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Oddball

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It's very hard for cities to overtake each other when they get to the top of the lists for their national population. Being one of the largest cities has significant (although not insurmountable) advantages. Assuming growth continues overall in the country into the long-term, it will likely continue to accumulate to the larger cities disproportionately over smaller centres. For all the talk of Montreal's "decline" it is a relative decline, not absolute. Montreal's CMA still added nearly 1 million over the past 20 years.

I think it is conceivable for Calgary to continue to gain on Vancouver proportionally, although I wouldn't say it is likely we will ever pass it in size. Maybe? But not sure if there is much long-term evidence to support such a claim. It also isn't clear that anyone smaller than us will clearly surpass Calgary, although Ottawa and Edmonton are similar enough in size that inevitable fluctuations in the local economies and demographics might be enough to trade around the 3-4-5 spots for the next century. I would be interested to see how the Calgary-Edmonton corridor evolves on such a timeframe, Canada doesn't have another example of 2 centres of 1 million + only 250km apart both with large absolute growth potential. We are already well linked economically, and that is likely to continue. Perhaps a 5 - 7 million person corridor (~3 million currently) in 50 or 100 years is in the cards! That could be exciting.

Predicting the future is fun!
Great post indeed!

It's definitely interesting to think of Calgary and Edmonton as the anchors of a future "megaregion." I don't know if that's a technical term, but I end up floating back to that wikipedia page every so often. It unfortunately tends only to outline developments going on in the US, but the Calgary-Edmonton corridor has the potential to be a similar future all-Canadian region. The Calgary and Edmonton CMAs are already rapidly approaching the 1.5M mark and by next census the region should have it's 3rd CMA with Red Deer.
 

UrbanWarrior

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Great post indeed!

It's definitely interesting to think of Calgary and Edmonton as the anchors of a future "megaregion." I don't know if that's a technical term, but I end up floating back to that wikipedia page every so often. It unfortunately tends only to outline developments going on in the US, but the Calgary-Edmonton corridor has the potential to be a similar future all-Canadian region. The Calgary and Edmonton CMAs are already rapidly approaching the 1.5M mark and by next census the region should have it's 3rd CMA with Red Deer.
Yes, Red Deer should be recognized as a CMA in the next federal census, as its CA exceeded 100 000 (although by a slim margin) for the first time in this most recent federal census. Red Deer will be the last area to reach CMA status in the corridor in the long-term, as the other centres are currently far too small to warrant any prediction to the contrary. Either way, the Red Deer region is actually home to nearly 200 000 people now, rivalling Kelowna in size. One could anticipate the extension of the corridor to include the Lethbridge CMA, which is technically larger in population than the Red Deer CA. Maybe they'd call it the Blue Banana or something? As Alberta typically votes conservative (blue) federally, and the corridor would take on sort of a banana curve haha :p

Under the medium scenario, as of 2017 the Alberta Government is projecting the provincial population to increase to 6 000 000 by 2041.

For reference, the high growth scenario projects a provincial population of 7 000 000 by 2041, and the low growth scenario projects 5.4 million by 2041.


As for the Blue Banana, under the medium growth scenario (most likely at this point IMO) CD6 - Calgary - will be 2.4 million by 2041, with CD11 - Edmonton - coming in at 2.1 million, CD8 - Red Deer - at 320 000, and CD2 - Lethbridge - coming in at 240 000, for a total 2041 corridor population of around 5 to 5.1 million. Not bad for a corridor of roughly 500 kilometres. With the core Calgary - Edmonton coming in at nearly 5 million alone across the 300 km distance.

http://www.finance.alberta.ca/aboutalberta/osi/demographics/Population-Projections/index.html
 

kora

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Interesting to start to see Montana grow too, albeit from a low population base. It was always a slow growth region, but that is changing fast. Bozeman, MT was the fastest growing micropolitan area in the US in 2017 (our version of a CA). Kalispell came in 3rd. We could see more north-south international connections, in addition to the traditional east-west national connections Alberta has grown up on. Idaho is booming even more, another opportunity. In the very long term there's a possibility of linking all the way up to Denver to create a mountain economic region, something similar to the northeast US urban megaregion.
 

