The GTA & Ontario Greenbelt Trending Towards Full Capacity

It's crazy to watch what's happening to the Golden Horseshoe and how development is chewing all the land between the green belt and the lake. We share some maps and future growth in this week's Rock Star Minute...


Hey Everyone, it’s Tom Karadza with another Rock Star Minute. It's pretty loud here so I hope you can hear me. I'm on the road, Iroquois Shore Road here in Oakville. I'm at the site actually where we're going to be moving in about a year. It’s a new office complex, you can see the artist's rendition up here. It’s a 2-story office complex, they’re just doing some digging, there's not much to see behind us here.

A part of the reason that we bought in this location is this road is going to connect and actually go over the QEW and connect right into Mississauga that way. This building here, let me spin around, this building here behind me is going to be torn down, but word on the street is that it's going to be a brand new large gym with a Starbucks next to it over here. This road here to my right over here, probably for left, is going to connect for the highway. They're going to build a bridge over the highway. So, this area is really going to be a hub for Oakville. It kind of gave us some of the confidence to purchase commercial units in here. We'll see how it goes, time will tell.

I will tell you that as investors one of the things we like to do is go to the town of Oakville and watch the density development plans and we like to do that right across Ontario. So, we're going to hop on my computer right now because what we'd like to show you is just how the density is filling in with the help of some maps, right across the Golden Horseshoe here. As real estate investors, we find it's pretty interesting. Hopefully, you will as well. So, let's move over to my desktop so I can share that stuff with you.

The first site that we want to look at is one of these Ontario Government sites. They do a pretty good job of putting some information together for all of us. And what I think is surprising, or at least was surprising to us, was most people think of Toronto as about 2 million-2.5-3 million people. The Greater Golden Horseshoe, so this area, kind of like Durham all the way down to Niagara around Lake Ontario, holds nine million people right now. So, nine million people live in this area of Canada. So that right there is an interesting statistic for a real estate investor to know. And it attracts one in three new immigrants in this area. So, Canada will get right now about 300,000 to 330,000 immigrants into the country, or about 100,000 or 110,000 immigrants are coming into this area of the country right here, and they all need a place to live. So, the forecast is, by 2041, which isn't that far (that sounds like a long time away but if you buy a property right now, before that mortgage is paid off, if it's a typical kind of 25-year amortization, and it's a new investment property, you're going to have a real strong growth from 9,000,000 to 13,500,000. So that's almost 50% growth rate there before that property is paid off and that's kind of what we want to show you.)

Next, if I flip over to another website here, has these really cool maps.  There's is a 2005 greenbelt map, and there is now a 2017 greenbelt map. So, if we look at it, let's open the 2005 one first. This is really interesting again from a real estate investor's point of view. So, if we look at Toronto, the orange area here is built up. So, this is kind of existing density that's built up you can see the lake is here, the greenbelt, which is the largest greenbelt in the world, kind of surrounds the Greater Toronto Area. You can see in 2005 the density around Toronto, you can see Mississauga, you can see Milton is just a little bit built up here in 2005… There's Oakville, Burlington's already touching up against the greenbelt. In 2005, Hamilton is kind of filling out here, and then you can see why there's no build in these areas here until you get to Guelph, Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, Brantford. So, interesting information for us. So, that's 2005.

So, if we flip over now to the 2017 map, it's a different map but it's showing the same information, you can see how much the density has now filled out in 2017. In 2017, all of Mississauga, and a huge part of the Brampton area kind of developed. You can see Oakville continuing to develop out here. You can see Milton, which was just slightly developed in 2005, how it's expanding and building out here. You can see how Hamilton, the development ended about here 2005. Now it's kind of getting closer to the green belt and filling out here.

There’s the expansion of Guelph, Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo, Brantford, the Barrie area up here is developing out, the east side in Durham is starting to fill out against the green belt.

So, areas like Oshawa, Pickering, Ajax, Clarington, all these areas out here on the east side of the city, so it's kind of interesting. Although, obviously, Ontario is a massive province, the metropolitan area of Toronto and the greater golden horseshoe kind of has these land restrictions that are really causing some density issues within the space between the lake and the greenbelt.

So, what we did is we said, okay if the Ontario government is going to project a population growth of this space, why don't we just take this map ourselves and see what it would look like if we add in that growth. So that's kind of what we try to do, to the best of our ability. It's not going to be as good of a map as you see here, but we took the map, we extrapolated out to 2041. You can see the areas around Milton (again this is kind of just extrapolating making a best guess on where that development may happen), but you can see this is the Peel area. This is Milton, here in Oakville all this area becomes full with future growth. The Guelph area continues to expand. Perhaps the Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo area, Brantford. You can see the Hamilton area completely fills in. Then you can even see along the QEW here. Perhaps we're going to get more density here.

Now, this is really interesting, this kind of St. Catharines-Welland area here, because they don't have Go Train access on a regular basis yet, but that's projected for 2021, even if it's a couple of years late, that really should increase the accessibility to this area, increasing demand and filling this area out as well.

So, you can see now, around the Golden Horseshoe, on the west side of Toronto all the way around Niagara. It fills in on the east side of Toronto, these areas that are available now will be likely filled in up… In the Barrie Area, how it continues to develop.

And again, this is just kind of guessing where some of these developments may happen. But the point is that we have this growth coming into the area. We actually put this inside a report where we took these figures from the Greenbelt website. So here was…it actually should not say today, it should say 2005… There is the 2005 chart, there's the 2017 density chart around the greenbelt, and then here is the extrapolation out to 2041.

So, if you want to get a copy of these specific maps, just to look for your own reference, we have them on a website. The URL for that website is It's a report we talk about how the middle class is basically being destroyed. There are some interest rate charts in Canada and the US, how the interest rates seem to go in parallel, some rental numbers, projections of house prices versus income, and that kind of stuff. There are the average rent numbers and that kind of stuff. So, if that's of interest, you can grab that at

So, there you have it, hopefully, you found that useful and you know that when we look at that density filling in across the board as real estate investors, some questions come to mind like what is going to happen to the property prices of properties that you might already own any areas that are already filling in. And it's a little bit of a roadmap to maybe where we can buy in the future before the real masses move into those areas just kind of get a little bit ahead of the trend. So, as real estate investors, we love looking at that data. Hopefully, you found some use out of that. Until next time, your life your terms.




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