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Alberta top province for move-ins, U-Haul says

Calgary led Western cities as a destination during 2021, with Kelowna, B.C. close behind and Vancouver dropping far down the rankings
A u-haul-moves
Alberta saw a 33 per cent increase in the arrival of U-Haul moving trucks in 2021, and Calgary was the top destination in the province. | U-Haul Canada

Alberta is the No. 1 province people are moving to and Calgary is the top migration city in Western Canada, according to moving data compiled for the annual U-Haul Growth Index.

Alberta benefitted the most from this migration trend in 2021, netting more one-way U-Haul truck customers than any other province. British Columbia ranks second for growth, followed by Ontario.

Vancouver, which was ranked No. 7 among top city destinations in 2020, dropped to No. 23 last year in the move-to rankings. Calgary, meanwhile, moved to No. 5 in Canadian cities after failing to crack the top 25 list in 2020.

Part of the switch in rankings could be housing price. The December 2021 average home price in Calgary was $451,000, compared to $1.2 million in Metro Vancouver.

In 2021, Alberta saw a 33 per cent increase in the arrival of one-way U-Haul trucks year-over-year, while departures rose just 29 per cent. More than 50.8 per cent of all U-Haul traffic in Alberta was inflow.

“There are initiatives in Alberta that are creating more job opportunities and attracting residents,” said Naga Chennamsetty, U-Haul area district vice President of Western Canada. “In the last year, we have seen lot of movement into Alberta. More communities are developing in and around major cities. Not only that, but the Canadian Rockies are so accessible to residents here, and they offer a variety of recreational activities. Alberta is one of best places to make a home.”

Calgary is the top landing spot for do-it-yourself movers coming to Alberta, but smaller markets like Red Deer-Lacombe, Medicine Hat-Redcliff and Airdrie are also attracting more residents.

Calgary ranked No. 5 nationally as a move-to destination, just behind Quebec City and just ahead of No. 6 Kelowna-West Kelowna. Of the top 25 cities to move into, Vancouver ranked third to last place at No. 23.

The top city for move-in hauls in Canada in 2021 was North Bay, Ontario and two other Ontario cities, Belleville and Sudbury, came in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.