By Mike Renzella
The Haldimand Press
HALDIMAND—An updated forecast on population, housing, and employment was presented to Council recently, prepared by Watson & Associates Economists Ltd.
The forecast looks at projected growth that is anticipated to affect the different areas within Haldimand County up to and including the year 2046. Council intends to use information from the forecast in a variety of ways, including growth management and master servicing, and it will serve as the basis for a large scale Official Plan amendment.
The forecast predicts that population for Haldimand county will grow by approximately 21,000 people between 2016 and 2046, placing the total population for the County at roughly 67,800 at the end of that time period. This statistic puts Haldimand County slightly higher than the provincial average in terms of growth rate, sitting at an annual rate of 1.2% compared to 0.9% provincially.
Of the six urban areas within Haldimand, Caledonia is predicted to see the highest growth. A population growth of 13,600 is anticipated for the community, accounting for 65% of the total growth. Hagersville is anticipating 3,400 new residents, followed by 1,400 in Cayuga, 1,300 in Dunnville, 700 in Jarvis, 300 in Townsend, and 500 in rural areas throughout Haldimand.
Approximately 9,000 new dwelling units are forecasted to be constructed around the county by 2046.
This housing figure aligns with Provincial projections of a 1.4% annual growth rate.
Of those units, single or semi-detached residences make up 61% of projected construction, with townhouses and similar multiple dwelling residences accounting for 18%, and apartment and condominium complexes taking up the remaining 22%.
“We’re going to see more housing developments in the future relative to the past. There will be a noticeable impact on new housing construction. That has demands on municipal services and infrastructure,” states Jamie Cook, Managing Partner and Director, Land Economics with Watson & Associates. “The County is working on providing infrastructure to accommodate that projected growth.”
The statistic for high density units is higher than the County’s previous forecast, with an aging population and rising house prices listed as the primary reason for the shift. Based on land availability, and population forecasts, allocation for housing development favours Caledonia, with 61% of the total allocation going towards the community.
The primary motivator for growth in the County is due to migration from Hamilton and the southwestern GTA (Greater Toronto Area). This is why Caledonia is expected to see a more inflated growth rate, due to its proximity. Also, due to an increased market demand for urban housing, rural housing activity is forecast to decline in the coming years.
The province has imposed an intensification target of 32% for Haldimand County. In order to meet that target, the County will be looking at ways to create new housing solutions within existing urban areas. The most logical way to meet this target is through the development of more high-density projects and through pre-zoning and permissive zoning of available sites.
“Thirty-two per cent of all development must be occurring within established, built-up areas of Haldimand County. That is largely going to be in the downtown areas, urban centres, and other corridors that are more able to accommodate further intensification,” explains Cook.
Approximately 8,100 new jobs are projected to come to Haldimand County by 2046.
Of those jobs, roughly 5,900 are anticipated to be in urban areas, with the remaining balance spread throughout rural areas. This number adds to a total of 26,110 available jobs throughout the entirety of the County.
Population-based jobs will take up the majority of the new jobs, arising from the need for new schools, infrastructure, and commercial properties to service the rising population.
New job growth is dominated by the commercial sector at 3,920 new jobs, and the industrial sector at 2,850 new jobs. There is also a significant rise in the field of ‘work-at-home’ jobs, accounting for an additional 1,000 jobs projected.
“There has been some growth in the industrial sector in Haldimand, wholesale trade is one sector that has seen some growth, and warehouse distribution. We do see some stabilization in the manufacturing sector, and likely we expect to see moderate growth going forward,” explains Cook.
Yet again, distribution of these new
jobs favours Caledonia, with the area accounting for 48% of total job growth throughout the region.
Haldimand County has a density target of 48 people per hectare for community lands, and 16 jobs per hectare for employment.
In keeping with those targets, a land needs assessment was included in the growth forecast, as mandated by the Province.
The assessment found a surplus of residential community land of roughly 384 hectares. The majority of this surplus land is found in Jarvis and Townsend, although the land in question is not deemed to have a high market demand.
In regards to non-residential community land, all areas within Haldimand are currently faced with a deficit, except for Townsend. However, these deficits are classified as minor, and easily addressable through changing designations within existing settlements.
There is a surplus of urban employment land of 127 hectares, over half of which is in Jarvis, however this land is not ideally located in terms of need or servicing capabilities.
To address these issues, Council has endorsed a plan to rationalize land supply relative to market demand, better align servicing capabilities and capacities to land demand and supply, and re-examine existing designations to respond to changing markets.
“This report focuses primarily on the growth and the land requirements,” states Cook. “Other studies will need to be developed to identify specific requirements for items such as outdoor/indoor recreation and transportation infrastructure.”