Volunteer in Canada
Canadians have a strong history of volunteering and helping overseas and you can do something amazing by actually signing up to volunteer in Canada. Although Canada is a very developed country there are still lots of areas you can help through volunteering and charity work. If you enjoy being in the outdoors there are lots of volunteer projects in beautiful settings where you can help conservation and wildlife. Every year thousands of local people and hundreds of international participants voluntarily give their time and participate on short and long term community programs in Canada, and you can too, search opportunities today.
Volunteer Programs in Canada
Guide to Volunteering in Canada
When you are researching options to volunteer abroad, many people often overlook Canada but there are some great opportunities available which will provide you with a memorable experience.
Top Reasons to Volunteer in Canada
- See famous locations like the Rockies and experience world famous cities like Vancouver and Toronto
- Make new friends from all over the world, this country attracts volunteers from a number of nations
- There are a wide range of programs available to choose from including helping bears!
- Integrate into a new cuture, sample the local cuisine and mix with locals
- Local people speak English making the whole experience easier
- People are needed all year round and there are short and long term placements available to join, perfect if you have a few days, weeks or longer
Location of Projects
There are volunteer opportunities throughout the country in 10 provinces and 3 territories:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Popular places to help include:
- Niagara Falls
- Quebec City
Some projects especially working with wildlife and nature can be in very remote areas far away from the big cities. A lot of people also combine experiences and apply to volunteer in the USA too.
Types of Volunteer Programs in Canada
Environmental Volunteer Projects in Canada
Canada is a huge country, the second largest in the world behind Russia and there are lots of you can help conservation and nature. Tourism is huge in Canada but sometimes this has a detrimental effort on nature especially in more rural areas of the country. You could find yourself in a team helping in mountains, forests and National Parks. There are breathtakingly large beauty spots in this country and programs can include building footbridges and maintaining natural habitats. You will usually work in teams helping with litter clean ups, fixing fences, planning better routes and helping nature/wildlife. There are also placements where you can volunteer on farms and agriculture locations.
Volunteer with Animals in Canada
Animals all over the world are facing extinction and in Canada this is no different where species like the caribou facing an uncertain future. You could sign up to work at centres which care for injured, sick and rescued animals like wolfs, bears and dogs. Other animals you might be helping include otters, skunks, raccoons, deer, coyotes and possums. One of our top recommendations includes volunteering with black and grizzly bears, you will get close to these spectacular animals but don't worry placements are very safe and full training will be provided.
There are also positions available where you can work as a dog sled volunteer, positions can include training puppies, educating the public, collecting food and cleaning enclosures. Please note you will need a positive attitude to participate, not all the roles are hands on and lots of time is spend cleaning, maintaining areas, washing and and offering general assistance. There are specific positions for qualified vets but most placements are open to everyone.
Community Volunteer Programs in Canada
Canada has a population of around 34 million people and there are some members of society which need assistance. Local organisations and charities can be found throughout the country who help homeless people and other poor/vulnerable members of society. Lots of local organizations focus on encouraging all people to become more socially and civically engaged in international affairs. They do this by creating meaningful projects both locally and abroad that focus on enhancing cultural experiences, building new skills, and improving communication amongst diverse groups.
Conservation Programs in Canada
Canada is one of the most naturally beautiful and friendliest places to visit! Take in the best of the Canadian scenery helping out with wildlife projects or get to know the locals with community volunteering. Choose from a variety of projects such as community support, working with children or wildlife rehabilitation. Your options fall into two main categories:
- If the wilds are your thing, how about getting hands-on with nature volunteering helping with trail maintenance, gardening and public education initiatives or assisting with wildlife volunteering activities such as working with native Canadian species, feeing animals, cleaning cages and caring for injured animals at a local sanctuary.
- Community focused volunteers can opt to take part in social assistance programmes, help at shelters and housing projects or lend a hand at health and therapy programmes.
- Get creative and help to greet visitors, check coats and show youngsters around at a gallery or choose to work at other heritage sites and arts & culture centres. If you’re a dab hand at teaching there may also be an opportunity to lead classes for people with physical and developmental disabilities or senior citizens.
- Help with a variety of different projects and activity areas working with youths and children; get involved with sports and sailing rehabilitation projects, teach at a pre-school or elementary school or volunteer at a summer camp.
Programs are open to both Canadian and international citizens, to apply you must be eligible for a tourist visa and have enough funds to pay for travel to Canada. Most organisations will require you to be aged 17+ but there are programs for youngers ages if you participate as part of a group
How to Apply
If you are applying from outside of North America you might need to pay a joining fee which includes flights, meals, accommodation, pre-departure placements and in-country support. Some organisations might require you to participate for at least 2 weeks.
Free, Low Cost & Paid Volunteer Opportunities in Canada
It is rare to have organisations actually pay for you to participate unless you are directly employed by a volunteer charity or working as an in-country coordinator. If you search around locally you will find lots of free volunteering opportunities in Canada where you can help charities and local organisations - roles can vary from working in a charity shop, helping the environment e.g. rubbish clean ups, working with disadvantaged or disabled people or assiting injured animals. You can read more information, enquire or apply through our website today.
Help / Advice
If you need any help organising a volunteer placement in Canada please get in touch.
Canada Volunteer Reviews
If you have ever been to volunteer in Canada and would like to add a review, write about your experience or share any recommendations please contact us.