And In Canada... CTV News/Jan. 29, 2019

N.B. village growing again after offering land for $1

N.B. village growing again after offering land for $1

A small village in New Brunswick that offered plots of land for a loonie in the hopes of reversing its population decline is already seeing some success.

McAdam, N.B., a sleepy town of 1,250 people located about 74 kilometres southwest of Fredericton, announced in November that it would sell 16 plots of land for $1.

McAdam Mayor Ken Stannix said that the offer resulted in more than 600 calls and emails, including from people as far away as Egypt, Dubai, India and Pakistan. The village found 11 suitable buyers. Five lots are still available.

The 11 buyers, who Stannix says are a mix of young families and retirees, are now signing the paperwork with the goal of beginning construction in the summer.

“The majority are from the other provinces. We have a few that were from United States,” Stannix told CTV Atlantic. “Most of them seem to be wanting to get away from the cities and move to a quieter place.”

Stannix says that for the first time in more than 50 years, the town’s population is growing.

“I used to hear that McAdam was a dead town and now I don't hear that,” he said. “I hear that McAdam is growing. People are excited about it.”

While McAdam is growing, the same cannot be said for the rest of the province, which is challenged by population decline.

In the 2016 Census, New Brunswick was the only province whose population had fallen. The City of Saint John has seen a 25 per cent decline since 1971.

McAdam’s growth has been a welcome sight to the businesses in the area.

Don Doherty, who co-owns McAdam Home and Building Centre Ltd., hopes to get some of the business from contractors tasked with building the new homes.

“We have a lot of people coming in who were never connected to the community before,” he said.

Other Canadian town have offered similar promotions in the past. In 2017, the northern Ontario town of Smooth Rock Falls sold land for as little as $500 in some areas to attract new residents. A year earlier, a store in Whycocomagh, N.S., offered free land and a job to anyone who moved to the community.