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Canadians are increasingly looking to ditch city life for the suburbs

There was a time not so long ago when suburbia struck dread into the souls of cosmopolitan Canadians.

According to a recent survey by Remax Reality, however, an increasing number of city dwellers are seeking to sprawl.

Nearly one third of Canadians (32% of those surveyed) say they want to ditch the city and live in the suburbs or a small town.

“People are looking for a little more yard, a little more size for a home office and more room where they can be outside to do recreational activities in a safe way,” says Remax’s Cam Forbes.

It should be noted, of course, that “looking for” in this case can be a synonym for “forced as a result of unaffordable housing.

After all, in almost every Canadian city rent is increasing at a rate much higher than wages. And that’s not about to change anytime soon.

That said, the coronavirus pandemic has considerably shifted the real estate landscape. With the opportunity to work from home, which may well remain over the long term, people are less dependent on jobs in the city. Setting up a home office in a condo the size of a shoe box is also less than ideal.

“Now people have a little more flexibility and we’ve see some real strength in markets outside Toronto particularly like the Newmarket and Durham areas,” Forbes said.

The problem is, markets outside of Toronto are already wildly unaffordable. Barrie (!) is the fifth-most expensive city in Canada to rent a one-bedroom apartment.

So while you may have a little more space, don’t expect to save all that much money. Especially since prices are expected to rise 4.6 per cent this year.

Christian Nathler

Christian Nathler is a contributing writer at Notable Life.