Canada's Best Places to Live 2018: Top 100 Fastest-Growing Cities

Top 100 Fastest-Growing Cities in Canada 2018

Urban growth can bring headaches. But it can also be good for the community—and the economy

by
canada's fastest growing city in 2018

Cochrane, Alberta looking west from the Glen Eagles subdivision (Chuck Szmurlo/Wikimedia Commons)

Some people consider life in a fast-growing city to be a plague of inconveniences and expenses, but many places would love to have those problems.

New residents bring congestion and rising housing prices, but they also provide economic stimulus, tax revenues and families that become part of the community’s fabric. The change may seem annoying to long-time residents, but the newcomers obviously chose the city for a reason.

As far as we’re concerned, growth is good, and we updated the Best Places to Live methodology to reflect that. Previously, cities were penalized if their five-year growth rates were too far above the national average; now, the faster a city is growing, the more points it gets.

Particularly fast growth rates in a suburb might simply signal the construction of a lot of new housing, especially since most cities are part of larger urban metro areas. Those new dwellings attract a disproportionate number of new residents to the region if housing elsewhere is unaffordable or unavailable.


PHOTOS:


Take Cochrane, Alta., the fastest-growing city in the country. With an annualized five-year growth rate of 5.6 per cent, it’s adding residents at more than double the rate of Calgary, a 30-minute drive west, thanks to thousands of new housing units added over the past eight years.

Are some cities dealing with growth better than others? Almost certainly. But if that’s the case, we believe it will be reflected in other categories in the ranking.

The five-year population growth is the only component of the demographics category in the main ranking, worth six per cent of the total. Cities with zero or negative five-year population growth received zero points. For more information, please see the methodology page.


The Top 100

Search to filter by city or province:

Rank City Province Population Annualized five-year growth rate
1 Cochrane AB 28,789 5.6%
2 Airdrie AB 69,164 5.4%
3 Chestermere AB 21,911 4.4%
4 Spruce Grove AB 37,654 4.2%
5 Milton ON 120,556 4.1%
6 Beaumont AB 19,068 4.1%
7 Fort Saskatchewan AB 26,718 3.9%
8 Mirabel QC 55,575 3.8%
9 Saint-Colomban QC 17,225 3.5%
10 Leduc AB 32,921 3.5%
11 King ON 26,697 3.4%
12 Bradford West Gwillimbury ON 37,754 3.4%
13 Saint-Lin--Laurentides QC 22,582 3.4%
14 Whitchurch-Stouffville ON 50,099 3.3%
15 Greater Vancouver BC 17,507 3.3%
16 Whistler BC 13,193 3.2%
17 Lloydminster SK 13,089 3.2%
18 Sainte-Sophie QC 16,953 3.1%
19 Paradise NL 23,067 3.0%
20 Steinbach MB 16,900 3.0%
21 Winkler MB 13,768 2.9%
22 Okotoks AB 31,613 2.9%
23 Sylvan Lake AB 16,052 2.8%
24 Langford BC 36,977 2.8%
25 Wasaga Beach ON 21,993 2.7%
26 Hanover MB 17,012 2.7%
27 Brampton ON 657,141 2.6%
28 Caledon ON 73,540 2.6%
29 Edmonton AB 1,020,976 2.5%
30 Squamish BC 21,421 2.5%
31 Taché MB 12,357 2.5%
32 Bonnyville No. 87 AB 14,658 2.5%
33 Stony Plain AB 18,640 2.4%
34 Vaudreuil-Dorion QC 40,303 2.4%
35 New Tecumseth ON 36,745 2.3%
36 Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac QC 19,064 2.3%
37 Calgary AB 1,359,777 2.3%
38 Saskatoon SK 274,104 2.2%
39 Collingwood ON 23,190 2.2%
40 Langley BC 125,264 2.2%
41 Grande Prairie AB 69,175 2.1%
42 Essa ON 22,417 2.1%
43 Mercier QC 14,101 2.1%
44 Chambly QC 30,320 2.1%
45 Rocky View County AB 42,788 2.0%
46 Innisfil ON 38,942 2.0%
47 Grande Prairie County No. 1 AB 24,037 2.0%
48 Saint-Amable QC 12,797 2.0%
49 Val-des-Monts QC 12,224 2.0%
50 Sooke BC 13,446 2.0%
51 Markham ON 358,416 2.0%
52 Lake Country BC 13,582 2.0%
53 Regina SK 232,654 2.0%
54 Surrey BC 552,455 1.9%
55 Lethbridge AB 99,165 1.9%
56 Mascouche QC 49,548 1.9%
57 Coquitlam BC 148,747 1.9%
58 Niagara-on-the-Lake ON 18,026 1.8%
59 Saint-Jérôme QC 78,756 1.8%
60 East Gwillimbury ON 26,202 1.8%
61 L'Assomption QC 23,346 1.8%
62 Lacombe AB 13,906 1.8%
63 Kelowna BC 134,234 1.7%
64 Dieppe NB 26,982 1.7%
65 Canmore AB 14,930 1.7%
66 North Vancouver (CY) BC 56,176 1.7%
67 Ajax ON 127,977 1.7%
68 Clarington ON 98,586 1.7%
69 Prévost QC 13,771 1.7%
70 Red Deer AB 107,564 1.7%
71 Foothills No. 31 AB 24,713 1.7%
72 Sainte-Adèle QC 13,744 1.6%
73 Saint-Constant QC 29,295 1.6%
74 Strathmore AB 14,490 1.6%
75 St. Albert AB 70,874 1.6%
76 Vaughan ON 332,250 1.6%
77 Cantley QC 11,219 1.6%
78 Maple Ridge BC 87,346 1.6%
79 Chilliwack BC 88,448 1.6%
80 Winnipeg MB 755,029 1.5%
81 Oakville ON 209,039 1.5%
82 Cowansville QC 14,109 1.5%
83 Severn ON 14,205 1.5%
84 Brossard QC 89,699 1.5%
85 Brandon MB 51,483 1.5%
86 Charlottetown PEI 39,437 1.5%
87 Strathcona County AB 105,899 1.5%
88 New Westminster BC 75,570 1.5%
89 Nanaimo BC 94,760 1.5%
90 Parkland County AB 34,679 1.4%
91 Mountain View County AB 14,150 1.4%
92 Richmond Hill ON 211,034 1.4%
93 Mission BC 40,977 1.4%
94 Newmarket ON 90,908 1.4%
95 Oshawa ON 170,445 1.4%
96 Georgina ON 49,318 1.4%
97 High River AB 14,726 1.4%
98 Thompson MB 14,697 1.4%
99 Abbotsford BC 149,466 1.4%
100 Esquimalt BC 18,273 1.4%