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City of Toronto needs better housing mix
June 29, 2022

Toronto has more than enough land for housing to accommodate anticipated growth until at least 2051, a report to be considered by the city’s Planning and Housing Committee next week says.

However, there remains the potential for a “mismatch” as the supply of highrise condos far outpaces that of other types of housing also in demand like three-bedroom units and purpose-built rental units.

“The (Land Needs Assessment) examines long-term housing demand and concludes that the city has more than enough development opportunities to build enough housing for the forecasted population growth,” the staff report says. “Yet there are short- and mid-term housing issues requiring concerted action now, related to affordability, construction, approvals, charges, interest rates and inflation.

“There remains a mismatch between the types of housing that people are seeking and the mix of housing types that are anticipated to be built in the short term. The City’s has many initiatives underway to address these near-term housing issues,” it says.

To ensure more “ground-related” housing -- including three-bedroom units like semi-detached and townhouses -- the city is increasing permissions for laneway suites, garden suites and multiplexes, the report says.

Planners believe a significant portion of future housing demand could be met by existing housing currently occupied by older residents.

“By 2051, it is estimated that almost all of the housing occupied by older generation households in 2016 will have turned over, thus potentially accommodating an additional 207,240 persons within the existing housing stock,” the report notes.

The staff report says the 2021 population estimate for Toronto by Statistics Canada is lower than the 2020 estimate, likely due to the pandemic, but the decline might be short-lived as international travel resumes due to decreasing pandemic measures.