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, a 14% increase from the previous 12-month period, with another 6,600 leaving the province. Huh.
Montreal, Canada’s second largest city, lost about 40,000 residents to other areas in Quebec, up 60% in the year, with another 3,600 moving 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 smaller centers, cottage towns and coastal areas for more space, and affordable real estate.
This has helped drive a nationwide housing boom, with prices rising more rapidly in suburbs and smaller towns than in urban centres, raising concerns of locals and municipal services being pressured.
Nationwide, typical home prices in Canada are now up to C$780,400 ($624,870), 34% or approximately C$200,000 as of March 2020.
Atlantic Canada has done well in migration. Halifax, Nova Scotia added more than 6,000 people in the year to June 30, 2021, with the vast majority coming from out of the province.
Rural Quebec has grown rapidly, with more than 25,000 people mainly from the French-speaking urban centers of the province.
The so-called Golden Horseshoe towns around Toronto are also seeing strong influx. 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.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)