Rural Canada is doing immigration differently. Although historically not sites of large-scale immigration, rural communities and regions throughout Canada continues to welcome new immigrants. This session explores how rural communities and regions are building strategies to attract, settle, welcome, and integrate new immigrants. These strategies, however, can not simply replicate urban-based strategies. This session highlights lessons learned from the perspectives of programs, policies, and research when doing immigration different in rural Canada.

Rural communities are increasingly receiving larger number of immigrants. The motivations for immigrant attraction are varied; ranging from settlement of refugees to meeting labour demands. How rural communities have structured their approaches to attracting, settling, welcoming, and integrating varies. Communities, businesses, governments, and nonprofit organizations are utilizing place-based assets and priorities to generate rural-appropriate immigration strategies.

Dr. Ryan Gibson, Mallory Smith (MSc in Rural Planning and Development student), and Menakah Yoharaja (MSc in Rural Planning and Development student) shared their research findings and experiences with the 2019 Metropolis Immigration Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This session shared recent and ongoing community-based research initiatives focused on enhancing our collective understanding of immigration to rural areas. The presentations highlighted both successes and challenges encountered when doing immigration in rural areas. Copies of the presentations can be found below:

Funding to support this research and knowledge mobilization was partially provided by the Rural Policy Learning Commons. For further information on the Metropolis Immigration Conference visit: