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The City of Camrose | Instagram

U-Haul Trucks Are Piling Up In One Small Alberta Town, and That’s a Good Thing!

Camrose, once an under-the-radar Alberta city, is now bustling with newcomers, according to the latest U-Haul Growth Index

Since the pandemic, more and more people have given up big-city living and moved to smaller towns for a slower pace of life.

This trend was so pronounced that towns near large cities across Alberta experienced unprecedented growth,  as high as almost a third between 2016 and 2022. 

Cochrane, Airdrie, Beaumont, and Spruce Grove, in particular, grew fast. Both Cochrane and Airdrie were honoured at one time or another as the ‘fastest growing’ centres in Canada.

However, one small Alberta city has been steadily attracting newcomers without making splashy headlines until now.

Slow But Steady

Camrose, which we recently listed as one of the most affordable cities in Alberta, has been confirmed as a desirable destination to relocate to from an unlikely source: U-Haul.

Camrose Outdoor Farmer’s Market in historic downtown | City of Camrose | Instagram

The U-Haul Growth Index measures the net difference between the number of one-way U-Haul trucks arriving in and leaving from a city or province within a year. 

In 2023, Alberta witnessed significant growth, with three of its cities ranking in the top 25 nationally. 

Camrose was ranked 25th, marking its second consecutive year on the list.

Calgary was the highest-ranked city, taking first place. Sherbrooke followed it in Quebec, and then Edmonton in third place. 

Both Calgary (YYC) and Edmonton (YEG) were notable for making the list this year after not appearing in 2022.

This surge in relocation to Alberta’s two major cities propelled the province from the bottom to the top in U-Haul’s annual growth rankings by province. 

In contrast, in 2022, only Camrose represented Alberta in the top 25, ranking at number 16.

So, for two years running, more U-Haul trucks came into Camrose than left.

The city’s population statistics bear out the net gain of 9 percent since 2012, growing to nearly 20,000 residents.

Hidden Gem?

Ok, so what’s so special about Camrose?

In short, the combination of affordable housing and a small-town lifestyle, combined with all the services of a larger centre, makes Camrose a desirable location to live.

First housing. Camrose offers a wide range of housing options and excellent affordability, with the average house price in 2023 of $252,000 compared with Edmonton’s average of $471,900.

In terms of services, Camrose has all the necessary amenities you’d expect from a full-service city and has numerous parks and trails, a vibrant arts and culture scene, museums, historic sites, and ample camping and recreation opportunities at nearby lakes and nature areas. 

Camrose is also known for its excellent healthcare (including cancer care) and elder services, historic downtown and high-quality schools. It also hosts the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta.

With a combination of young students, families and retirees, Camrose has a dynamic population. 

Camrose combines the warmth of a small town with all the conveniences of a big city, making it the ideal place to live.

No wonder the U-Hauls are piling up in the city!

Show and shine in downtown Camrose | City of Camrose | Instagram
Show and shine in downtown Camrose | City of Camrose | Instagram

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