Victoria falls outside the Top 10 of most desirable Canadian cities to move to for real estate. (Black Press File)

Canada’s most desirable Canadian cities? They aren’t on Vancouver Island

Despite the expense, Toronto is the place most Canadians are willing to move to

While Toronto might be one of the most expensive place to buy real estate in Canada, it is also the most popular destination in Canada to buy real estate, with Victoria falling outside the Top 10.

According to a new survey, 10 per cent of respondents, the equivalent of about 3 million Canadian adults, said they’d move to Toronto in order to be able to buy a place.

Halifax is the second-most popular destination, followed by St. Catharine’s, and Ottawa. Kelowna, London, and Kitchener tied for fifth, followed by Montreal (8th), Calgary (9th) and Vancouver (10th). Victoria, the only Vancouver Island city in the survey, finished in 11th place, ahead of St. John’s and Hamilton.

RELATED: Victoria a hot spot for millennials: new study

The list of least popular cities starts with Canmore, Winnipeg, Quebec, Edmonton, Oshawa, Saskatoon, Windsor, Whistler, and Regina.

Younger Canadians are the most willing to move for homeownership, with 85 per cent of Gen Z adults and 70 per cent of Millennials saying they would move for real estate. Fifty-seven per cent of Gen Xers (45-54) and 26 per cent of those over 65 say they are willing to move.

Looking at specific age groups, Victoria did among individuals aged 25-34 in sixth place (tied with Hamilton and Kelowna), and among individuals aged 45-54 in fourth place tied with Toronto and Kitchener. Victoria also tied for fourth place with Kelowna and St. Catharines among individuals 65 years and older.

RELATED: Survey says, North Saanich is the safest place in British Columbia

Victoria, however, falls outside the Top 10 for individuals aged 18-24 and individuals aged 35-44. In other words, individuals just entering the workforce, and those still entering their prime earning years, are staying away from Victoria, likely for reasons of housing affordability, but also other opportunities. Notably, Toronto is the preferred destination for individuals aged 18 to 44, suggesting that the city is attractive to a wide variety of individuals at different stages of their personal and professional lives.

Victoria is also a popular destination for individuals who live in British Columbia, ahead of Vancouver, but behind Kelowna. Almost 20 per cent of British Columbians said they would move to Kelowna, while almost 13 per cent identified Victoria, with Vancouver coming in at 12 per cent.


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