What is the future for housing in Toronto. Looking at the data below you can see that more small sized housing is needed. The real estate market needs to change to address these population growth numbers featured in the data below.

Toronto downtown condos

Toronto is expected to grow with large demand for residential housing exceeding what Toronto has seen in the last few years. Between 2016 and 2041, Toronto’s natural growth is projected to be 1.03 million people – an annual average growth of 41,000. These numbers exceed the provincial target in the Places to Grow Act by almost 400,000 which represents excess demand of almost 225,000 households over that recognized by Places to Grow.

During the same years, the GTA regional population growth will continue. The Greater Toronto area is expected to add more than 2.6 million people by 2041 bringing its population to 9,657,000. 

The city’s population is also getting older. In 20 years, the number of seniors aged 65 and over will have grown by over 50% to approximately 545,000. By 2041, the number of seniors will be over 800,000.

The social and community housing waitlist will continue to surpass the number of available units. The waitlist for community housing will grow to approximately 120,000 households in 2031 and 135,000 by 2041, an increase of 30% and 47%, respectively. These numbers will exceed the 90,655 units of occupied units of social housing stock in Toronto.

More people will live in low-income households. Approximately 540,000 people will live in low-income households by 2031, up from 471,203 in 2016. By 2041, nearly 600,000 people will live in low-income households. 

Toronto skyline with condos and homes

Increased demand for mental health and addiction supportive housing will grow faster than the population. The waitlist for mental health and addictions supportive housing is expected to grow by 2031 to more than 17,500 households, an increase of 31% over 2016 and three and a half times the existing 4,923 provincially-funded units in Toronto. These numbers will surpass 20,000 by 2041.

Toronto’s population will grow at a faster pace than in the last ten years. Between 2016 and 2031, Toronto’s natural growth is projected to be 1.03 million people – an annual average growth of 41,000 – bringing the total population to 3,560,000. By 2041, the natural population growth in the city will exceed the provincial Places to Grow target by almost 500,000, with a total population of 3,913,000. 

Demand for long-term care will increase significantly. From 2016 to 2031 demand will grow by 15,000 to 44,810 people. In the following decade to 2041, the demand will grow by an additional 23,000 to almost 68,000. The current long-term care waitlist is 14,500 people with current capacity at 14,992 beds. 

More people will be in core housing need. Households in core housing need will grow by twice the rate over past 12 years. There will be 47,000 more households in core housing need by 2031, or nearly 300,000 in total. By 2041, the number will grow to approximately 330,000 – equivalent to 20% of total households.

Households in Toronto are getting smaller compared to the GTA. This reflects both societal trends and that Toronto’s housing stock contains a higher proportion of one- and two-bedroom units than three- and fourbedroom units. While the population in Toronto will attempt to grow by 36% by 2041, the accompanying growth in households will be at 32.5%, For the GTA this is reversed, with the population attempting to grow by 43% and households by 44.5%.

Toronto condos

The increased natural growth over planned growth suggests that there will be a persistent excess demand from households wanting to live in Toronto and the GTA with the primary constraint on this excess demand being the availability of residential dwellings. With this growth centred in the City of Toronto, housing affordability pressure will continue to be an issue. A secondary implication is that the average age of the population in Toronto could increase more rapidly as younger households looking to migrate in will be constrained by limited income.