The transportation system is the backbone of every big city in the world and Toronto is no exception. Toronto’s number of citizens has increased almost five times since 1970 and therefore our transportation system too has been demanded to transform according to the changed situation. Yes, there have been some improvements in the past years, but mostly minor, providing only temporary solutions. A project called The Big Move, starting in the upcoming few years, has been planned to thoroughly improve the transportation in south Ontario.
MoveOntario2020 is the name of the most important branch of this general transportation outlook. There are 52 projects, scheduled till 2020, with the budget around $17.5 billion ($11.5 billion covered by Ontario). 1. GO Transit upgrades and extensions; 2. Major municipal transit expansions; 3. Cross-boundary subway expansions; and 4. Rapid-rail link between Toronto Union Station and Toronto
Real estate and transit system
The whole mechanism of property market in Toronto is quite complicated science. It’s a very sensitive industry, where a vast number of factors have a smaller or bigger impact. It is not always possible to tell how a particular change influences the local or global economic environment, but we can identify some key factors. The transit system is one of the key elements.
You all can picture the way in which transit system positively influences the quality of living. For illustration, the direct expenses on commuting are smaller, just as indirect expenses such as time consumption. Furthermore, we can mention easier accessibility of public facilities or cleaner air and generally healthier environment, whereas there only a few minor negative short-term aspects.
There are a number of research papers attempting to quantify the influence of various improvements in transit system. For example a research paper from Tinbergen Institute (dealing with railways only) the positive influence of railway accessibility on house price reaches around 25%. Every house’s value can increase by 2.5% on average, provided that the public transport frequency is improved twice. This is valid just one year after the works are completed.
MoveOntario impact on the real estate in Toronto in upcoming years
Our possible outcomes can be based on a recent study conducted by REIN Canada. Rail commuting system is one of the key ways to lower the time people need for commuting. In Toronto, we have the subway and GO Train system.
Areas as far as 800m around each station, with possible price maximization in 500m range, are positively influenced by this system. More areas impacted are older neighbourhoods, similarly areas inhabited by citizens with lower average income are again more. Speaking about real estate prices effect, we can mention Toronto neighbourhoods around Spadina and Younge subway lines extensions. The GO Train project is more complicated, the capacity should be increased in 17 projects including building new lines and/or extending the old ones, and there are 9 other projects concerning the GO Bus Rapid. In Waterfront and Eglinton neighbourhoods, we expect a similar effect brought about by new light train transit lines.
It’s for sure impossible to describe all impacts of MoveOntario 2020 on Toronto real estate in one article. Areas around Vaughan, Scarborough and Barrie will be the places that will be most positively influenced, according to REIN. The second group of strongly affected areas comprises of Milton, Brambton and Uxbridge&Stoufville regions. The property prices are expected to grow by 10-20% in these regions. Thirdly, actually all Toronto areas lying around the new lines, or old lines with plans for improving their capacity, are going to profit too. The real estate prices are expected to increase about 1-3 years after the particular project is completed.
And that’s not all. With more areas being easily accessible thanks to the new transit system, also the quality of life near the old parts will be better. MoveOntario is supposed to create around 175 000 jobs – again, this may have positive effect on real estate prices in the GTA. The city with a well working transit system is able to attract more people, more investors and more business. The whole Toronto will profit from the improved transit system and the real estate values in the region may grow for the next decades.
Brought to you by Homemade soap expert Johnny Vasquez.