LaSalle projected to have the fastest growing population in Essex County, report finds
'If you want it, we have it. We're not missing anything,' mayor says
LaSalle is projected to have the fastest population growth rate in Essex County — that's according to an economic development plan presented to LaSalle town council last week.
According to the plan, which was put together by a team of consultants, the town's population is expected to grow to 35,470 by 2031. That's a 5,000 increase from 2016.
As for why the town is drawing in so many people, Mayor Marc Bondy asks, "Why not?"
"I would say 35 to 45-years-old, they love coming here," he said.
"We have the trails. We have a variety of schools, elementary, high school, Catholic, public. We have the close proximity to St. Clair College, University of Windsor.... If you want it, we have it. We're not missing anything."
Plus, he added, "it's safe."
"We're one of the safest places to live in Ontario. So when you look at that, again, why not?"
Not only is the town drawing in more people, but the report states that LaSalle has a higher concentration of adults with post-secondary qualifications. Plus, the report states that LaSalle has the highest median personal income in Ontario — that's among municipalities with a population of at least 20,000.
Mike Beaton and his wife moved to LaSalle from Windsor about 10 years ago because they felt it would be a good place to start a family and bring up kids. He said he appreciates the infrastructure of the town and the sense of community.
"It seems everyone is on the same page as far as how friendly people are. There is a nice sense of community and community pride. I think people are very helpful," he said.
"[There's] everything here that you need and you're still close to a big city if there's other stuff that you have to get. But for the most part you get everything you need in LaSalle."
Jacob Christian also lives with his family in LaSalle, having moved to the town from Windsor nine years ago.
He said it's the "safe community" which makes it such a desirable place to live.
"People are awesome," he said.
"Cops are awesome. Everybody is good out this way."
Highest number of commuters
The study also states that the town has the highest number of commuters in Ontario with the sixth lowest commuting time in Ontario.
Ajit Khatra is one of those commuters, travelling to and from Michigan for work on a daily basis. He and his family had been living in Windsor four years ago but wanted to move out of the city. They decided that LaSalle was the best fit.
"It's a close knit community, nice schools here," he said.
"We call it the 'bedroom community.' Most of the people here come here to sleep and most of the guys work in Michigan. So that's why we call it the bedroom community. Nice place. I love living here."
The Mayor explained that the economic plan was done to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the town in an effort to make improvements and grow the town's economy.
"We'll put them in order of priority which we're going to focus on first and waterfront's one, master plan for the transportation, water mitigation," Bondy said.
"Those are the big ones and there's a few others that we have on the go that we'll focus on."
He said that an additional goal for the future is to try and attract more businesses and shops to move into town.