Canada’s millennials are certainly putting their stamp on cities across the country. New millennial-owned business ventures take things back to basics, while ecofriendly initiatives are increasingly promoted by generation Y. But which of Canada’s cities are millennials flocking to, and why?
The guys at Point2 Homes decided to find out in their millennial study of 85 cities across Canada. The analysis looked at nine factors that are vital to happiness among the Gen Y-ers. The factors include income, home price, unemployment levels, crime rate, health care, life satisfaction, education, climate and the percentage of millennials in the local population.
The results were rather surprising, with seven of the top 10 millennial-friendly cities boasting populations of less than 500,000. Indeed, none of the largest cities in Canada made the top three. Ottawa comes in at number fivr, while Vancouver sits at number 10. So, what are the up and coming millennial hot spots for 2018, and how did Toronto compete?
Outranking Toronto: Canada’s Top 3 Millennial Hot Spots
At first glance, the top three may seem an unusual selection of cities. However, when you look into the details, it’s clear that they’ve all well and truly earned their place. It also offers an interesting insight into what motivates millennials compared to previous generations.
3rd Place: Guelph, ON
Just under 100 km away from Toronto lies the small, bustling city of Guelph, which ranked third out of the 85 cities surveyed. With an average salary that exceeds the national benchmark, great healthcare and high levels of life satisfaction, it’s clear to see the university center has a lot going for it. Despite the price tag of a home for sale in Guelph ranking about halfway on the list of average prices for the 85 cities, millennials haven’t been put off from moving in and settling down.
The city offers a lot in the way of culture, with a myriad of museums, art galleries and craft centres to enjoy. On top of that, the nearby Rockwood Conservation Area is fantastic for hiking and canoeing. Could it be that millennials value social and cultural aspects over lower house prices?
2nd Place: Victoria, BC
The British Columbia capital of Victoria has a population of just 84,289 – 27 per cent of which are millennials. The city enjoys a fantastic climate, low levels of unemployment and the highest life satisfaction score of all the cities surveyed. As you can see, it’s a magnet for millennials despite an average house price of around $633,400.
Like Guelph, Victoria is home to a number of cultural gems, fantastic food and drink venues and is within close proximity to stunning natural wonders. There’s plenty to keep the typical millennial occupied in their free time. This, combined with the other highlights of life here may go some way to explaining why the relatively high prices of Victoria homes for sale aren’t a turn off.
1st Place: Quebec City, QC
Taking the gold, Quebec City may seem a surprise contender for the top spot at first glance of the stats. However, a further look tells you that the city offers an above average income, affordable housing and low crime rates. The population includes just over 20 per cent millennials, though by all accounts this figure looks set to rise as the generation begins to settle down and raise families of their own.
Like the other top scoring urban centres listed, the charming Quebec City is surrounded by natural beauty and offers a wide variety of cultural activities. History and art buffs will find a host of museums and galleries to enjoy, as well as the charming old town. A fantastic place for creatives, this bustling city has one of the lowest levels of unemployment and denizens enjoy an above average salary.
The Tale of Toronto
You’d be forgiven for thinking that larger cities like Toronto and Vancouver would rank higher on the list, perhaps even be among the top five. After all, both have a high percentage of millennials in their existing populations. In the case of Toronto, perhaps the effects of ‘big city life’ play a part in it dropping down the rankings.
With a population of 2,731,571 people, it’s more than five times larger than the number one ranking city. A large population typically leads to higher house prices, higher crime rates and higher unemployment, all of which could potentially put millennials off moving in. Indeed, Toronto’s average house price is around $818,201, placing it at number 71 of all the cities surveyed.
There is, however, a very good reason why homes for sale in Toronto are more expensive than in other cities—demand. There are huge numbers of millennials seeking to settle down in Toronto, and for good reason. The city offers excellent job opportunities, a lively, cultural environment, as well as numerous beautiful green spaces. The city is one of Canada’s major hubs, and it draws people not only from around the country, but from across the globe.
Toronto is a developed city and very well established. A potential issue with smaller, up and coming cities is that they can soon grow. While gentrification is generally a healthy process, it can quickly pump up house prices and taxes alike. So, the taxes you might have budgeted for could soon increase in a smaller, up and coming city.
On the whole, it’s unlikely that millennials will stop flocking to Toronto. However, the effects of life in the big city certainly have an impact on the numbers.
This interesting study offers a good insight into what the future might hold for property-seeking millennials. The results certainly appear surprising, but by looking deeper into the statistics, it’s clear to see that the top cities have earned their places. Take a look at the full list below and see where your city ranks!