Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Greenbelt and Downtown Living Changing Commuting Lifestyles in Toronto

Canadian suburbia is still growing rapidly,even in Toronto there is outward expansion even as there is upward expansion. The suburbs at least in the Toronto area have to contend with the greenbelt. The greenbelt which was enacted by the provincial government with the goal of curbing growth into the greenlands and drainage areas of the ring of farms around the Greater Toronto Area. But consider that the interest in downtown living is hard to ignore.

Downtown Toronto's population increased by 33,000 between 2006 and 2011. It's been the most dramatic surge, but you'll see a similar pattern in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Hamilton, Ottawa, and Halifax. Of course because of Toronto's size it is most evident, especially with the dizzying number of cranes in the sky and skyscrapers taking shape at this time. Some cities are further along that path than others, but Canadians (especially those under 30) are flocking back downtown and developers are rushing to meet that demand. One only need look at condo tower proposals in Canadian cities to recognize that a sea change in attitudes is under way. 20 years ago, almost all development was in the periphery.

Now you see lots of residential going up in Canadian downtowns. Downtown Toronto's population increased from 132,434 in 2006 to 175,064 in 2011. That's a whopping 32.2% increase over 5 years. It's likely to see a similar increase from 2011 to 2016.

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