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Higher Toronto Development Charges kick in Nov. 1

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Higher Toronto Development Charges kick in Nov. 1

Toronto fall web

By Wayne Karl

It’s Nov. 1, prospective homebuyers in Toronto, and if you’re looking to buy a new home, the price of your property just went up – thanks to the City’s new Development Charges.

And trust us, homeowners and buyers, the numbers are frightening. Increasingly so.

Just what are Development Charges (DCs)? Those are the fees, levies and other costs municipalities add to development projects. Amounting to tens of thousands of dollars per condo unit or lowrise home, these fees go towards paying for transit and road infrastructure, community services such as parks and recreation and police and fire services, and other items.

And most of those costs, dear homebuyer, are passed on to you. Meaning, they impact the amount of income you have available to pay your mortgage.

Not just that, many believe that new-home buyers end up paying a disproportionate amount for new amenities and services that are enjoyed by the wider community.

Just how much are we talking about here?

(The explanation is kind of complicated and even a bit of an eye-glazer, but stay with us – it’s worth it.)

DCs comprise from 23 to 45 per cent (the largest component) of the government charges on new homes, according to a recent study by Altus Group, commissioned by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). Since 2004, development charges have increased between 236 and 878 per cent.

  • The average government charges for each new single‐detached home are roughly $186,300, or roughly 21.7 per cent of the average price for a new home. Charges per home range from $120,000 in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury to $232,500 in the Town of Oakville.
  • For a new condominium, the average government charges per apartment are approximately $122,800, or roughly 23.9 per cent of the average price for a new condominium apartment. Charges per condominium range from $68,800 in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury to $164,500 in the City of Toronto.


Further impacting costs for homebuyers is rising home prices, driven by economic and market factors. Over the 2009‐17 period, the average price of lowrise homes in the GTA increased 167 per cent, while for highrise units the figure grew by 80 per cent, according to Altus Group.

DCs by municipality, per single-detached home

  • Town of Ajax/Durham Region: $44,447
  • Town of Oakville/Halton Region: $73,965
  • City of Brampton/Peel Region: $81,825
  • City of Markham/York Region: $82,017
  • Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury/Simcoe County: $34,08
  • City of Toronto: Currently $41,251

For Toronto, the City is in the midst of a DC increase to $80,227 per unit, to take full effect in November 2020. Fifty per cent of the increase takes place in November 2018, and by November 2019 80 per cent of the increase is to be implemented.

Here’s what’s happening for Toronto, select property types, per unit

Property Type                            As of May 1, 2018           Effective Nov. 1, 2018
Singles and semis                              $41,251                                    $60,73
Multiples, 2-plus bedrooms              $34,742                                    $50,528
Condos, 2-plus bedrooms                 $25,366.                                   $36,165
Condos, 1-bedroom & bachelors     $17,644                                    $24,150

So, Torontonians, get used to Nov. 1 being a day not exactly worth celebrating.


Government should develop a better plan for Development Charges

Understanding Development Charges

Seven steps to housing affordability in Ontario

New residential development brings new amenities to GTA communities



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