Toronto experiences record population loss as more move away from city amid COVID-19 pandemic

Toronto has experienced a slower population growth as people choose to move away from the city amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to Statistics Canada.

As a whole, Statistics Canada said Canadians are choosing to move away from the country’s largest urban city centres and are setting up their homes in more suburban areas. The numbers being used by Statistics Canada are from July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2020.

Read more: Toronto Real Estate Board says home prices hit record in 2020 as sales climbed

However, population growth is still increasing in Toronto mostly due to “international migration,” though even those numbers have slowed due to travel restrictions in response to the pandemic.

As of July 1, 2020, Statistics Canada said “international migration accounted for 90.3 per cent” of the growth in large urban regions across the country, such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

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Over the course of the year studied, Toronto experienced a loss of 50,375 as people moved to surrounding cities such as Oshawa, which experienced a population growth of 2.1 per cent and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, up by two per cent.

Read more: Niagara Region housing prices climb as buyers leave Toronto in search of space

In response to this new direction, housing costs in these surrounding areas have seen an increase, according to Statistics Canada, even while the pandemic is ongoing.

Personal health, being able to work remotely and high cost of living are some of the most notables reasons as to why people are choosing to move outside of Toronto.

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