Almost half of all younger adults stay at dwelling in Oshawa, Whitby and Clarington

Corey Law, 21, is entering his fifth year at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa and lives at home with his parents in Bowmanville.  He said living at home is a good way to save money and makes sense since he attends university nearby.  Jul, 23 2022

Nearly 50 per cent of young adults in Oshawa, Whitby and Clarington live at home with at least one parent.

That makes the local area the No. 1 large urban region in Canada for 20-to-34-year-olds who still live at home.

The Oshawa CMA as it’s called (for census purposes, it includes Oshawa, Whitby and Clarington) edged out Toronto for the first time in the 2021 census with 48.7 per cent of 20-to-34-year-olds recorded as living at home.

Toronto came in second with 46.6 per cent.

Rounding out the top five nationally were Windsor (44.7 per cent), Hamilton (44.3 per cent) and Barrie (41.5 per cent).

The Oshawa CMA was third-highest in Canada for young adults living at home with one parent in the 2011 census, rising to second highest in the 2016 census before topping the list in 2021.

On a nationwide basis, the number of young adults between 20 to 34 living at home with a parent is around 35 per cent, but skews highest in Ontario and highest of all in the GTA.

Why does the Oshawa CMA have such a high number of young adults living at home with a parent?

Statistics Canada analysis suggests that high housing and rental prices, proximity to numerous post-secondary institutions like Ontario Tech, Durham College and Trent University-Durham and relatively high shares of immigrant and racialized groups might boost the numbers.

Nora Galbraith, senior analyst at the center for demography at Statistics Canada, said previous census data confirmed all three factors weigh heavily on a young person’s decision to remain at home.

“In the past, areas that have a high share of young adults living with their parents have high housing prices in those areas, they tend to be in proximity to one or more post-secondary institutions, they tend to have high shares of immigrants or racialized population groups who are more likely to co-reside with their parents. Those tend to be the patterns we’ve seen in the past,” Galbraith said.

The massive growth of Ontario Tech (formerly the University of Ontario Institute of Technology) since its founding in 2003 and Durham College’s expansion over the past few decades certainly plays a big factor in young people living at home with at least one parent in the Oshawa CMA .

For Ontario Tech student Corey Law, 21, the decision to live at home while he attends university was an easy one.

“It’s convenience for me, saving money, the costs (of living away from home) and living with my family makes sense,” Law said.

“It’s been easier on cash. It works well for me. I have a great relationship with my parents. We don’t have any big issues with living at home. I was really fortunate,” he said.

He said he knows a lot of other students at the university have had trouble finding housing and said he it’s practically “unaffordable” for students to find housing in the Oshawa CMA.

“I’m very lucky to be living at home with my family,” he said.

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