Every year, Montreal loses 22,000 people to the suburbs. People are moving off-island in search of lower taxes, bigger homes, more land and quieter streets.

In Part One of CBC Montreal's urban-sprawl series, CBC’s Dan Halton met with two families on either side of the issue.

Montreal’s mayoral candidates all agree urban sprawl is a major issue that affects the economy, the environment and the quality of life of people living in the city.

Here is what the four main candidates are proposing as solutions if they are elected on Nov. 3:

Candidate Richard Bergeron says he would:

  • Build more large homes
  • Provide free STM passes for all city employees living on the Island
  • Create more parks and green spaces 
  • Renovate primary schools

Candidate Mélanie Joly would:

  • Create more daycares
  • Renovate sports and cultural centres
  • Take up to $3000 off the welcome tax for first time home buyers with families
  • Provide more financial aid for home buyers

Denis Coderre and Marcel Cote's platforms are less specific, but both say they would also increase accessibility to affordable housing for families and boost financial aid programs.

To see how the cost of living in the city compares to the cost of life in the suburbs, check out our interactive map on urban sprawl.