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Many Canadians Are Moving to Smaller Communities

Small towns are great places to life in Canada.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, many Canadians have continued to move away from the big metropolitan and urban centers and are choosing to live in smaller communities instead.

This is supported by the recent population data released by Statistics Canada, which showed that the population in smaller suburban areas has continued to increase in recent years.

So, where are Canadians moving to?

Leaving the Big Cities

The 2021 StatCan report included areas from two different categories: census agglomerations or CAs, which are towns with a population of around 10,000 or more, and census metropolitan areas or CMAs, which are cities with a total population of approximately 100,000 or more.

According to the report, the population in rural areas increased by 0.7% between July 2020 and July 2021.

The data also showed that Quebec and Ontario had the highest number of city dwellers that chose to relocate to more rural areas in the same provinces since 2001.

Meanwhile, Alberta and Ontario had the most significant number of residents choosing to move to other provinces.

The only exception was Lethbridge and the region of Ottawa-Gatineau.

The report indicated an accelerating migration trend, wherein more and more Canadians are choosing to leave urban centers for smaller communities.

Being able to work in Canada remotely, prioritizing personal health, and lower housing costs are some of the primary reasons Canadians are choosing smaller and more rural communities instead of urban centers.

Where Are They Moving To?

So, where are they moving to? StatCan’s report showed that the town of Carleton Place in Ontario saw the highest increase in its population, experiencing a growth of about 4% in the last year.

Meanwhile, Quebec’s Cowansville came in second, experiencing a population increase of around 3.7%.

They are followed by Ontario’s Wasaga Beach and Woodstock, with growth rates of 3.7% and 3.1%, respectively.

Aside from that, some of the other towns that saw a significant increase in their populations include:

  • Lachute, Quebec – 2.9%
  • Collingwood, Ontario – 2.9%
  • Kelowna, British Columbia – 2.6%
  • Squamish, British Columbia – 2.5%
  • Whitehorse, Yukon – 2.4%


Canada has been ranked #1 for best quality of life for several years in a row, so whether you live in a big city like Toronto, Ontario, or a small town like Kelowna, British Columbia, you and your family can enjoy a high standard of living.

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