As you very well know, it’s really difficult to find an affordable place to live in Toronto. Initially, we all thought that the condo developers were building more than the market needed. Funnily enough, it is evident now that they knew something that the rest of us didn’t. It is now apparent that there just aren’t enough condos for everyone. There are bidding wars for condos. There are bidding wars for houses. It’s even becoming expensive to rent and chances are that there will be bidding wars for rentals too.
I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.
Toronto doesn’t have enough supply to satisfy your generation.
Given how large a demographic you are, I do believe that you have the power to create change. Once you get organized, they cannot ignore the sheer volume of your voices.
Here is my advice to you:
- Demand that City Hall’s Building & Planning Department start paying serious attention to the needs of its young people; YOU. Many companies in Toronto rely on your hard work and need you to be able to live in the city where you work.
- Fast-track the laneway housing project. When I look at other cities in Canada, such as Montreal, they have many large homes that have been turned into condos allowing for more low-rise condos to be on the market. I went to university at McGill and happened to enjoy the benefits of renting some of these condos. They were low-rise buildings with big beautiful, character-driven spaces, which Toronto is sorely in need of. Toronto has many large homes that can easily be turned into mini-condo buildings if the city would allow it. There are many coach houses and old garages that can be turned into laneway housing. The City is currently studying this idea but needs to step it up given the current lack of affordable housing.
- Make the building permit process easier for people to convert homes into duplexes and triplexes so that more apartments are available for rent. The current building permit process is exceedingly complicated because it stops people from building what our city truly needs. The City’s building permit process needs a complete overhaul to become more efficient and easier to use.
To those of you born between 1982–2004, you need to band together and demand more from City Hall to get you the kind of housing that you and our City needs by increasing the supply of inexpensive housing. It can definitely happen.