The population of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is projected to increase by 42.3% to reach 9.6 million by 2041, finds an Avison Young report, creating opportunities for commercial property owners.

With the provincial Ministry of Infrastructure planning to invest more than $160 billion over 12 years, starting in 2014, developers are making significant investments in all types of residential and commercial real estate in locations connected with the expansion of public infrastructure.

“With so much planned development on the drawing board and funding in place, this is a time of opportunity for forward-looking commercial property owners and occupiers,” said Bill Argeropoulos, principal and practice leader for research (Canada) at Avison Young, in a release.

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Key commercial growth areas in the GTA will emerge at a number of transit-oriented development hubs, notes the report. This will create significant opportunities for development and investment.

Specifically, the report highlights the areas of East Harbour, Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, the Pearson Transit Centre and the Hurontario Light-Rail Transit corridor as the ones to watch.

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Rapid population growth and demand for commercial space will challenge government and private developers’ ability to deliver necessary infrastructure, adds the report. However, strategic investment from both investor groups will provide significant opportunities for commercial property owners and occupiers to capitalize on the GTA’s growth.

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“The recent news that Toronto is vying for selection as the location of Amazon’s proposed $5-billion second headquarters in North America, and Google sister company Sidewalk Labs’ plan to build a high-tech neighbourhood called Sidewalk Toronto on the city’s waterfront, only serve to emphasize the importance of making investments in the city’s future to further increase its appeal to major global corporations,” said Argeropoulos.

He added, “We are hopeful that the commitments made by private stakeholders and all levels of government will ensure the success of these plans, helping to future-proof the GTA and setting an example for achieving its long-term growth and prosperity.”