canada’s fastest growing towns
A note before we get started on Canada’s fastest growing towns. For some of the cities and towns we’re going to talk about, population data is only available for the entire CMA. So the current population numbers for Halifax, Kelowna, and Oshawa reflect the greater metropolitan areas.
We talked a little bit in the past about Canadian real estate’s smaller markets seeing more interested buyers.
Remote work and lower housing prices have Canadians looking at homes in smaller towns across the country. This is such an exciting development! Canada has amazing towns, coast to coast, that are getting the attention and the appreciation they deserve.
Today we’re going to look at the 15 Canadian towns that have experienced the greatest population growth over the past year. Get ready to discover some of Canada’s hidden gems!
Summerside, Prince Edward Island
The coastal city of Summerside, Prince Edward Island is number 15, with 2% growth. This beautiful seaside town offers warm summers, cold snowy winters, and idyllic springs and falls. Residents of Summerside enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year.
Filled with restaurants, museums, parks, and beaches, Summerside is the second- largest city on Prince Edward Island with a population of about 18,000 people. Great representation from all parts of the country in Canada’s fastest growing towns list.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Maritimes shine at number 14. As the capital of Nova Scotia, Halifax is one of the main economic centres in Eastern Canada. The city of Halifax is part of the Halifax Regional Municipality, which combined four individual cities.
With a population of over 460,000 people in urban Halifax, this is the largest of Canada’s top growing cities. Its neighborhoods, community activities, employment opportunities, and highly walkable peninsula make this a great place for families. It isn’t surprising that it grew by 2.1% last year. It certainly makes the list of Canada’s fastest growing towns
We’re heading just a little way west for the 13th fastest-growing Canadian town. Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec is a town of over 43,000 people that also experienced 2.1% growth last year.
This island city was first settled in 1798. Its many canals, rivers, and other bodies of water have earned it the nickname of “The Florence of Quebec.” Salaberry-de- Valleyfield draws visitors with its historic downtown and abundance of nautical activities.
Located less than an hour from Montreal, this picturesque city is perfect if you’d like to live small and work in the city.
Centre Wellington, Ontario
Coming in at number 12 is Centre Wellington. This small, south-central Ontario town of about 32,000 is made up of several smaller communities, including Elora and Fergus. Located about an hour and a half from Toronto, the Centre Wellington communities sit along the Grand River.
Residents of Centre Wellington enjoy fishing and boating on the river as well as waterfalls and towering limestone banks. The historic downtown areas and stunning scenery undoubtedly contributed to this small town’s 2.2% growth.
We’re going to stay in Ontario for our 11th fastest-growing Canadian city. Oshawa sits right on Lake Ontario and is home to about 434,000 people. It grew 2.3% last year.
Oshawa is 60 km from downtown Toronto, making it ideal for commuters looking for a home outside the urban centre. The cities origins were likely in the fur trade, with the earliest settlement dating back to the 1400s.
Oshawa today is home to historic buildings, museums, botanical gardens, parks, and trails. It is an extremely bike-friendly community with plenty of activities for every member of the family.
Ontario is on a roll! The 10th city on the list, equaling Oshawa’s 2.3% growth, is Arnprior, Ontario. Just 65 km west of Ottawa, this town of just over 18,000 was settled in 1823 by Archibald McNab. It was named after his Scottish ancestral town.
Downtown Arnprior is a Heritage Conservation District and residents can enjoy its historic buildings with a walk on the Heritage Trail. The confluence of the Ottawa and Madawaska Rivers offers beautiful beaches, scenery, and trails.
This little gem of a historic town is also home to several multinational corporations. Its proximity and easy access to Ottawa make it a popular location for both families and companies. A great town and well deserved to be on Canada’s fastest growing towns list.
We’re heading out west for our 9th fastest growing Canadian town, all the way to Whitehorse, Yukon. This town of just over 34,000 people is the capital of the territory as well as its largest city. Its residents make up about 70% of the population of the entire territory.
Fans of the wilderness are drawn to Whitehorse by the spectacular mountains and the Yukon River. The city offers canoeing, dogsledding, biking, fishing, hiking, and more for outdoor enthusiasts. Clean air and long summer days are hallmarks of this former gold rush town, which grew 2.4% last year.
