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    Municipal Growth – The Growing Pains of Small Towns

    Municipal Growth – The Growing Pains of Small Towns

    Canada has a population of 37 million with almost two in five Canadians living in 15 of the largest municipalities. The last census shows that 82% of the Canadian population lives in large and medium-sized cities. This is one of the highest concentrations among G7 nations.

    With 1/3 of Canadians now living in the West and Alberta growing at more than twice the national average, growth can be daunting to many small towns and cities in this province.

    In the last census, Calgary and Edmonton were the fastest growing cities, with Calgary leap-frogging Ottawa for fourth-largest overall.

    The fastest-growing communities in Canada outside Warman, Saskatchewan are Calgary, Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks and Chestermere with Cochrane and Okotoks being the fastest growing municipalities in Canada.

    The municipalities located on the edges of cities are growing faster than those located in the centre of metropolitan areas,” said Laurent Martel, director of the demography division at Statistics Canada.

    Canadians—especially retirees, remote workers, and those willing to commute—are looking to relocate to smaller towns with a lower cost of living, cheaper real estate, and better quality of life. Many people find big cities too congested and expensive, and more and more are opting to move into satellite communities and small towns.


    Growth also signals that a town or small city is in demand, that it is creating jobs and new opportunities are available. However, many towns and small cities cannot cope well when their population surges because many of these towns developed by happenstand, over time without long-term community development or land use plans.


    These municipalities often grow too much, too fast and many small cities and towns find their infrastructure starts to buckle. The list of issues are endless: No hospitals, not enough highway exits, crowded schools, no transit and congested roads. It leaves people asking,

    “Who is in charge of this uncontrolled crazy expansion?”

    Many people don’t realize it’s the small towns and cities that are directly responsible for the services they rely on every day. Services such as access to roads, public transportation, parking, water distribution, garbage, recycling collection, public safety, emergency preparedness, land development, including housing, parks and waterfronts, as well as sport and cultural facilities.


    Because municipal governments are required to make their planning development decisions, they often find themselves floundering when sudden growth occurs. Therefor they look to partnerships within the business community to help alleviate some of their planning pains. Municipalities have found that business leaders are often instrumental in the development of the necessary strategies and solutions for their infrastructure growth.


    Successful municipalities rely heavily on the expertise of companies such as AiM Land who have spent years developing their planning services. Once they align themselves with great business partners, municipal planning departments then have access to leading edge technology which reduce their planning costs. They work together to find solutions when regulatory hurdles are encountered, improve communications, and ultimately help these small towns and cities build great communities, where people, businesses and ideas thrive.



    Mike Bailey and the AiM Commercial Department has breadth of knowledge after twenty seven years in the industry working from field to office in multiple disciplines. Clients are generally cities, towns, municipalities, land developers, and oil and gas companies looking to obtain the necessary land, permits, and registrations for development. We provide the necessary strategies and solutions when regulatory hurdles are encountered.

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    Mike Bailey President AiM Land
    Mike Bailey

    D : 403-648-5402
    C: 403-680-4991

    AiM Land Services