Pandemic migration out of Toronto sends people west and east and into Niagara and Oshawa


Published November 3, 2022 at 9:41 am

Downtown Oshawa


Go west young man (and woman), they used to say, and that adage still holds some truth, especially during a pandemic.

According to Statistics Canada nearly 89,000 people moved out of Ontario during the first year of the pandemic with more than two thirds heading west to Vancouver, Calgary, Victoria and Kelowna. Vancouver, despite the ridiculously high cost of housing, was a clear #1, taking in nearly 38,000 newcomers in that period.

But besides an influx of migrants to Halifax (nearly 8,800 moved there, part of 23,000 new residents to Nova Scotia), not everyone left Ontario. They did leave Toronto in droves, however, with the Canada’s largest metropolis being the only major city to actually lose population between 2020 and 2021.

Other Ontario centres reaped the benefits of the migration out of Toronto. With the pandemic forcing many people to work from home, some saw an opportunity to move into towns where the housing situation was more affordable.

London gained 8,980 people during that year, St. Catharines-Niagara gained 8,380 new residents, the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge area took in 6,890 newcomers and Oshawa got a bump of 6,540 people.

Downtown St. Catharines

Ottawa also enjoyed a big jump in population, with their 14,835 increase second only to Vancouver.

indurham's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising