Canada’s urban exodus picked up steam in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with thousands of people leaving Toronto and Montreal for smaller cities or rural areas, official data showed on Thursday.
According to Statistics Canada population estimates, more than 64,000 people left Toronto for other parts of Ontario from mid-2020 to mid-2021, up 14 percent from the previous 12-month period, with another 6,600 leaving the province. Huh.
Montreal, Canada’s second largest city, lost nearly 40,000 residents to other areas in Quebec, a 60 percent increase this year, while another 3,600 moved out of the province.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of remote working have prompted thousands of Canadians to migrate from large and expensive cities in search of more space and affordable real estate to smaller centres, cottage towns and coastal areas.
This has helped drive a nationwide housing boom, with prices rising more rapidly in suburbs and smaller towns than in urban centres, which could cost locals less and put pressure on municipal services.
Nationwide, typical home prices in Canada are now $780,400 – up 34 percent from March 2020, or about $200,000.
Atlantic Canada has done well in migration. Halifax added more than 6,000 people in the year to June 30, 2021, most of whom came from outside the province.
Rural Quebec has grown rapidly, with more than 25,000 people mainly from the French-speaking urban centers of the province.
The areas around Toronto are also seeing a strong influx into cities known as the Golden Horseshoe. Oshawa added 8,000 people as residents moved out of Toronto, and both Hamilton and St.
Immigration compensated for some of Toronto’s population losses.