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Timmins population up to a level not seen in a decade

Mayor says immigration pilot, mining boom are factors in the positive growth
(File photo)

The most recent census data shows that the 2023 Timmins population grew to a level not seen in a decade. 

The annual Statistics Canada population estimates released on May 22, show the city's population in 2023 was 44,819. That's up from 43,156 the year before.

The last time the StatsCan data shows the population over 44,000 was in 2013, when there were an estimated 44,106 people living in the city.

The highest official recorded consensus data for the City of Timmins was in 1996 when the population hit 47,499.

A booming mining sector and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program are two of the factors that may be contributing to the growth, says Timmins Mayor Michelle Boileau.

While there are a variety of immigration streams for newcomers to move to Timmins, she said that RNIP is the biggest contributor to immigration numbers. It's a community-driven program that offers a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers needed in participating areas.

The mining outlook is also a draw.

"Mining companies have been offering a wide range of positions, attracting newcomers to Timmins. So I think just the fact that there are a lot of employment opportunities, is also been a significant contributor to that," she said.

In the coming years, Boileau said the mining outlook is good.

"If some of the projects that are being announced and being worked on right now manage to ... become reality over the next few years then we'll definitely be seeing an increase in those numbers," she said, noting Canada Nickel, area mines expanding and junior companies poised to come online.

"And that's just in mining, of course, we see a lot of other economic development activity across sectors. Things are looking positive for Timmins, making it an attractive place to come and to seek career opportunities."

With more people, also comes a need for housing. 

Boileau is often asked about the province's $1.2 billion Building Faster Fund, which was announced in 2023. 

The bulk of that cash, however, was designated for municipalities projected to have populations of 50,000 or higher by 2031.

Ontario has allocated $120 million as part of the program for small, rural and northern municipalities for housing-enabling infrastructure and prioritizing projects to speed up building houses. The city is still waiting for that portion of the funding to open up.

Boileau said the city has the water and wastewater capacity to support growth.

And this week's new population estimates helps plan ahead.

"It just helps us ensure that we're putting the right things in place and that we're adequately adequately preparing for the future," she said.

- TimminsToday