Suburbs may be on the rise, but here's why cities aren't disappearing anytime soon

by Bailey Amber
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The same is true for the Montreal and Vancouver CMAs: about 24,880 persons left Montreal to settle elsewhere in Quebec, and 12,189 left Vancouver to settle elsewhere in B.C.

These three CMAs differ considerably in interprovincial migration. For instance, 3,175 more people left the Montreal CMA to settle outside Quebec than those who settled in Montreal from other provinces. By contrast, 4,381 more persons settled in the Vancouver CMA than those who left for other provinces. The net interprovincial flow into the Toronto CMA was just 284 persons.

The Calgary and Alberta CMAs had a net increase in population from intraprovincial and interprovincial migration, but, unlike other populous cities, the number of births was at least twice as large as the numbers of deaths. In the Montreal CMA, birth numbers were only 27 per cent higher than deaths.

A CMA is a constellation of Census Subdivisions (CSD) or municipalities, but the suburbanization of the population can also be observed at the individual municipal level.

The City of Toronto’s population growth rate during 2019 and 2020 was 0.84 per cent, compared to 3.42 per cent in the neighbouring municipality of Brampton, and 4.08 per cent in Milton, slightly further west. Surprisingly, the growth rate in Mississauga, home to Canada’s largest airport, was 0.61 per cent, lagging behind Toronto.

The lure for more space, cheaper rents and lower housing prices are cited as reasons for the outflow of people from populous and centrally located cities. These trends are likely to continue in 2021, given that the vaccine roll-out still faces logistical constraints.

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