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Welcome to Thorold—Population: 23,816

New census figures from 2021 show that Thorold is the eighth-fastest growing municipality in all of Canada; 'I don't see anything slowing down,' mayor says
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Thorold is undergoing unprecedented growth

Welcome to ThoroldPopulation: 23,816.

Does that number seem off?

It’s not.

A bombshell announcement this week from Statistics Canada revealed that the city ranks as the eighth-fastest growing municipality—in the entire country.

Since the last census in 2016, which showed 18,800 residents in the city, Thorold has seen a population growth of nearly 27 percent.

“If I look five years down the line from now, I don’t see anything slowing down,” Mayor Terry Ugulini told ThoroldToday, after the numbers dropped.

“Looking at the trajectory, I think we will be at 30,000 by then. It's tremendous.”

The updated census confirms what city officials have been predicting for a number of years: that families are escaping urban centres in search of affordability and quality of life.

Ugulini said the growth in the past years has been largely thanks to the availability of land for development, and the major building of subdivisions inside city limits, providing housing for young families who want to settle down in the centre of Niagara. Through natural separation between the city core and different subdivisions, such as Rolling Meadows being on the other side of the canal, the pockets can grow without blending into one another.

“Our location is prime for anyone that wants to work in any of the three major cities in the region that are surrounding us," the mayor says. "No matter where they work, access is great.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has also played a part in the influx of new residents, said Ugulini.

“With so many working from home, they realize that they can do it from anywhere, and even if they commute, they might not have to do it every day.”

Ugulini pointed to the city as well-positioned to accommodate the growth through a forward-thinking budget, as well as strategic planning for transportation and recreational trails.

“The road map is there," he says. "The big adjustment now is to adapt the workforce. With more infrastructure, like roads to plow, comes a greater demand on our workforce. But since the tax base is growing as well, we know that we have a good plan.”

Despite the massive influx of new residents, Thorold's image as a small town won't be erased, assured Ugulini.

“It isn’t going away," he says. "We make sure to provide the community feeling and experience great quality of life through events for the community to come together. Things like the Canada Day weekend, the Canal Bank Blues Festival, arts and crafts events aren’t going away. We see that as an important part of building a community. The attractions will always be there.”

Click here to see the full 2021 Census from Statistics Canada.

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Ludvig Drevfjall

About the Author: Ludvig Drevfjall

Ludvig Drevfjall has been the editor of ThoroldToday since January 2020. He has worked as a journalist in Sweden, British Columbia and Ontario
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