Canadian Immigration Data Shows The Biggest Month In At Least A Century

Canadian immigration was slow through the pandemic but it’s now back with a vengeance. Government of Canada (GoC) data shows permanent resident arrival admissions soared in September. It didn’t just recover from the lull either. The number of arrivals in the month was the biggest number in at least a century.

Canada Sees A Record 45,000 Permanent Residents In A Month

Canadian permanent resident arrivals reached a new record high in the latest data. The country saw 45,040 permanent residents arrive in September, up 19% from a month before. This represents an increase of 200% compared to a year ago.

Last year isn’t a useful comparison though. It overemphasizes growth due to a low base year caused by health restrictions. Still, this number was 27% higher than in September 2019. Actually, it was the largest number reported by the country for a century. Don’t let a base effect downplay how big this number was.

Canadian Permanent Resident Arrivals

The number of permanent resident visas issued by Canada per month.

Source: IRCC; Better Dwelling.

Ontario and B.C. Still Lead As The Top Spot For Immigrants

The majority of permanent residents were attracted to the Big 3 immigration provinces. Ontario led with 21,730 permanent residents in September, up 20% from the previous month. British Columbia was the second-largest with 8,300 people, up 10% over the same period. Quebec came in third with 5,385 people, an increase of 29% from a month before. These 3 provinces together represent the majority of arrivals in the country. 

More Affordable Provinces Are Quickly Seeing Their Share of Immigrants Rise

More affordable provinces led in growth and are likely to become hot spots soon. Alberta saw the fastest growth with 4,630 permanent residents in September, up 36% from a month before. That makes it the fastest-growing province for permanent resident arrivals. It was followed by Manitoba (+30%) and Quebec (+29%), taking the second and third spots respectively.

Does this mean a massive squeeze on housing over the next few weeks? Not exactly. Permanent resident arrivals aren’t just people entering the country. Many are already in the country on temporary visas and are converting to long-term visas. With health restrictions in place, Canada has increasingly tried to attract people within the border to stay.

Housing demand would vary on whether the permanent resident was already in Canada. If they were, they don’t necessarily create any additional demand for housing. Though the longer the number of permanent resident arrivals stays elevated, the more likely people are moving into the country. With the current target proposed by the government, this monthly record is likely to look less unusual.



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  • D 3 years ago

    >no jobs
    >no homes
    >no upward mobility for the bottom 80%

  • Alex 3 years ago

    This is not only painful for Canadians, but also the immigrants coming/staying here who will soon find out that they’ve been lied to in terms of opportunities available, and they will likely be stuck here paying someone else’s mortgage just as our overlords had intended.

  • A 3 years ago

    Canada doesn’t treat their newcomers very well at all. They don’t tell us certain things when we come and then face much difficulties at all level of government. The people also think we are stupid and treat us like we don;t know anything

    • Das 3 years ago

      .. Have you been a newcomer in other countries? I think Canada is one of the best deals anywhere in the world, with some of the highest tolerance levels. Do you have good command of the English Language? That helps immensely as it’s the first impression people get of you.
      All the information is available online.
      How Canada treats its current Citizens however is incredibly lacking, and in large part due to the current government (driving up debt -skyrocketing inflation; and allowing foreign investment in housing) and previous government who have done nothing to address this housing crisis and growing inequality/wealth and opportunity gap. Canada has enough problems on its own, IMHO, rather than importing those from other countries or cultures that aren’t readily compatible with ours. As a one-time immigrant, we shouldn’t have to teach/re-teach BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS to new immigrants. Over-immigration and over consumption go hand-in-hand.

  • JT 3 years ago

    We need to see the net people moving in and out of the province to see whether or not this has an affect on are overall population and housing demand.

    In Q2 it was -12,000 people.

    • Doomcouver 3 years ago

      I agree, I only care about net migration. When the world re-opens you can expect a flood of Canadian residents looking to leave Canada. Net migration has been falling since 2008 and we can likely expect the trend to accelerate.

  • Japan Sing 3 years ago

    So the Rents can go up. Time to move out of Canada.

  • Steven Porter 3 years ago

    Is it know wonder that Canadian real estate prices are at a blistering pace this last couple of months. When are the clowns in Ottawa going to clue in? (Or stop ignoring the issue)

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