MONTREAL -- Urban sprawl has intensified on the outskirts of Montreal in recent years, according to data compiled by the Observatoire Grand Montréal.

The Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM) notes that the number of people commuting from outside the city centre is increasing.

About 100,000 commuters from municipalities bordering the Greater Montreal region head downtown to work every day – 94 per cent of which use their cars almost exclusively as their preferred mode of transportation.

Nearly 30 of these outlying municipalities now have a commuting rate to Montreal of over 40 per cent, while 10 municipalities are over 50 per cent.

The Observatoire Grand Montréal report adds that, in addition to increased commuting times, municipalities bordering the city prefer to build single-family homes, which take up a lot of room.

Not only does this make the urban territory larger, but it diminishes agricultural land and natural spaces, the report states.

On average, since 2015, Greater Montreal has lost about 7,000 people a year to its outlying municipalities – about 4,000 with cities located in the north and 3,000 to the south.

The Montreal Metropolitan Community brings together 82 municipalities with four million inhabitants.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 7, 2020.