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  • Writer's pictureKim

Walkable Communities

Did you know that 81 per cent of people – downtowners or suburbanites – across the GTA want to live in a walkable, transit-friendly neighbourhood, assuming they could afford a home there?

This infographic outlines the results of a survey, conducted by RBC and the Pembina Institute, looking at what homebuyers want in the Greater Toronto Area. The survey aims to understand preferences for location-related attributes — like walkability, commute times, home size and neighbourhood — when buying a home. Though the study was conducted in 2014, its results are still relevant today.

Building complete communities

Complete communities are those that include a place to live, work, and play all between a walk or short transit trip. Building avenues are one of the ways Toronto is constructing complete communities. Avenues are long corridors that can support new job opportunities and mid-rise housing as the city continues to expand. Complete communities feature a number of multi-unit stacked townhouses and mid-rise buildings.

They’ve got prime access to transit, and such development will match retail, jobs and services within walking distance of the neighbourhood’s existing character.

A perfect example where this is happening is the Eglinton corridor. The Crosstown Eglinton, an investment of light-rail transit, has created the opportunity to improve the streetscape and transform Eglinton by increases in density.

Why walkable communities?

Walkable communities are a strong preference among homebuyers under 35 and over 60, according to the RBC-Pembina survey. Over time, walkable communities create the types of sidewalk culture neighbourhoods that you can typically find downtown.

Baby boomers are entering their golden years and they’re increasingly interested in moving to more manageable and walkable homes. The same is strong for a demographic group at the other end of the age spectrum, millennials — those between the ages of 18 and 34. These residents are the future of our city. It’s clear that this approach is essential to adapt to the future’s demographic trends.

What’s important to you when choosing a home? Would you be willing to live in a smaller home so you could be part of a walkable community served by rapid transit?

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