2023 U-Haul Canadian Growth Cities: Alberta Markets Top List

Jan 9, 2024

Alberta is the leading growth province for 2023 while its largest market, Calgary, is Canada’s top growth city based on the one-way U-Haul transactions of do-it-yourself movers.

The U-Haul Growth Index found that Calgary, Edmonton and Camrose were all among Canada’s top 25 growth cities last year, helping Alberta climb from last to first in the moving company’s annual growth province rankings.

British Columbia jumped from ninth place in 2022 to second in 2023 among growth provinces, mirroring Alberta’s success. New Brunswick, the top growth province for 2022, slipped two spots to third place on the latest growth chart.

Ontario posted the biggest net loss of one-way U-Haul customers in 2023, falling from third to last among provinces on the U-Haul Growth Index. Still, Ontario has nine markets that are top 25 Canadian growth cities – the most of any province – followed by BC with seven.

Victoria, BC, is a U-Haul top 25 Canadian growth city for 2023. Courtesy: Tourism Victoria
Victoria, BC is the U-Haul No. 18 Canadian Growth City for 2023

“We first noticed a strong trend of U-Haul customers moving into Alberta in 2020 because of the affordable housing, and since then the province has continued attracting residents and bringing in new jobs,” stated Naga Chennamsetty, U-Haul Area District Vice President of Western Canada. “Cities like Calgary and Edmonton saw a good influx of new residents again in 2023.”

“To support increasing growth, U-Haul has invested millions in capital expenditures in Alberta and other provinces,” Chennamsetty added. “We’re developing more self-storage products and our fleet of U-Haul trucks, trailers and U-Box containers is growing to assist DIY movers across Canada.”

U-Haul calculates growth cities and provinces by each city’s and province’s net gain (or loss) of one-way equipment from customer transactions in a calendar year. The U-Haul Growth Index is compiled from well over 2.5 million one-way U-Haul truck, trailer and U-Box® moving container transactions that occur annually across Canada and the U.S.

In Alberta, 51.1% of all one-way U-Haul customers in 2023 were arriving in the province, while 48.9% were leaving. Compared to 2022, this is an 1.6% increase in arrivals versus departures.

The trends were reversed in Ontario, where 49.1% of one-way U-Haul customers in 2023 were arriving in the province, while 50.9% were leaving. This is a 1% decrease in arrivals versus departures from the previous year.

Calgary and Edmonton each saw significantly fewer people leaving their cities, which catapulted them in the growth city rankings with considerable net gains of DIY movers. In Calgary, more than 52% of one-way U-Haul customers were arrivals in 2023. In Edmonton, 50.4% of one-way U-Haul customers were arrivals.

2023 Canadian Growth Provinces

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

2022 growth rankings in parentheses

2023 Top 25 Canadian Growth Cities

1.CALGARY, AB
2.SHERBROOKE, QC (18)
3.EDMONTON, AB
4.KELOWNA, BC (5)
5.COURTENAY, BC
6.PENTICTON, BC (21)
7.CHATHAM-KENT, ON (1)
8.CAMPBELL RIVER, BC
9.LEVIS, QC
10.BRANTFORD, ON (8)
11.COLLINGWOOD, ON
12.ORILLIA, ON
13.JONQUIERE, QC
14.TRENTON, ON
15.MONCTON, NB
16.TRURO, NS
17.NANAIMO, BC
18.VICTORIA, BC
19.SUDBURY, ON (7)
20.BELLEVILLE, ON (13)
21.SARNIA, ON (3)
22.WASAGA BEACH, ON
23.CHILLIWACK, BC (10)
24.SALMON ARM, BC (19)
25.CAMROSE, AB (16)

2022 growth rankings in parentheses

While U-Haul migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth, the U-Haul Growth Index is an effective gauge of how well provinces and 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 50 American states. The geographical coverage from 23,000 U-Haul truck- and trailer-sharing locations provides a broad overview of where people are moving like no one else in the industry.

U-Haul continues to benefit the environment through its shared-use business model. Truck and trailer sharing enables communities to share moving equipment so that families and individuals don’t need to own large-capacity vehicles to transfer belongings. Sustainability initiatives like U-Haul Adaptive Reuse (the preserving and repurposing of existing buildings for new stores), truck modifications to improve fuel economy, and plastic Ready-To-Go Boxes® that are shared hundreds of times before being recycled are among the many ways U-Haul promotes green business. U-Box Load Share, the Company’s latest sustainability program, was just named the 2023 Best in Biz gold winner for the Most Environmentally Friendly Service of the Year.

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