Leaving Toronto

New data shows more Torontonians are leaving the city than moving in

People are leaving Toronto in serious numbers. New data released by Statistics Canada in May shows that every census metropolitan area (CMA) in Ontario lost more residents to other provinces than it attracted between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.  Toronto, in particular, lost more residents to other cities during that time frame than it had brought in, running the largest net inter-provincial migration deficit (i.e., moving between provinces) recorded among Canadian CMAs (-16,092), with a net intra-provincial migration (moving within Ontario) of -93,024.

As first reported by the Toronto Star, according to Statistics Canada’s domestic migration data, in the past two years, 220,000 more Canadians have left Toronto than arrived, with the majority heading to other areas within Ontario (like Oshawa, Hamilton, the Niagara Region, or London) or inter-provincially, like in Calgary, Edmonton, or Halifax.

One of the top factors influencing Torontonians to leave is the cost of housing. In a recent survey by Royal LePage, 51 per cent of respondents said they would consider buying property in one of Canada’s most affordable cities if they were able to find a job or work remotely. The most popular relocation choices for respondents in the GTA are Edmonton (19 per cent), followed by Thunder Bay (15 per cent) and St. John’s (14 per cent).

In recent years, Alberta has become a sort of haven for Torontonians looking for lower costs of living, jobs, and affordable housing (39,451 residents from Ontario moved to Alberta in 2022 looking for a better life, perhaps partially as a result of the province’s ‘Alberta is Calling’ campaign, which allows eligible skilled tradespeople to apply for a $5,000 bonus to help offset the cost of moving to Alberta).

In May, the average selling price of a home in Toronto decreased by 3.5% year-over-year to $1,117,400. While Edmonton’s average selling price of a home increased by 6.1% year-over-year in May, it’s still much more affordable (at $392,700) compared to Toronto.

The news about the amount of residents leaving Toronto is receiving a lot of reactions on X, with some calling Toronto ‘overrated’ and others reflecting on how expensive the city has become.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO