The data from the 2011 Canadian Census was released this week, and, not surprisingly, the greater Victoria region continues to grow. Also not surprisingly, growth tended to centre on areas with available land for new houses to be built. While the west shore of Langford and Colwood had the greatest population growth of about 30% (wow), Sooke was second with a growth of nearly 18% from 9699 to 11435. The census says that between 2006 and 2011 (known as the intercensal period – isn’t that a great word?), 864 private dwellings were built. This data covers just the District of Sooke – the surrounding areas of East Sooke, Shirley, Port Renfrew, Jordan River, and Otter Point add about 4000 or so to our regional population. It is hard to tell just how many people are in these areas because the census area also includes a large chunk to the north and east of Sooke, extending all the way to the end of Saanich Inlet near Goldstream.
My thoughts are that this is unsurprising, but good news for our region. As our region continues to grow, so will the amenities and services that we’d all love to take advantage of. Businesses use census data to decide where to open stores or move operations, which will create jobs for local residents. The provincial ministry of highways has been doing a lot of work on Sooke Road (Hwy 14) in the past few years and hopefully this will continue to make it easier for us all to get around.
What about you? Have you moved to Sooke in the last 5 years? Are you one of the new 1736 people that now call Sooke home? If not, how many people have you met in the last 5 years that are new to town?