How Does The City Grow bulletin provides an overview of where and how the City is growing.

Toronto is Canada’s most populous city, the focal point of development and growth, and the heart of the Greater Toronto Area. For many years now, Toronto has experienced a surge of both residential and non-residential growth. The How Does the City Grow bulletin examines how and where the City has been growing over the past five years and how it will continue to develop in the near future.

Toronto is growing with strong development prospects helping to bring more people and jobs into the City.

  • From 2012 to 2013, 363,859 residential units and 9.53 million m² of non-residential GFA were proposed in the City of Toronto.
  • 81% of new residential development is proposed in areas targeted for growth by the City’s Official Plan.
  • 272,004 residential units and 6.44 million m² of non-residential floor space proposed have not yet been built. Toronto will continue to grow as proposed developments receive planning approvals and building permits.
  • The most growth was proposed in the Downtown & Central Waterfront, with 39% of the residential units and 41% of the non-residential GFA proposed in the City.
  • Among the Centres, Yonge-Eglinton Centre has the most residential activity with 36% of the units proposed in the Centres. North York Centre led non-residential development with 44% of all non-residential activity in the Centres.
  • Almost 73,200 residential units were proposed along the Avenues identified in the Official Plan.
  • 31% of the City’s proposed non-residential floor space is in the City’s Employment Areas.
  • 43% of the proposed residential units are located in an area covered by a Secondary Plan.
  • As the City’s Urban Growth Centres develop, they are progressing towards the Province’s density targets, as set out in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Although employment is also increasing, most of the recent added density is due to residential growth.

Proposed Residential Units in Growth Areas by Status

A bar chart outlining the proposed residential units in development projects with activity between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016, broken down by development status and geographic area for the city of Toronto. Projects that are under review have not yet been approved or refused, or are under appeal. 36% of proposed residential units that are under review are located in the Downtown and Central Waterfront. 8% of proposed residential units that are under review are located in the Centres. 19% of proposed residential units that are under review are located in the Avenues. 15% of proposed residential units that are under review are located in other Mixed Use Areas. 23% of proposed residential units that are under review are located in all other areas. Active Projects are those which have been approved, for which building permits have been applied or have been issued, and/or those which are under construction. 37% of active residential units are located in the Downtown and Central Waterfront. 14% of active residential units are located in the Centres. 24% of active residential units are located in the Avenues. 11% of active residential units are located in other Mixed Use Areas. 23% of active residential units are located in all other areas. Built Projects are those which became ready for occupancy and/or were completed. 46% of built residential units are located in the Downtown and Central Waterfront. 8% of built residential units are located in the Centres. 17% of built residential units are located in the Avenues. 11% of built residential units are located in other Mixed Use Areas. 18% of built residential units are located in all other areas. Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding. Source: City of Toronto, City Planning Division: Land Use Information System II
Source: City of Toronto, City Planning Division: Land Use Information System II

 

City of Toronto Proposed Residential Development Map

A map describing the location, status, and scale of proposed residential projects across the city of Toronto between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. The Centres, Downtown, Central Waterfront, and the Avenues have been delineated on the map. The status (built, active, and under review) of the proposed residential units are visualized in different colours. The scale of individual projects is represented by relatively sized circles, the larger the circle, the greater the number of proposed residential units. The technology to convert the maps on this page to an accessible format is not currently available. These maps may not be compatible with screen reader software. If you are unable to access these maps please contact Hailey Toft, City Planning, cityplanning@toronto.ca, 416-392-8343.
Source: City of Toronto, City Planning Division: Land Use Information System II

 

Proposed units in development projects with activity between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. Built Projects are those which became ready for occupancy and/or were completed. Active projects are those which have been approved, for which building permits have been applied or have been issued, and/or those which are under construction. Projects under review have not yet been approved or refused, or are under appeal. Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding.

The technology to convert the maps on this page to an accessible format is not currently available. These maps may not be compatible with screen reader software. If you are unable to access these maps please contact Hailey Toft, City Planning, cityplanning@toronto.ca, 416-392-8343.

