January 8, 2020 / By: J. Greenwell

Western Canada's Population Surge

Canadian Cities, Apartment Rentals, Investors, Immigration, Personal Interest
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Lately, we've seen a lot in the news about the rapid population growth anticipated in various cities and provinces in Western Canada. That trend continues at a pace exceeding even many of the most liberal projections of only a few years ago, and even Statistics Canada's "medium" anticipated growth finds Canada's population growing to at least 48.8 million people by 2050. Canada is also expected to continue competing with the United States for the top position in G7 population growth, a trend only assisted by the recent chill in US immigration policy. That policy has driven immigration northward to Canada, our country's population experiencing 1.5% year-over-year increases as 2019 US immigration numbers plunged even further for a third consecutive year to the lowest in a decade. 


Unlike generations in days gone by who distributed themselves across both country and countryside, the overwhelming majority of new Canadians today are choosing to live urban lifestyles in major population centers. What's more, many are succeeding in living that lifestyle car-free as public demands for better transit planning are translating into more robust, convenient, and affordable options.


That affordability can no longer be found in some major Canadian cities which have traditionally served immigration magnets such as Toronto and urban Vancouver. Priced out of these markets and finding greater spending power and quality of life in the rest of Western Canada, the majority of these people also choose to rent as mortgages remain largely inaccessible to many millennials and Generation-Z, but also to many new Canadians.


And those Western Canadian cities are projected to experience a serious influx. With Vancouver projected to grow by 1.3 million by 2041, the Lower Mainland's housing needs will only continue to far outstrip supply. Over a similar period, Alberta is expected to add another 2.3 million people, most of whom are headed directly for Calgary and Edmonton, and where yet again the housing supply doesn't come close to meeting the projected need.


Planning has to take place now: planning for the required expansions of infrastructure, planning for the necessary transit services expansion which must occur alongside to meet the growing need, and most importantly, planning for the surge in rental demand so nobody is left in the cold.