Canada

Toronto Condos Are Shrinking In Size Much Faster Than Vancouver

Toronto and Vancouver condos are shrinking at an incredibly fast rate. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) crunched the size of condo apartments using assessment data. The data shows the median size of newer developments are fast shrinking – not all that surprising to most. It is surprising to see Toronto condo units shrinking much faster than Vancouver – a city notorious for tiny units.

Toronto Condos Are Being Built Almost 40% Smaller Than Peak

Condo units in Toronto CMA are shrinking incredibly fast. The median condo size built from 2016 to 2017, fell to 647 sq ft. – down 5% from those built from 2011 to 2015. The median sized unit delivered between 2016 to 2017 is 39.53% smaller than those made during the 1990 peak.

Toronto Median Condo Apartment Size

The median size of condo apartments in Toronto CMA, by year of building construction.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

Vancouver Condos Are Being Built 16% Smaller Than Peak

Greater Vancouver, Canada’s most expensive market, is a little more spacious than Toronto. The median size of a condo built from 2016 to 2017 fell to 769 sq ft., down 3.6% from those built between 2011 to 2015. The median size is also 16.04% smaller than buildings made from peak unit size hit between 1971 and 1990.

Vancouver Median Condo Apartment Size

The median size of condo apartments in Vancouver CMA, by year of building construction.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

Toronto Condos Are Shrinking Faster Than Vancouver

Toronto is seeing condos shrink much faster than Vancouver. Toronto condos had a median size of 1,070 sq ft. from 1981 to 1990, 16.81% larger than Vancouver during the same period. Worth remembering that Toronto is both “cheaper” and less densely populated than Vancouver.

Canadian Median Condo Apartment Size

The median size of condo apartments in Toronto CMA and Vancouver CMA, by year of building construction.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

The wave of smaller condos kicks off an interesting trend in both cities. In the late 1980s, developers saw condos as a replacement for traditional housing. Units with multiple bedrooms were built, assuming people would raise families in them. Now single bedroom (sometimes less) are the standard. Record levels of construction mean this will help shape future demographics. Both cities are giving a loud and clear sign that the future in these places are to work – not build a long-term future. Toronto accelerating to build smaller units than even densely populated Vancouver means it’s vying for the number one spot to not raise a family.

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18 Comments

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  • Paul M 2 months ago

    Killing the immigration narrative. Who’s moving here for their kid to have a better life, by one day living in your basement?

    Glad I’m old enough that my kids are out of the house. Modern governments (regardless of political spectrum) are hell bent on making it impossible for locals to have kids, then promote the idea modern economies don’t want kids.

    • Liat 2 months ago

      Then they promote immigration, like they’re adopting children. No thought as to how they deal with the fact that new immigrants create their own dependency issues in the future, not solve existing ones. They’re compounding the issue in favor of short term economic growth in their term.

  • SUMSKILLZ 2 months ago

    We have a consumption based economy. How exactly is that supposed to work when more and more people are living in obscenely expensive, tiny condos with no storage space?

    You either:
    A. Stop buying things.
    B. Continue to buy things but throw them out quite frequently.
    C. Consume more and more services instead.

    • Vancouverite 2 months ago

      D. The boom of the self storage business.

    • devon 2 months ago

      Funny, because larger houses are an important part of the US economy for this purpose. Canadians like to think of themselves more like Europe, but with massive American-style credit. Huge recipe for disaster, and the worst setup possible.

  • CanadaSucks 2 months ago

    I think some people refer to this as shrinkflation. Same as kraft cheese going from 450g to 400g for the same. It means 12%prince increase in one shot But I assure you people. My gouverment told me that inflation is low and everything is fine

    • Statistics Aren't Facts 2 months ago

      Government never lie either, and always get things right.

  • vnm 2 months ago

    Ideally condos should be the size of safety deposit boxes.
    The foundation of an efficient workers village,
    bunkhouse housing and food, working 6.5 days a week,
    disposable income of a few hundred month, for TV and alcohol.

    • Frost 2 months ago

      Sadly that is already a reality in Hong Kong and other overpriced cities where money laundering through real estate is rampant.

  • John 2 months ago

    Tired of staying silent while the myth of “more densely populated Vancouver” gets perpetuated. It’s true according to municipal boundaries that Vancouver is denser. But that’s comparing the 115 km2 City of Vancouver with the 630 km2 amalgamated City of Toronto.
    The pre-1998 city of Toronto boundary is 97km2 and has a density of 8210 people per km2. That’s 1.5 times the 5493 people per km2 of Vancouver. CMA tells the same story- Toronto is 5906 km2 with a density of 1004, Vancouver is 2883 km2 with a density of 855.

  • Frost 2 months ago

    Why are developers still building 500+ square foot condos? The money laundering buyers do not live in them. Just build 10 x 10 closets with a fridge and stove in it and list it for 1 mil. The money laundering community will thank you.

  • mmr 2 months ago

    Why Doug ford didn’t cancel the 15percent tax yet? Remove it ASAP. this not Venezuela.

  • Depth386 2 months ago

    A few years ago I talked to a friend about neural interface to computers. He envisioned a future where your entire life could be in VR with the ability to “leave” and create new virtual worlds, etc.

    Anyways it followed logically that the way you would physically exist is essentially inside a high tech coffin or suntan bed with some monitoring and life support, feeding tubes, etc. Technology would likely drive down the cost of this “meat storage” sufficiently for someone to support themselves in this state cheaper than in real life with normal food and living quarters. So it would make sense to do any kind of online/office/content creation work and exist in this way. Thus the majority of people would be non-coercively “matrixed” except there would probably be freedom to make whatever virtual world you pleased.

    To bring this back to condos… lets go for 50 square feet! Yay!

    • Frost 2 months ago

      Except Toronto is mostly a service industry. You still need the minimum wage slaves to wake up and go to work. Unless the employers are willing to house them on site than your idea would most definitely work. Which reminds me that I have heard of something like that already (oh right it’s China and their factories).

    • vnm 2 months ago

      “… a high tech coffin or suntan bed with some monitoring and life support”

      lol, one heck of a sales pitch!

    • Arch 2 months ago

      Neurosciences could solve jobs as well. VR could be easily adopted to VR office. So, while you’re in your “matrixed” bed, you still could provide online services to company and customers (+ no commute, no real office space, no desks, lees insurance, etc). No matter how funny this could sound -corporations would absolutelly see many cost advantages of it.

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