Proposed Non-Residential Growth Floor Area in Growth Areas by Status

A bar chart outlining the proposed non-residential gross floor area in development projects with activity between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016, broken down by development status and geographic area for the city of Toronto. Projects that are under review have not yet been approved or refused, or are under appeal. 30% of proposed non-residential gross floor area under review is located in the Downtown and Central Waterfront. 2% of proposed non-residential gross floor area under review is located in the Centres. 9% of proposed non-residential gross floor area under review is located in the Avenues. 6% of proposed non-residential gross floor area under review is located in other Mixed Use Areas. 49% of proposed non-residential gross floor area under review is located in Employment Areas. 5% of proposed non-residential gross floor area under review is located in all other areas. Active Projects are those which have been approved, for which building permits have been applied or have been issued, and/or those which are under construction. 49% of active non-residential gross floor area is located in the Downtown and Central Waterfront. 4% of active non-residential gross floor area is located in the Centres. 9% of active non-residential gross floor area is located in the Avenues. 6% of active non-residential gross floor area is located in other Mixed Use Areas. 20% of active non-residential gross floor area is located in Employment Areas. 12% of active non-residential gross floor area is located in all other areas. Built Projects are those which became ready for occupancy and/or were completed. 46% of built non-residential gross floor area is located in the Downtown and Central Waterfront. 3% of built non-residential gross floor area is located in the Centres. 8% of built non-residential gross floor area is located in the Avenues. 8% of built non-residential gross floor area is located in other Mixed Use Areas. 21% of built non-residential gross floor area is located in Employment Areas. 14% of built non-residential gross floor area is located in all other areas. Employment areas are outside of Downtown, Centres, Avenues, and Mixed Use Areas only. All other areas in this figure exclude Employment Areas. Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding. Source: City of Toronto, City Planning Division: Land Use Information System II
Source: City of Toronto, City Planning Division: Land Use Information System II

 

* Employment Areas outside of Downtown, Centres, Avenues, and Other Mixed Use Areas only.

** All Other Areas in this figure excludes Employment Areas.

 

City of Toronto Proposed Non-Residential Development Map

A map describing the location, status, and scale of proposed non-residential projects across the city of Toronto between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. The Centres, Downtown, Central Waterfront, and the Avenues have been delineated on the map. The status (built, active, and under review) of the proposed non-residential projects are visualized in different colours. The scale of individual projects is represented by relatively sized circles, the larger the circle, the greater the amount of non-residential gross floor area. The technology to convert the maps on this page to an accessible format is not currently available. These maps may not be compatible with screen reader software. If you are unable to access these maps please contact Hailey Toft, City Planning, cityplanning@toronto.ca, 416-392-8343.
Source: City of Toronto, City Planning Division: Land Use Information System II

 

Proposed non-residential GFA in development projects with activity between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. Built Projects are those which became ready for occupancy and/or were completed. Active projects are those which have been approved, for which building permits have been applied or have been issued, and/or those which are under construction. Projects under review have not yet been approved or refused, or are under appeal. Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding.

The technology to convert the maps on this page to an accessible format is not currently available. These maps may not be compatible with screen reader software. If you are unable to access these maps please contact Hailey Toft, City Planning, cityplanning@toronto.ca, 416-392-8343.

Toronto’s Official Plan, which came into force in June 2006, is the guide for development in the City over the next few decades. Its central geographic theme is to direct growth to appropriate areas and away from the City’s stable residential neighbourhoods and green spaces.

The Official Plan targets new development to approximately 25% of the City’s lands and strives to protect the remaining 75% from significant intensification. The locations recognized as being most appropriate for growth are those identified in the Official Plan’s Urban Structure Map as Avenues, Centres and the Downtown as well as other areas in the City designated as Mixed Use Areas and Employment Areas.

Past Bulletins

How Does the City Grow? – September 2016

For copies other past bulletins available from 2011 onward, please contact Hailey Toft at City Planning by telephone at 416-392-8343 or by email at cityplanning@toronto.ca.