Volunteer, work and travel in
Canada

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Volunteer and work in Canada - low cost travel abroad - Workaway!

Here at Workaway you will find 1984 hosts and organizations for volunteer work in Canada.
Low cost travel without having to pay expensive agency fees.

A small property in Beautiful B.C. Canada
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Explore rural life with us at our petite auberge in mid...
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Nan Valley Farm, in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, Cana...
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A place for water loving adventurer in northern Alberta...
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Travel regions Canada

  • Alberta (152)

    Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Grand Prairie, Fort McMurray, Camrose, Brooks, Wetaskiwin

  • British Columbia (1059)

    Vancouver, Victoria, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Kamloops, Prince George, Chilliwack, Penticton, Campbell River

  • Manitoba (27)

    Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Selkirk, Steinbach, Dauphin, Flin Flon, Norway House, The Pas, Nelson House

  • New Brunswick (21)

    Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, Edmundston, Bathurst

  • Newfoundland and Labrador (16)

    St. John's, Corner Brook, Labrador City, Stephenville, Happy Valley - Goose Bay, Deer Lake, Gander, Channel-Port aux Basques, Port Burwell, Nain

  • Northwest Territories (6)

    Yellowknife, Hay River, Inuvik, Fort McPherson, Tuktoyaktuk, Norman Wells, Fort Good Hope, Holman, Fort Resolution, Deline

  • Nova Scotia (65)

    Halifax, Sydney, New Glasgow, Amherst, Yarmouth, Antigonish, Liverpool, Windsor, Digby, Shelburne

  • Ontario (248)

    Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Kitchener, Oshawa, London, Windsor, Barrie, Sudbury, Sarnia

  • Prince Edward Island (12)

    Charlottetown

  • Quebec (284)
  • Saskatchewan (29)

    Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, North Battleford, Swift Current, Yorkton, Weyburn, Meadow Lake, Kindersley

  • Yukon Territory (48)

Last minute volunteer opportunities

Here you will find 46 last minute opportunities for volunteering in Canada from Hosts that have indicated that they require help immediately.

Last minute
Join our Urban Farm Community, a Beautiful Organic Perm...
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Come explore beautiful Vancouver Island BC, Canada
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Explore rural life with us at our petite auberge in mid...
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Help at our B&B and cabins in the heart of the Cariboo,...
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Workaway feedback slides

There are 6245 reviews for 1125 Hosts and organizations in Canada.
1125 Hosts in Canada were rated 4.9 on average!

Alex and I found this beautiful farm on the last minute host list as we left our current farm. Sarah and Dan said we could come the next day if we wan...

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I had a wonderfull time here! I stayed there for three weeks and enjoyed every minute. Rachel and Harry made me feel home from the first moment. They ...

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Aly and Adam are really special people, but this makes your stay with them super interesting. I just stayed 5 days but I have the feeling that I learn...

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I had an amazing time staying at Vicky's beautiful house. Vicky and all of her family members were so nice and kind, we ate together, played cards, sh...

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My stay at Marylynn’s farm was amazing. The work with the vegetables and the animals is very fulfilling and Marylynn is always up to teach you everyth...

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Popular Hosts and organizations in Canada

Family (651)

Farmstay (333)

Other (57)

Canada

It’s hard to imagine how big Canada is – but after flying over the empty Canadian Shield for 2 hours in the general direction of Toronto, you start to get an idea. It’s huge! (In fact, only Russia is bigger.) Famous for maple syrup, ice hockey, Niagara Falls, and for being one of the safest countries in the world, it’s simply not possible to do justice to Canada in a single trip: six time zones and more than 5000 kilometres separate St. John's, Newfoundland from Victoria, British Columbia, and a flight from Toronto to Vancouver takes over 4 hours.

Thank goodness then for Workaway, and the Workaway hosts based all over the country! As a Workaway volunteer you can explore Canada in an affordable way, have an unforgettable summer or a unique gap year, do something meaningful, learn new skills, meet people and make friends for life.

Canada’s sheer size leads to enormous variations in climate and landscape, so plan your packing well, visit our Blog to get packing hacks and other advice and tips from seasoned Workawayers, and read on for more Canada-specific help and hints.


