Waterloo region preparing for 1 million residents by 2050 — Redman

Regional councillors are set to get their first look at 2025 budget numbers during a committtee meeting Tuesday. (Kate Bueckert/CBC - image credit)

Region of Waterloo Chair Karen Redman says the region expects to be home to 1 million residents by 2050.

Redman made the announcement as Waterloo region hosted the 2024 State of the Region on Tuesday, under the theme 1 Million Ready.

"We stand on the cusp of significant growth and change, with our community poised to become home to one million people before we know it," Redman said.

"This journey excites me because we have the opportunity to shape the change that lies ahead."

Of some 41 metropolitan areas tracked by Statistics Canada, Kitchener-Waterloo's population was one of the fastest growing last year — a six point one per cent increase in the span of just 12 months.

Last year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reported that the Region of Waterloo had seen a significant rise in new permanent residents in recent years, which the federal government said will help to fill gaps in the labour market.

Increase of newcomers to Waterloo region

Data provided to CBC News by IRCC shows that the region saw 7,360 new permanent residents in 2022, and 8,875 in 2021. The average of new permanent residents in the six years prior is 3,502.5 per year, which is less than half of 2021 and 2022.

"Across Canada, admissions in 2021 and 2022 exceeded admissions from the pre-pandemic years of 2018 and 2019, and greatly exceeded admissions during COVID-affected 2020," Jeffrey MacDonald, a spokesperson for IRCC, said in an email to CBC News.

As part of her State of the Region address, Redman announced that Pivot Airlines will relocate their base of operations to the Region of Waterloo International Airport as of June 1.

She also announced the region will provide land to Savic Homes for a mixed-income housing project on Highland Road West in Kitchener, adding 208 homes, 64 of which will be affordable.