When the 2016 census was taken in May, Warman reportedly had a population of 11,020, compared to 7,104 in the 2011 census.
CENSUS 2016: Saskatoon third-fastest growing city in Canada
“I was dumbfounded. I knew that we had grown. I just didn’t realize that we had grown that much,” Warman Mayor Sheryl Spence said of the 55.1 per cent increase over five years.
The city is now expanding its water supply and two new schools are under construction.
“Infrastructure is always very important to a community, especially a growing one, so Warman is keeping a close eye on infrastructure,” Spence said.
Nearby Martensville saw a 25 per cent population increase from 7,716 people in 2011 to 9,645 in 2016, making it the 12th fastest growing municipality in the country.
Escalating housing prices in major urban centres are leading to more people seeking homes in nearby municipalities, according to Daniel Béland, Canada research chair in public policy at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan.
“They look at places of course where they can still commute to Saskatoon in a relatively rapid manner,” Béland said.
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Whether that trend continues depends on whether the economy improves or continues to lag, he added.
“Certainly if you look at the construction industry, we have built a lot in recent years and we see also the real estate market is not booming like it was just three or four years ago,” he said.
Saskatchewan’s 6.3 per cent growth rate was second only to Alberta’s 11.6 per cent in the recent census.