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Alberta and New Brunswick switched U-Haul rankings in 2022

Alberta fell from No. 1 in arrivals to No. 10 while New Brunswick soared from last place in 2021 to the top position 12 months later
More U-Haul trucks moved out of Alberta than into the province in 2022, the reverse of a year earlier. | U-Haul Canada

Alberta tumbled down the rankings for 2022 with the greatest net outflow of do-it-yourself movers in one-way U-Haul trucks after being the top growth province of 2021, according to the annual U-Haul Growth Growth Index, released January 9.

Conversely, New Brunswick, which saw the greatest net loss of people moving in one-way U-Haul trucks of any province during 2021, had its fortunes completely reverse course in 2022.

New Brunswick registered the largest net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks of any province in 2022, according to transactional data compiled for the annual U-Haul study.

“There are many reasons people are packing up U-Haul trucks and coming to New Brunswick,” stated Devin Mitchell, U-Haul Company of Atlantic Canada president. “In the last year, we’ve seen more movement into New Brunswick and the rest of the Maritimes because people are looking for affordable housing and a relaxed lifestyle. The lack of affordable real estate in other provinces is pushing people east.”

U-Haul also released its top 25 Canadian growth cities for 2022, ranking Chatham, Ont., first on the list. Chatham climbed 12 spots from its previous ranking.

The U-Haul Growth Index is compiled according to the net gain (or loss) of one-way U-Haul trucks arriving in a province or city, versus departing from that province or city, in a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from well over 2 million one-way U-Haul truck transactions that occur annually across Canada and the U.S.

In 2022, arriving traffic accounted for 51.1 per cent of all one-way U-Haul trucks coming and going from New Brunswick. Quebec, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia round out the top five growth provinces. British Columbia ranked ninth, just ahead of Alberta, and witnessed more U-Haul trucks leaving than arriving.

B.C. had ranked second in 2021 behind Alberta.

The Canadian growth cities report features four cities in Ontario and three in Quebec among the top 10 net-gain markets. This includes Montreal, which was unranked in 2021 but saw a 25.8 per cent year-over-year jump in one-way U-Haul truck arrivals in 2022 to place ninth on the list.

“During the pandemic, people got into the habit of working remotely,” Mitchell added. “Because of that, they were able to find cheaper housing outside of the major metropolitan areas. I would bet most U-Haul relocations have one thing in common: cost. People are trying to find the most affordable places with the lowest cost of living while still being able to access the great outdoor amenities for which Canada is known.”

Top 10 for U-Haul city arrivals in 2022

  1. Chatham, ON
  2. Trois Rivieres, QC
  3. Sarnia, ON.
  4. Quebec City, QC
  5. Kelowna, B.C
  6. Sydney, NS
  7. Sudbury, ON
  8. Brantford, ON
  9. Montreal QC
  10. Chilliwack, B.C.

Other Western Canadian cities with top U-Haul arrivals are: No. 16 Camrose, AB; No.19 Penticton, B.C;  and, ranked No. 23, North Vancouver, B.C.