The District of Muskoka is formally asking Census Canada to start counting seasonal residents, and not just permanent ones. The request was approved at a recent community and planning services committee meeting, as reported here.
The district is comprised of six municipalities, from Georgian Bay township in the west to Lake of Bays township in the east, and includes some of the most prime cottage-country destinations in Canada.
Census Canada only counts people according to their primary place of residence, but regions like district of Muskoka with a large cottage/vacation community face challenges in scaling and paying for services they provide when the exact number of secondary residents are unknown. Knowing exactly how many people call these municipalities home for even part of the year would also help in evaluating environmental impacts and stresses.
Even the count of permanent residents has been booming thereabouts. Georgian Bay Township, which stretches along eastern Georgian Bay from Port Severn to 12 Mile Bay, and extends inland to MacTier in the northeast, saw a 36.5 percent increase between the 2016 and 2021 censuses.