The Glendon Global Debate explores housing affordability in Toronto, Oct. 22

Panorama of Toronto skyline at sunset in Ontario, Canada
Panorama of Toronto skyline at sunset in Ontario, Canada

Join the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, the CITY Institute and the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies on Oct. 22 to discuss the changing housing landscape of Toronto and what should be done moving forward.

This instalment of the Glendon Global Debate series, titled “The Right to Home: Housing Affordability in Toronto,” will feature panel members Nemoy Lewis from the University of Toronto, Scott Leon from the Wellesley Institute, and Keisha St. Louis-McBurnie from the University of Toronto.

It takes place on Zoom at 5:30 p.m.

It is no secret that the housing affordability in Toronto has reached a tipping point, a situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis as people face job losses, the decline in income, and fears of a second wave of the pandemic. With the demand for housing increasing at a much faster than the supply of housing available, residents and newcomers to Toronto are being priced out of the city.

According to the July 2020 National Rent report, Toronto had the highest average monthly rent in June for a one-bedroom home at $2,063 and for a two-bedroom at $2,684. At the same time, Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s Market Year in Review report stated the average selling price of a home within in the city in 2020 will exceed $900,000, which is nearly a 10 per cent increase from the 2019 average sale price of $819,319 and nearly a 45 per cent increase from the average sale price in 2015.

While housing market activity initially slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the real-estate market Toronto is expected to bounce back. In fact, The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reported that 11,083 homes were sold in September, 42.3 per cent more than September 2019.

This event will examine how Toronto has the highest immigration rate per capita in the world, with 43 per cent of new immigrants settling in the GTA. Many Canadians, including millennials and new immigrants, are struggling to find affordable housing and many are coming to see homeownership as less and less realistic. With the trends observed over the past five years, who can blame them? The shortage of rentals available, the lack of affordable housing, and the development of Toronto’s neighbourhoods by big-name developers are certainly not helping the situation.

Panelists will explore questions including: What are our representatives doing to address housing affordability? Are the policies being put in place to assist us in attaining affordable housing effective? Are these policies counterproductive? How are racialized Canadians impacted by discrimination, affordability and displacement? How do alternative models such as cooperative housing help address some of these challenges?

Register for the event here: