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11-12-2012, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by saffronleaf View Post
Consider the 2006-11 intercensal population growth between the Hamilton-Burlington CMA and the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo CMA.

From 2006-11, the Hamilton-Burlington CMA grew from 692,911 to 721,053, a growth of 4.1%. Most of that growth, of course, is attributable to Burlington, which is also considered to be a part of the GTA and is in that region in between Toronto city and Hamilton city.

From 2006-11, the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo CMA grew from 451,253 to 477,160, a growth of 5.7%.

If you look at the Government of Ontario's population projections from the 2011-36 period, this difference in growth is expected to further diverge.

Firstly, the Government of Ontario considers both the Hamilton CMA and the Kitchener CMA to be in Central Ontario.

With respect to Central Ontario, the Government of Ontario predicts that:

"The population of Central Ontario is projected to grow by 814,000 or 28.2 per cent, from 2.89 million in 2011 to 3.7 million in 2036. The regionís share of provincial population will decline slightly from 21.6 to 20.9 per cent."

So the entire region will grow, but it's population share will decline. This decline is almost entirely attributed to the projected growth of the GTA.

Within Central Ontario, the Government of Ontario further predicts that:

"Three census divisions surrounding the GTA will continue to experience population growth significantly above the provincial average; they are Simcoe at 42.7 per cent, Waterloo at 41.8 per cent and Dufferin at 34.3 per cent."

Do you notice the absence of Hamilton from this list? When you calculate the percentage of growth predicted in these three census divisions, it becomes apparent that the growth in absolute numbers in Central Ontario and the only thing forestalling a rapid decline in the population share of Central Ontario are these three census divisions.

In terms of an ideal location to serve Southern Ontario outside of the GTA, the Kitchener CMA is on the border of Central Ontario and Southwestern Ontario. It is in between Hamilton and London, two towns with not insignificant populations. Compared to Hamilton, the main disadvantage is that it cannot draw from the Niagara region. But really, that should be considered a positive point because it allows Kitchener to sidestep the whole concern of Buffalo and how it draws some of its fanbase from the adjacent Niagara region.

Of course, I am not saying that the KW region can support a team today. I'm saying that I'd prefer to put a team in Markham now, and if another team is needed in Southern Ontario, I'd wait a couple of decades and put it in the KW region. Of course, Mississauga would also be a more immediately available option.

Moreover, if we are talking about the OP's comparison between Hamilton and the GTA, the Government of Ontario further predicts that:

"Within the GTA, Torontoís population is projected to rise from 2.74 million in 2011 to 3.42 million in 2036, an increase of 24.5 per cent, below the provincial growth rate of 32.7 per cent. Growth in the other census divisions of the GTA (Durham, Halton, Peel and York) will be significantly faster than the Ontario average, with the addition of over 2.1 million people to the suburban GTA."

Now, you can make race-based generalizations and say the "demographics" of York Region will not work out. This ignores the fact that, of course, in absolute numbers York Region has more white people than the Hamilton CMA. Moreover, a Markham team would be a "north of Toronto" team, and a "north of Toronto" team would encompass both York Region and Simcoe Region. If you refer back to the previous prediction about Central Ontario's growth, you will see that Simcoe Region is one of the few census divisions in Central Ontario that are expected to grow at a pace comparable to communities in the GTA. Simcoe Region, FYI, is north of Toronto; it borders York Region.
lots of numbers here. yes, most people here are familiar with the places to grow mandate and yes, some areas are being forced to grow more than others .... but ...

1) you assume that population growth is all good. well, it is not. indeed, forced growth is very dangerous. opponents of places to grow correctly raise concerns about tenuous financing structures which will need to pay for forced infrastructure. existing property tax revenues cannot support these new expenses, the province has not been terribly generous, and forget about local industry tax revenue ... cities will be handing out incentive cash for decades to lure businesses into their regions, so gone are the days of healthy, mixed regional revenue sources. the game has now irreversibly changed when it comes to municipal financing.

currently, guelph is also being forced to grow well above its capacity and it is actually considering closing some pools and draining fountains because it simply cannot afford to build the sewers and roads it is being ordered to build by the province today. insanity on guelph council aside, things will only get worse. dont expect that KW or milton or any other place near the top of the growth rate chart will be able to afford even basic services, let alone chip in for a new NHL arena. it just wont happen. kw will be hard pressed to keep up with the costs of growth and it wont have a few hundred million laying around to buy a new arena. (as well, consider that it is k and w, two jurisdictions, ripe for contentious disagreement)

2) your numbers incorrectly assume comparability between regions with respect to mobility. KW does not, nor ever will have a dense urban core like the hammer. that's not the way that city evolved, nor is it the plan. KW is sprawl. moreover, KW is surrounded by smaller quaint hamlets, literally out in farmers fields. true, some will be swallowed by sprawl, but it is silly to think that folks in the golden triangle (kw, camb and guelph) are equally mobile to an arena in KW compared to folks in the GHA and Copps.

bet you dollars to donuts that someone in guelph would be no more likely to attend a game in KW than to attend one in the hammer ... ie., not that likely, especially in winter. so, you can take the forecast population numbers and immediately cut them in half because that many people are so far away from the urban core (or wherever an area might be built) that they are very unlikely to attend games. hamilton, on the other hand is already dense. and a much higher proportion of residents are within 25 minutes drive of Copps than will ever be within similar driving distance from any KW arena, despite growth figures.

and 3) you touch on demographics, but I think you fail to recognize the rabid interest folks in the hammer have in getting an NHL team. it will sell out just as fast as winnipeg (in fact, it has already). no such guarantee would exist in kw, especially if you assume it would draw from much further, inconvenient driving distances in surrounding areas. you think toronto is boringly conservative? kw is ten times that boring.

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