Supply versus demand -- it's a fierce and unrelenting competition, nationwide.
"In March alone, [Canada's] working-age population expanded by 80,000 people. This brings the cumulative [population growth] increase to 204,000 in the first quarter of 2023," reads a recent report from National Bank's Stéfane Marion.
"There is no precedent for a quarterly rise of this magnitude," Marion continues, drawing comparison to the UK, where the population increase for all of 2022 was 200,000.
As Canada endeavours upon its most ambitious immigration plan to date, and the impacts of uncertain interest rates and inflation in flux get folded in, there's no argument: Canada needs more homes. But introducing enough housing to meet these immigration targets will be no easy feat -- in fact, builders are facing pessimism about whether it will be possible at all.
However, Toronto-based developer Menkes Developments Ltd. is off to a healthy start, poised to deliver more residential units to Canada than any other developer in 2023.
"A total of over 2,700 units [are] to be delivered by the end of the year," says Jared Menkes, Executive Vice President High-Rise Residential.
Menkes buildings are welcoming residents to several developments across the Greater Toronto Area, bringing new homes of various types, bedroom counts, shapes, and sizes to more than 5,500 GTA residents before January. Many suites have seen their first move ins already this year, or will in the next few weeks.
For example, at Menkes and QuadReal’s Mobilio, located at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC), residents recently moved into the condominium's first and second towers. Later this year, occupancy will also be taken up at Mobilio’s selection of townhomes, and on-site amenities -- a theatre room, game lounge, yoga studio, co-work space, pet-washing station, outdoor space, and more -- are already open and operational. Mobilio joins Menkes and QuadReal's Festival, alongside a host of other residential, office, retail, mixed-use, and civic spaces that make up VMC, a 100-acre (and Canada’s largest) master-planned community.
VMC also boasts seamless integration with transit; VMC subway station is just steps away, and Highways 400 and 7 -- leading to further pastures -- are also easily accessible.
"This was a natural fit for us, given our expertise in mixed-use developments and communities," Menkes explains. "VMC will include 1.5 million sq. ft of new office space, 750,000 sq. ft of retail, and will be home to 25,000 residents once completed."
A quick trip south leads to another of Menkes' 2023 developments: Lake & Town. Sitting pretty in Etobicoke, occupancy for this new townhome community begins in May, just in time for residents to spend the summer strolling the shores of Lake Ontario. The sold-out development is a five-minute walk from Lake Shore Blvd., where residents will surely get their fill of local restaurants and small shops, no matter the season.
Lake & Town's Lake Shore and Kipling location is also a short trek to IKEA, Sherway Gardens, the QEW, and Highway 427, making errands and weekend trips as easy as hopping into the driver's seat.
Lake and Town, January 2023 (Menkes)
Also along the waterfront, the highly anticipated Sugar Wharf has officially welcomed occupants to its Phase 1 East and West towers.
Standing across from Sugar Beach, these lakeside projects enhance the waterfront and its connection to the rest of downtown, not only for residents, but the community at large.
"Menkes prides itself on focusing on neighbourhood growth and transformation," Menkes says. "We kicked off the transformation of the waterfront and former industrial lands with the development of 25 York Street, which at the time included a new south entrance to Union Station. All the projects we embarked on following that continued to be transit oriented.”
The development of the Sugar Wharf community includes extending the PATH east of Yonge, better connecting the eastern waterfront to public transit.
And while connectivity will be increased, Sugar Wharf also brings a host of additional conveniences right to the eastern waterfront. For example, the development is home to a flagship LCBO, and Farm Boy -- Canada's beloved answer to Trader Joe's -- just opened up shop. Beyond the PATH expansion, the project will introduce a new two-acre park, plus Toronto's first vertically integrated school, inviting opportunity for increased family oriented downtown high-rises.
For residents specifically, Sugar Wharf's suite of amenities includes a gym, arts and crafts room, party room, and children's play room, plus many more. A quick stroll leads to the Harbourfront Centre or Lake Ontario's shore, and the Toronto Islands are a short ferry ride away. And this is all without mentioning the beautiful waterfront views the development's suites serve.
Sugar Wharf Lobby (Menkes)
And it isn’t only ownership opportunities Menkes is bringing to the GTA this year. LIDO -- an affordable rental community adjacent to Sugar Wharf, home to 205 units -- has taken up occupancy too.
Overlooking the lake, renters here can look forward to lifestyle-supporting amenities that are soon to open, including a party room and a well-equipped fitness centre with a beautiful outdoor terrace.
Of course, GTA new builds won't be able to solve for Canada's housing requirements all on their own -- but, immigration hot spots considered, they are a major factor.
"We are thrilled to be able to deliver homes to over 5,500 GTA residents by the end of 2023, and satisfy the increasing demand for all different types of housing needs," Menkes says. "Menkes will offer homes for everyone, from affordable housing to families. We are so proud that we’re able to achieve this in a market with continued immigration."
Cover image: Sugar Wharf (Menkes)
This article was produced in partnership with STOREYS Custom Studio.