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Throwback: A housing boom in Delta

The years following the opening of the George Massey Tunnel saw Delta experience huge annual growth
aerial view ladner 1966
A March 1966 aerial view of Ladner, looking northwest with the old blocks of Delta Secondary School in the left foreground.

Let’s head back to the 1966 pages of the Optimist when an article highlighted the tremendous growth the city experienced the year prior.

Following the opening of the George Massey in 1959, the city saw its population skyrocket and new housing starts swell every year, with 1965 was just one example.

The value of building permits issued that year was over $2 million more than the previous year, according to a report to city council.

The number of new dwellings constructed during the 12-month period was 379, up from the 321 constructed in 1964.

Of these, 270 were in Tsawwassen, 74 in North Delta, 26 in Ladner and nine on farmlands.

Permits were issued for 58 apartment and motel units that year as well.

By December 1965, there were 43 permits already issued for 1966.  

The population surge could continue for years and all those new residents required housing. Between 1969 and 1972, for example Delta's overall population jumped from 32,635 to 52,693, an increase of almost 62 per cent.

Fast forward to today and, at 77 per cent, the vast majority of the city’s current housing stock is in the form of single-family detached houses.

A report on the city’s Housing Needs Assessment, which guided Delta's new Housing Action Plan, notes, "With most of Delta’s housing over 45 years old and starting to come to the end of its useful life, we have an opportunity to rethink our future housing types to best meet our residents’ needs."