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Moncton area tops the charts for Canada's fastest-growing city


Moncton, N.B., might be considered the country’s fastest-growing city when you look at Statistic Canada’s new data, but for so many residents, it’s now only known as home.

“I think that the nature that we have because in this place we see a lot of seasons and the change,” said Pierina Amesquita, who recently moved from Peru. “In our country, we don’t have the winters. In this case, we have a lot of snow and it’s our first experience with snow and it’s so cool.”

“I love winter,” added Manuel Echeandia, who also moved from Peru. “I prefer cold than hot so it’s our first time in snow and we want [to] do those activities.”

Snowshoeing and skiing are just two activities that the pair is excited to do since moving to the area.

“I really like the city, I think it’s a beautiful city,” said Amesquita.

The fact that it’s New Brunswick’s biggest city, paired with the lack of traffic, more greenery, and career opportunities, including education at NBCC, have also helped make Moncton the couple's chosen destination.

Plus, with growth comes more diversity, which is an added bonus for newcomers.

“When you hear different point of view, you realize that the world is beyond that and who doesn’t like to learn more?” said Echeadia. “You feel like you’ve travelled the world already. Each person brings their country to us.”

Since moving, Amesquita and Echeandia have been helping with Moncton Cares, an organization that helps welcome newcomers and immigrants as well as make them feel more at home. Officials say Moncton Cares picked up 700 newcomers from the airport last year and helped over 1,500 newcomers in total.

“I’ve been driving those newcomers from the airport to their home and when they thank us, I feel like ‘oh I like to be a volunteer,’” said Echeandia.

According to the numbers, the Moncton metropolitan area grew by 5.3 per cent from July 2021 to 2022. It’s a fact that officials say is good economic news for the city.

“We’re not a large city, but it also really enforces or validates a lot of the things that we’ve been trying to do, especially around immigration, retraction and retention,” said John Wishart, the chief executive officer for the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a positive sign, certainly for the business community.”

Adding, “I think this increase in population has come along at just the right time, after two, almost three years of COVID and the negative impact of that on businesses and so a lot of the existing businesses are feeling well supported by this influx of new people.”

Not only does the growth mean more support for local businesses, but it also means new businesses popping up.

Christiane Christian moved from Ontario back in the fall and brought her cleaning business with her.

“Moving that out here, was a challenge in itself, getting to know everybody, getting to know the networks here, and getting to know the people… we didn’t know anybody, but everyone was so warm and welcoming that it’s become quite easy to get in with all the networks and the community,” she said.

Right now, her and her husband are still working out of Ontario as well, but she says it’s actually been an easy transition bringing the business to a new province.

“It’s taken some time for Moncton to trust,” she said. “It’s a small town community, they’re very community orientated and want to support each other rather than people coming in so it takes a little bit of time and getting in with networking like BNI or the chamber of commerce who are introducing you to people is a huge key for small businesses when you’re coming here.”

You’ve Got It Maid offers commercial and residential cleaning services as well as a handyman service in order to offer clients everything they need.

Overall, she’s happy to now call New Brunswick home.

“I don’t regret anything,” she said. “I came here not knowing anyone and I have a network of friends now, which is great. Some of the restaurants downtown are just great.”

However, there are some downfalls to rapid growth, including if the city can keep up.

“Handling this growth poses problems around housing in particular, especially affordable housing and it also puts more of a strain on our health care and educational sectors so we need to quickly come up with a strategy to accommodate that,” said Wishart.

Adding that there are a few areas that need to be addressed immediately, “it’s exciting on one aspect because obviously growth is much better than decline, but we really do have to mobilize a lot of stakeholders, government, private sector to come up with some strategies around housing I would say in particular.”

He says the workforce is also an area that could use some help as well, making sure that new residents can showcase their skills.

All in all the numbers don’t lie, Moncton has been put on the map for people around the world, but as for the reason why each individual choose to come is really different for everyone. Top Stories

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