The Greater Toronto Area: Is the Housing Market Keeping up with the Population?

By Maura Biedron

Map of regions in the GTA. From: Wikimediacommons

This Google Timelapse of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) from 1984-2016 shows just how much the population, housing market and road construction have increased over the years.

We can see in the timelapse that populations are increasing tremendously all around the city. Not only are houses being built over what was farmland or forested area, roads and transit are increasing so that individuals moving further away from the city can still have access. In this article by the Toronto Metro, it is said that the Toronto transit program “GO” has future plans to increase their services to the areas further away from the city that are seeing an influx in population. This article also discusses how the housing market is not keeping up with the rate of the increasing population. They mention delays and lack of efficiency in new builds, the rising cost of buying a home in the area, as well as the neighborhood facilities not being prepared for the population growth. People moving into new build areas with children or planning a family have to be placed on waiting lists for access to the school system, or are forced to send their children to multiple schools due to a lack of space at the surrounding schools.

This article by the World Population Review, goes through various visualizations telling how much the population in Toronto has increased. The data provided in the article shows that between 1985 and 1995, Toronto had population increases ranging from 10 percent to 13 percent. These are the highest percent increases throughout the years with census data. Future projections show that the city of Toronto will have a slight steady increase in population, but the GTA population will increase significantly over time.

Graph of population projections for the City of Tornoto, the GTA and the province of Ontario.

In an article by the Toronto Sun, we are informed that the population growth has exceeded expectations as well as the national growth. The metropolitan area that encompasses most of the GTA has grown 6.2 percent from 2011 to 2016 while the national population grew by 5 percent. According to the census from 2016, the metropolitan area had a reported population of 5.9 million. In 2011 the census reported 5.5 million in the area. Through all of this information it is clear that the GTA is lacking the resources to keep up with the increasing population. The area is in need of a plan to build more efficiently and make sure the areas people are moving to are equipped with the necessary resources.


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