Council adopts higher growth target

·2 min read

STRATHROY - Whether you blame it on rural depopulation, immigrants settling in smaller urban centres, or the ‘Great Toronto Exodus’, the growth of Strathroy-Caradoc is immediately noticeable to many long-time residents.

It appears that it will continue, too; on Monday, 15 March 2021, council accepted new growth projections from Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. which will be used as the foundation for the development and update of master plans as part of the Growing Together Official Plan Update project, as well as other long-term planning documents in the future. The report shows a projected population of 35,360 by the year 2046, up 13,770 from the most recent census in 2016. The number of households is predicted to be 15,260, up 6,960 from 2016. These numbers, chosen by staff with current and historical growth trends in mind and approved by council, were the highest of three possible scenarios presented by Watson & Associates.

The Watson report was commissioned by the County of Middlesex, and approved byCounty Council on 19 January 2021. Before this, Strathroy-Caradoc staff had completed their own projections as recently as 4 August 2020. Those local projections do not differ too greatly from the Watson projections, but are generally more conservative (population 29,783 by 2046; households 14,671 by 2046). Staff say they are confident in the underlying assumptions and the methodology used to prepare the Watson report.

Other interesting projections from Watson include: a doubling of apartment units by 2046 (from 1,030 to 2,060); over five times as many townhouses and duplexes (from 310 to 1,610); and nearly 70% more single-detached and semi-detached houses (from 6,770 to 11,410).

It seems the major attractions for people moving to this municipality are the hospital, access to reliable internet, good weather, low-crime, and semi-affordable housing. Strathroy-Caradoc recently netted #20 in MacLean’s ‘Canada’s Best Communities 2021’ ranking.

McKinley Leonard-Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner