Report

Big Cities in Canada – Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver continued to see more people moving out

Population growth in Canada’s large urban regions slowed compared with the same period a year earlier (+1.3% compared with +1.7%). However, Canada continues to be more urbanized as the population of census metropolitan areas rose to 27.3 million (accounting for 71.8% of the total population).

Urban sprawl continues, with Toronto and Montréal both experiencing record-high population losses to surrounding areas

More people are opting to live outside of Canada’s largest urban centres, which is contributing to ongoing urban sprawl.

Despite still showing overall positive population growth, mostly due to international migration, the CMAs of Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver continued to see more people moving out to other regions of their province rather than moving in. From July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2020, the CMAs of Toronto (-50,375) and Montréal (-24,880) each posted a record loss of people as a result of these population exchanges.

In Toronto, the net loss was mainly driven by people moving to surrounding CMAs. For example, the population growth in Oshawa (+2.1%)—which posted the fastest growth—was partly due to migration flows from the neighbouring CMA of Toronto.

High population growth rates in municipalities located close to the Montréal CMA, like Farnham (+5.2%) and Saint-Hippolyte (+4.1%), were also partly due to migratory flows coming from the Montréal CMA.

Urban sprawl continued within Canada’s three largest CMAs, with the fastest growing municipalities more often found in suburban areas. For example, the municipalities of Milton (+4.0%) and Brampton (+3.4%) grew at the fastest pace among those within the Toronto CMA (+1.4%). Similarly, the municipalities of Mirabel (+3.6%) and New Westminster (+2.8%) were among the fastest growing in the CMAs of Montréal (+0.7%) and Vancouver (+1.1%), respectively.

The desire to live outside the largest urban centres was also reflected in the rapidly increasing housing costs in neighbouring real estate markets, a trend that has continued in spite of the pandemic. Personal health, the ability to work remotely, and higher housing costs are among the most important factors contributing to the decision of many Canadians to continue (or to no longer continue) living in large urban centres hardest hit by the pandemic. Whatever the exact reasons, urban sprawl is an important trend to monitor.

Population growth rate by census metropolitan area, 2019/2020, Canada

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ The Daily — Canada’s population estimates: Subprovincial areas, July 1, 2020

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