Toronto has to meet housing demand or people are going to start leaving Image

Toronto has to meet housing demand or people are going to start leaving

By Sam Reiss on Jun 05, 2019

Toronto’s population is growing quickly, and I’m worried we don’t have enough homes to accommodate all the people who want to call this city home. 

A recent analysis by senior research fellow at Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, Frank Layton, and research assistant, Hong Yun (Eva) Shi, found that the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area is almost the fastest growing CMA in North America, with regards to population. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, population in Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles dropped from July 2018 to July 2018, while the fastest growing region was Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington.

In one year, the population in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington spiked by 131,767 persons. Toronto CMA followed closely in second with population growing by 125,298 persons. The biggest factor contributing to Toronto CMA’s growth was net international migration. Montreal came in sixth out of Canadian and  U.S. CMAs, growing by 66,116 persons. 

The City of Toronto accounted for a significant portion of the CMA’s growth, increasing 77,435 persons in a year’s time. The central cities in the U.S. trailing Toronto are Phoenix, San Antonio, and Fort Worth, and all three added together only amounts to 65,664 new persons. 

What does this mean? It means housing supply concerns are valid. We need planning that prioritizes new high-density housing near major transit nodes, and low-rise areas should be more accepting of infill missing middle housing like boutique condos and stacked townhomes. 

I’m getting pretty tired of the “I was here first” mentaliy, which is why I’m in support of the return of the Ontario Municipal Board. Developments should be approved or rejected based on architecture, planning and density targets, not by emotions and selfishness. 

I understand why Toronto councillors are fighting the return of the OMB - their constituents go to them when they have complaints about a new development in their neighbourhood, and the councillors want to do everything they can to make their constituents happy so that they are in good standing when election time comes. I get it. This is how our world works. But, let’s start planning for the future and all the families who want to call Toronto home, and not just continue to selfishly worry about ourselves. 

The U.S. Census Bureau found that the population fell in NYC and LA - I wonder how many of those people left because they couldn’t afford housing or because the available housing didn’t meet their lifestyle requirements. 

This is a huge concern for me. Imagine if all the young talented people coming up in Toronto decided to leave because they couldn’t afford a home. That’s not a Toronto I would want to live in.  

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