One of the greatest determining factors for someone looking to either purchase or rent a condo in Toronto is the length of their commute downtown and proximity of their unit to public transit. A listing that is able to boast that it’s within a few steps to a major TTC streetcar or subway stop will gain the attention of a Toronto commuter.
Close proximity to transit options can be measured by a transit score. With the potential for many new areas of downtown Toronto gaining access to a fast downtown commute, their transit score in addition to its overall value could be greatly increased. A transit score is ranked as such:
World-class public transportation
Transit is convenient for most trips
Many nearby public transportation options
A few nearby public transportation options
It may be possible to get on a bus
Access to faster and more efficient transit can have a major impact on the rise of home and condo value. For example, since GO transit started offering more frequent service, housing markets outside of the GTA started to witness a growing trend. The average price of a detached home in Hamilton-Burlington in April 2015 was just over $430,000, 8% higher than a year before. The number of sales was also a record.
The current state of public transit in Toronto
The TTC is comprised of streetcars, subways, and buses, and sees over 1,700,000 riders on an average business day. The average commute time in Toronto is roughly 32 minutes long.
Toronto has already seen the benefits of the new 25-minute commute to the Pearson Airport with the addition of the Union Pearson Express. With the growing need for more efficient transit options, the landscape of public transit in Toronto is going to look very different in a couple years. While areas of Toronto’s downtown core boast very decent transit scores, values on the outskirts sport lower transit scores, and will only see a boost once they become more rooted into the Toronto transit plan.
Transit improvements and affected projects
The city of Toronto and the TTC are currently working in conjunction with Metrolinx, the regional transportation authority, on a number of commuter rail, subway, and light rail transit projects that will help accommodate the growth of trips into and out of the downtown Toronto core.
Downtown Relief Line
While this is still in the planning stages, it will have a serious impact.
To deal with the major congestion of rush hour commuters, a relief line project proposed by the city is currently gaining a lot of momentum. The new line is proposed to initially connect Line 2 (between Broadview and Coxwell stations) to the heart of the downtown core. The Danforth village, Riverdale, Riverside, and areas along the Beaches would see a large increase of value. (We talked more about how the DRL would affect homeowners, so check it out.)
One development that will benefit greatly from the DRL is River City 4.
The first three phases of River City have been showered with accolades for their forward-thinking designs. The fourth and final instalment will stand 11 storeys and will feature more unique designs by Saucier + Perrote.
River City was the first condominium community in the brand new West Don Lands area, which was recently revitalized with an 18-acre park—affectionately known as Corktown Commons—and retail along Front Street as part of the Canary District.
The site of the condo has quick access to transit along both King and Queen Streets and will benefit greatly from a Downtown Relief Line.
In September 2008, Metrolinx launched a regional transportation plan titled “The Big Move”. This plan involves a 25-year, $50-billion plan to better the transit options for people living in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Areas. The first wave of projects currently underway is the Eglinton Crosstown, a 19-kilometre light rail transit (LRT) line soon to run across Eglinton Avenue between Mount Dennis and Kennedy Station.
When the project is completed sometime in 2021, the property value along the Eglinton corridor should see a dramatic positive shift in value, including 1 Eglinton Avenue East, a new mixed-use proposal by Hariri Pontarini Architects.
The project will be located on the South East corner of Yonge & Eglinton and will replace the existing commercial building currently owned by Davpart Inc. The complex will feature office, retail, and residential real estate, with a walk score of 98/100 and a possible direct connection to the Yonge and Eglinton transit lines, (meaning a transit score of 95/100!).
Spadina/York University Extension
In 2017, the Toronto subway is planned to extend north beyond York University into the Vaughan metropolitan area. When the project is completed sometime in 2017, the people residing north of York University will experience a more streamlined and efficient means of accessing the Toronto downtown core.
Rocket at Subway Condos, a brand new condominium located just steps to Wilson Subway Station, will have easy access to this extension. The project is developed by Metropia, the same developer behind Yorkdale Condos, Exhibit Residences, and E Condos. It also has quick access to Allen Road, Highway 401, and Yorkdale Mall.
When looking at purchasing a condo, take a look at TTC’s future plans, as they could positively or negatively affect your living and future selling experience. Knowing how the additions of new parks, bike lanes, and public transit routes can determine which condo properties are going to increase in value is crucial in making the best investment.
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