Density is Here to Stay
Sustained population growth over the next 15 years combined with provincial land use plans (e.g. Provincial Growth Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Plan, Greenbelt Plan) means that 12 million people will move the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) and need to live and work in the same land area in the currently occupied by 9 million people. More people in the same space means we have to live at a greater density.
To accommodate this growth while making efficient use of existing infrastructure, preserving natural areas, protecting drinking water and farmland, the province uses policy tools like the Provincial Growth Plan to require municipalities to plan for more compact, higher density communities.
But, it's not just policy that drives the trend to compact, higher density communities. The building industry and the housing market in the GGH is also changing in response to rising land costs, more diverse family types and population growth. More townhouses, condo towers and mid-rise apartments are being built, with a focus on people, amenities and active transportation rather than the circulation and storage of cars.
The result is a visible change towards a denser built environment in the GGH. Visualizing Density provides a way of seeing that change and assessing if greater density is working to provide residents with great places to live.