Ontario Is Not Prepared For Its Future Population

Ontario’s population is expected to surge by 30% in the next two decades, but some experts warn that the province, with its lack of housing and general infrastructure, may not be ready to support this growth.

Statistics Canada projects that the population of the province could jump to 19 million by 2043, an increase of about 30% from 14.8 million in 2021. 

The surge in population will be driven largely by immigration, says Patrice Dion, a demographer with StatCan. When Canada’s border reopened in 2021, the country welcomed over 400,000 immigrants which represent 87.4% of the population growth pie of that year.

According to The Star, some experts believe Ontario isn’t equipped to handle the growth, especially in dense urban centers like Toronto. Sheila Block, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, pointed out that Toronto’s lack of affordable housing and planning for population growth could impede the city’s economic potential.

“We need to talk about a sustainable future, a future where we see less damage from climate change and more equity,” Block said. “Those are the kinds of issues that have to be considered, and affordable housing is one piece of that pie.”

“The growth will force mandated densification laws, where community groups won’t be allowed to hold up the creation of housing because they don’t like it,” Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage, predicted.

Block and Soper believe that while the province isn’t prepared for growth, sustained immigration will ease the pressure from an aging population. 

The country is expected to see a sharp increase in the population of older seniors, while the population of children is expected to fall. As the natural growth rate continues to decline, the country will need to rely on immigrants to boost its working-age population.

“If you look at countries like Italy or Japan, which have broken immigration systems — Japan has been a very isolated country and it’s very challenging to become a citizen and Italy isn’t that much different — they’re going to face the kind of challenges Canada will, but to a much greater extent,” said Soper.

Information for this briefing was found via Statistics Canada, Toronto Star, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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