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Decades of Population Decline Reversed in Saint John


 Results of Statistics Canada’s 2011 Census showed the population in the City of Saint John grew to 70,063, more than 2,000 people since the last census, taken in 2006.

Saint John remains the largest city in the province with a three percent growth in population. The Saint John Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) also grew to 127,761 making it the second largest in CMA in the province behind Moncton.

“There are a number of factors that are contributing to our growth in here in the city,” said Mayor Ivan Court. “The revitalization in the Uptown -- new businesses, restaurants, shops, and arts and culture – continued growth in the knowledge sector and strong economic performance overall has sparked more interest in urban living. Newcomers are drawn to our sense of community and amenities, natural and heritage assets, and the lifestyle we offer as well as benefits of a shorter commute.”

Growth, more specifically how and where to grow, has been a hot topic in the city in recent years. Saint John Common Council recently approved PlanSJ a bold new municipal plan that will set the course for growth and development for the next 25 years.

“These numbers signal positive change for Saint John’s future,” said Jacqueline Hamilton, Deputy Commissioner of Planning and Development. “This is the first time population numbers have grown since the mid 1960s. PlanSJ forecasts predicted that the City’s population might continue decline over the next few years and then start to rebound by 2017. We are ahead of targets owing largely to a prosperous economy. With PlanSJ officially adopted by Council, Saint John is well positioned to ensure that future growth is directed to areas of the city which will provide greatest benefit to the community and will contribute to a more sustainable and liveable Saint John in the future.”

In the spirit of moving the Plan forward, the next stage of the PlanSJ will begin with the development of the new Zoning By-Law, the key tool in implementing the Plan’s recommended land use framework.  Plans are underway for a launch of the Zoning bylaw review for early spring.