The urban exodus: understanding the impacts of migration to rural Ontario as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

Lead Applicant: Sara Epp

Research Priority: Strong Rural Communities Projects

Program Type: Tier 1

Funding Cycle: 2022/2023

Research Centre: NA

Research Summary: A notable outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario has been increased migration of urban/suburban residents to rural communities. For some, this migration was prompted by the pandemic-induced creation of telecommuting opportunities and the ability to work remotely. For others, this movement was linked to retirement, second home ownership or simply a desire to escape the city/suburbs. This study seeks to understand the immediate and longer-term impacts of this COVID-era rural migration and to identify needs and opportunities for rural communities regarding housing, infrastructure, labour, healthcare, and land use planning, among others, throughout Ontario.