Ottawa

Sick of sitting in traffic? Move to Kingston

Kingston, Ont., is hoping to lure fresh transplants from Ottawa and Toronto by appealing to their desire to escape that most tiresome of big city problem: traffic.

Eastern Ontario city hoping to attract new residents from Ottawa, Toronto

Kingston's new marketing campaign, called 'Possible Made Here,' appeals to people tired of big city life in Ottawa and Toronto. (Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press)

Kingston, Ont., is hoping to lure fresh transplants from Ottawa and Toronto by appealing to their desire to escape that most tiresome of big city problem: traffic.

Among all the benefits touted in the Limestone City's latest marketing campaign, "Possible Made Here," the notable absence of gridlock rates high, according to Craig Desjardins, Kingston's director of strategy.

"We have the world-class educational institutions, we have teaching and research hospitals, but we also have a commute that is less than 15 minutes," Desjardins said.

"Fifteen minutes in Toronto can be getting around the block. In Kingston, it's getting across the city."

According to Statistics Canada, Kingston's population in 2016 was approaching 124,000. (Atomazul/Shutterstock)

Desjardins said when the city asked recent arrivals about the benefits of living there, many also cited the lower cost of living, while others preferred the city's size.

"Several of them described Kingston as big, but small," Desjardins told CBC Radio's All In a Day.

He said Kingston is looking to attract more talented young people to help local businesses grow and expand.

"We went out and surveyed our businesses, and access to talent is one of the most important factors in their future success," Desjardins said. "You can never have enough people. The knowledge economy is the future of our community."

What does it take to lure residents of Ontario's big cities to Kingston? Low cost of living? A shorter commute? Or maybe the promise of a chilled, suburban lifestyle? Well, those are the things the city of Kingston is highlighting as it tries to attract people to move there. 8:33

According to its own reports, Kingston has the lowest vacancy rate in Ontario, but Desjardins noted there's lots of home construction underway.

"Residents are interested in ensuring we have businesses that are growing and can support the tax base," he said.

The campaign is also recruiting local businesses to spread the word when they're out seeking new employees.

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