As a newcomer planning your move to Canada, choosing a city in which to settle is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Many newcomers to Canada consider moving to Toronto or a city in the Greater Toronto Area where they believe they’ll experience a good quality of life, abundant amenities, extensive job opportunities, cultural diversity, and an inclusive environment. Brampton, a suburb of Toronto that offers all of these benefits at a lower cost of living, is a city many newcomers call home.
In this article, we cover various aspects of living in Brampton as a newcomer, including the region’s weather, culture, job market, transit system, and more.
Brampton is part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)—a vast area that includes Toronto as well as the regional municipalities of Peel, York, Halton, and Durham. Brampton is part of the Region of Peel which also includes the City of Mississauga and Town of Caledon. Located 40 km northwest of Toronto and directly north of Mississauga, Brampton covers an area of 266 square kilometres with a population of 656,480. It’s the fourth most populous city in Ontario, and ninth most populous in Canada.
Fondly called the “flower city” in reference to its once thriving greenhouse industry, Brampton now has more than 9,000 acres of parkland including 850 parks, open spaces, and trails. Maclean’s Magazine ranked it among the top 15 cities to live in its “Canada’s Best Communities 2021” list.
Weather in Brampton
Brampton experiences all four seasons through the year: winter, spring, summer, and fall. Similar to Toronto, winters are cold and snowy from November to March. January is the coldest month of the year with temperatures as low as -10° C and winds that make it feel even colder.
Summers are warm and humid, lasting from June to August with average temperatures ranging from 18° C to 27° C. Precipitation in the form of snow in winter, and rain in spring and fall is common.
Culture and languages in Brampton
Brampton is a multicultural city that attracts newcomers from across the globe to create a community with diverse traditions, languages, and customs. According to the 2016 census, 52 per cent of Brampton’s population was born outside of Canada, predominantly in countries such as India, Jamaica, Pakistan, Philippines, Guyana, Sri Lanka, UK, Portugal, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam.
You’ll hear a wide range of languages spoken in Brampton. After English, the most spoken languages are Punjabi and Urdu. In Canada’s 2016 census, almost 97 per cent of Brampton residents reported they speak English, in addition to a non-official language.
As a newcomer, you won’t have to look far for a taste of home while living in Brampton, thanks to its diverse restaurants, grocery stores, cultural events and shops that reflect the many cultures of its residents.
Tip: Read our article series for information on where to find groceries, food, places of worship, and other services to give you a taste of home in the Greater Toronto Area:
Tip: Read our article to learn about the in-demand jobs in Ontario, along with insights into key industries and cities with the most employment opportunities. You can also download our job market guide to learn more about the scope of your occupation in Canada.
Brampton is home to more than 75,000 businesses offering employment opportunities across a range of sectors. Manufacturing is the largest employment sector, followed by a range of industries that include food and beverage, health and life sciences, IT and communication technology, supply chain and logistics, and business services.
Brampton is situated within the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor—a 112 km stretch of land from Toronto to Waterloo that is North America’s second largest technology cluster. Populated with thousands of tech companies from startups to multinationals, jobs in the technology sector are widely available in Brampton and surrounding areas.
Renting accommodation in Brampton
As a newcomer, you may want to book temporary accommodation for your first few weeks in Canada. This will give you time to familiarize yourself with the neighbourhoods and find a suitable location for longer-term housing. Most newcomers choose to rent accommodation when they first arrive in Canada with the goal of buying a home a few years later.
While looking for rental accommodation in Brampton, you may want to explore different types of housing depending on your budget, family size, and preferred neighbourhood. Brampton offers a wide range of rentals including apartments, basement apartments, condos, townhouses, semi-detached, and detached houses.
Brampton has among the lowest rental rates for accommodations in the GTA, with average rents being 20 to 40 per cent lower compared to the city of Toronto. In April 2022, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Brampton was $1,623 CAD, compared to $2,044 CAD in Toronto. On average, a two-bedroom apartment rented for $1,822 CAD in Brampton while a two-bedroom apartment in Toronto rented for $2,640 CAD. Rental rates for a basement apartment in Brampton ranged from approximately $1,400 CAD to $1,850 CAD depending on size and number of bedrooms.
People living in Brampton travel mostly by car or public transit within the region. Driving a car is the quickest and easiest way to get around. You’ll need an Ontario driver’s license to lease, purchase or drive an automobile. Ontario has a three-step graduated driver’s licensing system and most newcomers need to take a knowledge test and two road tests to get a full license (G license). As a newcomer, you may be able to drive in Ontario for up to 90 days using your foreign driver’s license.
