Last minute volunteer opportunities
Here you will find 29 last minute opportunities for volunteering in Canada from Hosts that have indicated that they require help immediately.
Help a family with the permaculture garden and big home in West Kelowna, Canada
Come and play with the plants in our small market garden Near Nelson B.C., Canada
Volunteer with us, near Quebec City. Help in the house and in the field. Canada
Help us in our unusual accommodation perched in the forest - Quebec Canada
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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.
- 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.
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).
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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!
Can I go to Canada to volunteer? ›
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.Is Workaway a good program? ›
Based on 415,118 reviews, Workaway experiences have been rated an average 4.9/5 by its users and hosts. Note that this grade is from individual reviews rather than of Workaway itself, so it's still important to read through individual reviews before committing to anything!Can I use Workaway for free? ›
Workaway is free to browse but to contact hosts and arrange placements you need to become a verified member and pay the £37 registration fee (approximately $46 USD). If you sign up using my affiliate link you will also get 3 months extra free on your membership.Do you get paid for Workaway? ›
Generally you will be expected to help around 5 hours per day in exchange for food and accommodation. Some hosts may give a paid allowance to ensure they are offering at least the minimum wage in their country. Conditions and agreements may vary depending on the skills you can offer and the requirements of each host.Do you need a visa for Workaway Canada? ›
NO, YOU DO NOT NEED A WORKING VISA. You are volunteering, not working! You could be volunteering over many months at many different WWOOF hosts. But as long as you volunteer no longer than 4 weeks at each WWOOF host, you do not need a Work Visa.Do I need a visa to volunteer in Canada? ›
There is no specific volunteering visa in Canada. There are tourist visas, which do not allow visa holders to engage in paid work, and work permits that allow people to get a job and earn some sweet cashola.How much does Workaway cost? ›
Registering with workaway.info is just US$ 49 for an individual account and US$ 59 for a couple account. Accounts are valid for one year enabling you to contact any of the hosts on the host list and access all our other features. Payment can be made by all major credit cards or from your bank account using Paypal.How do you prepare for a Workaway? ›
- Be trustworthy. ...
- Do your research. ...
- Ask questions. ...
- Be sure before you commit. ...
- Bring a gift or cook a meal. ...
- Adopt the pace of life. ...
- Help with chores.
Once you're ready to apply for a position with a host, create an account, which costs $42 per year – if you'd like to travel as a couple, you can create a joint account for $54 per year. From there, you can introduce yourself to potential hosts by filling out your profile.Do I need a visa for Workaway? ›
Generally, Workawayers do not need to apply for a work permit or work visa because Workaway is classed as 'volunteering'. Most countries see it as volunteering because the Workawayer is not paid a wage.
How do I get a free Workaway account? ›
Currently, there's no way to get free Workaway without making at least one membership purchase.Which is better Workaway or Worldpackers? ›
What is better, Workaway or Worldpackers? Worldpackers is better for people doing work exchange for the first time, and people that want an active travel community. Workaway is better for experienced travelers and to find more work exchange options around the world.Does Workaway provide food? ›
Hosts generally are asked to provide accommodation and food in exchange for help from Workawayers of around 4-5 hours per day 5 days a week. For hosts who are businesses (or asking for help with a business activity) free accommodation plus at least minimum wage should be offered for each hour worked.How do you write a good Workaway message? ›
- Introduce yourself and explain why you're interested in their profile.
- Tell the host what you bring to their table — i.e. what skills are they seeking that you possess.
- Mention dates or a time range and ask about their availability.
Informal arrangements to work in exchange for lodging or meals are also considered unauthorized employment and are not permitted for tourists. In short, do not rely on an organization like WWOOF to provide legal advice.How do I find volunteer work in Canada? ›
To find current opportunities, call an organization you know, contact your local volunteer centre, look in your neighbourhood newspaper, or check out websites or databases for volunteers.Can you get paid to volunteer abroad? ›
Yes, paid volunteering placements exist, but the reality is that they're not the volunteer equivalent of entry-level. Most volunteer organizations and NGOs aren't exactly operating with huge profit margins, so they don't have a lot of extra money to offer to potential volunteers.Does Workaway do background checks? ›
Please note: Workaway is not an agency and DOES NOT do background checks so this is your responsibility based on the applicant, your family or organisation.Do volunteers get paid in Canada? ›
No. Volunteers may receive some form of pay from the organization, but are still exempt from all provisions of The Employment Standards Code.Can I work for free in Canada? ›
VANCOUVER—The practice of new immigrants working for free in order to gain Canadian work experience — either in a volunteer capacity or in an unpaid “work placement”— is common but may have implications for their status in Canada, immigration lawyers say.
How much is a working visa for Canada? ›
If you're applying for an open work permit, make sure you pay all applicable fees: work permit fee ($155) open work permit holder fee ($100)Is Workaway a volunteer? ›
Workaway.info the site for cultural exchange. Gap year volunteer for food and accommodation whilst travelling abroad.Can I Workaway in my own country? ›
Can I do a Workaway locally, right here in my own country? Of course! Your next Workaway host can be right around the corner. Especially with travel restrictions still in place in many countries, now's the perfect time to explore all the local gems within your home country .Which is better Workaway or Wwoof? ›
Many volunteering friends I know use Workaway and say they prefer it over Wwoof. Why? Because it's cheaper. As a matter of fact, it costs only 30 euros per year and it offers a worldwide list of volunteer solutions.What should I write in my Workaway profile? ›
A good Workaway profile should indicate to the host whether the volunteer would be a good fit for their specific circumstances. The importance of describing yourself clearly and accurately cannot be understated. First impressions are huge! A profile is setting the first impression that the host gets of a volunteer.What should I ask my Workaway host? ›
- How many hours will I work a day? ...
