U-Haul rental stats suggest Chatham, Ont., growing in popularity

Mayor says people are choosing Chatham for lower cost of living, mild climate

Chatham is the place to be, data from U-Haul suggests.

The moving truck company rated Chatham as the No. 1 growing city in Canada in 2022, based on its rental statistics.

U-Haul said in an announcement that it determines the rankings on the list by looking at “the net gain or loss of one-way U-Haul trucks” either arriving or departing from a city or province. 

The trucking company said the data is made up of “well over two million one-way U-Haul truck transactions.”

U-Haul’s website said “Chatham climbed 12 spots from its previous ranking” to the No. 1 spot. 

Chatham-Kent mayor Darrin Canniff says the U-Haul data may not be a perfect scientific study, but it is “very indicative of what’s been happening here.” 

He said some reasons people would want to move to his municipality include cost of living and an easy commute. 

“Our housing prices are still lower than almost anywhere in the province,” he said. 

“It really boils down to quality of life and cost of living. In Chatham-Kent, compared to a lot of other areas in Ontario, it’s much cheaper to live.” 

He said some other attracting factors that are bringing new people to Chatham are the proximity to Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie, and the “amazing” people in the Chatham-Kent community. 

Canniff said Chatham-Kent is a “hidden gem” that has been discovered by more people in recent years, which has led to a housing boom in the area. 

“The houses built in the last two years have exceeded any record that we’ve had in the past,” he said, adding that recently the municipality has built several large apartment buildings — something he said the city hasn’t done since the early 1990s. 

“We’ve got 10 of them in the process, some of them that have been completed, others are under construction.” 

“There are houses available and we’d love to have more people come here,” he said. 

He said there has also been a lot of interest in Chatham coming from commercial developers looking to open businesses. Canniff said the municipality is working with businesses to help them open their doors and find success in the region. 

“We want to create an atmosphere here in Chatham-Kent that people want to move here, live here and stay here. And when people come here, it creates business opportunities.”