Canada’s immigration system overhaul now in progress aims at attracting new Canadians who fit better into the system than those who have been coming in recent years. With qualified professionals in high demand at plumbing companies in Toronto, immigrants with this particular trade skill stand a good chance of getting in without delay. We took a look at why there’s a shortage of plumbers across the country, how it affects you, the homeowner, and what plumbing schools in Toronto are doing to alleviate the problem.

Over 4,500 Plumbers in Toronto

The most recent statistics available on the number of plumbers in Canada are from Stats Canada, which shows 70,000 plumbers in 2007. Since then, a number have moved to Western Canada to take up the opportunities offered in the oil fields. Given that Toronto and the GTA are home to approximately 7% of the country’s population, if plumbers follow the same trend then we likely have around 4,900 plumbers in Toronto. With 1.89 million Toronto residents living in private homes according to, that’s 3,847 homes per plumber to take care of. No wonder there’s a shortage!

Requirements to Qualify

So what does it take to become qualified and join one of the plumbing companies in Toronto? Aspiring plumbers need to complete at least four years of secondary school, followed by an apprenticeship consisting of 9,000 hours of mostly on-the-job training and some classroom instruction. After this, the apprentice needs to take a provincial certification exam to be certified to operate in Ontario.

Plumbing Schools in Toronto

The plumbing certification can be done through a number of plumbing schools in Toronto, such as the Ontario College of Trades. Other technical colleges also offer plumbing programs, such as:

  • Humber College School of Applied Technology – Plumber Apprenticeship Program
  • Academy Canada Career College – Plumber Trade Course
  • Sheridan College – Plumbing Certificate Program
  • George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology – Plumber Trade Certification Program

Many of the schools help candidates to find the apprenticeships they need, and once they are qualified the top qualifiers are sought after by plumbing companies in Toronto.

Pros and Cons

The main effect of the current shortage of plumbers from the homeowner’s viewpoint is that unless you have a long-standing relationship with one of the plumbing companies in Toronto you may have long wait times for service. In addition, you may have to pay higher rates—particularly for emergency plumbing services—because of the volume of work available to plumbers. The benefit of the shortage is that plumbing has become a lucrative job, attracting intelligent, hardworking people who are keen to build up their businesses through good service to clients.

What to Do?

Don’t wait until you have an emergency to look for a plumber. Find a reputable company that is located near to your home so you don’t have to pay for traveling time and schedule an appointment for a drain camera inspection. This will give you the opportunity to meet your plumber, become an established client and determine the condition of your plumbing infrastructure before the cold weather sets it. Then, when you have an emergency your plumber will know where to go and what the condition of your plumbing is like.