A few weeks ago The City of Calgary released the 2018 Civic Census results. The 2018 data tells an interesting story about Calgary and an interesting story about Ward 12.
So let’s take a look at some of the data:
- Calgary is now home to 1,267,344 people. That is up 21,007 from 2017, an increase of 1.69%.
- The increase of 1.69% is the largest Calgary has seen since we grew by 2.99% in 2015.
- Of the 21,007 new Calgarians, 11,588 arrived via migration. To contrast that, Calgary lost 6,527 via migration during the peak of the recession in 2016.
- Ward 12 remains the most populated ward in Calgary with 105,365 people. The next most populated is Ward 11 with 99,437 people. The least populated ward is Ward 3 with 69,877 people.
- Ward 12 would be the third largest city in Alberta if it stood alone. And no, I’m not suggesting Ward 12 separate from Calgary…at least not yet.
- Ward 12 grew by roughly 3% from 2017, nearly double the Calgary wide average.
- Of the 10 most populated communities in Calgary, 3 are in Ward 12: Cranston at #6 (18,980), McKenzie Towne at #8 (18,186), and Auburn Bay at #10 (17,251).
- Mahogany is the 5th fastest growing community in Calgary. Mahogany added 1,392 people from 2017 and is now home to 9,836 Calgarians.
- Calgary is home to 54,352 preschool aged children eligible to enter the CBE system over the next five years. There are 18,340 preschool aged children eligible to enter the CCSD system in the next five years.
- Auburn Bay has the largest number of children that range from newborn to 5 years old with 2,410. Three other Ward 12 communities fall in the top 8 in this category: Cranston at #6 (1,861), McKenzie Towne at #7 (1,758), and New Brighton at #8 (1,755).
You can view the full 2018 Civic Census results here.
So what does all of this mean? From a Calgary wide perspective, these numbers are encouraging. City wide residential vacancy is down. More people are looking to Calgary as a place of opportunity again. We aren’t seeing the same levels of growth that we saw during previous economic booms, but the growth rate is significantly higher than the last number of years. That speaks, cautiously of course, to a steady recovery in Calgary’s local economy. We still have a lot of work to do to address unemployment rates and downtown office tower vacancy, but the latest data set suggests we are moving in the right direction.
And what does this mean for Ward 12? This data speaks to some of the things that I have been saying for a very long time. Southeast Calgary is changing, and changing dramatically. In Ward 12 we see some of the highest concentrations of young families of anywhere in the city. The growth of our new communities has shifted demographics considerably.
That shift in demographics has been front of mind during the decisions that I have made in my 8 years on Council. Southeast Calgary was already a great place to live, but what it really needed was investments in community amenities that would support so many of these young families. And look at what we have seen in the last decade: investments in new school, improvements in transportation options, and major investments in world class recreation facilities. Many of these investments are already making a difference in the lives of Ward 12 residents. And more investments are on the way.
You didn’t think I could write a blog without a plug for the Green Line, did you? The shifting demographics in Ward 12 make a resounding case for our investment in the Green Line LRT. Have a look at all of those preschool aged children in Ward 12 now. They may not have use for the Green Line today, but what about 10 years from now? Those kids will be in high school, looking at university options, and starting their first jobs. Green Line will be an absolute game changer for those children and their families. And that is why it is so important that we keep building. Take one look at the data from Auburn Bay and it’s clear – we need to get mass public transit into these areas.
Ward 12 is going to keep growing. And that comes with growing pains. The rate of our growth needs to be supported by investments in community infrastructure. And The City cannot do it alone either. We need to see investments from the federal and provincial governments in things like new schools, and major roadways like Deerfoot Trail. Great communities make for a great city – and we are seeing exactly that in Ward 12. We live in a great part of Calgary, and I’m committed to making sure it keeps getting better.