- How many days a week? ...
- What can I do on days off? ...
- Where will I sleep? ...
- How many meals are included and what sort of things do you eat? ...
- Do you have Wi-Fi? ...
- Will there be any other Workawayers?
workaway is a wonderful place to work
workaway.org is a wonderful web page to use to get volunteer work in foreign countries. I got a lot of work experience through the opportunities I had from workaway. I also gained a lot of life experience, with that I bring confidence and strength to everything I do now.
Do I need a visa for the USA? Yes you do. Upon acceptance as a participant on the program you will need to apply for a H2B visa, which specifies the function you will perform over a defined period of time. You will have to go for a personal interview at the USA consulate in your home country.Which country give work visa easily? ›
They are also famed for being flexible with their work visas. Known as the 'Orientation visa', it allows permits for a non-EU citizen and has no restrictions. You can stay in the Netherlands and work for a year once you complete your graduation. You do not need to submit proof of sufficient funds.
- New Zealand.
Can you volunteer on a tourist visa Canada? ›
Yes, visitors to Canada are allowed to volunteer in Canada, with one stipulation: that they will not fill a practicum position that is intended to be part of a student's course of study.How do I get verified on Workaway? ›
- Join the community. Create a great profile, our team will check it over and verify it within 24 hours.
- Earn feedback from hosts. Each host you stay with can leave feedback about your stay, your skills and what you did.
- Generate your reference letter.
Definition of workaway
: a person who earns passage on a ship by working aboard the ship.
A work exchange, also known as work travel or voluntourism, is a type of travel where you exchange your time and abilities for accommodation. You find a host who is looking for a certain kind of help, and lend them a hand for a limited number of hours per week. They provide you with a place to stay and other benefits.Do you get paid on Worldpackers? ›
Write articles for Worldpackers and earn from US$50 to US$160 for each approved piece of content published on our platform.Do I need a work visa for Worldpackers? ›
You don't need any specific work visas to use Worldpackers, as what you will be doing is exchanging skills for accommodation, as opposed to finding formal, paid employment which usually does require a work visa. However you will need to ensure you have any necessary travel visas for the country you are visiting.Does Worldpackers cost? ›
How much is the membership fee for a year of Worldpackers? The fee to become a Verified Member is currently $49 (US).Can foreigners volunteer in Canada? ›
Yes, visitors to Canada are allowed to volunteer in Canada, with one stipulation: that they will not fill a practicum position that is intended to be part of a student's course of study.Do volunteers get paid in Canada? ›
No. Volunteers may receive some form of pay from the organization, but are still exempt from all provisions of The Employment Standards Code.Can you volunteer on a tourist visa? ›
It is likely that the conditions for this type of visa will also include the same requirement as the visitor visa of no more than 30 hours of volunteering within a limited range of roles. Once a refugee has 'settled status', there are no restrictions on volunteering. Asylum seekers also are able to volunteer freely.
Does volunteering count as Canadian experience? ›
Your skilled work experience must be paid work including paid wages or earned commission. We don't count volunteer work or unpaid internships. For part-time work, you can work more or less than 15 hours/week as long as it adds up to 1,560 hours. You can work more than 1 part-time job to get the hours you need to apply.Is volunteer work paid? ›
Volunteering is unpaid work for someone other than a close relative - for example, working for a charity or not for profit organisation. If you're a volunteer, you'll have no contract of employment. This means you decide how many hours you want to volunteer each week.What kind of visa do I need for volunteering? ›
You can apply for a B-1 visa if you are a member of and committed to a recognized religious or nonprofit charitable organization and will participate in a "voluntary service program" of the organization.Can visitors legally work in Canada? ›
Visitors who are currently in Canada and have a valid job offer will be able to apply for an employer-specific work permit and, if approved, receive the permit without having to leave the country, thanks to a new public policy announced today by the Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and ...Can I work for free in Canada? ›
VANCOUVER—The practice of new immigrants working for free in order to gain Canadian work experience — either in a volunteer capacity or in an unpaid “work placement”— is common but may have implications for their status in Canada, immigration lawyers say.Where can I do volunteer work in Canada? ›
- CADIP. Organizing Social Programs for Elderly in Vancouver, BC. Canada. ...
- Maison Emmanuel Centre Éducatif. Volunteer Assistant Special Educator in Canada. Canada. ...
- McGill University. International Human Rights Internships with McGill University. Canada.
You can apply to a no-fee volunteer project with the Peace Corps, Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO), or United Nations (UN) Volunteers. These organizations don't require a program fee, may cover all of your expenses, including airfare and room and board, and even provide a stipend.Do you need work visa for Workaway? ›
Generally, Workawayers do not need to apply for a work permit or work visa because Workaway is classed as 'volunteering'. Most countries see it as volunteering because the Workawayer is not paid a wage.Can you work for free on a tourist visa? ›
If you wish to work in the United States for a temporary period you will require a nonimmigrant work visa. You cannot work on a visitor or business visa, or under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).Can you do unpaid work on a tourist visa? ›
No. Those entering the UK as visitors are not allowed to undertake work of any kind, including job shadowing, and an unpaid internship is still considered to be work. The intern must therefore obtain appropriate work permission before they start their internship.
Can I immigrate to Canada without work experience? ›
Thankfully, there are few immigration programs for legally moving to Canada without work experience. These include study permits and family sponsorships. These allow you to start forming roots in the country and build work and permanent residency.How much work experience is required for Canada PR? ›
To be eligible for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class you must have completed, within the three years before you apply, at least: 12 months of full-time work: 30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours), OR.How many points do you need for Canadian experience? ›
|Canadian work experience||With a spouse or common-law partner (Maximum 70 points)||Without a spouse or common-law partner (Maximum 80 points)|