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Why are Canadians Moving and Where?

During the pandemic, millions of people moved. Everyone moved for different reasons, and while 84% of Canadians didn’t need a change due to the pandemic, there were many more first-time buyers during that time, with 53% of buyers in 2021 first-time buyers. So how many moved in or out of Canada?

The results might be surprising.

Where did Canadians Go?

According to Statistics Canada, more than 89,000 people moved away from Ontario. Around 20,000 went to British Columbia, and another 20,000 went to Quebec. Also, approximately 12,000 moved to Nova Scotia, and 23,000 moved to Maritime.

Toronto used to be one of the hottest areas of Canada, but in 2020 and 2021, more people left Toronto. As a result, it was one of the only Canadian cities to lose population during the pandemic.

Why Did Most People Move During the Pandemic?

Homeowners that sold their homes and moved elsewhere did for various reasons. Many wanted more space. With the lockdowns in place, they couldn’t function in the homes they had, with kids doing school from home and parents working from home, everyone needed more space.

Others moved to find more affordable housing. Those that couldn’t afford where they lived because of temporary shutdowns looked for affordable housing elsewhere during the pandemic.

First-time homebuyers, though, did so because they wanted a secure investment and more stability. In addition, almost 35% of first-time buyers did so because they wanted to take advantage of rock-bottom interest rates that they hadn’t seen in a while.

Where did First-Time Buyers Come From?

Most first-time homebuyers lived with friends or family when they bought their first home during the pandemic. Over 40% rented with other friends or family, and 29% lived with family but didn’t pay rent.

Of the first-time homebuyers, 20% were renters for over ten years before they decided to buy a home. On the other hand, 41% of first-time buyers rented for 5 – 9 years before buying a home.

Final Thoughts

Canadians are still moving even with the pandemic somewhat behind us. The largest influx of people moving to different areas has slowed, but many continue to look for more affordable housing or more room as more companies move to remote positions.


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