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Top Boomtowns In Canada

If you want to know where people are moving these days, just ask U-Haul. The do-it-yourself moving company has developed a system for tracking migration patterns by looking at the pick-up and drop-off locations of its trucks and trailers.

 It’s “an effective gauge of how well cities are attracting and maintaining residents,” the company says, and in the pandemic year of 2020, it seems the Canadian city that saw the biggest growth on that front was North Bay. 

 


Yes, that North Bay. The often-overlooked small city in northern Ontario saw the largest increase in inbound U-Haul trucks, compared to outbound trucks, of any place in Canada. It didn’t even place in the top 25 the year before.

1

 North Bay, Ont.

2

 North Vancouver, B.C.

3

 Kingston, Ont.

4

 Belleville, Ont.

5

 Barrie/Orillia, Ont.

6

 Sudbury, Ont.

7

 Vancouver, B.C.

8

 Chilliwack, B.C.

9

Chatham, Ont.

10

 Sarnia, Ont.

11

 Abbotsford, B.C.

12

 Peterborough, Ont.

13

 St. Thomas, Ont.

14

 Lethbridge, Alta.

15

 Brantford, Ont.

16

 Quebec City

17

 Sherbrooke, Que.

18

 Nanaimo/Coombs, B.C.

19

 Airdrie, Alta.

20

 Shawinigan, Que.

In fact, 10 of the top 20 cities on U-Haul’s list of top “growth cities” are smaller cities in Ontario that, until recently, were not exactly considered magnets for migrants. And many of the cities on the list are near one of Canada’s major metro areas ― another sign that city dwellers are packing up and moving amid lockdowns.

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