January 9, 2018 3:35 pm
Updated: January 9, 2018 9:27 pm

Population density in Toronto significantly less compared to other major cities: Fraser Institute

Whether you live or commute in Toronto, all would agree that there is a lot of congestion in the city. Has Toronto become too dense in population? Erica Vella has the answers.


A new study from the Fraser Institute says cities in Canada are significantly less dense than other major cities around the world.

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The study lists population densities of 30 cities in high income and developed countries, and Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto come 13th, 16th and 19th on the list, respectively.

The most dense city listed is Hong Kong, with 25,719 people per square kilometre.

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Fraser Institute senior policy analyst Josef Filipowicz said because Canadian cities are less dense, places like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver can likely accommodate more housing supply.

“Toronto is a large growing city that is facing an affordability crunch,” Filipowicz said.

“What we found in our study is that there is a lot of room for Toronto to grow, notably upwards, through population density…When you compare Toronto to other North American or world cities in other high income countries, Toronto and other Canadian cities are not all that dense.”

LISTEN: Fraser Institute senior policy analyst Josef Filipowicz talks to Global Newsradio 640 Toronto

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According to the study, Toronto has 4,457 people per square kilometre, Montreal has 4,916 people per square kilometre and Vancouver, Canada’s densest city, has 5,493 people per square kilometre.

The population density in New York City is more than double Toronto’s, with 10,935 people per square kilometre.

READ MORE: Toronto secondary schools showing mixed progress: Fraser Institute report

“Certainly, city hall and the province want more density [and] there is plenty of room to do it,”Filipowicz said.

“Toronto faces constraints on growing outwards. We have lake Ontario and provincial policy that makes it difficult to grow outward…so the only option that remains if wants to continue growing as a city is upwards, through higher population density.”

The list also includes Canadian cities like Mississauga with 2,468 people per square kilometre and Calgary with 2,112 people per square kilometre.

WATCH: Alan Carter speaks with Doug Saunders about population density

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