– Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director of the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. For further information please go to westshore.bc.ca, give us a call at 250.478.1130, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEST SHORE – Statistics Canada recently released its first data from the 2016 census, reporting on population and dwelling counts. While we always have an anecdotal sense of how things are developing, having the hard numbers is key to planning over the next five years. Across the Victoria “census metropolitan area” population has risen by 6.7 per cent from 344,580 in 2011 to 367,770 in 2016.
It comes as no great surprise that the West Shore is leading the increase in population growth. The highest growth across the Victoria region has been taking place in Langford, whose 35,342 residents represent a 20.9 per cent increase on 2011.
The second largest growth in the region took place in Sooke, which increased by 13.7 per cent and third is View Royal with a 10.9 per cent increase. Colwood and the Highlands showed a modest increase while Metchosin’s population decreased slightly.
Given housing development in the West Shore, we can anticipate that this trend of increased growth will continue for the foreseeable future. More and more, we are seeing this translate into increased congestion on the roads, especially at the standard “rush hour” times. However, rush hour times are getting longer and longer, as anyone attempting to leave Victoria at 3 pm on a Friday will know.
Some companies are addressing this by moving their offices to better suit their customers and staff, while others are opening satellite offices in the West Shore because there is a clear business case for doing so. Chamber members Raymond James Ltd. and Collins Barrow Victoria Ltd. are two examples of companies that have recently expanded into the West Shore.
For those who would like to test the West Shore market without committing to a permanent office, Prosperity Business Centre in Langford and Coastal Offices in Colwood have beautiful office and board room spaces available for rent, with reception and administration services available at both properties.
We will continue to see increased conversation and actions developing around transportation, school availability and amenities in the West Shore. If you are interested in getting a better sense of the West Shore community and the business options available on the West Shore, you are very welcome to come out to one of our WestShore Chamber events which are open to both members and non-members.