U-Haul Names Top 25 Canadian Growth Cities of 2020

Jan 5, 2021

North Bay is the No. 1 U-Haul® growth city in Canada, while British Columbia and New Brunswick are the leading growth provinces for do-it-yourself movers, according to Company data analyzing migration patterns from 2020.

The Northeastern Ontario market of North Bay, with its 53,000 residents along the east shore of Lake Nipissing, welcomed the largest net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks of any city in Canada over the past calendar year.

North Vancouver, Kingston, Belleville, and the Barrie/Orillia corridor round out the top five growth cities. Ontario boasts 10 of the top 15 cities. Quebec has six cities in the top 25. British Columbia has five.

U-Haul growth cities are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks (i.e. moving vans ranging in size from 10 to 26 feet) arriving in a city versus departing from that city in a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from more than 2 million one-way U-Haul truck-sharing transactions that occur annually in Canada and the U.S. Neighboring cities in certain markets are packaged together for U-Haul migration trends purposes.

People coming to North Bay in one-way U-Haul trucks increased 20% in 2020, while departures rose only 3% year-over-year. Arrivals accounted for 57.5% of all one-way U-Haul traffic in North Bay, which ranked fifth for growth in 2019.

“People are packing up their U-Haul trucks and setting their sights on North Bay,” said Wayne Curtis, U-Haul Company of Central Ontario president. “The cost of living is low, and the Ottawa government is sending jobs in this direction. It’s no surprise North Bay is the No. 1 U-Haul Growth City in Canada.”

Other notable spikes in arrivals were seen in Belleville (20%), Barrie/Orillia (22%), Vancouver (16%), Chilliwack (32%), Abbotsford (26%), Lethbridge (17%) and Nanaimo/Coombs (52%).

Province Growth Trends

Nine of 10 provinces saw a net gain in U-Haul customers in 2020, with only Ontario witnessing more DIY movers leave its borders.

BC and New Brunswick share honors for top growth province, with each posting the same net gain in U-Haul trucks. BC built upon its 2019 growth with a 3.3% increase in arrivals versus a 2.6% increase in departures in 2020. New Brunswick, a net-loss province in 2019, saw 22.7% more arrivals year-over-year compared to just 7.8% more departures.

Aside from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia (4.4% arrivals increase, 1.7% departures decrease) boasts the largest year-over-year turnaround after ranking ninth in 2019.

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

U-Haul is the authority on migration trends thanks to its expansive network that blankets all 10 Canadian provinces and the 50 states. The geographical coverage from more than 22,000 U-Haul truck- and trailer-sharing locations provides a comprehensive overview of where people are moving like no one else in the industry.

Find local U-Haul stores and neighborhood dealers at uhaul.com/locations.

2020 U-HAUL CANADIAN GROWTH CITIES

1.NORTH BAY, ON (5)
2.NORTH VANCOUVER, BC (1)
3.KINGSTON, ON
4.BELLEVILLE, ON (25)
5.BARRIE/ORILLIA, ON
6.SUDBURY, ON
7.VANCOUVER, BC
8.CHILLIWACK, BC
9.CHATHAM, ON (10)
10.SARNIA, ON (15)
11.ABBOTSFORD, BC
12.PETERBOROUGH, ON (18)
13.ST. THOMAS, ON (3)
14.LETHBRIDGE, AB
15.BRANTFORD, ON
16.QUEBEC CITY, QC
17.SHERBROOKE, QC (6)
18.NANAIMO/COOMBS, BC
19.AIRDRIE, AB
20.SHAWINIGAN, QC
21.RIMOUSKI, QC
22.TROIS RIVIERES, QC
23.CHARLOTTETOWN, PE
24.SAINT-HUBERT, QC
25.SAINT JOHN, NB

* Previous year’s rankings in parentheses, if applicable

2020 PROVINCES RANKED BY MIGRATION GROWTH

T1.BRITISH COLUMBIA (2)
T1.NEW BRUNSWICK (10)
3.ALBERTA (4)
4.QUEBEC (3)
5.NOVA SCOTIA (9)
6.NEWFOUNDLAND and LABRADOR (5)
7.PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND (6)
8.SASKATCHEWAN (7)
9.MANITOBA (8)
10.ONTARIO (1)

* Previous year’s rankings in parentheses

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