An Aging Town Story

Imagine your little community becoming another aging town story like Little Bay Islands in Newfoundland. It was this touching, frankly presented piece on CBC Central Morning radio show that got me reflecting on the big picture – how are aging demographics changing our familiar family realities in small towns around this country and other places around the world?

In a photo of Little Bay Islands, this small town looks brightly tranquil, at least in the glow of a summer sun. In another, soulfully lost in the shroud of a fog. Maybe that’s the portrait that sums up where things are at these days. According to town councillor Dennis Budgell, the one time population of 800 is now down to 72 and most of those people are over age 65, retired.

One student left to be schooled. No real prospects for anyone that may be available or interested to work, and not to forget, no municipal tax base to sustain –  what future.

So the issue before this Newfoundland community one more time in 2013 is resettlement. Since the last time the town voted on this package to relocate, some have made that decision or died.

For those in this aging town story after 200 years, maybe the gig is up. For the rest, you would have to ask, “how are we all going to manage retirement towns (in essence aging towns) over the next decade or two?” Not cities. Towns. Aging towns. Are they attractive to a point of no return?

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