Top 5 Cities for Filipinos in Canada
Thousands of Filipinos move overseas each year in search of better opportunities. Canada is becoming a top choice for Filipinos despite the massive differences between the Philippines’ and Canada’s culture, climate and lifestyle.
Canada is a fantastic country with a diverse culture and a prosperous economy. Its citizens and residents enjoy free healthcare, world-class education and plenty of work opportunities.
Despite these benefits, new emigrants, including Filipinos, need some time to settle before calling Canada their home.
Filipinos in Canada
Canada is one of the top destinations Filipinos relocate to. The country is 4th on the list with the largest Filipino diaspora following the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Recent statistics show that there are 901,218 Canadian citizens and residents of Filipino ethnic origin, which means that Filipinos make up 2.6% of Canada’s total population.
With the growing number of Filipinos that move to Canada each year, Filipinos are now becoming the fastest-growing cultural group in the country. As a result, the Philippine culture is starting to flourish in some Canadian provinces and cities.
Given Canada’s massive size, it can be quite overwhelming to choose which province or city to look into. Here are the top 5 cities Filipinos in Canada have best settled in to and have growing Filipino communities.
Best Cities for Filipinos in Canada
1. Toronto, Ontario
Toronto has the largest population of Filipinos in Canada, with over 250,000 recorded Filipino nationals on the 2016 Census. Many Filipinos have settled down within the city and around the Greater Toronto Area.
With Toronto’s thriving Filipino culture, a small neighbourhood in the area has been dubbed as the Little Manila of the city. Little Manila is situated in North York, around Bathurst Street and Wilson Avenue.
With the vast number of Filipinos in Toronto, it is quite common to hear Tagalog-speakers here and there. You might also come across occasional Ilocano and Cebuano speakers once you spend more time in the area.
If you’re worried about feeling homesick, you have nothing to worry about since there are plenty of Filipino restaurants, cafes and shops in Toronto. Some of them include:
- Sampaguita Village Family Restaurant – Sampaguita is a family-run restaurant that serves freshly made Filipino dishes, from a-la-carte servings to house combos and party trays.
- Atin Ito Restaurant – If you’re looking for a bowl of soup to warm you up in the cold Canadian weather, Atin Ito offers a variety of soup dishes such as sotanghon, lomi, mami, arroz caldo and many more.
- Wilson’s Haus of Lechon – Wilson’s Haus of Lechon takes pride in its authentic Cebuano food, with a specialty in lechon, barbecue, grill and so much more.
- Republika RestoBar and Grill – If a combination of traditional and modern Filipino dishes is what you’re looking for, then look no further than Republika. From classic Filipino rice bowls to cheesy sisig poutine, there’s undoubtedly something that will match your taste.
- Foodtrip – Foodtrip offers hearty Filipino breakfast dishes, noodles, fried rice and a variety of house specials.
There are a lot more Filipino restaurants in the area, so it’s best to visit Little Manila and experience the vibrant Philippine culture yourself.
2. Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver has an ever-growing Filipino community. The city now has over 100,000 residents of Filipino ethnic origin, and Filipinos now make up the third-largest cultural group in Metro Vancouver.
You may feel more comfortable settling in Vancouver given the number of Filipinos that live in different parts of the city, particularly in Fraser Street. Filipinos are the second-largest visible ethnic group in the area.
Walking around the Fraser Street neighbourhood would also remind you of home since Filipino events are promoted once in a while, and many establishment signposts are written in Tagalog.
If you’re looking to satisfy your cravings for Filipino food, there are quite a few restaurants you can visit around Vancouver, including:
- Hapag Ihaw-Ihaw Restaurant – Hapag Grill offers a simple but satisfying gastronomic adventure to Filipinos and non-Filipinos who are looking to taste authentic homecooked-like meals.
- Kulinarya Filipino Eatery – By serving freshly-made traditional Filipino dishes, Kulinarya caters to both Filipinos and non-Filipinos who wish to have a taste of real Filipino cuisine.
- Pin Pin Restaurant – Known for its delectable Filipino-Chinese specialties and desserts, Pin Pin Restaurant quickly became a popular Filipino restaurant in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland.
- O! Taho – Aptly named as O! Taho, this stall in Vancouver is known for its delightful Filipino-style soy pudding (taho).
- Aling Ening Restaurant – If you’re looking for hearty silog (fried rice + egg) bowls, Aling Ening serves a variety of affordable options.
There are also lots of other Filipino stores around the area, so no need to worry about getting your hands on products you miss from home.
3. Winnipeg, Manitoba
Winnipeg has the third-largest Filipino diaspora in Canada. Over 1,200 Filipinos emigrated to Winnipeg way back in the 1960s through a recruitment program, so there’s no doubt that the Filipino community has grown massively in the area since then.
