What Toronto’s real estate market will be like in 50 years
In partnership with the Martin Prosperity Institute, we bring you a semi-scientific glimpse into the future of Toronto. Here, what's next for the city's housing market
The average home will cost $4.4 million
Current average: $622,000
Yes, you read that right. And yes, it sounds crazy. But if we’d told people in 1970 that the average cost of a house in Toronto would grow from $30,000 to $600,000 over 50-odd years, they wouldn’t have believed us either. Over the past few decades, housing costs in Toronto have risen by an average of 3.5 per cent every year. If demand for housing keeps growing—and it will, since the population is expected to double—so will the prices. The upshot? Toronto will become a city of renters, and home ownership a luxury reserved for our plutocratic overlords.
A one-bedroom apartment will rent for $1,600
Current average: $1,100
Right now, 45 per cent of households in Toronto are rentals, and that number is expected to swell as real estate becomes increasingly unaffordable. The market hasn’t kept up with demand: only five per cent of new builds over the past 10 years have been devoted to rentals. That’s starting to change—purpose-built rental housing in Toronto is projected to grow by 75 per cent in next decade.
These ’hoods will be the hottest addresses in town
Last year, the behemoth Vancouver developers Westbank revealed their big plan for Honest Ed’s former home. They’ll transform the two-hectare site into a mixed-use fantasia of retail, office space, pedestrian-only streets and cycling infrastructure. Best of all: 900-plus rental apartments, many of them big enough for families.
By the mid-2020s, the stretch of Eglinton west of the Allen will be one of the city’s transit hot spots—the Eglinton Crosstown will provide 19 kilometres of light rail transit between Weston Road and Kennedy. With transit comes intensification, business growth and the opportunity for commuters to get to work without touching downtown.
The Port Lands
Waterfront Toronto’s $17-billion revitalization plan will take decades to materialize. When it does, the once-barren lakeshore will be a glorious place to live, with 40,000 new residential units, 40,000 new jobs and loads of public green space.
The University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus sits on 120-odd hectares of development-ready land, which will soon be connected to the rest of the city via the Eglinton LRT. Planners intend to enhance its relationship with the surrounding community, transforming Military Trail into a restaurant-packed pedestrian hub, adding new condos and amenities at Ellesmere and Morningside, and creating new park space near the edge of the Highland Creek Ravine.
Bloor and Dundas is a Metrolinx mobility hub, with a GO station that connects to the Lansdowne TTC station and an UP Express stop that connects to Dundas West. The new Museum of Contemporary Art is set to open next year in an old aluminum factory. Another 100,000 square feet in the plant will hold commercial and studio space. And the area is proving a magnet for mid-rise development—a unicorn in a city where every building seems to be either two storeys or 100.
We will live in the sky, underground or off the grid
In 50 years, we’ll have to maximize every square foot. Here, three cool homes of the future:
The mile-high skyscraper
Toronto is already building lofty condo towers, but in the future we’ll be creating mixed-use vertical cities that generate their own energy and offer every conceivable amenity:
The iceberg house
As real estate prices go up, homeowners will opt to build down instead of upsizing. Iceberg houses are wildly popular in London, where the city has approved hundreds of applications:
The future of sustainable living is the Ecocapsule, an adorable mobile pod designed by a Slovakian architecture firm. It’s meant for off-grid living—and poses a tempting alternative to cramped condo life in dense urban areas.
All projected figures are in 2016 dollars.
Created in partnership with the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.