Many immigrants and refugees arriving in Canada resettle in the gateway cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. The Canadian government attempts to redistribute refugees across the country to reduce large metropolitan centers’ pressures to provide resources for newcomers and to revitalize small cities’ economies. However, there is a lack of literature on refugees’ challenges and successes while resettling in small cities. This paper is a historical case study of Vietnamese refugees’ resettlement experiences in Peterborough, Ontario. It explores how the Peterborough community responded to the arrival of Vietnamese refugees and analyzes the factors that influenced the participants’ decisions to stay in Peterborough or relocate to other cities. The participants’ experiences revealed that, the Peterborough community’s initial warm reception was important for building social networks, but the availability of employment and the ability to support their families were more significant factors in influencing their decisions to move.