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Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism
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Population by Age

The Courtenay market area is home to 12,057 residents. The population has grown 5.6% from 2011-2016 — slightly lower than that of the City of Courtenay. There is a slightly higher share of residents aged 20 to 34 and 65+ years than Courtenay or the region as a whole.

Language & Ethnic Origin

English is the dominant household language spoken in the Courtenay market area (96%), consistent with that of the City of Courtenay. A high proportion of Courtenay residents report English heritage (38%), and Downtown Courtenay is home to proportionately more residents of Indigenous heritage (10%) compared with the Comox Valley region as a whole (7%).

Family Structure

54% of Downtown Courtenay households are families, proportionately fewer than that of City of Courtenay (62%), and lower than the Comox Valley (67%). The average number of persons per household in both Downtown Courtenay and Courtenay as a whole is 2.1.

Education & Occupation

The dominant education level for Downtown Courtenay residents is high school certificate, with 32% of residents having attained this level. 22% have college or other non-university education. The most common occupations for Downtown Courtenay residents are in sales and service (32%).

Income & Spending

The median household income of $41,229 is significantly lower than the City of Courtenay ($57,463) and the Comox Valley ($63,397). This is likely due to the high number of single-family households. Consequently, the average annual expenditure per household in the Downtown Courtenay catchment area ($65,421) is lower than the City of Courtenay ($75,268) and Comox Valley ($80,679).

Commercial Building Mix

The total assessed value of all properties in Downtown Courtenay is $392 million. It includes 278 commercial properties, 71 office spaces and some residential properties

Housing

The main housing type in Downtown Courtenay is single-detached homes (41%), which is lower than the City of Courtenay (51%) and significantly less than Comox Valley Regional District (68%). Downtown Courtenay supports laneway housing for natural infill development, while the majority of residential growth is taking place outside of downtown in greenfield sites.

Community

Marine leisure activities are popular due to the Puntledge River’s central location in Downtown Courtenay. The town is also known for its events, which include the Canada Day Parade & Market Days, and the Moonlight & Magic pre-holiday winter street festival.

Business Mix

A total of 466 businesses operate within Downtown Courtenay. The dominant industries are health care and social assistance (26%), retail (17%), professional, scientific & technical services (12%), and accommodation & food service (8%).

Commercial Business Size

Most businesses in Downtown Courtenay (54%) are micro-businesses with fewer than five employees, although 37% have between 5 to 20 employees, significantly higher than the City of Courtenay (27%) and the region as a whole (21%).

Opportunities

Vacancy rates are lower than they previously have been, and some buildings are currently available. Commercial lease rates average $8 to $10 per square foot for retail.