Squamish, British Columbia
Heading south into British Columbia, Squamish is number eight on our list. Located in the province’s southwest corner, this town of 24,000 grew 2.5% last year.
Squamish is renowned for its spectacular natural areas and outdoor recreation. Hikers, climbers, rafters, backcountry skiers, and more enjoy the challenges and scenery offered by this rugged mountain town.
Squamish is also a popular location for filming movies and TV shows.
Kelowna, British Columbia
For number seven, we’re sticking around in British Columbia. Kelowna is a medium- sized city of about 229,000 in the south-central area of the province. It grew 2.6% last year.
Located in the Okanagan Valley, set on the shores of Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is surrounded by breathtaking mountains. Originally inhabited approximately 9,000 years ago by the indigenous Syilx people, the first European settlers arrived in 1859.
Today, Kelowna is home to a large hospital, university, and international airport.
Residents enjoy local vineyards, ski resorts, and a wide variety of outdoor activities. Okanagan Lake offers swimming, fishing, boating, and more.
We’re heading back to Ontario for the 6th fastest growing town in Canada. Collingwood is located about two hours north of Toronto and grew 2.9%. Set on the beautiful Georgian Bay, this town of just over 25,000 people is filled with beautiful scenery, outdoor recreation, and a historic downtown.
Collingwood owes some of its growth to its popular retirement communities. It’s also a haven for remote workers looking to escape the bustle of the city.
We enter the top five with Lachute, Quebec, which matched Collingwood’s 2.9% growth. Located less than an hour northwest of Montreal, this town of approximately 14,000 people sits on the picturesque Rivière du Nord.
Known for its annual agricultural expo and farmer’s markets, this small town can likely thank its proximity to Montreal for its growth. With more affordable homes than the city, it is likely to attract first-time homebuyers and young families.
Number four on our list, the Southwestern Ontario town of Woodstock had an impressive 3.1% growth last year. Located a mere 43 km from London and 128 km from Toronto, this town is a commuter’s dream.
Home to about 48,000 people, Woodstock offers summer festivals, farmer’s markets, and a friendly, small-town vibe. Residents enjoy historic downtown buildings, parks and nature trails, and activities for the entire family.
Wasaga Beach, Ontario
We enter the top three on our list with Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Located near Collingwood on Georgian Bay, this town of almost 25,000 saw growth of 3.5%. Wasaga Beach has the distinction of sitting on the world’s longest freshwater beach.
Although Wasaga Beach is a popular summer destination for tourists, it also offers cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter biking on its many nature trails.
Residents enjoy outdoor ice skating and beautiful parks and beaches. While Wasaga Beach is often considered a tourist town, its growth may be fueled by remote workers looking to enjoy its beautiful setting.
Cowansville, Quebec rolls in as the second fastest-growing town in Canada. Its 3.7% growth last year may be related to its location 20 km from the U.S. border and just 60 minutes from Montreal.
This little town of about 15,500 people surrounds Davignon Lake and boasts a charming historical downtown. Residents enjoy restaurants, bakeries, and a festive summer season with trips to the beach and outdoor concerts.
Carleton Place, Ontario
The fastest-growing town in Canada is one we’ve talked about before. Carleton Place is located less than an hour from Ottawa. This Mississippi Mill town grew 3.8% last year.
With over 38,000 residents, Carleton Place is filled with historic buildings, great restaurants, and many ways to enjoy the beautiful Mississippi River and Lake. Anyone moving to Canada looking for small-town charm near a major city will find a lot to love in Carleton Place.
People living in Ottawa enjoy day trips to Carleton Place. Residents are close enough to enjoy the historic small town while having easy access to the conveniences of a major urban centre.
The growth of Carleton Place underscores the desire of people living in Canada to find smaller communities with more affordable housing and a better work/life balance. If
you’re moving to Canada and are interested in the Ottawa area, Carleton Place just might have exactly what you’re looking for.
These fifteen cities all offer benefits that homebuyers won’t find in major urban areas. From natural wonders and friendly small-town vibes to more affordable housing options, Canadians are looking outside the box for their new homes.