A visual look at how Canadians moved during the pandemic

In the early months of the pandemic, there was much talk of a wave of Canadians moving out in search of affordable housing or more space. Now, newly released census data paints a clear picture of how many people have moved in and out of cities across the country and how many have fled each province.

The latest data release from Statistics Canada shows nearly 89,000 people moved from Ontario to across the country between 2020 and 2021. Data shows 21,000 moved west to British Columbia , while nearly 19,000 more headed east to Quebec.

This data also shows that approximately 12,000 Ontarians traveled further east to Nova Scotia, which launched an advertising campaign in early 2021 to attract those who work from home. Census data shows around 23,000 people moved to the Maritime province between 2020 and 2021.

As for cities, in Toronto – one of the epicenters of the nation’s housing crisis – more people have moved than within, making it the only major Canadian city to see a decline in population. between 2020 and 2021.

Alberta’s rural centres, including Grand Prairie, Wood Buffalo (home to Fort McMurray) and Red Deer, have all seen their populations decline in favor of other cities.

But affordable housing is apparently not the only reason people have moved as Vancouver – where the cost of housing remains notoriously high – saw a net increase of nearly 38,000 residents. Ottawa and Calgary also saw notable population increases in the first year of the pandemic.


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