Income growth is sluggish in Ontario — but business is booming in two unexpected places

By Daniel Kitts, TVO, September 15, 2017

Why Petawawa and Timmins are leading the province

Asked to think of the most prosperous places in Ontario, you might name Toronto, home of big banks and sky-high housing prices, or maybe Waterloo, with its robust tech sector.

But by at least one measure, these economic dynamos — and the rest of the province — are being outclassed by Petawawa and Timmins.

The two relatively small communities led all of Ontario’s census metropolitan areas in median income growth between 2005 and 2015, according to Statistics Canada census data released Wednesday.

In Petawawa, a town of approximately 17,500 about a two-hour drive northwest of Ottawa, median income grew 11.8 per cent. The northern Ontario city of Timmins, population 41,788, wasn’t far behind, at 11.7 per cent growth. Over the same period, the province as a whole, ravaged by a decline in manufacturing jobs, saw only a 3.8 per cent increase. Canadian median incomes grew 10.8 per cent overall.

Petawawa had a median income of $86,048 in 2015, putting it in second place in provincial rankings — it was sixth place a decade earlier. Only the Ontario portion of Ottawa-Gatineau was higher, at $86,451.

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