Greater Sudbury is growing, but more people moving to the outskirts

With mineral prices in the eighth year of an extended slump, dozens of people laid off in the local mining supply sector and the housing market slowing down, some in Sudbury were fearing bad news would come with the first numbers of the 2016 census on Wednesday.

But the chair of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce chair Tracey Nutt isn’t too surprised to see the city grew slightly over the last five years by 1,257 people.

“Business is slower, business is down a little bit,” she says she has heard from members.

“We haven’t heard any real horror stories.”

But the city’s growth has definitely slowed, with the population climbing by over 5,000 between 2001 and 2011.

Meanwhile, the small towns neighboring Greater Sudbury are getting bigger.

West Nipissing, which has become northern Ontario’s largest bedroom community with commuters going to both North Bay and Sudbury, increased by just 215 in the last five years, but its population has increased over 1,000 people since the paper mill that was the town’s main employer closed in the early 2000s.

Markstay-Warren saw its population jump by 359 to 2,656 in the last five years, an increase of over 10 per cent.

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