How much would someone have to pay you to move to Alberta

For a lot of Canadians, the sum isn’t very great, apparently. Alberta welcomed more new residents in 2021 than any other province or territory in the country, according to new data released by U-Haul. 

The moving giant looked at one-way bookings of its moving trucks in 2021 to determine how many vehicles were rented and where they were frequently dropped off. It’s not a completely accurate representation of which cities are growing, since not everyone would’ve used a U-Haul move and since U-Haul isn’t a statistics firm, but it does give a blurry idea of where Canadians are heading. 

In the company’s own words: “While U-Haul migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth, the U-Haul Growth Index is an effective gauge of how well cities are both attracting and maintaining residents.”

The spike in Alberta’s popularity probably isn’t due to a sudden interest in its annual Stampede, rather its incentivized jobs market, as U-Haul Area District VP of Western Canada Naga Chennamsetty points out.

“There are initiatives in Alberta that are creating more job opportunities and attracting residents,” Chennamsetty said in a release. “In the last year, we have seen a lot of movement into Alberta. More communities are developing in and around major cities,” Chennamsetty said. “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 the best places to make a home.”

The list names Calgary specifically as the top Albertan landing spot for U-Haul movers, but also mentions Red Deer-Lacombe, Medicine Hat-Redcliff, and Airdrie. 

In 2021, there was a 33 percent rise in one-way U-Haul trucks rentals heading to the province over 2020. Those booking a U-Haul to leave the province rose 29 percent. According to the findings, more than 50 percent of Alberta U-Haul traffic was coming into the province.

Ontario took third place on the list after B.C., but is host to five of the top 10 “Growth Cities” that received those who relocated during the pandemic. North Bay is the fastest growing for the second year running, according to the report, followed by Bellvelle and Subdury. 

“At the start of the pandemic we saw a mass exodus from Ontario to other provinces, particularly the Maritimes,” said Jake Spelic, U-Haul Area District Vice President of Eastern Canada. “People were in search of cheaper housing as they worked from home. As time has passed and things are shifting closer to normal, we are starting to see that trend reverse. Ontario is still the economic center of Canada and offers a high quality of living, thousands of job opportunities and attractive salaries.”

As the Omicron variant tears through the population with no signs of slowing, it’s safe to assume this pandemic-caused relocation of citizens hasn’t quite run its course. So if you’re happy where you are, hang on to your butt, because if you don’t, you might just end up an Albertan.