Calgary showed signs of economic recovery in July, as part of a provincial rebound that saw Alberta gain 67,000 jobs. The province's overall unemployment rate dropped to 12.8 per cent.

Despite the downturn in the economy and the impacts of COVID-19, the city of Calgary was still the place to be for many people in Western Canada, a new report says.

Statistics Canada released new data on population growth in Canada's large urban regions Thursday and it showed Calgary's population between July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020 grew by 1.9 per cent.

The agency also estimated Calgary's population to be 1,543,283.

Meanwhile, Edmonton's 2020 population growth was just a shade lower than Calgary's at 1.8 per cent. According to the data, Alberta's capital has a population of 1,468,926.

Lethbridge, with an estimated 2020 population of 128,851, grew by 1.5 per cent.

URBAN SPRAWL CONTINUES IN MAJOR CITIES

While the city experienced one of the highest population increases in Canada last year, Oshawa, Ont.'s growth was highest at 2.1 per cent.

Statistics Canada says the increase in population in that area is partially due to the desire of Canadians to live outside Canada's census metropolitan areas (CMAs) like Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal.

"From July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2020, the CMAs of Toronto (-50,375) and Montréal (-24,880) each posted a record loss of people as a result of these population exchanges," the report reads.

Milton and Brampton, Ont. also experienced high rates of population growth, four per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively, for the same reason.

When it comes to Montreal and Vancouver, officials say the municipalities of Mirabel (+3.6 per cent) and New Westminster (2.8 per cent) had the highest population growth.

Unfortunately for some, Statistics Canada says the urban sprawl is contributing to increased housing costs in neighbouring real estate markets.