Halifax Partnership is forecasting the Halifax Regional Municipality’s (HRM) population could grow to 650,000 fifteen years from now.
“Really, in the last two years, approximately 20,000 new residents have come to Halifax,” said Wendy Luther, President and CEO of the Halifax Partnership.
Luther notes up until about 2015, Halifax’s population was shrinking or stagnant. That began to shift before the pandemic as more people considered moving to mid-size cities but the pandemic accelerated the growth. Now a place that long experienced a brain drain is now seeing a brain gain.
Halifax Partnership believes the population of HRM, which is currently more than 460,000 could jump to 525,000 in five years from now and up to 650,000 in fifteen years. By then, it estimates the city’s GDP will grow to $32 billion.
“We are consistently ranking as one of the top jurisdictions, one of the top places to live and work in the world,” Luther said.
James Pottie is one of the thousands of people to move to the HRM recently. I have traded Toronto’s high-rises for Halifax’s waterfront.
“The pandemic in Toronto was absolutely horrible. We had the world’s longest state of emergency, 8 months long. And I really missed my family,” he said.
“Whenever you grow up here the ocean always calls you back. You just can’t escape it.”
Growing brings growing pains such as more demand on our hospitals, transportation and housing infrastructure. Apartments are popping up but Halifax’s vacancy rate is still very low.
“We have to find places for people to live and particularly, affordable places for people to live,” said Tim Rissesco of the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission.
Tim Rissesco sees a lot of potential. Along Dartmouth’s King Street, Develop Nova Scotia is looking to turn a parking lot that overlooks the harbor into mixed-use apartments.
“You could have all these fairly expensive apartments facing the harbor offsetting affordable housing for either people starting out or people on modest income,” Rissesco said.