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Population growth in several area communities

The City of North Bay’s population is on the rise. 

2021 census figures from Statistics Canada show 52,662 people call North Bay home. 

With an added 1,109 residents that’s up 2.2 percent compared to five years earlier. 

Mayor Al McDonald also says there could’ve been further growth since the population snapshot was taken in May last year. 

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“We know that we’re continuing in the right direction because of the increased job listings, demand for real estate and new housing hasn’t let up.  These numbers might even be low today, compared to May 2021,” he says.   

McDonald wants to see the area grow by 10,000 people over 10 years and believes much of the growth in the latest census results came in the last three years. 

“I think we still had a bit of decline in the last part of 2016, ‘17 and ‘18.  But, we’re seeing an increased population even now moving forward.  If we can keep the momentum of 1,000 people per year for the next ten years we’ll be in great shape,” he says. 

McDonald, who is not running in the next election, is also hopeful the next council continues growing the city. 

“We ran on a mandate of growth and growing our city, there’s still a lot of work to be done.  I’m hoping the next council makes growth a priority,” he says. 

Several other area communities also saw increases in population, including Bonfield, Callander, East Ferris and the Municipality of West Nipissing. 

Increases range from 1.7 percent in East Ferris to 7.8 percent in Bonfield. 

Mattawa and the Municipality of Powassan both experienced drops in their population. 


Here are 2021 Census figures for the area:

North Bay – up to 52,662 from 51,553 (2.2 percent increase) 

Callander – up to 3,964 from 3,863 (2.6 percent increase)

East Ferris – up to 4,946 from 4,862 (1.7 percent increase) 

Powassan – down to 3,346 from 3.455 (3.2 percent decrease)

Bonfield – up to 2,146 from 1,990 (7.8 percent increase)

Mattawa  – down to 1,881 from 1,993 (5.6 percent decrease) 

West Nipissing – up to 14,583 from 14,364 (1.5 percent increase) 



Source: Statistics Canada, 2021 Census of Population.

Statistics Canada. 2022. (table). Census Profile. 2021 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-316-X2021001. Ottawa. Released February 9, 2022. (accessed February 9, 2022).


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