A new report says the city’s population is on track to exceed one million in 2030, which would be the highest level of growth since the 1970s.
The city’s growth will come despite a number of economic challenges, including the aging of the population and the fact that many people who can afford to live in Toronto are living elsewhere.
The report, released Wednesday, said the city is in “the midst of the most ambitious urban renewal program in the world.”
“While the city will continue to expand its capacity and attract more people, the growth in the population will be largely driven by those living in Toronto,” said Michael Sona, senior associate director at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a left-leaning think tank.
“It’s a very, very important question.”
The report said the growth will be mostly driven by people who are “more likely to be working in urban areas, and have access to social support, and are less likely to live at home.”
“The challenge will be that we have to make sure that the people we are supporting are the ones who are going to live there long-term and in the best way possible.”
The city is looking to expand the number of people who live in its core neighbourhoods, to fill in gaps that will eventually have to be filled by newcomers.
It is also trying to attract immigrants and refugees from outside the region, as well as people with disabilities.
In 2019, the report said, the number with a household income of less than $25,000 would double to 5.4 per cent, while those earning more than $50,000 rose from 5.7 per cent to 10.2 per cent.
But the number living in poverty, or “otherwise economically vulnerable,” has also been on the rise.
According to the report, the percentage of people with an income below the poverty line in 2019 was 10.3 per cent — the highest in Canada, compared with 10.1 per cent in 1990.
While there are many ways the city could be doing better, Sona said, “there is a very real opportunity to do a better job in this area of planning and managing the population, in order to make a difference.”
The Toronto Star’s Michael Chow contributed to this report.
The Associated Press can be reached at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: mike_chow.