Climate in Canada

Winters in Canada can be harsh, but the most populated region, southern Ontario, has a less severe climate. Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, is just south of the Arctic Circle and is very cold all year round, except for the months of July and August – although the July average maximum is still only 12°C. On the other hand, the coastlines of British Columbia are very mild for their latitude, remaining above freezing for most of winter, yet they are not far away from some of the largest mountain glaciers to be found on the continent.

Summers in the most populated parts of Canada are generally short and hot, and temperatures over 35°C (95°F) are not unusual in southern Canada, with summers in the southern parts of Ontario and Quebec (including Montreal) often hot and humid.


Canada’s huge diversity

First-time visitors to the country will also be surprised by Canada’s diversity. It’s a nation of contrasts: vast swathes of the country are practically uninhabited, and most of the nation’s 35 million inhabitants live in the southern half, in urban areas, relatively close to the country’s border with the USA.

Like the USA, Canada is home to peoples of varied cultures and backgrounds, with communities established by wave after wave of immigrant groups who now far outnumber the continent’s First Nation peoples. But Canadians seem to have made it work – three of Canada’s cities are in the top ten of the 2017 list of Most Liveable Cities in the World (Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary), and the country is number seven on the list of happiest countries in the world.

For the visitor, the resulting blend is an exotic range of cultural, artistic and culinary experiences, ranging from Vancouver’s huge Chinatown, the Inuit heartlands of the far north, the French-speaking culture of Quebec and the Celtic music of the Maritimes. For the volunteer backpacking abroad, this diversity translates to an exciting range of volunteering opportunities for solo travellers, couples and families; with families or in NGOs and communities; from farm stays caring for animals or learning about permaculture, to exciting times spent in cities, helping in hostels, caring for children or learning/teaching languages.

To help you plan a visit to Canada, we have broken the country down into six distinct regions. Choose your area to explore, and then browse the more than 2000 Workaway hosts based all over the country, in both rural and urban locations, to find the perfect base for your trip.


Regional Highlights of Canada

The Maritimes and the Atlantic Provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island)

One of the first areas to be settled by European immigrants, Atlantic Canada is rich in architecture dating back to colonial times and is well-known for the historic beauty of towns like Halifax, with the second largest natural harbour in the world, areas of great natural beauty (particularly around the coast), and a huge fishing and shipping industry.

Some highlights…

  • Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island offers Celtic, Acadian, and aboriginal history and is home to the famed Cabot Trail, a 185-mile road that passes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park along the coastline and is feted as one of the world’s most scenic drives. Visit the Red Shoe Pub to jig along as Celtic fiddlers make the strings smoke.
  • Cruise the coast. The Eastern Shore, near Halifax, has several white sand beaches with lifeguards, boardwalks, swimming and surfing. Visit Peggy's Cove and its photogenic lighthouse, or Point Amour, Atlantic Canada's tallest lighthouse, featuring amazing views over Labrador's wild landscape and sea.
  • Watch wildlife. Endangered North Atlantic right whales, blue whales, humpbacks and seals swim offshore from Nova Scotia, and they say there are six moose per square kilometre in Gros Morne, Newfoundland’s most important park.
  • Take a tour through rural Prince Edward Island’s farms and vineyards, visit Malpeque, the tiny PEI town, and sample its famous moist, briny oysters. Then relax on Basin Head Beach, or follow the boardwalk over marshlands and dramatic dunes to Greenwich, PEI's most unspoiled, pink sand beach.

Quebec

Originally settled as part of New France, Quebec is culturally distinct from the rest of Canada. French is the dominant language, and Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world. The province is known for great cultural activities, Montreal's classic architecture, and maple syrup and poutine (two staples of Canadian cuisine).

Some highlights…

  • The region’s capital, Quebec City is the only fortified city north of Mexico whose walls still exist. With a distinct European feel, it is well known for its quaint Old City, its grand winter festival, and gorgeous architecture.
  • Montreal is the cultural heart of Canada's francophone culture, and the city's multilingualism is one of its defining aspects. Have a Montreal-styled bagel in Mile End, stroll the streets of Old Montreal, visit the Marché Jean-Talon farmers’ market, and check out Canada’s most prolific indie rock scene, known for its underground clubs.
  • Drive out into the province, along Route 132, past rocky shores and wooded hills from Ste-Flavie to Forillon National Park, or Route 199, a narrow coastal road past sand dunes and fishing villages on the Îles de la Madeleine.

