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.