According to BLOOMBERG, TORONTO is the world’s fifth most unaffordable housing market relative to income.
“There are a handful of cities that make New York housing look cheap by comparison. Among them: Hong Kong, London, Miami, Los Angeles, Sydney and TORONTO. Home prices in Canada’s biggest metropolis have soared almost 60% in the last five years and are up another 3% already this year.”
TORONTO’s residential property market ranks as the fifth most unaffordable relative to income, according to consultant DEMOGRAPHIA.
SOUTHCORE, a neighbourhood that didn’t exist until a few years ago, has become a rival to long-established Bay Street. For urban explorers it’s a fun place to visit, sandwiched between the railway tracks and the many attractions of Harbourfront and the Island.
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, conveniently a short cab ride away, connects several times a day with most financial hubs in both the United States and Canada.
<Future CIBC skyscrapers>
It’s a big one alright. 500 truck loads of rocks and mud are coming out of this giant pit every day. When finished in November, 690,000 cubic metres will have been trucked away. Nine excavators, three bulldozers and one loader are doing the job. <PHOTO by UT Forum contributor Keyz>
The excavation will reach a depth of 23 metres (75 feet) in the middle of the site – making room for loading docks and parking space for 1,732 vehicles. <PHOTO by UT Forum contributor AHK>
<PHOTO by UT Forum contributor AHK>
So here’s what’s going into that giant hole. THE WELL will be a mix of shops, premium office space, entertainment facilities and condos. Hariri Pontarini Architects, architectsAlliance, Wallman Architects, Adamson Associates.
For the first time in its history, the report uses an inequity lens and paints a clear picture that quality of life in TORONTO varies drastically depending on neighbourhood, income, race, immigration status, gender, sexual identity, and age.
TORONTO is a thriving global centre, “though the overall story is one of success, more and more we’re becoming a city of islands,” says Sharon Avery, President & CEO, Toronto Foundation. “We now have the definitive case for support for a better and more resilient city.”
Who we are as a city . . .
Population has grown to more than 2.7-million, up 4.5% between 2001 & 2016
Middle class income range is between $24,000 & $42,000
20% of the population lives on low income
For the first time there are more seniors than children
60% of downtowners have access to the arts; in suburban Scarborough 37%
Overall 25% of the city has tree cover; Rosedale-Moore Park 62%; some neighbourhoods 7%
50% of us drive; averaging a 29 minute commute
37% take transit & 30% of those spend more than an hour getting to work
73% of high-income earners report good or excellent health
48% of low-income earners report the same
50% of renters spend +30% of their income on housing; 27% of homeowners do the same
Over one-in-four children are living below the poverty line
Nearly 50% of all newcomer children are living in poverty
15% of public school children taking applied courses don’t graduate
2,258 reported sexual assaults in 2016; 30% increase since 2010
HUY DO, 27, has created a widely distributed movie poster starring himself in the hope it will help him find rental accommodation in TORONTO’s core by June. It’s become a difficult task. The downtown vacancy rate is 1%, its lowest percentage in 16 years.
A one-bedroom apartment in the core now rents for an average of $1,614 a month. A two-bedroom $2,252. Governments are trying to help with rent control, but the numbers aren’t getting much better.
Compared to a national average purchase price of $481,000 across all housing categories from condos to detached houses, TORONTO comes in at $736,783 according TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board)
That word “manhattanizing” is creeping more and more into local political lingo. “As we Manhattanize, we are building a city of inequalities, deepening inequalities,” said Councillor JANET DAVIS. The greatest fear is that TORONTO will become yet another ‘playground for the rich’.
CIBC is planning to move its headquarters to the new financial district’s South Core sometime around 2021.
Its I.M. Pei-designed tower, Commerce Court West, at King and Bay will be repurposed, and joined by a new 64-storey high-rise to the east.
RENDERING ABOVE – looking north from Wellington Street. The present-day CIBC building is on the left & the new tower will be on the right. It will occupy space formerly the site of two low-rise I.M. Pei structures bordering on Wellington Street. They’ll be demolished.
A glass-walled pavilion, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects will connect the two towers.
The Art Deco Commerce Court North was completed during the Great Depression in 1931. It rises 34 storeys – once the tallest building in the British Empire. Plans are to re-open the Observation Deck, with its 24-foot stone heads on the top.
<PHOTO – Jack Landau/UrbanToronto.ca>
The upper storeys will be illuminated “in keeping with early photographs of the building.” This was TORONTO’s tallest structure when I arrived here in 1961.
<CIBC – solid as a rock>