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Downtown Toronto

Toronto still one of the fastest growing cities in North America – even with the impact of COVID-19

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Toronto still one of the fastest growing cities in North America – even with the impact of COVID-19

Toronto was the fastest growing metropolitan area in Canada and the U.S. last year, overtaking Dallas-Fort Worth Arlington, Tex., according to new data from the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) at Ryerson University.

Downtown Toronto
Photo: Wayne Karl

And even though Toronto will take a hit as a result of COVID-19, it is still expected to be one of the top cities in North America.

Toronto was the only Canadian metropolitan area in the top five; Montreal was sixth and Vancouver twelfth.

Metro Toronto grew by 127,575 persons in 2019, outpacing Dallas-Fort Worth Arlington, which grew by 117,380 persons, to become the fastest growing metropolitan area in all of the U.S. and Canada.

Short-term impact

The research for this latest report was conducted prior to COVID, covering the period of July 2018 to July 2019, so the results are likely to change over the next year, CUR says.

“COVID is estimated to drop immigration (to Toronto) by half this year,” Diana Petramala, senior CUR researcher told Condo Life. “Therefore, this will likely push Toronto down the list of fastest growing cities.

“Toronto’s main strength is immigration, whereas places like Dallas are benefiting from millennials leaving more expensive areas like New York. Toronto, however, will continue to do better than New York, Chicago and Los Angeles – areas that are seeing large outflows of millennials in search of more affordable housing and jobs.”

The impact of COVID in Toronto will be short term, Petramala adds. “Immigration is still allowed, so as other countries move out of lockdown and processing offices open up and airlines start flying again, you will like see a snap back in immigration.”

Outpacing New York

Toronto, in fact, had almost three times the population growth from immigration as New York in 2019. Both regions experienced a loss in resident population to other areas (domestic net migration), but the rate was four times faster in New York.

In terms of population growth on a city basis, as opposed to the metropolitan area (GTA), Toronto (45,742 persons) and Montreal (31,565) represented the two fastest growing cities in all of the U.S. and Canada over the study period. Overall, Canadian cities represented 11 of the top 20 central cities in the U.S. and Canada in population growth, with Calgary, Ottawa and Edmonton placing fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

While the city of Toronto’s population grew by 45,742, New York City’s decreased by 53,264.


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Texas Hill Country, historical hospitality at its finest

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Texas Hill Country, historical hospitality at its finest

Fredericksburg is a small, cosmopolitan city with character and flair, located about an hour’s drive from San Antonio. Here, you’ll find rolling hills, lush vineyards, peach orchards and some of the best art galleries in the United States. A German heritage, along with quaint B&Bs, fabulous dining options and wonderful hospitality, all help to define this area.

Insight Gallery – Photography, Kate Robertson

The Fruits Of Their Labour

Pedernales Cellars, Image courtesy of Fredericksburg CVB/Blake Mistich

The original settlers in Fredericksburg used wild mustang grapes to produce wine. Today, the area is home to more than 40 wineries, and is one of the top wine tourism destinations in the U.S.

At Pedernales Cellar, they cultivate vines that are suited to heat and drought, and specialize in Spanish and Rhone-style wines. Relax with a glass of wine on the deck, while overlooking stunning Texas Hill Country vistas.

Known as the peach capital of Texas, peach stands line the roads from May through August. Fischer & Wieser’s Das Peach Haus is a specialty food company that dates back more than 90 years, Here, you can taste local favourites, including wine, peaches, and their award-winning roasted raspberry chipotle sauce.

A Living Past

Clear River Ice Cream, Bakery & Deli

Fredericksburg was founded by the Germans in 1846. The history of their migration, in order to avoid political upheaval in their home country, can be researched at the Pioneer Museum. A collection of authentic structures take you back to the early days of the German settlement, along with hundreds of artifacts. A walking tour of the historical district provides a first hand appreciation of these significant structures, from fachwerk (traditional German timber-frame buildings), to Texas limestone civil war buildings.

The National Museum of the Pacific War is a six-acre, three museum, world-class complex, and the only institute in the U.S. dedicated to telling the story of the Pacific Ocean theatre of World War II. It’s located in Fredericksburg, because one of the Fleet Admirals for the Pacific War, Chester W. Nimitz, was born here.

National Museum of the Pacific War

Take a self-guided driving tour of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park to see the one-room school that the president attended, the home where he was born and the cemetery where he’s buried, as well as the LBJ Ranch and Texas White House, where President Johnson spent a significant portion of his time in office. Next to the park, is the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm. Dating back to 1918, interpreters are dressed in period clothing to demonstrate historical activities, including blacksmithing and cheese making.

Arts and Culture

Named as one of the top 10 art destinations in the U.S. by Southwest Art magazine, Fredericksburg has more than 20 art galleries and studios. On the first Friday of each month, the local art community hosts a self-guided art walk. It’s a great opportunity to meet artists, hear live music, and sip local wines as you browse through galleries, including RS Hanna and Insight Gallery. Both galleries are housed in beautifully restored historical buildings, and display contemporary art, as well as representational paintings and figurative sculptures with a Western theme.

Texas Hospitality

Photo, (LBJ Ranch) courtesy of LBJ National Historic Park/Cynthia Dorminey

From fast food to upscale options, dining in Fredericksburg is a treat. Start your day at Clear River Ice Cream, Bakery & Deli. Here, you can enjoy hot-from-the oven baked goods and coffee in an old-fashioned diner environment. At Tubby’s Ice House, you can order comfort-food favourites, such as gourmet tacos and pulled pork-loaded fries on their outdoor patio. For a fresh twist try the ‘frose’ – a frozen rose wine slushy. Traditional German fare is served up at Der Lindenbaum and other local establishments.

You’ll receive a cordial welcome at more than 1,000 Bed & Breakfast establishments and short term rentals. Gorgeous antiques augment the Texas-style ranch of Lodge Above Town Creek. Located one block from the main street, you can easily explore the historical downtown core and then come back for a dip in their pool.

At Fredericksburg Herb Farm, guest cottages are designed in the style of Fredericksburg’s Sunday houses. These one-room houses, with a sleeping loft, were built by local farming families to use when they made the trip to town on Saturdays to go to dances, and then to church on Sunday morning.

Kate Robertson can be contacted at kateflyingsolo@gmail.com


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