Public transit is another popular way to get around in Brampton. The city has one of the fastest growing transit systems in Canada. Bus transportation is available on Brampton Transit as well as Züm, a rapid transit service along the city’s popular routes. With a pay-as-you-board system, you can pay using cash or Presto – a reloadable smart card to access public transportation across Toronto and the GTA. Brampton Transit riders can connect to buses in the municipalities of Mississauga (Miway) and York (York Regional Transit or YRT).
For travel outside of Brampton, you can take the GO Train from one of Brampton’s stations that connect to downtown Toronto and cities across the GTA. For travel outside of the region, a VIA Rail station is located in the city’s downtown, and the Toronto Pearson International Airport is nearby.
How much money do you need to live in Brampton?
The cost of living in Brampton will depend on the neighborhood you choose, your lifestyle, the size of your family, and whether you plan to use public transportation or drive. All said and done, it’ll likely be cheaper to live in Brampton than in Toronto downtown. You can use Arrive’s cost of living calculator to get an estimate of your monthly expenses in Brampton, including the cost of renting accommodation and more.
Education in Brampton
Sending your children to school in Brampton
Brampton offers several schooling options for children, including free public schools and Catholic schools, as well as private schools. The public schools operate under the Peel District School Board which includes schools in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. In Brampton, alone, there are 122 elementary and secondary public schools and 90 Catholic elementary and secondary schools. Catholic schools are managed by the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board which includes all Catholic schools in Brampton, Mississauga, Orangeville, and Caledon.
Kindergarten students must be at least 4 years of age by December 31 of the school year for which they are registering. Elementary schools typically enrol students up to age 13 years, or up to Grade eight. Secondary schools, or high schools, enrol students aged 14 to 18 and offer classes for Grades 9 to 12.
As a newcomer in Brampton, you can register your child into Kindergarten through the school board. From grade one upwards, the Peel District School Board requires you to register through its Welcome Centre if you’re new to Peel, Ontario or Canada. Newcomer Welcome Centres give newcomer children access to multicultural liaison officers, settlement workers, and English language classes to help them better adapt to their new school.
You can also enrol your children in English as a second language (ESL) programs offered by both school boards. The school system in Ontario also offers international language programs to help newcomer children stay in touch with their native languages. Both school boards offer international language classes for elementary and secondary students on Saturdays through the school year. Enrolment is open to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Higher education in Brampton
Residents of Brampton enjoy a variety of higher education opportunities within the city, as well as surrounding areas. In addition to a Sheridan College and Algoma University campus, there are a number of renowned universities and colleges in nearby Toronto, Mississauga, Waterloo, and Hamilton.
Davis campus is the largest of Sheridan College’s campuses. It recently opened the Magna Skilled Trades Centre which features the college’s skilled trades and apprenticeship programs. The other Sheridan campuses are located in Mississauga and Oakville.
Algoma University, which is based in Sault Ste. Marie, has a campus in downtown Brampton that includes a School of Business and Economics, as well as a School of Computer Science and Technology.
Health care in Brampton
Canadian permanent residents and citizens living in Brampton qualify for publicly funded health care through the provincial government’s Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP). There is no waiting period for OHIP coverage. If you’re eligible, you can apply to get immediate health insurance coverage.
Brampton has a large network of clinics and doctors’ offices to provide health services to residents, as well as the full-service Brampton Civic Hospital, which is part of the William Osler Health System. As you settle into Brampton, you can use Ontario’s Health Care Connect to find a family doctor in your area. If you require specialized care, your family doctor can refer you to a specialist.
RBC Newcomer Meeting Place in Brampton
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has set up several Newcomer Meeting Places across Canada to help newcomers with more than just their banking needs. The Newcomer Meeting Place in Brampton has dedicated Newcomer Advisors who can help you engage with your new community and introduce you to partners who can support you in your settlement journey. You can book an appointment with an RBC Newcomer Financial Advisor for personalized one-to-one advice and support.
Why live in Brampton as a newcomer?
Brampton is a popular destination among newcomers moving to Canada. Its proximity to Toronto and comparatively lower cost of living are only some of the things that make Brampton one of the best cities to live in Canada.
The city is also culturally and linguistically diverse and, as a newcomer in Brampton, you’ll find it easy to stay in touch with your community and roots, while enjoying Canada’s high quality of life.
Arrive is powered by RBC Ventures Inc, a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. In collaboration with RBC, Arrive is dedicated to helping newcomers achieve their life, career, and financial goals in Canada. An important part of establishing your financial life in Canada is finding the right partner to invest in your financial success. RBC is the largest bank in Canada* and here to be your partner in all of your financial needs. RBC supports Arrive, and with a 150-year commitment to newcomer success in Canada, RBC goes the extra mile in support and funding to ensure that the Arrive newcomer platform is free to all.
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.
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