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Kingston has one of the fastest growing downtowns in Canada

Last Updated on April 1, 2022 by YGK News Staff

The results are in – according to Statistics Canada’s 2021 Population Census, Kingston has one of the fastest-growing downtown areas in the country.

From 2016 to 2021, the population grew at a rate of 7.1% between 2016 and 2021, with the population growth rate of the downtown area being 16.2%. Kingston’s overall population in the census metropolitan area in 2021 now sits at 172,540 from 161,175 in 2016.

This places downtown Kingston’s growth rate on par with Downtown Toronto and just under that of Gatineau. 

Overall, this is above Canada’s population growth rate, which was 5.2 percent between 2016 and 2021. The agency says that Canada’s current population sits at around 36.9 million. Downtowns across Canada grew on average at a rate of 10.9%, almost double that of the previous period (10.9%).

Despite this, downtown areas across the country are seeing slower growth. “Since the onset of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, far fewer Canadians are commuting to work downtown as many businesses and government agencies that could do so shifted from an office setting to working virtually at home,” the report notes.

The report says that larger cities, like Vancouver and Toronto are increasingly seeing urban spread, where distant suburbs are seeing the bulk of the new growth. Canadians are also more tempted due to the increasing price of houses and limited space to build.

Nonetheless, the population of downtowns grew at over twice the pace from 2016 to 2021 (+10.9%) compared with the previous five-year period (+4.6%), despite a slowdown since the onset of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.

Canada’s five-year growth rate is now double that of any of its peers in the G7, despite most of the growth happening before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

From 2016 to 2021, the population growth rate of the Kingston CMA was 7.1%, and the population growth rate of its downtown was 16.2%.

The driving factor behind Canada’s overall growth has been Immigration, not fertility, from 2016 to 2021. The growth ultimately slowed due to border restrictions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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