Major City Insights

Updated: April 16, 2021

Uneven recovery across Canadian cities.

Life in cities across the country is on pause. Canadian cities are still attempting to control a second wave of COVID-19. And while all areas and industries are feeling the impact, some are being hit harder than others—especially around labour force and employment, construction and real estate, population growth, retail sales, and travel.

This edition of our Major City Insights provides our new forecasts for growth in 29 major cities across Canada as of December 10, 2020. You can find links to our Autumn city forecasts further below.

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Key findings

Ottawa–Gatineau’s proximity to Toronto and more affordable cost of living will encourage some households and new immigrants to settle in the nation’s capital. But the city’s concentration in the relatively stable public administration sector limits the potential of a population boom that might be seen in other areas of the country.

Edmonton is expected to recover its lost output and exceed its pre-pandemic level by the end of this year. As infections subside, vaccines are distributed, and economic activity intensifies, the city’s economic growth is expected to continue into next year, with a 5.4 per cent expansion set for 2022.

Calgary’s economy was hit hard in spring 2020 by the first wave of the pandemic and resulting low oil prices. But the second wave was even tougher, with COVID-19 cases ramping up in November and December. Even though Calgary’s consumer spending helped soften the economic hit, the recovery going forward will be challenging.

Regina’s real GDP declined by an estimated 3.8 per cent in 2020, as the economic impacts of COVID-19 played out. The area was already coming off a tough 2019, during which GDP declined 0.4 per cent.

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City forecasts: Winter 2021

Book 1

Calgary

4-min read  |  Feb 26, 2021
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Edmonton

4-min read  |  Feb 26, 2021
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Halifax

4-min read  |  Feb 26, 2021
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Hamilton

4-min read  |  Feb 26, 2021
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Montréal

4-min read  |  Feb 26, 2021
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Ottawa–Gatineau

4-min read  |  Feb 26, 2021
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Quebec City

4-min read  |  Mar 2, 2021
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Regina

4-min read  |  Mar 2, 2021
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Saskatoon

4-min read  |  Mar 2, 2021
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Toronto

4-min read  |  Mar 3, 2021
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Vancouver

4-min read  |  Mar 3, 2021
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Victoria

4-min read  |  Mar 3, 2021
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Winnipeg

4-min read  |  Mar 4, 2021
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Book 2

Abbotsford–Mission

Forthcoming

Greater Sudbury

4-min read  |  Mar 30, 2021
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Guelph

4-min read  |  Mar 31, 2021
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Kingston

4-min read  |  Apr 16, 2021
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Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo

4-min read  |  Mar 25, 2021
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London

4-min read  |  Mar 30, 2021
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Moncton

4-min read  |  Mar 25, 2021
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Oshawa

4-min read  |  Mar 18, 2021
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Saguenay

4-min read  |  Apr 13, 2021
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Saint John

4-min read  |  Mar 18, 2021
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St. Catharines–Niagara

4-min read  |  Apr 15, 2021
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Sherbrooke

Forthcoming

St. John’s

4-min read  |  Mar 18, 2021
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Thunder Bay

4-min read  |  Mar 29, 2021 Purchase ($985)

Trois-Rivières

4-min read  |  Apr 7, 2021
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Windsor

4-min read  |  Apr 8, 2021
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