Still mul­ti­ply­ing in Bay Roberts, Clarke’s Beach

Cen­sus shows slight up­ward trend in re­gion’s pop­u­la­tion

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

Re­sults from the 2011 Cen­sus have re­vealed that the com­bined pop­u­la­tion of in­cor­po­rated mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion re­gion has edged up slightly from the last count in 2006.

It also high­lighted some eye-open­ing trends in some com­mu­ni­ties, rang­ing from a dra­matic 33.2 per cent in­crease in the small Trin­ity Bay com­mu­nity of White­way, to a 15.3 per cent drop in the pop­u­la­tion of Bay de Verde, a noted fish­ing com­mu­nity at the ex­treme tip of the Bay de Verde Penin­sula.

The most con­sis­tent growth was in the area from Clarke’s Beach to Spa­niard’s Bay, which in­cludes the re­gion’s largest town, Bay Roberts.

Bay Roberts ex­pe­ri­enced a 7.5 per cent in­crease, bring­ing its pop­u­la­tion to just over 5,800 in 2011, while the sec­ond largest town, Car­bon­ear, saw its pop­u­la­tion re­main flat at some 4,740 cit­i­zens.

The rate of growth in Bay Roberts was above the na­tional rate (5.9 per cent), and well ahead of the pro­vin­cial rate (1.8 per cent).

Mayor Philip Wood said he was “ex­tremely pleased” with the re­sults, and said it shows there is a high level of con­fi­dence in the town, and prospects look good for the fu­ture.

He said the town recorded a 3.4 per cent growth rate in the 2006 cen­sus.

“We have a bright hous­ing mar­ket and a bright out­look for busi­ness,” said Wood, not­ing that a new busi­ness park is “just around the corner.”

Wood said the ar­rival of sev­eral high pro­file new busi­nesses in re­cent months is fur­ther ev­i­dence of the town’s ex­pan­sion. He said one busi­ness that re­lo­cated to Bay Roberts re­cently is re­port­ing a dou­bling of its com­merce.

The mood is sim­i­lar in nearby Clarke’s Beach. Mayor Betty Moore said some of the low­est tax rates in the re­gion, an ideal lo­ca­tion and prox­im­ity to var­i­ous ameni­ties have re­sulted in a steady up­ward trend in the pop­u­la­tion of Clarke’s Beach, which now stands at just un­der 1,400.

Whit­bourne is also a town on the rise, grow­ing by 7.1 per cent, while Har­bour Grace saw its pop­u­la­tion edge up slightly by 1.9 per cent.

Mean­while, Hant’s Har­bour (-13.7 per cent), Heart’s Con­tent (-10.3 per cent) and the amal­ga­mated town of Small Point- Adam’s CoveBlack­head- Broad Cove (- 11.2 per cent) all recorded dou­ble-digit de­clines in pop­u­la­tion.

Pros­per­ous town

When asked to ex­plain his town’s blis­ter­ing growth rate, White­way Mayor Craig Whalen said it’s the cul­mi­na­tion of a num­ber of fac­tors.

“We’re a pros­per­ous lit­tle town,” said Whalen. “I re­fer to White­way as the lit­tle Fort Mcmur­ray of Trin­ity Bay.”

Nearly 20 news homes have been con­structed in White­way in re­cent years, Whalen ex­plained, and there’s steady de­mand for land on which to build ad­di­tional dwellings.

“That’s a hous­ing boom for a town of less than 300,” he said.

Whalen said the in­crease is a com­bi­na­tion of for­mer res­i­dents mov­ing back to White­way, and new­com­ers.

Ameni­ties such as a golf course, res­tau­rant, con­ve­nience store, sports field, ma­rina, walk­ing trails, and RV parks, along with a rep­u­ta­tion for its com­mu­nity spirit, have all ben­e­fited White­way, he added.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2011 Cen­sus, the pop­u­la­tion of the Town of Hant’s Har­bour has dropped by early 14 per cent since 2006. It’s no se­cret that the town’s pop­u­la­tion is ag­ing, and there are very few young fam­i­lies in the com­mu­nity of 346 cit­i­zens. Harold El­lis, shown here do­ing some re­pairs to his garbage box last week, turns 83 on Feb. 22. Harold and Ver­ena, his wife of 55 years, raised three chil­dren, all of whom live else­where.

When Frank Butt looks up and down Car­bon­ear’s Water Street, he sees all kinds of po­ten­tial for growth, de­vel­op­ment and bet­ter days ahead.

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