GTA Suburban Market Snapshot: Etobicoke
As the most populous region in Canada, the GTA can be overwhelming when examined as a whole. The surrounding suburbs, comprised of four regional municipalities encompassing 24 communities, represent a wide range of unique opportunities in corporate real estate. Over the next few weeks, we will be examining the GTA suburban landscape with market snapshots of significant areas within the GTA.
Today, we will be examining the suburb of Etobicoke, a former municipality within the western part of the city of Toronto. The municipality dissolved in 1998 with the amalgamation of a number of Metro Toronto municipalities into the city of Toronto. Today, the suburb has a population of 347,948.
Etobicoke is primarily suburban in development, with larger main streets and cul-de-sac housing developments, with a lower population density than the Toronto core. The suburb benefits from the numerous expressways within its borders, including the Queen Elizabeth Way, the Gardiner Expressway, and Highways 401, 409, and 427.
Because it is a true suburb of the City of Toronto versus a standalone municipality, Etobicoke is connected to the Toronto core by 4 subway stations and 4 GO Transit stations making access to the downtown core and surrounding municipalities fast and easy.
In fact, Craig and Stefan are both residents of Etobicoke and can attest to the great access to downtown and their suburban market territories!
Despite being the smallest centre in Toronto, Etobicoke has recently seen a 7.9% growth in employment in 2014. Employment in Etobicoke is primarily dominated by service, retail and office sectors.
Etobicoke is currently home to Aecon, Canada Bread, Moneris and Sunwing Airlines corporate headquarters, and the construction industry is booming with many new condominium towers being developed along the waterfront near Humber Bay and along Bloor Street.
As the population has increased, Etobicoke is becoming an ideal location for corporate real estate leasing, with ample available office space a short distance to Mississauga, however, as well as a boom in office development downtown in recent years, no new office developments have taken place in Etobicoke in some time. This lack of new office development is expected to continue for Etobicoke as availability on Hwy 427 and nearby nodes such as the Airport remain high. Landlords of such properties will remain challenged to keep Additional Rents competitive, on-site amenity and service providers in place, and available premises in good touring condition, especially in Etobicoke’s most aging assets.
In addition, the combination of proximity to downtown Toronto amenities, great highways, quality schools, etc. means highest-and-best use for most Etobicoke land or redevelopment parcels will remain focused on residential and retail construction for some time.
Etobicoke is typically the first choice for tenants looking to escape the high cost of office rents downtown given its strategic location as the node closest to the downtown core. Any sign of tenant migration from downtown to the suburbs will likely bring increased leasing activity to Etobicoke landlords. Until then, tenants will find Etobicoke to be a favourable “tenant’s market.”