Oddball

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As a political conservative I of course wholeheartedly endorse any and all conservative partisan claims to Alberta's soul. :p

upload_2018-4-10_13-30-51.png

I like you're blue banana though. And in the spirit of non-partisanship, I'll remind you that Alberta tends towards blue (and yellow) for our colours anyway anyway. So the blue banana can still work for the non-politically conservative inclined. And technically if you're a nutty American and you don't follow global norms of political colour codes blue is the "color" of liberalism. Well, "liberalism" in the American sense anyway, which is something more like angry-socialism envy I think and it tends to be used more as a pejorative by American "conservatives". I hate their politics. So I think you're allowed to make of it what you will. I added peel to grab Grande Prairie. Sorry Medicine Hat, and Banff-Canmore. You kids are cool, but don't fit the fruit based paradigm, so you're out for this round.

(Edit: I changed Socialism-lite to angry socialism envy, because well, they're Americans so they're sure to be angry and it isn't like the US really has socialists, but I kinda think they wish they were.)

upload_2018-4-10_13-55-54.png


Aside Alert!

As an aside, I still can't get over how the US messed up red and blue. Apparently the whole "red" states being conservative and "blue" states being liberal is derived from a TV map on an election telecast one time. I think it was 1996 or 2000. So because some producer arbitrarily assigned some colours the Americans up go against the established norms of Conservative Parties (the Conservative Party of Canada, the Conservative Party of the UK, Les Republicans (France), Liberal Party of Australia (their "Liberals" are their conservative party and the other big party is Labour) being blue and Social Democratic Parties (the Liberal Party of Canada, the Labour Party of the UK, Labour Party of Australia. The Partie Socialiste of France is more of a pink, but you get the idea.) being red. I suppose it does figure that it isn't quite an apples to apples matter anyway. The Commonwealth Conservative parties all have a common background and generally propound toryism (monarchism) as a key tenant. Somthing that's entirely foreign to US politics. I'll take a cozy Tory blue over high blood pressure Republican Red any day.

A blank banana, for use by the peoples.

upload_2018-4-10_13-56-27.png
 

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UrbanWarrior

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As a political conservative I of course wholeheartedly endorse any and all conservative partisan claims to Alberta's soul. :p

View attachment 139759
I like you're blue banana though. And in the spirit of non-partisanship, I'll remind you that Alberta tends towards blue (and yellow) for our colours anyway anyway. So the blue banana can still work for the non-politically conservative inclined. And technically if you're a nutty American and you don't follow global norms of political colour codes blue is the "color" of liberalism. Well, "liberalism" in the American sense anyway, which is something more like Socialism-lite I think and it tends to be used more as a pejorative by American "conservatives". I hate their politics. So I think you're allowed to make of it what you will. I added peel to grab Grande Prairie. Sorry Medicine Hat, and Banff-Canmore. You kids are cool, but don't fit the fruit based paradigm, so you're out for this round.

View attachment 139766

Aside Alert!

As an aside, I still can't get over how the US messed up red and blue. Apparently the whole "red" states being conservative and "blue" states being liberal is derived from a TV map on an election telecast one time. I think it was 1996 or 2000. So because some producer arbitrarily assigned some colours the Americans up go against the established norms of Conservative Parties (the Conservative Party of Canada, the Conservative Party of the UK, Les Republicans (France), Liberal Party of Australia (their "Liberals" are their conservative party and the other big party is Labour) being blue and Social Democratic Parties (the Liberal Party of Canada, the Labour Party of the UK, Labour Party of Australia. The Partie Socialiste of France is more of a pink, but you get the idea.) being red. I suppose it does figure that it isn't quite an apples to apples matter anyway. The Commonwealth Conservative parties all have a common background and generally propound toryism (monarchism) as a key tenant. Somthing that's entirely foreign to US politics. I'll take a cozy Tory blue over high blood pressure Republican Red any day.

A blank banana, for use by the peoples.

View attachment 139767

That is so f*cking funny I could die. I love that graphic you showed haha, me and my bf are actually laughing out loud. Top notch :p

Also I appreciate your non-partisan explanation for it too. I enjoy this Blue Banana idea now. It is officially a thing.
 

