Toronto Metropolitan University
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Land-use regulation and housing affordability: characterizing the impacts of restrictive zoning on Toronto's housing market through a case study of Ward 8 neighbourhoods

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posted on 2022-05-24, 13:46 authored by Nicole Pal

Toronto’s housing affordability crisis continues to escalate. Increasing demand and land supply constraints prevent the housing and land market from reaching equilibrium, resulting in skyrocketing house prices and a disproportionately small number of additional units built. Despite efforts from City Council to increase affordable housing options, housing affordability concerns have yet to be adequately addressed. By collecting and analysing the market, zoning, and minor variance/consent data in Toronto’s Ward 8 neighbourhoods, this MRP argues that much of Toronto’s inner-suburban neighbourhoods contain overly restrictive land-use regulations that may worsen housing affordability and perpetuate suboptimal land values. The most restrictive areas and neighbourhoods appear to be experiencing the greatest effects of supply constraining regulations, as they have the highest growth in house prices, the greatest increase in housing services per unit upon rebuild, and disproportionately low per-square-foot property values in comparison to its sale price. This MRP also finds that community and institutional support for new development in Toronto’s neighbourhoods are contingent on conformity with existing physical neighbourhood character, whose definition favours the detached home. To help ease the housing affordability crisis, it is recommended that Toronto encourage a range and mix of housing typologies by removing policies and regulations that reinforce single-family only neighbourhoods





  • Master of Planning


  • Urban Development

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP