If you’re in the tech industry, you may be wondering about the best place to live in Canada for software engineers.

You’re in luck because this article will explore just that!

There are many factors to consider when making this decision. For example, you may want to live in a city with ample job opportunities, or one with a strong tech industry. You may also want to consider the cost of living and quality of life.

In the end, there is no one perfect answer for everyone. However, some cities are definitely better than others when it comes to software engineers.

Read on to discover some of the best cities to live in Canada as a software engineer.

Table of contents

Best place to live in Canada for software engineers

Toronto, Ontario

Toronto is the province of Ontario's capital and a major Canadian metropolis on Lake Ontario's northwestern shore. It's a fast-paced city made up of towering skyscrapers, all dwarfed by the CN Tower, an iconic free-standing structure. Toronto has several parks, including Queen's Park, which is well-kept and features a few monuments. High Park, with its hiking trails, sports fields, and zoo, is 400 acres in size.

Toronto is a major city in Canada with a strong tech industry. It is home to many software engineering jobs, and the cost of living is relatively affordable. The city also has a great quality of life, with plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities.

The median wage for software engineers in Toronto is $88,793 per year, or $46.15 per hour. Employees with minimal experience may expect to make at least $53,872. A senior software engineer may earn up to $124,868.

Toronto city

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver, a lively west coast seaport in British Columbia, is one of Canada's most ethnically diverse cities. It's a popular filming location surrounded by mountains, as well as a vibrant art, theatre, and music scene.

Like Toronto, Vancouver is a major city with a strong tech industry. It also has an excellent quality of life, with plenty of outdoor activities and cultural attractions. The cost of living in Vancouver is higher than in other cities, but the salaries for software engineers are also higher.

Software engineers in Vancouver, on average, make considerably more than their counterparts in Toronto. The median pay is $101,741 or $52.88 per hour. Salaries vary from $56,739 to $138,759 yearly depending on your job and the length of time you have worked for your company.

Vancouver bridge

Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa is the capital of Canada, located in southeastern Ontario near the city of Montréal and the border with the United States.

It's located on the Ottawa River, and features Parliament Hill in the middle, as well as magnificent Victorian structures and museums such as the National Gallery of Canada, which has significant indigenous and other Canadian art collections. Boats line the Rideau Canal in summer, and skaters skate on it throughout the year.

Home to many tech companies, it has an excellent quality of life, with plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. The cost of living in Ottawa is lower than in other major cities, making it a great option for those on a budget.

In terms of salary, software engineers in Ottawa enjoy some of the highest pay in the country. The median annual income for software engineers in Ottawa is $101,741, or $52.88 per hour. New employees begin with a base pay of $68,206, which is $35.45 per hour.

Ottawa city

Montreal, Quebec

Montréal is the capital of the province of Québec. It's located on an island in the Saint Lawrence River and was named after Mount Royal, the city's triple-peaked hill.

The city of Old Montréal, which was founded in 1642, is a metropolis within the metropolitan area. The boroughs, some of which were former cities, range from cobblestoned Vieux-Montréal – with the Gothic Revival Notre-Dame Basilica at its centre – to bohemian Plateau.

Another major city with a thriving tech industry, an excellent quality of life and plenty to do both indoors and outdoors. The cost of living in Montreal is relatively affordable, making it a great choice for those on a budget.

In Montreal, a software engineer makes an average salary of $79,423 per year, or $40.73 per hour.

montreal cathedral

Calgary, Alberta

Calgary, a cosmopolitan Alberta metropolis that has numerous skyscrapers, owes much of its rapid development to its position as the heart of Canada's oil sector. It is, nevertheless, steeped in the western culture that earned it the moniker "Cowtown," as seen in the Calgary Stampede, which is Canada's largest rodeo.

Calgary is a great city for those who want to live in the suburbs. It has a strong tech industry, and the cost of living is relatively affordable. The city also has plenty of recreational opportunities, making it a great choice for families.

In Calgary, a software engineer can earn an average of $90,659 per year, or $47.12 per hour. If you're just starting out as a software developer, expect to make around $50,871 each year. A senior software engineer may make up to $134,122 each year, making the job market a competitive one.

Calgary city

Edmonton, Alberta

The capital city of Alberta, Edmonton, is located in the province's north. The center of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region is encircled by Alberta's Central Region, which is anchored by Edmonton. The city serves as the northern terminus of what Statistics Canada calls the "Calgary–Edebuson Corridor."

Edmonton is home to many tech workers. It is less expensive than other major cities, making it a great option for those on a budget. The city also has plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities.

In Edmonton, a software developer makes an average of $75,927 per year, which comes to $38.94 per hour.

