Still multiplying in Bay Roberts, Clarke’s Beach
Census shows slight upward trend in region’s population
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.
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.