It’s clear by now that the rise of remote work has inspired many Canadians to ditch big cities for more affordable destinations, but you might still be surprised by the most popular places people chose to call home in 2021.
U-Haul has released its Canada Migration Trends of the year and it lists the 25 cities that saw the biggest growth in new residents, based on the number of people who used their rentals to relocate.
According to the report, North Bay was ranked the number one growth city for the second year in a row with 40% year-over-year growth in DIY movers.
The next two cities on the list are Belleville and Greater Sudbury, both of which are nearly a 4-hour drive from Toronto.
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“At the start of the pandemic we saw a mass exodus from Ontario to other provinces, particularly the Maritimes,” said Jake Spelic, U-Haul Area District Vice President of Eastern Canada in the report.
However, Spelic notes that the trend has since reversed with people moving back to and within Ontario as life shifts closer to normal.
“Ontario is still the economic center of Canada and offers a high quality of living, thousands of job opportunities and attractive salaries.”
Other Ontario cities in the top 25 include Kingston, Owen Sound-Port Elgin, Sault Ste. Marie, Chatham, St. Thomas, Sarnia, Brantford, Orillia, Peterborough, Cornwall, and St. Catharines.
No cities in the GTA made the list, but Richmond Hill almost squeaked by but just missed the cut.
Overall, Alberta remains the most popular province in Canada for new residents, netting more one-way U-Haul truck customers than anywhere else, followed by B.C. and then Ontario in third place.