Canada has outpaced the United States in population growth by one-third over the past five years, according to 2011 census results, with much of that growth concentrated in its six metropolitan areas (Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Ottawa-Gatineau, Calgary, and Edmonton).
Yet within those regions, which have added nearly 10% to their populations since 2006, urban centers have been overshadowed by their outlying suburbs. In some cases, central municipalities account for only one-fifth of the growth of their metropolitan areas.
The author of the report points to the following explanation from The Gazette:
Most of the people who leave... do so reluctantly. They are often young people with children (or who hope to have children). They enjoy the city's stimulation and its proximity to workplaces, shopping and entertainment. But they leave because there's not enough suitable housing in their price range. The taxes are also high and services spotty. Not the greatest place to raise a family.
According to Cox, these trends mirror broader patterns in American and global population movement, which may have negative implications for advocates of smart growth.