Ontario

Canada's most populous province is also enormous. Canada has more lakes than any other country – about 3 million. The province of Ontario alone contains about a third of the world's freshwater, spread over 250,000 lakes, and according to National Geographic, this makes it the top summer vacation spot in the world: specifically Muskoka Cottage Country, where people head out to live the simple life on the shores of the lakes to the north of Toronto. In contrast, Toronto, Canada's largest city, is eclectic and vibrant, and prides itself on its multiculturalism. This diversity means that Ontario showcases a lot of what is considered quintessentially Canadian by outsiders.

Some highlights…

  • Toronto is divided into numerous neighbourhoods, such as Koreatown and Little Italy, and a walk through the city takes you right across Europe and Asia. When viewed from the ferry to the Toronto Islands, the skyscrapers of the glossy downtown business district reflected in the waters of Lake Ontario stand in stark contrast to the rural feel of the islands themselves, just a short commute away.
  • Take in some art and culture. Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada holds the world’s largest collection of Canadian and Inuit art, and Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario offers rare Québecois religious statuary, First Nations carvings and paintings by the famed Group of Seven. The city is also home to the third largest live theatre scene in the world (after New York and London). During the North by Northeast festival, nearly 1000 bands spill off stages throughout Toronto for an enjoyable week in June.
  • Stroll the markets. Kensington Market is crammed with vintage shops, international cafés and vegan bakeries – this offbeat Toronto neighbourhood is a joy to hang out in. Or try St Lawrence Market, an amazing 1845 market hall crammed with stalls to delight foodies.
  • Take a trip to Niagara Falls, so much more impressive on the Canadian side of the border; take the boat ride and use the free plastic mac to protect you from the spray. On the way back, visit a winery and discover the region’s famous Icewine.
  • Watch wildlife. In Algonquin Provincial Park, moose and loons provide quintessential Canadian viewing, and howling wolves provide the soundtrack.
  • Drive Highway 17 along Lake Superior to see fjord-like passages, hidden beaches and primeval forests coated in mist on the lake's northern shore.

The Prairies (Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan)

Known for their vast open spaces and plentiful resources, the Canadian Prairies are a dynamic set of provinces home to some of the most stunning natural beauty in the world. To the west, at the edge of Alberta lie the Rocky Mountains, and the national parks of Banff and Jasper, and on the eastern edge in Manitoba, lies the beginning of the Canadian Shield, which contains some of the oldest rock on the surface of the earth. Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg are modern cities with everything from massive rodeos to high-class museums.

Some highlights…

  • Calgary is booming like nowhere else in Canada currently, due to the profits flowing in from the Alberta tar sands. Every summer, it plays host to the Calgary Stampede, a celebration of Calgary's ranching heritage.
  • Go adventuring. Banff, the Queen of the Rockies, has it all: skiing, hiking, rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking…
  • Watch wildlife. Drive the Icefields Parkway, a scenic road through the Rockies that pretty much guarantees bear, mountain goat and elk sightings. Or visit Wood Buffalo National Park to see shaggy bison and packs of wolves.
  • Take in some history. Visit Batoche to see the prairie site where Métis leader Louis Riel clashed with the Canadian army in 1885.
  • Drive Highway 742 through Kananaskis on a rough, gravel road through deep forests where wolves, moose and bears regularly wander.

British Columbia

Colloquially known as "B.C.", this province prides itself on being beautiful. From cultured Vancouver, to charming Victoria, to the iconic ski slopes in Whistler, to the wineries of the Okanagan region, B.C. is filled with wonder, both natural and man-made. The province also has the mildest winters in Canada on average, especially in the coastal regions.

