It's a sad reality - small towns have been in decline for the past 10 years, but that might change as the pandemic has shifted priorities for some people.
The Ontario Real Estate Association's (OREA) research found that a majority of Ontarian's active in the real estate market agree (27 per cent) or somewhat agree (34 per cent) that living in a rural area is more appealing to them now than before the pandemic.
The report also suggests some recommendations that would make living in small towns more appealing.
Between 2008 and 2019, a staggering 87% of jobs created in Ontario were in Toronto or Ottawa, according to the report.
It also focuses on an ambitious pro-jobs, pro-growth set of ideas that can reverse the economic and social decline experienced by too many Ontario smaller and northern communities.
"The opportunities of work from home can help us reimagine the workplace and that means young people that want to stay in small towns can do so and more business can open up," said Tim Hudak, CEO of Ontario's real estate association.
OREA's new policy report identifies 15 recommendations that address long-term solutions to housing, education, job creation and access infrastructure in rural and Northern Ontario.
"We suggest a rent-to-own program that may help people get in the housing market from being renters to becoming homeowners and we also talk about ideas to expand infrastructures expanding broadband access for essential highspeed services."
Hudak also said, "the number one question Ontario realtors get in small towns is how is the Internet access, we need to fix that problem."