U-Haul Migration Trends: Kamloops Tops Canadian Growth Cities of 2016

Feb 6, 2017

Kamloops headlines the list of Canadian Growth Cities as U-Haul presents its 2016 migration trends reports.

The central British Columbia city, with its picturesque location along the Thompson River and a population nearing 90,000, climbed six spots from its 2015 ranking to become the U-Haul No. 1 Canadian Growth City for 2016. Toronto held that distinction for 2015.

Growth cities are calculated by the net gain of arriving one-way U-Haul trucks over departing one-way U-Haul trucks for a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from more than 1.7 million one-way U-Haul truck rental transactions that occur annually.

Reserve U-Haul trucks and trailers, self-storage, moving supplies and more at facilities near you by visiting uhaul.com/locations. Find additional U-Haul migration reports at myuhaulstory.com.

“U-Haul migration trends data is among the most sought after in the industry because it is the most comprehensive, dotting the map in more places with more equipment and reaching more customers than anyone else,” U-Haul Executive Vice President Stuart Shoen says.

Kamloops: Friendliest City in B.C.

Kamloops saw 55.2 percent of U-Haul truck rental customers coming into the city as opposed to 44.8 percent leaving last year. There was a 16-percent surge in arrivals in 2016 compared to 2015. Departures also rose 7 percent as overall U-Haul traffic increased.

“Kamloops is considered a very affordable option for people looking for full city living without being in a metropolitan area,” Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar says. “We have a well-diversified economy. There’s been a push in tech jobs, education and health care jobs. People are moving here, and U-Haul provides an option for them. U-Haul gives people the option to move on their own time while saving money.”

U-Haul Canadian Growth Cities: Kenna Cartwright Park- Tourism Kamloops

Kenna Cartwright Park in Kamloops, the U-Haul No. 1 Canadian Growth City of 2016. Courtesy of Tourism Kamloops

Kamloops is known as B.C.’s friendliest city and lays claims to the title of Canada’s Tournament Capital for sporting events with its high-end facilities. It is home to major employers such as the Interior Health Authority, Highland Valley Copper Mine and Thompson Rivers University.

Ontario Cities Dominate List

Nineteen of the top 25 U-Haul Canadian Growth Cities are in Ontario, including the next seven cities after Kamloops. Five B.C. cities are represented. Halifax is the lone city outside B.C. or Ontario to make the list.

Ottawa is the largest growth city on the list at No. 10. U-Haul locations there saw 50.7 percent of truck rental customers coming into the city as opposed to 49.3 percent leaving in 2016. Overall U-Haul traffic increased considerably in Ottawa as arrivals rose 14 percent and departures rose 13 percent year-over-year.

Top 25 U-Haul Canadian Growth Cities

1.      Kamloops, B.C.
2.      Belleville, Ont.
3.      Guelph, Ont.
4.      Gravenhurst, Ont.
5.      North Bay, Ont.
6.      Parry Sound, Ont.
7.      Woodstock, Ont.
8.      Trenton, Ont.
9.      Chilliwack, B.C.
10.   Ottawa, Ont.
11.   Midland, Ont.
12.   Strathroy, Ont.
13.   Chatham, Ont.
14.   Kingston, Ont.
15.   Vernon, B.C.
16.   Orillia, Ont.
17.   St. Thomas, Ont.
18.   Penticton, B.C.
19.   Peterborough, Ont.
20.   Halifax, N.S.
21.   Huntsville, Ont.
22.   Nepean, Ont.
23.   Simcoe, Ont.
24.   Merritt, B.C.
25.   Elliot Lake, Ont.

U-Haul is the authority on migration trends thanks to its expansive network that blankets all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. The geographical coverage from more than 21,000 U-Haul locations provides a comprehensive overview of where people are moving like no one else in the industry.

While migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth, U-Haul growth data is an effective gauge of how well cities are attracting and maintaining residents.

What They are Saying

“Kamloops is a very beautiful, affordable place to live. It has Riverside Park, a world-class ski resort and the right mix of big-city and small-town feel. There’s no shortage of activities in one of the sunniest cities in Canada.” — Horace Martin, U-Haul Company of British Columbia president

“Being a capital city, Ottawa sees a lot of movement. It is home to Parliament Hill, which brings new jobs and residents every year. Ottawa has museums, the government buildings and 35 major festivals a year. It’s one of the most family-oriented places I’ve been. They do it right.” — Claude Boucher, U-Haul Company of Western Quebec president, whose territory includes Ottawa

“Belleville is thrilled to be on the U-Haul top migration list for 2016 as it reflects the busy, growing community we represent. Belleville’s small-town charm and big-city amenities have allowed us to be a community of choice for those looking to balance their income potential with an enviable lifestyle. … The city provides tremendous employment opportunities and its affordable quality of life really offers everyone the opportunity to live their best life. With an average home price of $258,000, everyone has the opportunity to own a piece of this great community.” — Belleville Mayor Taso A. Christopher

View the top U-Haul Canadian Growth Cities for 2015 by clicking here.

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