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Mississippi Mills plans for significant population increase over next 15 years

Photo sourced from Mayor Christa Lowry via Facebook

Last week, Mississippi Mills hosted its second open house to update community members on the ongoing Mississippi Mills 2048 (MM 2048) development plans. This comprehensive project is a massive undertaking, which touches nearly every service and department. The project encompasses roads, transportation, wastewater and childcare, as well as things like recreation and festivals, aimed at increasing quality of life for residents.

Much like the rest of the county, Mississippi Mills is preparing to accommodate growth. The anticipated growth is the result of migration from elsewhere in Canada, increased immigration due to changes to federal immigration policies, and addressing the changes in workforce demands as a result of an aging population. By 2038, Mississippi Mills is expected to see its population increase from the current 15,000 residents to 21,000. The growth is predicted to be concentrated, with 70 per cent occurring in Almonte and the remaining 30 per cent spread across rural areas.

“Things will be different with 6,000 more Mississippi Millians moving in over the next 15 years, said Mayor Christa Lowry. “They may be your kids or grandkids moving back home. They may be new Canadians. Or they may be people looking for a wonderful community like ours.”

She emphasized the need for a diverse mix of housing, a historic gap in small communities, which the MM 2048 plan aims to address.

Community reactions to the project have been mixed, though largely positive.

Mayor Lowry asserted that this plan is really about setting a course for the community’s future and being well-prepared for the inevitable growth. Acknowledging the challenges of change, she stated:

“Part of me would love for Mississippi Mills to stay just the way it was when I was a kid. But, I know that’s not realistic – council can’t stop growth. But we can manage growth and guide some of the changes that are coming. We can work together to make sure our community reflects our values and priorities today and tomorrow.”

Councillor Jane Torrance of the Almonte Ward echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the importance of balance in a project like this and expressing excitement about welcoming families of diverse ages, economic backgrounds, and cultural groups to the community.

Senior Planner Melanie Knight assured residents that disruptions to daily life will be minimal. Developers will bear the costs associated with development, preventing any impact on taxation. She also highlighted the developments will happen gradually, not all at once. “It will be an incremental change. We want to be prepared [for the growth], but need to take a balanced approach to get there” she said.

Mississippi Mills Council will discuss the proposed changes to the community and the next steps for the MM 2048 project based on plan revisions and community feedback this spring. For more information on this project, please visit https://www.mississippimills.ca/en/mm2048.aspx or reach out to Melanie Knight directly at mknight@mississippimills.ca or 613-256-2064 ext. 501.

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