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Residents from across Canada are making the move to Greater Victoria

Internal migration to Capital Region staying constant: Statistics Canada data
Residents from across Canada are leaving other major cities to move to Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)

New data released Thursday shows people continue to move to Greater Victoria from other Canadian cities in similar proportions as they have in recent years.

Vancouver remains the top exporter of residents to B.C.’s Capital Region, according to Statistics Canada’s updated migration numbers for those coming from in and out of the province. The updated data applies to the period of July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020.

Greater Victoria gained 3,481 people from Vancouver in that time frame. The next highest amounts came from British Columbia’s neighbour, with 1,185 and 941 people coming from Calgary and Edmonton, respectively.

Canada’s most populous city was, unsurprisingly, next on the list, as 886 came from Toronto. Outside of B.C., the Ottawa area and Montreal sent the next highest, with 482 and 306 people moving to Greater Victoria.

Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Regina were the only other cities from outside of B.C. to have more than 200 people move here.

Besides Vancouver, Kelowna continued to be the top mainland community to have its residents make the move to Greater Victoria, with 366 in 2019/2020.

As some of Canada’s most populous cities saw residents leave in droves during the COVID-19 pandemic, this region gained a net total of 6,899 people from other parts of B.C. and the entire country during the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021.

While the number of B.C. residents moving to and from Greater Victoria hasn’t changed much since 2017/2018, the region saw an influx of people from other provinces spring for the west coast during the pandemic. In each of the three years before the pandemic, net interprovincial migration here never eclipsed 3,000 people. That figure grew to 3,736 and 5,235, respectively, for 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, according to Statistics Canada.

The number of net new residents coming from outside Canada plummeted during the pandemic. Greater Victoria’s net international migration ranged from about 1,500 to 2,500 in the four years before the pandemic. That number dropped to 161 in 2020/2021.

As of July 1, 2021, about 72 per cent (27,465,137) of all Canadians lived in one of 35 census-defined metropolitan areas.

While the vast majority of urban areas in Ontario and Alberta saw net losses because of people moving to other provinces, centres in British Columbia and the Atlantic provinces were seeing net gains from interprovincial migration flows in 2021, according to Statistic Canada.

The four-year trend shows the number of people moving to Greater Victoria from respective cities across Canada is staying fairly constant year after year.

READ: More people moved to B.C. than elsewhere in Canada in the last year: StatCan

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Jake Romphf

About the Author: Jake Romphf

In early 2021, I made the move from the Great Lakes to Greater Victoria with the aim of experiencing more of the country I report on.
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