Anticipated Growth in Peterborough
Greater Peterborough Area is comprised of the City of Peterborough and eight municipalities within the County of Peterborough and home to an estimated population 139,800. As the regional centre for East Central Ontario it has access to a contiguous market of 350,000.
Seasonal Increase (County) Cottagers 30,000
On July 12th 2007, Ontario’s Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal, David Caplan, released Places To Grow: Better Choices, Brighter Future, a discussion paper targeting intelligent growth management in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Canada’s fastest growing region. The next 30 years will see an estimated 4 million people settle in the vicinity, which includes the county and City of Peterborough. This projected growth, if not addressed, will overwhelm the region’s infrastructure system.
The proposal addresses urban development, land-use planning, economic development, capital investment planning, housing, and investment in public infrastructure such as roads, public transit, schools, healthcare facilities and water and sewer systems.
A key goal is to create the right conditions for greater economic growth, investment, job creation and economic competitiveness in the Golden Horseshoe region. The government is seeking input from municipalities, community groups and the public to help shape the content of a final plan that will be developed throughout the fall. The four key issues:
Where and how to grow: To focus development within existing urban boundaries and build upon existing investment and infrastructure. Contain urban sprawl with efficient land use, intensification and compact development.
Infrastructure to promote growth: Optimize existing infrastructure in priority urban centres with special focus on two key areas: transportation and water. Steer investment towards the development of transportation infrastructure that supports accessible and convenient movement of people and goods throughout the region. Peterborough Airport has undergone major expansion in recent years with the 5,000 ft (1,524 m) asphalt runway being expanded to 7,000 ft (2,134 m), making the runway capable of handling larger aircraft such as the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737. Maintain sustainable water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure that it can support development plus steer growth away from areas that provide food and natural resources.
Protecting what’s valuable: Build on government initiatives such as the Greenbelt Task Force, the Planning Reform initiative, and the Rural Strategy, to provide a better balance between economic expansion and the protection of our natural systems. Accommodate growth while protecting and enhancing valuable resources, including green space, agricultural land, natural areas providing food, water and mineral resources in order to reduce pressures on our environment.
Implementation: provincial policy and strong partnerships with municipal governments and other stakeholders must align to ensure investments and decisions manage growth wisely. Legislative and regulatory frameworks must clearly defines roles and responsibilities, create financing tools and incentives for municipalities, remove barriers and provide strong direction to facilitate more robust, compact urban centres with better transportation options. Monitoring and assessment to ensure implementation is effective and results in a positive impact on communities and quality of life.
This discussion paper seems to support the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation review panel of April 12, 2001 which addresses the Canada Transportation Act and the principle of sustainable transportation while recognizing commuter rail as consistent with policy outlined in the act.
Immigration in Peterborough
According to the 2006 census, 20% of Canadians are foreign born. Peterborough’s immigrant population is 9% of its total and of the12,450 immigrants residing in Peterborough, 7,888 speak a language other than English or French in their homes.
Canada’s population grew 5.4% while Peterborough’s grew only 4.8%. Visible minorities make up 2.7% of Peterborough’s population compared to 16.2% of Canada’s. The New Canadians Centre at 205 Sherbrooke Street provides staff, facilities and resources to assist new Canadian immigrants to integrate socially and adjust to their new community. Services include assistance to find language programs, secure employment or find adequate housing.