More and more Filipinos move to Winnipeg each year since it has one of the fastest-growing economies in Canada’s major cities. Still, its accommodation prices are amongst the lowest in the country.
Along with the growth of the Filipino community in Winnipeg, Filipino establishments and restaurants are starting to make waves in the city. Some of them include:
- Kalan Restaurant – If you’re looking for homecooked Filipino meals, Kalan Restaurant is an excellent choice. They serve traditional lutong bahay to give its customers the feeling of home.
- Jenmuel’s Lechon Cebu and Grill – To satisfy your lechon cravings, Jenmuel’s is the place to be. They also serve authentic Cebuano dishes such as chorizo de Cebu, Cebu sisig and many more.
- Myrna’s Cafe & Catering – Whether you wish to eat in or order food for takeaway, Myrna’s Cafe & Catering serves freshly made authentic Filipino dishes.
- Pampanga Restaurant & Banquet Hall – Pampanga Restaurant is a family-run business known for its home-cooked Filipino buffet and enjoyable catering experience.
- Noemi’s – If you have a sweet tooth or are just looking to satisfy your Filipino dessert cravings, Noemi’s is the best place to go. You’ll find a variety of Filipino delicacies, such as bibingka, puto, kutchinta and many more.
There are also several Filipino stores across Winnipeg should you need anything unique from home that you can’t just buy at regular Canadian supermarkets.
4. Calgary, Alberta
The province of Alberta has some of the largest group of Filipinos in Canada. Amongst the 89,000 Filipinos in Alberta, over 40,000 are in Calgary, which means that the Filipinos represent 3.4% of the city’s population.
To cater to the growing Filipino community of Calgary, more Filipino restaurants are now making an impression in the local scene. Here are some:
- Tambayan at Kainang Filipino Restaurant Calgary – Tambayan serves authentic Filipino meals from a la carte dishes to massive platters.
- Chopstix Filipino Restaurant – Though the restaurant name seems East Asian, Chopstix serves authentic home-cooked style Filipino cuisine, which is a hit to the city’s locals.
- Adobo Experience – If you’re longing for the savoury taste of Philippine cuisine, try out Adobo Experience!
- Lola’s Filipino Kitchen – Taking pride not only on its authentic Filipino dishes, Lola’s Filipino Kitchen also brings out the Philippine culture of sharing and socialising whilst feasting.
- Barrio Fiesta – Aptly named as Barrio Fiesta, the restaurant is a reminder of home to many Filipinos with its warm ambience and mouthwatering dishes.
Similar to the other cities, you’ll easily find local Filipino stores around the city given its flourishing Filipino community.
5. Edmonton, Alberta
Located in the same province as Calgary, Edmonton is another city with a growing population of Filipinos. The city is an oil-hub, so it offers plenty of opportunities for Filipino skilled workers looking to work in the petroleum industry.
Filipinos in Edmonton host a three-day festival called Filipino Fiesta to embrace the Philippine culture, arts, crafts, food and entertainment. The community is also aiming to put up the Edmonton Philippine International Centre (EPIC) to serve as a venue for Filipino events in the city.
Filipinos in the area can also satisfy their daily cravings, given the number of restaurants that are now open throughout the area. These include:
- Palabok House – Contrary to its name, Palabok House doesn’t just serve palabok. They also serve other traditional Filipino meals.
- Pinoy Grill – Boasting an extensive menu, Pinoy Grill serves Filipino dishes that satisfy everyone’s preference.
- Filistix – If you’re looking for more modern fusion dishes, try out Filistix. They serve an exciting mix of flavours, such as tocino burrito, chori burger and crispy sinigang fried chicken.
- Manila Grill Restaurant – Known for its fun and vibrant atmosphere, Manila Grill Restaurant is perfect for Filipino parties, events and celebrations.
- Cebuchon & BBQ – If you want a taste of Cebu’s Lechon in Edmonton, Cebuchon & BBQ is the place to be. You can order as little as an a la carte serving to a massive whole roasted pork.
There are also plenty of Filipino convenience stores around town so you can still have Filipino products despite being thousands of miles away from home.
How Filipinos in Canada Send Money to the Philippines
Filipinos in Canada send money to their loved ones back home from time to time. The most common way for them to do this is through international bank transfer or traditional remittance outlets.
However, both options are time-consuming, costly and inconvenient.
For faster, more affordable and effortless international money transfers, it’s best to use contemporary money transfer services, such as Asenso Remit.
Thousands of Filipinos in Canada trust Asenso Remit, as it as an easy and convenient way of sending money to the Philippines, whilst ensuring strict security similar to banks.