Category Archives: Ji Won Jun

Ji Won Jun



Toronto, the largest city in Canada located on the shore of Lake Ontario, has been going through a major metamorphosis, a significant one that reminds us of New York City in the mid-20th century. Indeed, its current tendency of population growth is projecting from 6.3 million in 2011 to 9 million by 2036 in the Greater Toronto Area. Without doubt, within 20 or 30 years, the GTA is expected be the fourth biggest metropolitan area in North America surpassing Philadelphia, Dallas and even Chicago with Los Angeles, New York and Mexico City on the top of the list.


Ontario (provincial) government has imposed an absolute restriction of urban sprawl beyond the “Greenbelt” a permanently protected strip of natural heritage land since 2005, including over 700 thousands hectares of nature, forest and farmlands,  in order to contain this dramatic demographic growth within existing footprint, to minimize the impact on the environment. ( Toronto has to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by mid 21st century.) Indeed, while this greenbelt is the most successful one in the world, its effective containment of urban sprawl within the limit has a direct impact on the densification of the city core. Actually, the downtown densification is merely a very recent shift in the demographic flow, since less than eight years; many decades prior, major exodus for seeking suburban life seemed to be the trend, however the vector is clearly now reversed to the opposite direction. Beyond the Greenbelt legislation, truth is that many other factors are contributing to this shift, combined with the trendy highly-educated/skilled younger population of “echo boomers” seeking for a more convenient location to live in term of easy access to transit, work and amenities, instead of more affordable housing in the outer suburbs. The new generation is more likely to change career than the baby boomers, which leads to seeking commuting flexibility. This desire for these young people or the large waves of immigrants with economic resource, to live in or nearby the city core has thus led to this demographic return to the urban core. Consequently, additional to the 50 thousands new condo units in downtown core that have all been built, sold and occupied from 2000 to 2011, from when 90 thousands extra units have been approved as of 2013.


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