Pickering Mayor predicts his city will be biggest in Durham by 2051


Published February 10, 2023 at 5:50 pm

Pickering's high-rise growth

Durham Region’s population is expected to nearly double over the next 30 years and Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe is predicting his city will be the region’s “largest and most prosperous city” by the end of that timeline.

Ashe’s bold statement came as the Region released Envision Durham, its Official Plan review, which is now available for public view at Envision Durham Draft

With a population of about 700,000 right now, Durham’s population is expected to reach 1.3 million by 2051 with more than 460,000 job by that time. Pickering is currently experiencing a building boom, especially with high-rise residential towers, but would have a lot of growing up to do to get to number one in the next 29 years.

Oshawa currently holds down that position with an estimated (2022) population of 187,813, followed by Whitby (149,907), Ajax (135,180) and Clarington (107,394). Pickering is bringing up the rear among Durham’s five lakeshore communities at 105,407.

Pickering’s City Hall

Ashe remains undaunted by the challenge. “Pickering will become Durham Region’s largest and most prosperous city,” he predicted, “and will join the ranks of Ontario’s premier municipalities through planned and responsible growth, economic development, job creation, innovation, sustainability, and community building.”

Ashe said he is also “thrilled” the Region recognizes the “pre-eminent role” Pickering will play in bringing that vision to life, citing the emerging community of Seaton; the development of an employment hub in the Pickering federal lands; the urban expansion of the Whitebelt lands in the northeast area of the city and Pickering’s City Centre and GO Station corridor being one of the few Urban Growth Centres identified in the report.

The Official Plan, which is expected to be ratified by Regional Council in the spring after several open houses and public meetings, will guide decisions on long-term growth and development in Durham and provide policies to ensure an improved quality of life.

Durham CEO John Henry, speaking on behalf of Regional Council, said the review will also secure the health, safety, convenience and well-being of present and future residents of the region.

“Our vision is to create healthy and complete, sustainable communities within the region, shaping Durham into a great place to live, work, play, grow and invest,” he said.

Envision Durham has been in the works for more than four years, with the comprehensive review looking at:

  • How and where cities and towns may grow
  • How to use and protect the land and resources
  • What housing types and job opportunities are needed residents
  • how goods and people will move across the region and beyond

An Open House is scheduled for March 6 at Regional Headquarters in Whitby (6-8 p.m.) with a public meeting the following morning during the Region’s Planning & Economic Development Committee meeting.

Public comments on the draft review will be accepted until April 3.

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