Toronto neighbourhood set to grow so much that the city has to make a strategy to handle it

Toronto is known, among other things, for its endless condo projects — we are the crane capital of the continent most of the time — but there's one neighbourhood in particular that is growing especially rapidly.

The Yonge-Eglinton area of midtown is set to see some bonkers expansion over the coming years, with an expected influx of nearly 100,000 new residents by 2051.

As the city notes in a new report on the subject, this is like "the equivalent to adding more than the 2016 population of the City of Peterborough to the area" whether locals like it or not, and thus necessitates some extra extensive planning.

The city is thus this week considering a new infrastructure implementation strategy for the area so that it expands as a "complete community" with the proper amenities — parks, transportation, businesses, etc. — to match the number of condos and the sharp increase in density on the way.

Along with the condos, residents can expect more childcare facilities, schools, libraries and other community spaces, at least five new green spaces, two public squares, wayfinding signage that will serve as a sort of branding to the area, and some more boring (but very necessary) stuff like sewer upgrades.

Unfortunately, one aspect that isn't really keeping pace with the flurry of construction is the job sector, with only 17 per cent more jobs in the neighbourhood expected by 2051 compared to 2016, while the population will be growing by around a whopping 150 per cent in the same time period.

Some are also taking issue with the distribution of new builds in the area: The Yonge-Eglinton Urban Growth Area (UGC) actually already well exceeds the provincial targets for density, and is the highest density UGC in Ontario. Most of the incoming residential units will be around the already-built up areas along Eglinton, and also near Davisville and Yonge.

One can only hope in the process of all this growth that the the area doesn't lose too many valuable institutions, heritage buildings or other sites to the numerous developments proposed or in progress, and that some sort of character to the quarter is maintained amid all of the concrete and glass that is admittedly very much needed within the city's housing crisis.

Though those living around the intersection (or who have to traverse it often) are already long sick of disruptive construction after years of such development and the more than decade-long Eglinton Crosstown LRT work, they will have to anticipate more headaches over the next 30 years or so — but alas, such is living in a metropolis growing as much as Toronto.

This new plan from the city should thankfully help with at least some of the concerns voiced in recent years, such as that of insufficient infrastructure for so many tall towers. And, at least those who are lucky enough to own will likely see their real estate prices rise accordingly.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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