Toronto, capital of Ontario province, is Canada’s largest city, with a land area, spread over 630
square kilometers. It forms as the core of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) encompassing Oakville
and Mississauga to the west as well as Ajax, Pickering, and Whitby to the east. The city of Toronto
incorporates six boroughs—Etobicoke, York, North York, East York, Scarborough, and Toronto.
Lake Ontario borders Toronto to the south. The city mostly spreads flat with gentle hills and land
sloping upward gradually from the lake. A ravine system weaves rivers and creeks within
Toronto’s acreage. This system formed as the backbone for parklands and recreational trails that
the city has established.
The Humber River meandering in the west end is the most notable amongst Toronto’s waterways.
Another standout comes in the Don River flowing along the opposite ends of Toronto Harbor east
of downtown. Then, there’s also the Rogue River which dominates the eastern city limits of
The Economic Intelligence Unit has ranked Toronto as the third most livable city in North America
and seventh in the world. The criteria of this ranking include stability, healthcare, education and
infrastructure, and culture and environment,
Besides holding the crown as Canada’s largest city, Toronto is also the most populous and the
most diverse in the country. The population of Toronto as of 2016 totaled 2.73 million, nearly half
of which were foreign-born. It was upon its rich population mix that the city adopted its motto
“Diversity our strength.” Given its cultural diversity, Toronto offers wide-ranging amenities and
points of interest.
Toronto has also grown as a leading tourist destination in Canada, attracting 43.7 million visitors
in 2017. The tourist draws of the city come in a dynamic mix ranging from galleries and museums
to the world-famous CN Tower and the offshore Toronto Islands.
Niagara Falls is also easily accessible from the city, underscoring the dynamism and potential
within the Greater Toronto Area which covers 7,125 square kilometers and provides home to
nearly 6 million residents as of 2016. Aside from the Niagara escarpment bordering this area to
the west and Lake Ontario to the south, Kawartha Lakes is to the east of the GTA region and Lake
Simcoe to its north. The bodies of water around the region partially moderate its climate, and
Toronto likewise notably counts amongst Canadian cities with warmer winters.
Also quite conducive to the quality of living in the area, the greater Toronto region retains forests
and farmlands amongst its distinctive geographical features. Most of GTA’s urban areas, in fact,
are hosts to vast urban forest areas designated as parklands. Scarborough, one of Toronto’s
suburban districts, is home to the Rouge National Urban Park, one of Canada’s largest nature parks
within a metropolitan area.
Current market indicators favor buying residential properties in Greater Toronto, as what could be
derived from recent findings of data science team Roomvu. For instance, this team’s June 2019
research indicates a buyer’s market in the Toronto region, with the double-percentage differences
in the sales-to-list-price comparison of the three residential types indicated in Figure 1 below.
Based on the June statistics cited in the above figure, the list prices of detached houses on the
market averaged $1.18 million. Buyers, on the other hand, paid an average sale price of
$990,000, representing a 15.8 percent gap from the sellers’ price quotes. The same trend holds
true for condos and townhouses, as well as apartments. Sellers of townhouses quoted an average
list price of $750,000, while buyers shelled out an average of $650,000 that in effect represented
a 13.7 discount. The pattern for apartments showed list prices averaging $640,000, which when
matched with the average sale price of $570,000 in June showed a price gap equivalent to 10.8
Comparing average sale prices posted in 2018 and 2019 (Figure 2), further affirms that the
GTA’s residential property market remains quite volatile. It shows here that the average sale
prices registered during those two years are a mixed lot: down for detached houses but up for
townhouses and apartments.
It is significant to note, however, that the changes in the 2018 and 2019 average sale prices in the
Greater Toronto Area was just at a marginal pace as compared to the market in Vancouver
where the price movements, either way, were much, much sharper. This is especially true for the
average sales prices of detached houses in GTA which were nearly at the same level in 2018 and
Roomvu likewise examined days on market (DOM) in the Greater Toronto Area and found a
market delightful both for sellers and buyers of all residential types in the region (Figure 3). The
June 2019 DOM overall remarkably remained at the fast clip of just 3 weeks (21 days) that was
experienced a year earlier. For detached houses, the number of days from the date of the market
listing up to the sale closing was at a steady 23 days in both the comparable months. Condos and
townhouses were sold even faster at less than three weeks—20 days in 2019, down from 22 days
the previous year. Apartments sold quickly as well with 20 DOM posted for these housing units,
only a day over the 19 DOM seen in 2018.