Dec 19, 2003
MISSISSAUGA, December 19, 2003 -- Council endorsed a 2003 Growth Forecast report which confirms the City's transition from a young and fast-growing City to a mature municipality.
Mississauga is gradually being built-out and facing the challenges of financing the replacement of infrastructure that was installed more than 30 years ago. These replacement costs must be funded from the tax base and will require a considerable investment over the next 30 years. Without the benefit of new growth and the revenue it generates, services will have to be carefully reviewed and spending priorities will have to be established.
The Planning and Building Department staff report contains the results of a comprehensive growth forecast exercise. This exercise is conducted every five years to coincide with the release of new Census Canada data and includes key assumptions and findings in a Hemson Consulting Limited report entitled "Growth in a Maturing Community, City of Mississauga 2001 to 2031."
"The City of Mississauga is entering a new era," said Mayor Hazel McCallion. "This report lays out the challenges our City will be faced with in the next 30 years. It's now more important than ever for Mississauga to achieve its goals of becoming a single-tier City and reaching a new deal with our other levels of government so that our Council can have the political and financial ability to more effectively manage these future challenges and opportunities."
The 2003 Growth Forecast examines the following factors: economic trends; market shares; immigration rates; fertility and mortality rates; household headship rates; housing vacancy rates; unemployment rates; and labour participation rates. Also, staff have updated estimates in land supply and employment.
Ward 9 Councillor Pat Saito remarked at the report presentation at Planning and Development Committee, "This report confirms the trend toward an aging population that will soon present mobility and access issues for our facilities and programs. The City has already been pro-active in anticipating and addressing these issues through the City's Accessibility Advisory Committee's (AAC) Accessibility Plan."
Some of the highlights and facts in the report include:
- By 2031, the population will grow to 744,000 with an expected total of 487,000 jobs. In mid-2003 Mississauga's population reached 673,000 and an employment base of approximately 400,000 jobs;
- By 2031, 24 per cent of the population or one in four persons will be 65 or older, up from 8 per cent in 2001;
- Mississauga's employment activity rate is 62.4 per cent confirming the City as a net-importer of employment;
- Mississauga's remaining greenfield employment lands will be built-out or developed in the next 10 to 15 years and future employment growth will be dependent on office development;
- Total housing growth will decline from 5,000 to 1,000 units per year by 2031 and the apartment market is expected to strengthen to provide housing for an increasing diverse and aging population; and
- In the next 30 years, Mississauga will face the financial demands of managing a mature city. Development charge revenue may decline and the assessment base may shift from industrial to residential as its employment areas age and building stock depreciates. Existing facilities and infrastructure will age and require replacement and services and programs will change focus toward the needs of an older population.
"You will see a change in the character of our City as we change from a greenfield development to more redevelopment and infill or intensification," added Planning and Building Commissioner Ed Sajecki. "Although this type of 'mature city' development could in future make planning issues much more complex and development applications in established communities more contentious, with careful long-term planning we can manage a successful transition from a growth municipality to a mature municipality."
In the next months, the City's Senior Management Team (SMT) will examine the city-wide implications of the 2003 Growth Forecast. SMT will report back to City committees and Council on how to pro-actively manage forecast impacts on future capital works, programs and operations throughout the City.
The Hemson Consulting Limited report "Growth in a Maturing Community, City of Mississauga 2001 to 2031" and four brochures summarizing population, housing, employment and age structure forecast results by planning district are now available on the City's Web site.
For more information contact Angela Dietrich, manager, Research and Special Projects, Planning and Building Department at 905-896-5510.
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