CBBarnett

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Interesting to start to see Montana grow too, albeit from a low population base. It was always a slow growth region, but that is changing fast. Bozeman, MT was the fastest growing micropolitan area in the US in 2017 (our version of a CA). Kalispell came in 3rd. We could see more north-south international connections, in addition to the traditional east-west national connections Alberta has grown up on. Idaho is booming even more, another opportunity. In the very long term there's a possibility of linking all the way up to Denver to create a mountain economic region, something similar to the northeast US urban megaregion.
I struggle to imagine such a future. Growing as it is, Montana has a population of just over 1 million in total, so any high growth rates are absolutely rather small - it has such a small base, spread out in many small towns with enormous, desolate stretches in-between. We are just as (un)likely to form a mega-region with Saskatoon and Regina, both larger than any Montanan city currently (and growing). The distances are too vast and the markets too small to really form a connected economic region. But who knows? 100 years is a long time :)

I also see little evidence of Lethbridge joining the Calgary-Edmonton growth corridor. It is doing well (population and economically) as a small centre for south Alberta, but all growth seems disconnected to the corridor story; most other towns in southern Alberta are are stagnant or much slower growth than the province overall (not to mention there are fewer of them to begin with and they are farther apart).

Calgary and Edmonton are both driving significant growth in all peripheral towns (Leduc, Airdrie etc.) but also along the axis in smaller places (Penhold, Olds etc.) Central Alberta also has more oil-related booming in the past census window, helping those small towns show more growth. Red Deer's (future) CMA is an small regional anchor in the middle, with booming Sylvan Lake, Blackfalds and Lacombe all showing very high growth rates, at or above the provincial average.

IMO location and accessibility advantages are really starting to be revealed in the Cal-Edm corridor. Small places with few local growth drivers are outperforming similar sized places outside the corridor. Next census (2021) will better reflect the oil slow-down, so will be neat to revisit to see if corridor growth continues to out-perform elsewhere regardless of local factors.
 
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Oddball

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I struggle to imagine such a future. Growing as it is, Montana has a population of just over 1 million in total, so any high growth rates are absolutely rather small - it has such a small base, spread out in many small towns with enormous, desolate stretches in-between. We are just as (un)likely to form a mega-region with Saskatoon and Regina, both larger than any Montanan city currently (and growing). The distances are too vast and the markets too small to really form a connected economic region. But who knows? 100 years is a long time :)

I also see little evidence of Lethbridge joining the Calgary-Edmonton growth corridor. It is doing well (population and economically) as a small centre for south Alberta, but all growth seems disconnected to the corridor story; most other towns in southern Alberta are are stagnant or much slower growth than the province overall (not to mention there are fewer of them to begin with and they are farther apart).

Calgary and Edmonton are both driving significant growth in all peripheral towns (Leduc, Airdrie etc.) but also along the axis in smaller places (Penhold, Olds etc.) Central Alberta also has more oil-related booming in the past census window, helping those small towns show more growth. Red Deer's (future) CMA is an small regional anchor in the middle, with booming Sylvan Lake, Blackfalds and Lacombe all showing very high growth rates, at or above the provincial average.

IMO location and accessibility advantages are really starting to be revealed in the Cal-Edm corridor. Small places with few local growth drivers are outperforming similar sized places outside the corridor. Next census (2021) will better reflect the oil slow-down, so will be neat to revisit to see if corridor growth continues to out-perform elsewhere regardless of local factors.
I think we as Albertans, especially lifers like myself have a odd disconnect with a key part of the Canadian experience. It is often expressed by the statistic that "90% of the Canadian Population lives within 150 kilometers of of the Canada-US Border." These days it's almost more of a truism than a statistic, but I think it's likely true. Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal all sit directly above the border. Quebec, Winnipeg, Regina, Hamilton, London and Victoria are also covered by that blanket. As such I think there's a tendency to feel some closer cultural connection to the US, even if it's only to go down there for cheaper shopping. Here in Alberta our major cities are more than 200Kms north of the border and what's south of us is the American hinterland. So apart from the odd ski trip to Kalispel there isn't that much interaction. In a nut shell, we don't really know who they are and they don't really know who we are, so it would be a heck of a thing for Alberta and Montana to see more integration at some point. In an odd reversal of roles, it's the US that has to catch up with our urbanism.

I think Lethbridge is a part of the corridor. If it has a reputation for anything these days it's as a university-town and a lot of their students come from Calgary. It's much more difficult for smaller centers like Pincher Creek and the Crowsnest Pass to make the case for integration though. It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of the people living in CNP were actually working in the BC side on coal mines.

