THUNDER BAY — Two new apartment buildings in the Parkdale subdivision contributed the lion's share of a significant increase in housing starts in Thunder Bay last month.
According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, construction of the dual 28-unit projects on Weiler Boulevard brought to 71 the number of housing starts in October.
In October 2018 there were only 12 housing starts, all comprised of single-detached dwellings. There were 15 semi-detached starts in Thunder Bay last month.
CMHC, in a report issued Friday, said rental apartment construction in the city is supported by the growth in the population aged 65 and over.
The federal agency described it as "the fastest growing segment of the population, and a group with a relatively high propensity to rent."
The two buildings in Parkdale are the subdivisions's first medium-density housing projects.
Existing residents have expressed concern that traffic congestion in the neighbourhood will worsen with the construction of apartment buildings.
City planning officials say a traffic study showed that, with modifications, the road network within the subdivision can handle bigger volumes.
However, under current plans Parkdale Boulevard will remain the only entry and exit route.
Zoning bylaws allow for the potential for hundreds of additional apartments in Parkdale.