Young Canadians Fleeing Expensive Cities for Affordable Suburbs



Discover why young people in Canada are ditching expensive cities like Toronto for more affordable suburbs and cities. Read more here.

The rising cost of housing in Canada is prompting a noticeable shift in migration patterns, with young families and early-career workers opting to leave expensive cities in favor of more affordable regions. According to recent data from Statistics Canada, every major city in Ontario, the country's most populous province with some of the highest housing prices, experienced a net loss in interprovincial migration for the second consecutive year up to July 1, 2023.


Young Canadians Fleeing Expensive Cities for Affordable Suburbs

Toronto, Ontario's largest city, saw a significant outflow of approximately 93,000 residents to surrounding satellite cities and other parts of the province, particularly among individuals under the age of 40. Additionally, over 16,000 residents relocated to other provinces, with a notable portion being individuals aged 20 to 39 and their young children. Similarly, Vancouver, British Columbia's largest city and one of the most expensive in North America, also reported a substantial net loss in migration.

Conversely, Alberta, a province known for its more affordable housing options, experienced a notable increase in migration from other provinces. Cities like Calgary and Edmonton, along with two other major urban centers in the province, welcomed nearly 46,000 new residents over the same period. The statistics agency noted that the affordability of homes and a promising economic outlook in the prairies are attracting homebuyers and job seekers, leading to a shift away from Ontario and British Columbia.

The surge in housing prices in Toronto, exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic, has further fueled this migration trend. Currently, the benchmark price for a home in the city stands at $1.128 million, making it increasingly challenging for many residents to afford living in the urban center.

The data highlights a clear trend of individuals and families seeking more affordable housing options and better economic prospects in regions outside of Canada's priciest cities. This shift in migration patterns underscores the impact of housing affordability on population movement within the country.

Young Canadians Fleeing Expensive Cities for Affordable Suburbs

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