Major City Insights

Updated: July 29, 2021

Economic recovery in sight after turbulent year

As Canada’s vaccine rollout increases, the economy and labour markets of many cities will pick up steam—potentially to pre-pandemic levels—in the second half of 2021. And as provinces open for travel, the future looks brighter for restaurants and non-essential businesses.

This edition of our Major City Insights provides new forecasts for growth in 29 major cities across Canada as of April 19 and June 3, 2021.

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Key findings

Saguenay managed to keep COVID-19 case counts low. Although many Quebec cities were under the province’s red alert level for much of the first half of 2021, Saguenay was mostly an orange zone, allowing restaurants and other non-essential businesses to stay open (albeit with restrictions).

Although Guelph’s economy was challenged by COVID-19 for a good part of 2021, we expect the speedier rollout of vaccines will ease restrictions—and kickstart the city’s greater economic activity.

Successive waves of closures and pandemic restrictions led to a turbulent 2020 for London’s economy. In all, the city’s real GDP contracted by 4.5 per cent, dropping 7.4 per cent in the first half of 2020 and rising 6.9 per cent in the second half.

St. John’s was able to keep the number of COVID-19 cases contained for much of 2020, allowing its economy to reopen faster than most of Canada. But this success was overshadowed by ongoing travel restrictions and the impact of low oil prices on the offshore oil industry.

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City forecasts: Summer 2021

Book 2

Abbotsford–Mission

4-min read | July 15, 2021
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Greater Sudbury

4-min read | July 13, 2021
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Guelph

4-min read | July 13, 2021
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Kingston

4-min read | July 15, 2021
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London

4-min read | July 21, 2021
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Moncton

4-min read | July 23, 2021
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Oshawa

4-min read | July 19, 2021
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Saguenay

4-min read | July 23, 2021
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Saint John

4-min read | July 13, 2021
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Sherbrooke

4-min read | July 19, 2021
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St. Catharines–Niagara

4-min read | July 14, 2021
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St. John’s

4-min read | July 21, 2021
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Thunder Bay

4-min read | July 13, 2021
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Trois-Rivières

4-min read | July 29, 2021
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Windsor

4-min read | July 21, 2021
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Previous forecasts

Spring 2021: Book 1

Calgary

4-min read  |  May 26, 2021
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Edmonton

4-min read  |  May 13, 2021
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Halifax

4-min read  |  May 13, 2021
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Hamilton

4-min read  |  May 13, 2021
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Montréal

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

4-min read  |  May 26, 2021
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Quebec City

4-min read  |  June 8, 2021
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Regina

4-min read  |  May 31, 2021
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Saskatoon

4-min read  |  May 31, 2021
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Toronto

4-min read  |  May 31, 2021
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Vancouver

4-min read  |  May 27, 2021
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Victoria

4-min read  |  June 8, 2021
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Winnipeg

4-min read  |  Jun 3, 2021
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