The number of Laval residents jumped 5.3% to 422,993 in 2016, according to Statistics Canada’s census last year.
Laval’s population continues to grow much faster than Montreal (1,704,694), which has only witnessed 3.3% growth since the 2011 census. At the current pace, Laval would also pull even with Quebec City in 2026, whose growth fell to 3%. It would surpass the province’s second-most-populous city the following year, and top the million-resident mark in 2033.
That pace could quicken rapidly, though, given the spate of residential development on Île Jésus, the influx of more Syrian refugees to Laval than any other city in Quebec, and the federal government’s commitment to keep Canada’s doors wide open to newcomers.
“In terms of business, the economy and the flood of residents coming to live in our city, the boom is on in Laval,” Deputy Mayor David De Cotis told The Suburban. “In early 2014, former Desjardins ceo Monique Leroux said that Laval would lead Quebec in economic growth. Now we’re seeing her prediction come true.”
Ample room to grow
With just 1,710 residents per square kilometer, Laval also has much more room to grow than its larger neighbour. It’s population density remains barely over one-third Montreal’s 4,662 residents per square kilometer—second only to Vancouver among Canada’s largest cities. That’s not counting the daily influx of commuters who have fled Montreal’s eye-watering municipal taxes and crumbling infrastructure but still return to work there each day.
Laval’s growth is well above the provincial growth rate of 3.3%, the Montreal region’s 4.2% and ahead of the Canadian norm of 5%, Statistics Canada reported. It remained Canada’s 13th-most-populous city, ahead of Halifax, Nova Scotia, as well as London and Markham, Ontario.
Quebec’s population reached 8,164,361 in 2016. However, its rate of population growth has fallen sharply, by more than a third from the previous census, which reported 4.7% growth between 2006 and 2011. In contrast, Alberta’s population grew more than three-and-a-half times faster (11.6%) from 2011 to 2016, despite an energy-reliant economy distressed by persistently low oil prices.