The City of Winkler saw an 18% jump in growth from the 2011 census to the 2016 census adding 1,921 residents from 10,670 to 12,591. (JOEL NICKEL/Winkler Times)
Winkler is the fastest growing city in Manitoba, according to the recently released census data. The city also made the top 20 in Canada, as Winkler was ranked as the 11th fastest growing municipality with at least 5,000 inhabitants located outside metropolitan area.
The city saw 18 percent growth jumping from 10,670 to 12,591 in five years.
“Winkler is a welcoming community. We definitely have a multicultural demographic from the number of immigrants we’ve had over the last number of years,” Barb Dyck, Winkler City Manager, said. “[Winkler] is a great place to start a business, it’s a great place to raise a family, to put your kids in school, there’s a lot of recreation opportunities, and cultural events. A lot of opportunities.”
Adding 1,921 residents in five years requires the city to keep up with infrastructure needs, which will be one of the hurdles facing the city as it continues to grow.
“Making sure that we have roads built in our industrial parks, sewer and water infrastructure that are going to provide subdivisions [the ability] to build, those are the challenges,” Dyck said.
One of the city’s plans to alleviate the challenges that come with growth is the Waste Water Treatment Plant.
“As well as the Waste Water Treatment Plant we’re looking at expanding recreation opportunities,” Dyck said.
Dyck said there wasn’t necessarily a target set for growth in the future but that the city is making sure that it’s prepared for growth.
“We’re looking at roughly 2.5% and 3% growth in the next couple of years,” Dyck said. “And that’s basically looking back and seeing where it has been over the last couple of years and that’s as close as we can come to preparing ourselves for future growth.”
Census numbers reveal Manitoba saw an increase of about 70,000 inhabitants. The province’s population sits at 1,278,365 compared to 1,208,268.
The total population of Canada rose to 35,151,728 from 33,476,688.