Torontonians and those with their sights set on migrating to the Big Smoke may already have an inkling this this is a big city, but now it’s official on a whole new scale. The population of Toronto is the fastest-growing in all of North America, according to a new study released by Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development.

The City of Toronto’s population grew by more than 77,435 people between July 2017 and July 2018, according to Ryerson University researchers Frank Clayton and Hong Yun (Eva) Shi. The next-fastest growing city was Phoenix, Arizona, trailing Toronto at a distant but still impressive 25,288 new residents.

Toronto Is One of the Fastest Growing Cities In North America

From a metropolitan perspective, the entire Greater Toronto Area grew by 125, 298 people during this period, second only to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area in Texas, which grew by 131,767 people.

The region’s growth speaks to the Greater Toronto Area’s high level of livability. The RE/MAX 2019 Liveability Report revealed that areas within the GTA make up some of Canada’s “move livable” regions, including Brampton, which scored highest overall, as well as Mississauga and Toronto.

What Population Growth and Decline Can Signify

Population growth is an important factor when it comes to livability, often an indicator of a bright future. Meanwhile, population decrease can be a sign of negative conditions such as low employment opportunities, vacant or neglected housing, and a city in decline.

Factors Considered When Assessing A City’s Livability

A panel of RE/MAX brokers were surveyed and evaluated 15 of Canada’s major real estate markets, in terms of 11 different livability criteria. RE/MAX ranked each city for factors including:

  • Availability of employment
  • Access to public transit
  • Access to parks and green space
  • Access to big and small retail stores
  • Economic development
  • Population growth
  • Access to top-rated schools
  • Housing supply
  • Housing affordability
  • Access to healthcare facilities
  • Easy access to bike lanes and walking paths

Toronto scored highly for access to healthcare and retail, and not surprisingly, the city received top marks for population growth, which is further solidified by Ryerson’s study. On the flip-side, Toronto left something to be desired when it came to housing affordability and housing supply – factors that are directly impacted by a rapidly growing population.

Toronto’s Top Rated Neighbourhoods

Toronto’s top-rated neighbourhoods include downtown core (south of Bloor Street), which reigns supreme for proximity to public transit and the walkability factor. When it comes to parks and green spaces, North Riverdale and Leaside are in high demand within Toronto’s Midtown area. For walkability, Davisville, Yonge and Eglinton and Leslieville top the list. When it comes to housing affordability, the western region of Scarborough ranked highest.

To find out how other Canadian cities and neighbourhoods ranked, read the RE/MAX 2019 Liveability Report HERE.