With such a large population, Toronto has grown into the most dense and diverse city in Canada – full of various cultures and creative individuals. Toronto continues to lead as the financial and industrial core and has also progressed its urban landscape – continuing to shape the city around the iconic forefront of the CN Tower. With old and new architecture, the structures in the city have provided the spaces for people to live, play, and work.
Housing more than 2 million people, Toronto’s workforce also attracts a number of others from surrounding areas in and around the GTA. According to a 2015 employment survey from the City of Toronto, about 35.7% of jobs are located in the downtown core, with other dense employment centres spread across the City.
With the number of ongoing and completed development projects that are situated all across Toronto, new areas are being created for living, employment, and travel. Increasing the spaces for people to live should result with an increase in places to work as well. From 2014 to 2015, the City has increased its employment opportunities by 2.7% – with a noted of 4,460 new establishments in 2015. However, as people move to and from school or work, it is essential for the systems and networks to be maintained and provided in order to move people around a compact, congested, and increasing urban environment.
Toronto was once a leader in the transportation discussion – but has yet to improve its current system. Connecting the areas of high employment concentrations such as the Scarborough Centre and North York Centre Corridors to the main subway lines will allow a greater amount of people to move across the city – relieving the congestion on arterial roads and highways. Development also occur where the concentrations are high, but providing spaces to live and work also rely on affordability.
As the population continues to increase, so will ridership. Planning around the current transportation system will only push travel demand and cause ridership to go overcapacity. Planning for extensions and additional lines, especially in areas that are densely concentrated with employment opportunities and residency, should provide an easy and accessible commute option. This may also support the daily travel decisions people make.
The plan to provide more transportation options is important to the city’s economic success. Transportation has always continued to support the movement of people and goods, as well as the economic and social systems within the city. An investment in transit is an investment in the people, and the image of Toronto’s streets and neighbourhoods once a new system in implemented. Therefore, it is a critical time to invest and improve the system that supports the economic, social, and environmental structure of the city.