Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas

<<2021 Census of Population in Canada>>

Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas

Roland is an achieved merchant from Gabon. However, he recently decided to immigrate to Canada. According to his immigration consultant, he could immigrate to Ontario as an entrepreneur. Nonetheless, Roland has heard you could lose points if you pick a populated Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in Ontario. Consequently, he wonders what CMA is and how he could locate different CMAs in Ontario.

NOTE: Ontario suspended OINP-ES on December 4, 2023. Please sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates about this and other programs.

A little bit about Ontario

Ontario is the most populated province in Canada. About 38% of Canadians live in Ontario. Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is an Ontarian city. However, the capital of Ontario, Toronto, is significantly larger than Ottawa. About one-sixth of Canadians live in the Greater Toronto Area. Also, you may like to know Ontario generates about 40% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product. No wonder many people want to immigrate to this province.

Immigration to Canada as an Entrepreneur

If you are a business person or a successful senior manager, you could immigrate to Ontario as an entrepreneur. Of course, you need to meet the criteria. To begin with, you need to express your interest in doing business and living in Ontario. Thus, you enter your information via an online application. You receive some points upon submitting the Expression of Interest (EOI). The higher your score, the higher your chances of immigrating to the province! You must choose your intended business’s location as part of the EOI application.

What is an Ontario Census Metropolitan Area?

Statistics Canada identifies a Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) as a location with more than 100,000 people. Of course, this area has a core and may consist of one or more municipalities. Here are some examples from Ontario:

  • Chatham-Kent in southwestern Ontario has a population of 102,000 or so. The core city of this area is Chatham. However, many significant surrounding areas exist, such as Wallaceburg, Blenheim, and Tilbury. Since the total population is more than 100,000, then Chatham-Kent is a CMA.
  • Northumberland County, in the south of Ontario, consists of seven municipalities. However, their population is less than 90,000 collectively. Consequently, Northumberland County is not a CMA.

Census Metropolitan Area EOI points for immigration.

If you are applying for OINP-EN or the Ontario Entrepreneur Stream, consider the points you could gain or lose because of your target area. The following table shows the points based on your future business location in Ontario.

Business LocationCategoryEOI Points
Toronto CMA, with a population of 6,000,000A0
CMA, with more than 175,000 populationA0
CMA between 100,000 and 175,000 in populationB5
Non-CMA location or rather an area that has a population of less than 100,000C10

The total EOI points are 200. Thus, the difference in choosing a non-CMA location compared to a large urban area could account for 5% of the total potential points.

Toronto Census Metropolitan Area

Toronto CMA, or the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), has a population of about 6,000,000. If you target this area, losing the CMA points is the least of your problems. You will lose EOI points on many fronts. The following table shows Toronto CMA cities.

TorontoMississaugaHalton Hills
Richmond HillNew TecumsethOakville
Bradford West GwillimburyAjaxOrangeville

Source: OINP-EN application guide.

Category A – Highly populated Census Metropolitan Areas

The following areas fall under Category A. Of course, you won’t receive any points if your intended business is in these areas.

CMA Category APopulation**
Toronto (GTA)5,928,040
Kitchener – Cambridge – Waterloo523,894
St. Catherines – Niagara406,074

Source: OINP-EN application guide.

* You may only choose Ottawa as your destination, as Gatineau is in Quebec.

** The population is based on the 2016 Census and could change anytime.

Category B – Moderately populated Census Metropolitan Areas

If your intended business operates in any of the following CMAs, you could receive 5 EOI points.

CMA Category BPopulation*
Greater Sudbury164,689
Thunder Bay121,621

Source: OINP-EN application guide.

* The population is based on the 2016 Census and could change anytime.

Category C – Non-CMA destinations

If you choose a non-CMA destination, such as Northumberland County, you may receive 10 EOI points.

OINP Entrepreneur points calculator

We have designed a proprietary calculator that helps you estimate your EOI score. The following image takes you to the calculator page.

OINP-EN EOI Calculator

Of course, the destination city is just one criterion among many that will affect your EOI points.

Let us help!

Please complete our free assessment form to visit or move to Canada. We will review the form for free but will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licenced practitioner.

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Would you please fill out our free assessment form if you wish to visit or move to Canada? We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal immigration advice from a licensed practitioner.

Al ParsaiAl Parsai, LLM, MA, RCIC-IRB
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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Al Parsai

This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.