Middle-class fleeing to the 'burbs - Macleans.ca

Middle-class fleeing to the ‘burbs

Statistics Canada finds only the wealthiest and poorest Canadians staying in cities


A new report from Statistics Canada shows that 14 per cent of people aged 25-44, the most likely demographic to have children, moved out of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and into their surrounding suburbs between 2001 and 2006. Far fewer went the other way—between four and five per cent depending on the city. “I think a lot of what we’re seeing in these patterns are really associated with housing costs and availability of affordable
homes,” says Clarence Lochhead, executive director of the Vanier Institute of the Family. “That also explains the exception of the high-income folks who have a smaller likelihood of moving because they’re more likely to be able to afford some of the costs associated with housing in the core of cities.” Families making $100,000 or more per year were less likely to move out of the city, as were those making $20,000 or less per year, which Statistics Canada says is probably because of the difficulty in affording a vehicle to commute from the suburbs at that lower income level.

Ottawa Citizen

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Middle-class fleeing to the ‘burbs

  1. it has nothing to do with money.Coming from one of those many people who are leavivg its because these places are simply no longer our home.See progressives decided 40 years that to many white people in one place was bad thing that needed to be fixed and did they ever fix it. So sorry if we dont want to live in the rianbow eutopia with a bunch of muslim fanatics and jamacian gangters

    • Yeah, the fact that a house that costs $250k in the suburbs costs $550k in the city has nothing to do with it. Or that your $250k in the city will either get you a tiny condo or a run-down house in a lousy neighbourhood. Nothing at all.

      Keep moving further, Tyler. Preferably to a cabin in the woods far from others.

    • Have you been to Toronto's suburbs? They're chockablock with those ferners you seem to live in fear of.

    • You are so obviously laughably not a metro city dweller of any sort, I can bloody tell.

      • Speak for yourself. I'm stuck out here because I can't afford the city.

    • Moving from a small town to a shack in the woods out of fear, ignorance, and loathing of all things different is not the same as a young couple moving to the burbs so they can afford a bigger house.

  2. maybe the $20,000 or less salaries find it easier to get hand outs in the city rather than a suburb. Same low paying jobs are in the suburbs.
    Take Vancouver for example, most expensive city in Canada and every poor person in BC whines and complains they can't afford to live there. I make over the statistics Canada magic number of 100,000$ per year and can't afford to live there either!
    Stop the social european style hand outs and maybe those people will move out the city and work to better themselves. Instead of living the endless cycle of working depressed because they can't afford anything. Then continue to whine and complain about it till the hand outs are received.
    Interesting statistics but short cited theory.

    • Also, suburbs are not very friendly places to live if you cannot afford a car.

      It's interesting, though, that rich people are staying downtown. In many US cities the wealthiest have fled to the suburbs.

  3. I disagree. The reason people are fleeing to the burbs (a trend which I'm sure has slowed since 2006) is because they perceive that their happiness hinges on having two cars in the garage, a 2000 sq ft house (of which they only occupy a small part) and having 2.5 kids.

    Studies show that any savings in real estate are actually eaten up by the increased commuting costs, and that people are happier the shorter their commute is. North Americans are stuck on the notion that success only comes when you can afford a large house with a big yard – regardless of how far from employment centres it may be.

    The ranks of poverty are swelling in the burbs, so soon enough the problems of downtown will be more a problem of the suburban areas.

    Also, there are affordable housing options in the city – just not necessarily in detached houses. New regulations in cities like Toronto are forcing developers to include more condo units with 3 bedrooms so that they can better accommodate families.

    • I suspect this is partly because suburban developers target the middle class with their advertising.

  4. 2001 to 2006 was before the recession, before gas price shocks – before a whole lot of things. I'd be curious to see what the trends are now.

  5. most young people must know the suburbs are freaking boring, if you aren't newly wed or nearly dead, it would be better to live right in the city core and you'll have more time due to less commutes and will save thousands on not having a car ..and then you can be smug because you are greener than your suburban friends

  6. Isn't this a normal pattern throughout the industrialized world?