More Torontonians moving to Satellite Towns & Cities

Urban sprawl is an ever growing issue in Toronto, but don’t tell that to people buying homes in Brampton, Mississauga and Georgetown. There are two groups of people who are buying homes in these regions:

  • Group A: Moving there because homes in Toronto are too expensive and they’ve decided it would be more economical to commute to work.
  • Group B: They found work in Brampton, Mississauga or Georgetown, areas which have been seeing huge growth during the last 2 decades, and they want to buy homes closer to their workplace.

As time goes by however Group B keeps getting bigger and bigger. According to Greg Kuenzig, a Toronto city planning consultant who recently moved to Brampton but now works overseas in London England, the number of people moving and working in satellite cities will eventually reach a point that it is arguably no longer urban sprawl. It’s just a completely separate city, with its own economy and its own local politics, with little connection to the overflowing metropolis which spawned it.

Satellite Cities and Population shown in PinkSatellite Cities is a term used to describe smaller cities around larger metropolises that grow in independently and have their own downtown core, city council, etc. Examples: Mississauga, Brampton and Vaughan.

Let’s take Georgetown for example, a prime location for people looking to commute to Toronto because of the GO Station. According to a 2006 census the population of Georgetown had risen to 36,690, a 16.4% increase over a 10 year period. In more recent years the Brampton and Oakville region has seen an explosion of growth, which has sparked many local stores and franchises to open up (which brings in local jobs and even more people).

The new Weaver’s Mill townhome development in Georgetown is a sign of the times. It’s catering specifically to young singles and couples who are looking for townhomes. Compared to the $500,000 one might spend on a house in Brampton, the $289,990 for a townhome at Weaver’s Mill is well worth it. The price difference is huge. The concept is simple: Draw in the young people who are willing to commute to Toronto via the GO train, offer them the benefits of a small town but with the convenience of still being close to Toronto.

But eventually these young couples have children, which means the community has to grow to accommodate more people who set down roots and decide they don’t want to leave. Eventually Georgetown will become a small city in its own right.

In Canada urban sprawl is basically a necessity. We’re still a young country and our population density is a mere 9.27 people per square mile, one of the lowest population densities in the world. (The North American average is 32 people/square mile and the global average is 115.) Our country is under-populated and urban sprawl/the flourishing of communities is bound to happen in a country which has yet to reach its potential.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Rob Campbell
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 13:45:56

    I like to go out and dig up old glass bottles and century year old rubbish in the ravines, creek pits, and in the ditches, latrines and behind the old barns and farms buildings and old Victorian farmhouses that re being demolished to make way for new housing subdivisions. Weaver’s Mill sounds like a perfect place to go hunting.. hahaha So in a way I’ve made watching new housing projects very social on Dumpdiggers Found Antiques Discussion Forum, and every day new members join up and add to the conversations.


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