The 2011 Census data is out and there’s a lot to sift through. The Globe and Mail has already put together some great interactive features: Rise of the West and Compare your Community. Their Census at a Glance has some basic infographics, including this one:
This continues to confirm what we already know: Canada is highly urbanized nation and it’s becoming even more-so with less than 1 in 5 Canadians living in rural areas now. The Canadian experience is (and has been for a while now) an urban one – contrary to what many politicians try to say.
So what does this mean? Well, cities will continue to face huge challenges as they add more people (growing inequality and infrastructure costs to name a few). They will face discussions on how to organize/govern themselves (Toronto is still trying…) and they will be our hope for a sustainable future.
After all this, there seems to be very little discussion at a national level about our cities. Granted, there’s the whole ‘constitution’ thing, little interest from the Federal Government, and there also seems to be some vestiges of a passé form of Canadian nationalism that idealizes or glorifies the rural. Still, now would seem an opportune time as any to begin talking about our cities: ways they can share ideas, talent, and other resources. Something like a cities exchange. Maybe.
What do you think? Do you think this type of national discussion about the future of our cities would be possible or even useful?