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Toronto still one of the fastest growing cities in North America – even with the impact of COVID-19

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Toronto still one of the fastest growing cities in North America – even with the impact of COVID-19

Toronto was the fastest growing metropolitan area in Canada and the U.S. last year, overtaking Dallas-Fort Worth Arlington, Tex., according to new data from the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) at Ryerson University.

Downtown Toronto
Photo: Wayne Karl

And even though Toronto will take a hit as a result of COVID-19, it is still expected to be one of the top cities in North America.

Toronto was the only Canadian metropolitan area in the top five; Montreal was sixth and Vancouver twelfth.

Metro Toronto grew by 127,575 persons in 2019, outpacing Dallas-Fort Worth Arlington, which grew by 117,380 persons, to become the fastest growing metropolitan area in all of the U.S. and Canada.

Short-term impact

The research for this latest report was conducted prior to COVID, covering the period of July 2018 to July 2019, so the results are likely to change over the next year, CUR says.

“COVID is estimated to drop immigration (to Toronto) by half this year,” Diana Petramala, senior CUR researcher told Condo Life. “Therefore, this will likely push Toronto down the list of fastest growing cities.

“Toronto’s main strength is immigration, whereas places like Dallas are benefiting from millennials leaving more expensive areas like New York. Toronto, however, will continue to do better than New York, Chicago and Los Angeles – areas that are seeing large outflows of millennials in search of more affordable housing and jobs.”

The impact of COVID in Toronto will be short term, Petramala adds. “Immigration is still allowed, so as other countries move out of lockdown and processing offices open up and airlines start flying again, you will like see a snap back in immigration.”

Outpacing New York

Toronto, in fact, had almost three times the population growth from immigration as New York in 2019. Both regions experienced a loss in resident population to other areas (domestic net migration), but the rate was four times faster in New York.

In terms of population growth on a city basis, as opposed to the metropolitan area (GTA), Toronto (45,742 persons) and Montreal (31,565) represented the two fastest growing cities in all of the U.S. and Canada over the study period. Overall, Canadian cities represented 11 of the top 20 central cities in the U.S. and Canada in population growth, with Calgary, Ottawa and Edmonton placing fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

While the city of Toronto’s population grew by 45,742, New York City’s decreased by 53,264.


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GTA developers tour New York City for land-use and design inspiration

GTA developers tour New York City for land-use and design inspiration

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GTA developers tour New York City for land-use and design inspiration

Representatives from GTA builders and developers recently toured New York City as part of the latest Housing Innovation Tour from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

Tour participants met with industry experts from speciality fields and explored new housing, innovative use of land, various product types and learned about new sales and marketing strategies – all intended inspire participants for their projects back at home.

The BILD Housing Tour group, against the backdrop of Manhattan, from River House rental property in Port Imperial, N.J. Photos: Mike Suriano, Suriano Design Consultants
The BILD Housing Tour group, against the backdrop of Manhattan, from River House rental property in Port Imperial, N.J. Photos: Mike Suriano, Suriano Design Consultants

Highlights of the three-day tour included visits to:

• Hoboken, NJ’s revitalized waterfront, which included a tour of a former Maxwell Coffee House factory site. There, Toll Brothers and Hoboken Brownstone Company have built a lively neighbourhood with midrises, townhouses, parkland and views of Manhattan along the Hudson River.

• DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and Domino boroughs in Brooklyn. Both areas are formerly hubs for industry and warehouses, as the Hudson River was once the main transportation artery for coffee, sugar and other goods. Over many years, these neighbourhoods have been converted to luxury residential and mixed-use properties. In fact, DUMBO has become New York City’s fourth-richest community.

• Hudson Yards, NY. A must-visit when in New York City, Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the U.S. by area. Upon completion, 13 of the 16 planned structures on the West Side of Midtown South will sit on a platform built over the West Side Yard, a storage yard for Long Island Rail Road trains. The community is home to more than 100 diverse shops and culinary experiences, offices for leaders in industry, significant public art and dynamic cultural institutions. It is also expected to host more than 55,752 workers on a daily basis. Hudson Yards is seen as a cutting-edge model for the future of so-called smart cities – those that leverage data to monitor and manage urban areas.

“Thanks to our trip sponsors, participants had opportunity to enjoy some of the Big Apple’s many cultural elements by experiencing fine culinary foods, visiting historic A&D Building, neighbourhood walking tours and attending an NHL hockey game,” says BILD President Dave Wilkes.

Tour sponsors comprised: Cassidy & Co., Coast Appliances, Figure3, Fisher Paykel, Maroline Inc., My Design Studio and Spectrum Realty. Tour hosts comprised: George Vallone of Hoboken Brownstone Company; Jack Chui of Douglas Elliman Real Estate & Fortis Property Group; Marina Trejo of Two Trees Development; and Natalie West of Related.

Photos: Mike Suriano, Suriano Design Consultants


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