Some highlights…

  • In Vancouver you can hit the beach and the ski slopes on the same day. Like Toronto, it’s a city of distinct neighbourhoods, with the biggest Chinatown in Canada. Check out the UBC Museum of Anthropology, with its collection of tall, beautifully carved totem poles, or hang out in downtown Vancouver at English Bay Beach, bustling with buskers, sunbathers and volleyballers.
  • Watch wildlife. Visit Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, near Prince Rupert, which is a refuge to more than 50 of these big, brown bears, or look out for Victoria’s resident pods of killer whales riding the local waves off Vancouver Island. You can also check out the world’s last remaining temperate rainforest while you’re there.
  • Get active. Little Tofino on Vancouver Island is a great place to chill out, but it also offers big adventure with its Pacific coast surfing, kayaking, hiking and storm watching.
  • Enjoy art. Studios stud British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. A purple flag fluttering over a property means the artist is in.

The North (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon)

The Territories are some of the most remote regions on Earth, and although they are better known for their unique fauna and landscapes, they also have some interesting human settlements, including Dawson City, a place that looks almost untouched from the Klondike Days (the gold rush of 1898), and Iqaluit, Canada's newest territorial capital, which is home to some interesting architecture adapted to the harsh climate of the North.

Some highlights…

  • Seek adventure. Whitehorse, the midpoint of the Alaska Highway, and the Yukon’s arty main town is the gateway to the outdoor activities of Canada's far north, with outfitters who will equip and accompany you into the wilderness. At Yellowknife, the Northwest Territories’ far-flung capital, you can see the northern lights while dogsledding.
  • Watch wildlife. Bears in Canada come in 3 colours: black, white and brown. More than 50% of the world’s polar bears are found in Canada, and they rule the tundra at Churchill at the edge of Hudson Bay, while beluga whales chatter in the river. If you visit around October, you’ll get to see the northern lights too.
  • Enjoy art. Cape Dorset, a small, wintry town in Nunavut, is the epicentre of Inuit art.

Volunteering in Canada

Workaway is the world’s leading community for volunteering and cultural exchange. Lone travellers backpacking through Canada will find plenty of opportunities to meet and connect with the locals, but Workaway also offers many opportunities for couples, friends, families and groups. Workaway’s many hosts offer volunteers free accommodation and meals in exchange for a few hours of work a day, normally five days a week. This is the perfect way to make travelling affordable in Canada, or to extend your stay. Whether you want to visit Canada’s lively, diverse cities, or get right off the beaten track and immerse yourself in wild nature and local life, the perfect host is waiting to welcome you. It doesn’t matter whether you are exploring during your summer holidays, or seeking a gap year adventure, the volunteering opportunities are almost unlimited and will guarantee you have the time of your life.

Volunteer abroad: find the perfect host in Canada

As a member of the Workaway community you can use the many thousands of reviews and feedback provided to find your perfect match among our hosts. Share your culture, skills and language with the communities, projects and families that offer a wide range of volunteer programmes, volunteer projects and volunteer jobs. If you want to take a backpacking trip through the heart of Canada, use our regional filter to check out the many offers far away from the usual tourist spots. Combining these more off-the-beaten-track opportunities with a stay with some of the many host families and organizations in Canada’s towns and cities is the ideal way to enjoy the country’s diversity.

Travel and make a difference

Who doesn’t enjoy going on holiday and relaxing in a tourist hotspot? However, travellers who want to connect more deeply with the host country and make a real difference will find perfect opportunities to do this by joining Workaway. Do you want to find out more about the culture of Canada? Volunteering is the perfect vehicle for cultural exchange, providing the traveller with a truly memorable experience while doing something useful, like helping to restore an old building, helping with household tasks, or caring for children or animals. Working and travelling in Canada is the perfect opportunity to get to know this unique country, its nature and its people.

Working and healthcare in Canada

If you are planning to visit Canada as a volunteer and not as a tourist, you must have the correct visa. To find out about the latest requirements, you need to contact the Canadian Embassy in your home country before travelling. And please don’t forget to take out appropriate insurance to make sure you qualify for healthcare!

Have a great trip!

It’s practically impossible to do justice to a country as large as Canada in words – so if you want to find out more before visiting, check out this infographic, arm yourself with some insane facts, join Workaway and get planning your trip!