Canada’s population will blow past the 40 million mark this June, and as the number of residents in the country expands, there is little question that Toronto will as well. Meanwhile, the housing disparity that will no doubt snowball as a result -- and the need to mitigate it -- is not lost on residents. In fact, a new poll by Liaison Strategies shows that 69% of Torontonians are in support of building more housing in the city, while only 7% are opposed.
The poll -- conducted for the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada and obtained by STOREYS -- reflects the sentiments of 1,257 Toronto residents between May 5 to May 6, 2023. It comes as the mayoral race continues to heat up. With the by-election scheduled for June 26, there has been no shortage of spotlight on Toronto’s housing issues, with the lengthy list of candidates dishing out plan after plan to address the housing supply and affordability issues that have long plagued the city.
In addition to being in strong support of housing development, Toronto residents also seemed to understand it as a priority. When asked if they support or oppose building more housing by reducing parking requirements for new developments, 56% of respondents said they were in support.
Q: Do you support or oppose building more housing by reducing parking requirements for new developments?
As well, when respondents were asked if they supported or opposed building more housing by allowing apartments and condos on land currently zoned for single-family homes, 47% stated their support.
Q: Do you support or oppose building more housing by allowing larger developments near transit corridors?
Sixty-one per cent of respondents also indicated that they were in support of building more housing by allowing larger developments near transit corridors, while 58% of residents said that building more housing is more important than “maintaining the characteristics” of Toronto neighbourhoods.
Liason’s poll is part of a larger poll about the upcoming mayoral race, which reveals that 32% of respondents are still undecided on who they will cast their vote for come June. Those who are decided are favouring Olivia Chow, at 18%.
Chow’s popularity in the polls has been steadily rising since she launched her campaign on April 17. To date, she has released three housing-related announcements: one promising more affordability and agency for Toronto renters, another vowing to build 25,000 new rental homes, and the most recent geared at housing the city’s homelessness.