Market Insights

At the beginning of every month, we work to compile statistics related to market activity within Toronto and the GTA.


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Canadians Fleeing Ontario Is Accelerating, Alberta Becomes Top Destination

Canadians are re-evaluating their housing situation, and it’s sending many to new  provinces. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) data shows a significant interprovincial  migration. This is the flow of Canadians looking to improve their quality of life by  moving to a new province. Since Ontario’s home prices have begun to surge, the province has been on the losing end of this trend.

Affordable provinces are in, and expensive provinces are out for Canadian residents.  We looked at Q1 2022 interprovincial migration data and found a big shift in moving  patterns. Ontario, once considered Canada’s opportunity hub, is now seeing people  leave in droves. Alberta and Nova Scotia, formerly known for losses, are now the top destinations for Canadians looking for a change.

Interprovincial migration is when a resident moves to a new province. Long-term  residents have insights on a province that can’t easily be quantified. Sure, maybe  unemployment is low and wages are high, but it might not add up to a better quality of  life. They have practical, on-the-ground experience with a region and how attractive it  can be. If a lot more people leave than arrive, the province might be a poor value proposition.

Provinces with a positive flow aren’t just attracting people, but also retaining them.  Keeping locals satisfied while poaching people from other regions is no easy task.  Policymakers can learn what works and what doesn’t to continue to compete for people.

Now let’s look at the data.

First, let’s start with the provinces doing things right. Alberta saw the largest net inflow,  gaining 5,351 people in Q1 2022. This completely reverses the negative movements  seen last year in the quarter. The next two to follow are BC with a net gain of 3,051  people (-67% compared to Q1 2021), and Nova Scotia with 2,419 (-10%) people.

All three of these provinces saw large net gains for interprovincial migrants. However,  it’s worth noticing that Alberta is the only one of the three to see an acceleration for the trend. The other two provinces have made big gains, but they’re slowing.

The biggest loser might surprise anyone who’s not from the province — Ontario. The  province saw a net outflow of 11,566 people in Q1 2022, nearly double (+96%) last  year’s net loss. It was followed by Manitoba with an outflow of 2,229 (-7%) people, and Saskatchewan with 1,358 (-28%) people.

Ontario is the only of the three provinces to see losses accelerate in size. The other two  provinces are seeing smaller outflows from last year. Policymakers like to emphasize  interprovincial losses don’t mean a shrinking population. You can attract more  immigrants to make up for the losses, and then some. Immigrants tend to move to the Big Three hubs in Canada — Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.

It’s a good deal for the region, but if it fails to live up to the hype it’s not great for the  immigrant. This often results in regret, and in a best-case scenario they figure out  where locals are moving. At a certain point, word gets out and the previous hubs can  be replaced as people move directly to the new region. The former hub then must fight an uphill battle to regain its reputation.


Bosley Real Estate Ltd. is a full-service, 4th generation brokerage operating since 1928 with offices serving Toronto, Niagara, Waterloo Region, Southern Georgian Bay and Port Hope. With over 250 agents in residential and commercial real estate, the firm has built a reputation on trust, respect and integrity selling and leasing property throughout Ontario. Bosley Real Estate is also recognized internationally through an exclusive affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. This prestigious partnership connects the brokerage to a global network of 130,000 real estate professionals in 70 countries. Headquartered in Midtown Toronto, President and Broker of Record, Christan Bosley continues to innovate and maintains the high standard of excellence forged over a century.



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