City of Lethbridge anticipates 20% growth over next decade

Lethbridge continues to attract so much new investment, it's anticipated to boost the population from approximately 98,000 to 115,000 in the next 10 years.
The city of Lethbridge is consulting with Blackfoot elders from the Blood Tribe, Siksika Nation and the Piikani Nation on their municipal development plan. (Lucie Edwardson/ CBC News)

Lethbridge continues to attract so much new investment, it's anticipated to boost the population by 20 per cent in the next 10 years, from approximately 98,000 to 115,000. 

The city's mayor, Chris Spearman, said the city is laying down the groundwork to accommodate that growth. 

"We have a billion dollars of new investment in our city," he said. "So, things are great."

Chris Spearman, mayor of Lethbridge, said a priority moving forward is revitalizing the city's downtown. (Lucie Edwardson / CBC News)

Spearman said this kind of investment is a first for the city, and it's mainly being seen in existing businesses in the agricultural processing industry. 

He says Cavendish Farms, Frito-Lays, and Richardson Oil Seeds all have projects on the go worth hundreds of millions of dollars. 

"When you have existing industries expanding and growing and continuing to invest, that's a vote of confidence in the city of Lethbridge," he said. 

Karla Pyrch, executive director with the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, said all growth is good news, but the city of Lethbridge needs to consider the economic impact of all the projects they approve.

Executive director of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, said all growth is good growth- if the city can adequately accommodate it. (Lucie Edwardson / CBC News)

"There's lots on the wish list, and a lot of those things on the wish list make sense, but they need to be done in an order that follows good planning and with a future-forward focus so that when we build new facilities they're adequate for the new population," she said. 

To accommodate that new population, the mayor says a priority is revitalizing the city's downtown. 

"We want to make sure our downtown is something that the citizens of Lethbridge are proud of," he said.