leaving ontario

People keep leaving Ontario for elsewhere in the country more than any other province

Given Toronto's housing market and sky-high cost of living in general, it's no wonder so many people left over the course of the pandemic if they were able, setting up in smaller, more affordable Ontario towns or cities elsewhere in Canada amid lockdowns that took away most of the allure the city had.

But, even though pandemic-era business closures are far behind us (hopefully) and people are back in their downtown offices once more, it seems that the trend of people leaving the city has not let up — and its not just T.O., either.

Ontario is now the top province from which people emigrate within Canada, with most leaving for Alberta, where homes and life in general are notably cheaper.

New StatsCan numbers analyzed by Better Dwelling show that in the first quarter of 2022, Alberta, B.C. and Nova Scotia saw the largest net inflow of people, while Ontario saw the biggest losses by a longshot with a net outflow of more than double Alberta's net inflow — 11,566 lost from Ontario vs. 5.351 gained in Alberta.

This is compared to only 2,229 lost from Manitoba and 1,358 from Saskatchewan, the next two on the list.

We lost almost two times more people during the first few months of this year than last year, marking a hugely accelerating trend of residents leaving for greener pastures — the only province in Canada with such a pattern.

This just adds to what was indicated in a study of the national housing market conducted by Mortgage Professionals Canada earlier this year, which showed despite the fact that Ontario receives the highest proportion of immigrants from other countries, it has the lowest proportion of people coming from other provinces.

Overall, Canadians leaving their province and country in general was abnormally high in the first few months of this year, with the biggest emigration of residents since 2017 at 12,100, which was 42 per cent more than the same period in 2021.

The only provinces that people really departed from were Ontario, B.C. and Alberta, with Ontario accounting for almost half (47.1 per cent) of all Canadians bidding farewell to their home and native land.

One can assume that a major factor is the fact that homes here are the most expensive of any province when compared with our disposable income — 22.5 times more vs. only 7.5 times more in New Brunswick, 8.1 times in Saskatchewan or 10.5 times in Alberta.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau


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