Toronto's officially making moves to transform vacant pockets of the city into brand new affordable rental apartments. It's investing up to $60 million into completing "vibrant" communities that are livable, walkable and close to transit.
A few major projects are already in the works. Two vacant lots in West Don Lands, the downtown area near the DVP and Don River, will soon become an affordable rental community for 1,450 families, with extra space for new stores and recreation centres.
The city's also redesigning the space between Grenville St. and Grosvenor St. near Queens Park into 700 affordable family-friendly rental apartments, a daycare, and new stores.
Right now, 47% of Toronto's households are renting. Meanwhile, only 6% of all the new housing that was built in Toronto in last twenty years was market rental housing.
Demand is growing and the supply is seriously limited, meaning that landlords are overcharging renters like crazy. On average, landlords in Toronto are now charging 1.5 times more for their rentals than what tenants are currently paying. In a report released in February 2018, landlords would now ask $1,614 instead of $1,132 for the same one bedroom apartment.
Ontario's investing up to $125 million in the next five years to support developers building high-rise, mid-rise and townhouse units for the purpose of renting.
According to Toronto's Minister of Housing, the goal is to help "people in Ontario have an affordable place to call home, regardless of their housing needs or where they live in Toronto." The two rental housing projects combined will soon be home to 2,150 mixed-income families.