Viet Nam 45 0
Korea, South 40
Hungary 35
Egypt 35 25
South Africa, Republic of 35 15
Japan 35 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 the Region.

Mother Tongue Number (2011) % of Population (2011)
English 189,570 97.2%
French 1,090 0.6%
Chinese, n.o.s.* 750 0.4%
Arabic 425 0.2%
Spanish 370 0.2%
German 215 0.1%
Bengali 200 0.1%
Russian 185 0.1%
Mandarin 170 0.1%
Urdu 165 0.1%

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


These are the religions with the most adherents in St. John’s.

Religion # of Adherents (2011)
Catholic 88,305
Anglican 40,455
United Church 26,255
No religious affiliation 17,120
Other Christian 11,680
Pentecostal 5,230
Presbyterian 1,255
Muslim 1,020
Baptist 660
Hindu 540
Other religions 385
Lutheran 290

Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

Housing Information

St. John’s

St. John’s has the highest rate of home ownership in the country, with housing starts doubling since 1999, and increased by 6.6 per cent in 2010.

The St. John’s area also offers a mix of rental options in houses and apartment buildings.

Average rents
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in April 2013 was $708 and a two bedroom apartment was $832. The average monthly rent for a three bedroom apartment was $885.

Vacancy rate and availability
In St. John's, the vacancy rate for one bedroom rental apartments was 0.9 per cent and for two bedroom apartments was 1.6 per cent. The vacancy rate of three bedroom rental apartments was 3.6 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 1.2 per cent for one bedroom apartments, 2.1 per cent for two bedroom apartments, and 3.6 per cent for three bedroom apartments.

Home purchase prices
In St. John's, the average house price, in 2012, was $268,776.

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:

Association for New Canadians
Helps find housing for government-assisted refugees.

Choices for Youth

The City of St. John's Non-Profit Housing Division
The Non-Profit Housing Division rents out one, two, three and four bedroom units to low and moderate income earners.

Co-op Housing Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
Subsidized and market units. Co-op members share responsibility for owning and managing the co-op.

The Newfoundland & Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC)
Subsidized housing rents for low-income earners. NLHC also has a Rent Supplement Program.

Stella Burry Community Services

City of St. John’s


St. John’s

The St. John's economy is founded on natural resources and its role as the province’s capital.

A thriving oil and gas sector is creating new employment opportunties, leading to a steady decline in unemployment rates. In 2010, the unemployment rate was 7.6 per cent – almost half the rate in 1996.

St. John's is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and creative approach to business, with an innovative research and development community, and a highly skilled labour force.

Job search help

These web sites list jobs in St. John’s:

The City of St. John's Employment Opportunities
St John’s is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to the employment of a qualified workforce which reflects the community's diversity.

Private employment services may also be available

Business start-ups

These organizations offer advice and support to people starting small businesses in St. John’s:

St. John's Business Information Centre
Provides resource material to new and expanding businesses including business planning, market research and sources of financing.

Operating a Business in the City of St. John's: Regulations and Processes

Online business permits and license service. This website is a partnership between the City of St. John's, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Government of Canada.

Entering the workforce

This organization helps immigrants evaluate foreign credentials

World Education Services Canada

These organizations help immigrants enter the St. John’s workforce:

Service Canada

Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment

Work Destinations Website
A comprehensive source of information on regulated trades and professions in Canada. It contains information on entry requirements in both official languages and is the online site designed primarily for professional or trades people moving within Canada. It also provides information for persons considering immigration to Canada.


St. John’s

St. John’s is home to Memorial University, Atlantic Canada’s largest university. It also offers a wide array of accredited post-secondary institutes.

St. John’s offers education for children and youth through the public system, and through one school administered through the province-wide Francophone public school system. Schools in both systems are free of charge.

Universities and colleges in St. John’s:

Memorial University of Newfoundland
Atlantic Canada's largest comprehensive university and one of the region's most important research facilities. 16,000 students, 900 faculty and 1,500 administrative and support staff.

The Marine Institute
A world-class Centre of Excellence in education, advanced fisheries and marine technology. Its mandate encompasses education and training, applied research, and technology transfer.

College of the North Atlantic
Newfoundland and Labrador's public college, and one of the largest post- secondary educational and skills training centres in Atlantic Canada. Offers over 70 full-time programs and more than 300 part-time courses.

Elementary and secondary schools (for children and youth):

Eastern School District
Operates the public school system in the St. John's region. The Eastern School District also offers classroom French and a full French immersion program.

Conseil Scolaire Francophone
St. John's has one school that is part of the province-wide Francophone public school district - Ecole des Grands-Vents.

Private schools may also be available.

Community Services

St. John’s

It is easy to meet people and make new friends in St. John's.

As of 2008, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has a multiculturalism policy which encourages all residents to welcome newcomers. There are also many organizations within the city which provide newcomers with an opportunity to meet others.

Settlement help

These organizations provide all kinds of support to immigrants:
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.

Association for New Canadians
A full service immigrant settlement agency offering a comprehensive array of programs and services to the newcomer. The wide array of programs and services are designed to support inclusion and integration, and foster cross cultural awareness and understanding.

African and Canadian Association of Newfoundland
E-Mail: aoyet@math-mun.ca

Canadian Race Relation Foundation
E-Mail: pkamra@mun.ca

Chinese Association of Newfoundland and Labrador,
E-Mail: bwong@mun.ca

Friends of India Association
E-Mail: hnaidu@mun.ca

Hebrew Congregation of Newfoundland and Labrador
E-Mail: mpaul@mun.ca

Hindu Temple (St. John's) Association
E-Mail: vgadog@mun.ca

Italians of Terra Nova
E-Mail: jsale@crosbiegroup.com

Korean Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
E-Mail: cho@physics-mun.ca

L'Association communautaire francophone de Saint-Jean

Multicultural Women's Association
Tel: 709-753-5964

Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
E-Mail: anver@mun.ca

Newcomers Club St. John's

Newfoundland and Labrador Multicultural Council Inc.
E-mail: secretary@nlmfac.ca

Philippine-Newfoundland Organization
Tel: 709-754-2823

Sharing Our Cultures
E-Mail: quaicoe@gmail.com

Other help

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

Public transit (Metrobus)

Child care subsidies
To qualify, you must be employed full- or part-time, and your child(ren) must be enrolled in a licensed day care facility.

International Graduate Retention Incentive Program
Helps international students who have graduated from recognized post-secondary institutions in the province stay in Newfoundland and Labrador.






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