Young people have long flocked to big cities in search of opportunity and excitement, and Canada's major urban centres are no exception.
But throw in a couple of kids, including competition over the best schools and affordable single family homes with backyards and suddenly the landscape starts to look different.
And with the latest census figures showing the highest jump in babymaking since the early 60s, more young families are starting to consider more fertile pastures.
So where are they flocking? To places like Airdrie, Alberta.
The Globe and Mail reports that Airdrie, with its population of 45,000, is attracting young workers — both of the single and family-way variety — at an explosive rate.
Though 45,000 may not sound like the next major metropolis, when you consider Airdrie's population was listed as just under 29,000 residents during the 2006 census, the numbers gain some context.
In fact, the article notes that public schools are currently filled beyond capacity as officials rush to accommodate the new population boom. Enrollment has gone up 44 per cent since 2002 and trustees expect it to grow by another 54 per cent in the coming decade.
A 30-minute drive from Calgary, Airdrie made its first inroads as a railway village back in the late 19th century during construction on the Calgary and Edmonton Railway.
It also happens to sit in the Calgary—Edmonton corridor, making it easy to access from the busy Queen Elizabeth II Highway (although traffic will certainly become more of an issue as the resettling increases).
With Alberta attracting Canadians from all other provinces, its population spikes are nothing new.
What's interesting are the realities faced by a town that suddenly finds itself scrambling to adjust its infrastructure accordingly.
The Globe mentions that the two schools promised to Airdrie to accommodate recent need won't be built until 2022. In the meantime, portable classrooms are running out and students are being packed into spaces that were never meant to be classrooms.
Roads will also become an issue as the town's one overpass must be expanded into two, and Airdrie still doesn't have its own hospital. Residents must travel 30 minutes north or south to the nearest one.
"It puts a lot of stress on a lot of the existing infrastructure — community centres, libraries, community safety, things of that nature," Mayor Peter Brown told the paper.
But with money starting to pour in, and Premier Alison Redford promising a whole lot more during her election campaign, Airdrie could potentially become the next big thing — and a preview of what's to come for towns in similar proximity to big cities.