When you think of white, sandy cliffs and ocean views, do you imagine…Nova Scotia?
Me neither. But it’s 2021, and moving out East is all the rage!
Easterly Migration – it’s Happening
Ontarians are leading the inter-provincial stampede eastward to the Atlantic provinces. People from other provinces are heading for the coast, too. Even Canadians currently living abroad are feeling the tug – heading home and settling on the eastern shores.
You might be surprised to hear that this is not a strictly COVID-related trend, although that has ramped up the movement, for sure. There has been a quiet exodus from parts of other provinces for a few years, now. Momentum is building – check out a “coming soon” website: Moving-to-the-Maritimes-dot-com.
The Atlantic Bubble
While the rest of Canada struggled with rising COVID case numbers, the Maritimes created a travel agreement among themselves. New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland/Labrador allowed unrestricted travel across their boundaries from July 3-November 26, 2020. Canadians from the other 6 provinces and 3 territories who wanted to enter Atlantic Canada had to quarantine for 14 days. When the second wave brought a rise in cases, the authorities decided to suspend the arrangement indefinitely.
Although this arrangement is no longer in force, the fact that it existed is a testament to the strength of the ties among our Maritime provinces. The 4 provinces share a regional flavour and are known to offer a pace of life and a culture that is slightly different from other parts of the country.
Historically, Canadians migrated westward in search of jobs due to a sluggish economy and slow job markets in their home provinces. This is changing, though. This information chart for new immigrants to Canada shows that the unemployment rate is actually higher in Ontario than in 3 out of 4 Maritime provinces!
Those who are trying to entice their countrymen from outside the eastern provinces have been creative in their efforts. They especially try to appeal to telecommuters with ads like this one.
New blood coming to Nova Scotia is also creating better economic conditions and better job prospects in that province. In fact, Halifax made the list of 5 top Canadian cities for job prospects in 2021!
The most common reason that people will cite for leaving Ontario to move to the Maritimes is the cost of living – especially the cost of buying a house. Anyone who owns property in Ontario (or BC, or Alberta, or any other inland province) can sell now and get more house for their money down east.
Take a look at some of the statistics:
- The average house price in Nova Scotia in February 2021 was $340,096, up 30.4% from the same time last year.
- The average house price in New Brunswick in February 2021 was $224,785, up 21% from 2020.
- The average house price in PEI in February was $322,371, an increase of 17.1% year-over-year.
- The average house price in Newfoundland and Labrador in February 2021 was $248,315, up 6.6%.
Telecommuters, entrepreneurs, and young retirees all have excellent, affordable options if they can see themselves living in the Maritimes!
What You Need to Know Before You Plan a Move
In normal times, moving to a different province typically meant applying for a new health insurance card and driver’s license.
These days, there are extra rules and precautions. If you’re thinking of a trip to check out the area, or if you are among the most adventurous who want to buy a house, sight unseen, be sure to do your research!
Here are some places to start online:
- Nova Scotia has a detailed list of restrictions for travellers entering the province. They also require a “safe check-in” form to be completed.
- New Brunswick requires registration and monitoring with Public Health before you enter the province. There are restrictions as to who can enter, so be sure to have the most current information before planning an expensive trip.
- Prince Edward Island’s registration requirements are similar to NB. Fill out the PEI travel application here.
- Newfoundland and Labrador lists 4 categories of people who are allowed into the province. If you feel you may qualify, fill out the provincial travel form. Otherwise, you may need a request for exemption specific to your circumstances.
Would You Consider Moving Out East?
We have helped several of our own friends and clients to sell here in Hamilton, Burlington, and Niagara and relocate to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Some of them have bought houses from videos and pictures alone – trusting the maritime hospitality and helpful spirit of their future neighbours to assist them in setting up.
Uprooting and moving that far away isn’t for everyone. Is it something you’ve thought about? We’d love to hear your thoughts on a big move like this!
For those of us who don’t choose to live on the east coast, the spotlight on the area has certainly given us reason to consider visiting. Who doesn’t love a beautiful beach vacation?
Thinking About a Move out East?
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