From the majestic West Coast mountains through to the Prairies, past the Canadian Shield and onwards to the picturesque East Coast, there are many amazing places in Canada to call home. The upcoming generations of adults, often referred to as millennials, are quickly changing the landscape of our country, and where they’re choosing to live may surprise you.
Millennials will be considered anyone born between 1980 and 2000, a huge group of people accounting for almost one third of the population as of 2015. This generation of Canadians are more informed, tech savvy and plugged in than ever before and, naturally, these generational traits are affecting the housing market and the neigbourhoods they live in.
Renting is no longer seen as faux pas, and the opportunity to live a balanced life between work and play is a more important factor than it was for past generations. Here we explore some popular neighbourhoods where millennials are choosing to live and moving to across the country.
Westboro – Ottawa
Canada’s capital city often doesn’t get the love it deserves. The fourth largest city by population is also one of the largest in terms of land area, occupying nearly 3,000 square kilometre of land, and is only an hour’s drive from the U.S. border. There are many reasons why millennials from Ontario and beyond are moving in. A recently transformed urban area, its natural landscape (especially the beach) combined with numerous employment opportunities from the Canadian government and tech companies alike mean calling Westboro home is an increasingly common theme in Ottawa.
West Waterloo – Waterloo
Consisting of several small neighbourhoods, there is no shortage of high-paying job opportunities, walking trails and amenities that a “big” city offers. Add affordable housing, a bustling arts scene full of festivals with a multitude of parks, and you have a very attractive city for millennials. With a median age of 37.6 years (below the national average of 40.6 according to the 2011 Canadian census), this neighbourhood allows those in the tech industry to work very close to home without having to drive to the GTA on a daily basis.
Oliver – Edmonton
With a population of 20,000, nearly 50 per cent of the residents are between the ages of 20 and 39. Oliver combines nature and urban life and is one of the most in demand neighbourhoods in Edmonton. Oliver Square is a short distance for most, and the scenery of the river valley offers the escape that young professionals look for while creating a reputation as one of the most fashionable neighbourhoods in Edmonton. In 2014, over 60 per cent of the residents choose to rent their home, and new condo developments are offering affordable options for those who want to be close to downtown. Plus, you’re very close to 124th Street and everything it has to offer.
Brevoort Park – Saskatoon
Friendly residents, affordable housing and a growing, varied economy are just some of the reasons why millennials are attracted to this neighbourhood. In Saskatoon, the construction sector in particular has experienced impressive growth, as the employment rate increased by 99 per cent from 2006 to 2011, along with tons of opportunities in the mining and oil/gas industries. These industries saw an 80 per cent employment increase between 2006 and 2011 according to the official City of Saskatoon website. Affordable housing combined with vibrant dining and shopping centres creates a win-win situation for this up-and-coming neighbourhood.
Downtown Fredericton – Fredericton
While this neighbourhood consists of a relatively small area, there is no shortage of entertainment, exciting nightlife and affordable rental apartment options — all necessities for millennials. As more and more students graduate and develop a love for this East Coast neighbourhood, expect to see a rise in the population of those aged 15 to 35.
Willoughby – Langley
Suburbia in British Columbia is rapidly changing as more and more young adults either can’t afford to live in Vancouver or simply don’t want to. Affordable housing is attainable here as new developments continue to break ground, and simply put, this neighbourhood offers attainable West Coast living, complete with beautiful views of the mountains and a number of elementary schools for young families. The Langley Events Centre is a truly impressive facility for athletes of all ages and sports.
St. Vital – Winnipeg
Situated between the Red River and the Seine, it’s easy to spend time outside during the summer months golfing and exploring the many parks and trails in the neighbourhood. A bustling entertainment district has numerous restaurants to try and there is no shortage of options at the St. Vital Centre. Founded in 1822, most of the homes (nearly 98 per cent) are single detached residences, offering numerous real estate opportunities for millennials who are looking to get into the market.
Griffintown – Montreal
Film production studios, tech companies and plenty of real estate developments make this neighbourhood one of the most trendy on our list. Home to many young professionals, there are tons of affordable apartment rental units in this thriving, multicultural neighbourhood in Southwest Montreal. The Lachine Canal is a beautiful new addition, and it seems that every month there are new restaurants and cafes to explore.
As the worlds’ fifth-largest oil producing country, the Canadian economy will continue to grow along with the rising real estate market. While the market continues to increase, renting has become a more common option for newcomers to Canada, as well as millennials. Those who are looking for rental apartment options can check out RentSeeker for valuable real estate information and search for thousands of rental apartments to choose from across the country.
MORE ON HUFFPOST: