A Tale of One City

Civic Census shows overall positive growth for Calgary

With the release of the 2012 Civic Census, Calgary now sits at 1,120,225 residents strong and compared to previous years, there’s been a shift in where Calgarians in the city are making their homes.

“We have an enormously healthy business in housing starts — enormously healthy,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “(It’s) 23 per cent higher than 2010, 53 per cent higher yearto- date in 2012 over 2011 so we really are seeing a lot of homes being built; what is interesting is the pattern is slowly changing.”

Census numbers collected between April 2011 and April 2012 show the overall dwelling vacancy rate in Calgary decreased from 3.69 per cent to 2.82 per cent. One of the strongest shifts seen from year to year was the multi-family to singlefamily housing split, which went from 20/80 in the last census to 43/57 in this one.

“The split on the numbers between single family and multi … fluctuates tremendously over the last five years,” said Rollin Stanley, general manager of Planning, Development and Assessment.

Stanley said the City will be working on showing residents how communities can be better served along the corridors. As well, having a housing product for Calgarians ranging from young families to seniors looking to downsize that will keep them happy about staying in the City as well as continuing to contribute to their community.

“The positive thing we’re talking about here is growth, it’s great growth, it represents an anomaly in North American today that people are investing in staying in coming here,” he said. “We can build on that as we move forward in both our new growth areas and equally important in our old growth areas where, if we’re maximizing the infrastructure we’ve already built, that helps accommodate the growth.”

Panorama Hills continues to remain Calgary’s fastest growing community with a population increase of 2,396. Panorama Hills wasn’t alone in it’s growth spurt as five other communities, CFB Currie, Skyview Ranch, Mahogany, Walden and Sage Hill all experienced 50 per cent growth within the 2012 Census.

While there was positive suburban growth, Nenshi also spoke to where shifts of growth were occurring.

“Forty two per cent of housing starts now are in communities that are already developed, not new suburban communities,” he said. “That is substantially above the 10 year average and we also see that 58 per cent (are) in developing communities which is somewhat below the 10 year average.

“As the city gets larger people don’t want to drive as far, people start taking a second look at rebuilding, renovating, buying homes in existing neighbourhoods so the market is absolutely responding in the way we thought they would and the role for us from policy perspective is to ensure that we are making that easy.”

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