The long term future of Western Canada, and in particular the Prairie provinces is going to be along the triangle formed between Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Key highways already link all the major cities. Both routes also owe their existences to the CP and CN mainlines, so some of the connections are already there. A whole heck of a lot of it sure is empty though. Saskatoon and Regina will have to stay on their demographic roll for a few more decades and some more minor centres are going to need to emerge to fill the gaps. Who knows, maybe in 100 years we'll have a case for a Western Canadian Highspeed Rail system or something like that. :rolleyes:
 

JesseLikesCities

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I'd like to mention that I have nothing really of value to offer to this conversation other than opinion but after reading the last 15 posts I can definitely say you guys have given my heart a boner and I tip my hat to Oddball for that awesome blue banana. The peel that extends to Grand Prairie really did it for me haha!
 

Blader

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^^^
The blue banana kills me!

Starting with:
Calgary or Edmonton CMA - take your pick
Followed by:
Calgary Edmonton Corridor - CEC
The Blue Banana - TBB
The Greater Blue Banana - TGBB (the light blue peel including Athabasca and Fort McMurray)

Very similar parallels to the description of Toronto and area.

Oddball - Grande Prairie has an e in Grand(e). That said, I'm loving the humour!
 

kora

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I think we as Albertans, especially lifers like myself have a odd disconnect with a key part of the Canadian experience. It is often expressed by the statistic that "90% of the Canadian Population lives within 150 kilometers of of the Canada-US Border." These days it's almost more of a truism than a statistic, but I think it's likely true. Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal all sit directly above the border. Quebec, Winnipeg, Regina, Hamilton, London and Victoria are also covered by that blanket. As such I think there's a tendency to feel some closer cultural connection to the US, even if it's only to go down there for cheaper shopping. Here in Alberta our major cities are more than 200Kms north of the border and what's south of us is the American hinterland. So apart from the odd ski trip to Kalispel there isn't that much interaction. In a nut shell, we don't really know who they are and they don't really know who we are, so it would be a heck of a thing for Alberta and Montana to see more integration at some point. In an odd reversal of roles, it's the US that has to catch up with our urbanism.
Isn't Montana the location of Far Cry 5? hahah. Places do change. Colorado's economy has changed a lot and now it's booming and diversified. It's internationally recognized by major firms who put small branch offices there. The Denver CSA even extends into southeastern Wyoming. I see more of a string of urban pearls every few hundred kilometres extending from Edmonton to Denver rather than one continuous urban area. And yes, in 100 years. I think it will be interesting to see what happens if significant sea level rise changes come to pass this century. Will companies want to mitigate risk by moving to higher ground?
 

UrbanWarrior

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CBBarnett

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Also, in response to the comment that Lethbridge isn't connected to the corridor by a string of towns, it actually is, almost as much so as the primary corridor is.
True, but the towns on the way to Lethbridge (outside of the commuter shed of Calgary, which ends near High River) have experienced nearly zero growth in the past few census periods (or at least growth well below both the Alberta and corridor averages). They are also smaller in absolute population. It's not that there is no economic relationship, I would just argue the degree in which they are connected/feeding off of each other is much more limited than Calgary-Edmonton.
 

Social Justice

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Also, in response to the comment that Lethbridge isn't connected to the corridor by a string of towns, it actually is, almost as much so as the primary corridor is.
I like the night photos!

From High River to Coalhurst the road distance is 150km. The only notable towns are Nanton(2,181), Claresholm(3,780) and Fort Macleod(2,967). Personally...and this is just my humble opinion, I don't think there is much of a corridor.
 

CBBarnett

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I like the night photos!

From High River to Coalhurst the road distance is 150km. The only notable towns are Nanton(2,181), Claresholm(3,780) and Fort Macleod(2,967). Personally...and this is just my humble opinion, I don't think there is much of a corridor.
Here are some big growth towns in the corridor for comparison. I picked ones that are reasonable far from either Calgary or Edmonton. Together they added 3,201 from 2011 to 2016. Again, it's not to say that southern Alberta (e.g. south of Calgary) isn't connected to the corridor economically, it's just it is happening on a completely different scale and with very different growth stories.

2016 Pop and change from 2011.
Olds (9,184) +949
Penhold (3,277) +902
Lacombe (13,057) +1,350
 

UrbanWarrior

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The Blue Banana...

fullsizeoutput_a21.jpeg
 

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