Edmonton city

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax is a vibrant city in Atlantic Canada with the world's second-largest natural harbor, known for its ancient beauty, community spirit, fresh seafood, and breathtaking natural areas.

Halifax is a great city for software developers who want to live near the ocean. The city has a strong tech industry, and the cost of living is relatively affordable. Halifax also has excellent quality of life, with plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities.

In Halifax, software engineers can earn average salaries of $74,003 per year, or $37.95 per hour.

Halifax

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Saskatoon is a city in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. It's on the South Saskatchewan River and is the largest city in the province. Saskatoon is known for its riverbank parks, Meewasin Valley Trail, and many festivals and events.

Saskatoon is a great city for those who want to live in the suburbs. It has a strong tech industry, and the cost of living is relatively affordable. The city also has plenty of recreational opportunities, making it a great choice for families.

A software engineer in Saskatoon makes an average of $77,675 per year, or $39.83 hourly.

Saskatoon city

Waterloo, Ontario

Waterloo is a city in southern Ontario, Canada. It is the smallest of the three cities in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo and is adjacent to the city of Kitchener. Waterloo is home to the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College.

Waterloo is a great city for software engineers who want to be close to Toronto. The city has a strong tech industry, and the cost of living is relatively affordable. Waterloo also has excellent quality of life, with plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities.

The median pay for software engineers in Waterloo is $94,719 per year, or $49.23 per hour. Although it is not the highest salary in Canada, it is above the national average. The median annual earnings of entry-level engineers are $64,743, or $33.65 per hour.

Kingston, Ontario

Kingston is a city in Ontario, Canada, at the mouth of the Cataraqui and St. Lawrence rivers. It's nicknamed the "Limestone City" because to its beautiful 19th-century structures, such as Kingston City Hall on the lakefront. The magnificent home and gardens of the Bellevue House National Historic Site commemorate Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister. Fort Henry, a 19th-century fortification, hosts military shows.

Kingston is another great city for software engineers who want to be close to Toronto. The city has a strong tech industry, and the cost of living is relatively affordable. Kingston also has excellent quality of life, with plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities.

Software engineers in Kingston, Ontario, make an average of $73,479 per year, or $37.68 per hour.

How to choose the right place to live

When it comes to finding the best place to live, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The decision of where to live depends on a variety of factors, tech jobs available, your budget, your lifestyle, and your personal preferences.

Another important consideration is your climate tolerance. Do you prefer hot weather or cold weather? Do you enjoy spending time outdoors, or do you prefer being indoors?

Additionally, if you have a job that requires you to travel frequently, you may want to choose a location that is centrally located or easy to get to from major airports.

You should also consider the cost of living in different locations. In some areas, housing and transportation costs are very high, while in other areas they are much more affordable.

Finally, think about the type of community you want to live in. Do you prefer a quiet neighbourhood or a bustling city? Do you want to be close to family and friends or do you enjoy having more freedom and privacy? Take all of these factors into account when deciding on the best place to live for you.

Popular immigration options for software engineers

Work Permits

International Experience Canada (IEC)

The International Experience Canada, popularly known as IEC, is a government-sponsored program that allows young people from 18 to 35 years of age (30 in some countries) to work in Canada. The work permit is generally valid for 6 to 24 months depending on the participant's country of origin.

Employer-specific work permit

An employer-specific work permit is a type of work permit that is only valid for work with a specific employer. It is not valid for any other type of employment. Generally, an employer will need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment for this option.

Permanent Residency

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is Canada's most popular immigration program, which allows thousands of deserving people to immigrate to the country and take advantage of its job prospects. Candidates may also apply with their spouse and minor children under the program.

One of the program's greatest benefits is its rapid processing time. Over 80% of applications are completed within 6 months.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

This program reaches out to potential employees directly. The Canadian government takes a leading role in this program, working with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Nominations are open to international students, foreign workers, and individuals with the required skillset.

British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program (BC PNP)

BC PNP Tech specializes in the field of Technology. This program helps professionals who are qualified to work in in-demand technology jobs get a head start when applying for immigration. To be considered under the Tech Pilot stream, candidates must meet the eligibility requirements under this BC PNP.

If you have a genuine employment offer, it will count in your favour and you may be nominated.

You must fulfil all program criteria at the time of registration. BC PNP registration will take 2 to 3 months on average, according to government statistics.

Conclusion

Choosing the best place to live in Canada for software engineers can be difficult. You need to find a city ranked high for both affordability and a strong tech sector. You also want to live in a city with plenty of opportunities for recreation and culture.

There are many great cities for software engineers in Canada, so you are sure to find the perfect fit for you. Just be sure to do your research before making a decision.

If you are planning on moving to Canada, check out our moving to Canada guide and our how to move to Canada post.