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It’s time to better prepare for the future of Toronto

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It’s time to better prepare for the future of Toronto

Toronto is quickly becoming a city of the future and it is time to start planning for that future.

The world around us is changing at a feverish pace and I am willing to argue that the last time human’s lifestyles were altered so significantly was with the introduction of the automobile and the years that followed the industrial revolution.

In the last 35 years, we have transitioned from a largely analogue way of life to being digital dependent. The integration of personal computers, smartphones, Internet, GPS and texting has “assisted” the way we interact in commerce and in our private lives. However, we are still working and living a in similar fashion to the way we were before the new technology.

More recently, we have frequently been hearing reports of “disrupters” — the term used to define technological advancements that aren’t complimenting the way we are doing things, but rather changing what we do completely.

Google, Apple, Airbnb, Uber, Amazon and Wework are examples of corporations moving us in that direction and the advancements they are making in artificial intelligence, driverless vehicles, block chain and crypto currencies are the at the core of a cultural shift.

At this point (if you are still with me) you may be asking, what does any of this have to do with home buying in the GTA? A lot, actually.

Toronto and its surrounding communities are among the fasting growing technology hubs in North America. Microsoft and Sidewalk labs are two examples of many of the major corporations investing in Toronto — and that is good news for anyone in real estate. Job growth will continue to increase and with that comes the demand for homes. But antiquated approval processes and a shortage of labour will continue to constrain supply, resulting in prices continuing to rise the long run.

When this thought is applied to technology, how will disrupters influence how and where we live? It is difficult to say with certainty, but one thing is for sure — look for a home or income property close to employment and/or transit because chances are you enjoy spending time with your friends and family and not on your commute.

Despite the many positives that come with job creation, there are inevitably some negatives, mostly in the form of congestion. The people who can afford to have it all will be able to buy close to their employment — or anywhere they want to live, for that matter. However, for the majority of us it will become increasingly important to live in communities with close proximity to transit nodes. The ability to move freely and quickly will continue to become increasingly difficult as the GTA continues its growth.

Toronto is quickly becoming a city of the future and it is time to start planning for that future.

Fraser Wilson is vice president at International Home Marketing Group. IHMG.ca

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