Pickering and Ajax poised for continuing growth

By Wayne Karl
December 12, 2020

If recent predictions about more homebuyers looking outside the downtown core in a post-pandemic world prove accurate, locations such as Pickering and Ajax might be among the chief beneficiaries.

These communities have plenty going for them – close enough to Toronto to benefit from easy transit and highway access, but also sufficiently distant to boast their own small-town feel.

Indeed, in its Fall Market Outlook Report, ReMax cites Durham Region as an area poised for strong growth, post-COVID-19. In fact, the realty firm expects Durham to be one of the hottest markets in Ontario for the balance of 2020, forecasting a 14-per-cent increase in average residential prices, compared to just six per cent for Ontario overall.

Another realty firm, Royal LePage, shows strong home price growth for the third quarter:


As for the new home market, the Building Industry and Land Development Association reports new condo sales in Durham are also on the rise – to 54 units in September 2020, compared to 25 in September 2019 and just 15 in 2018.

What’s the appeal in the east? Convenient natural location just east of Toronto along Hwy. 401 is among the reasons, with Pickering just 40 km from downtown, Ajax 46, Whitby 59 and Oshawa 62. Living in these areas and commuting into the city is a real option – particularly with recent GO Transit improvements and the expansion of Hwy. 407.

New growth targets

The area also has available land and space to facilitate this growth. The Pickering Innovation Corridor boasts 800 acres of greenfield, prestige employment land, located along a limited access transportation route directly adjacent to the site of the future Pickering Airport.

Pickering is in major transition, with new growth targets set for the city. The new and developing community of Seaton, for example, is preparing to welcome 70,000 new residents and 35,000 new jobs.

Neighbouring Ajax is similarly prosperous, as the town has a well-deserved reputation for progressive thinking. Among the major projects underway is a redevelopment of the downtown, with new public spaces at Pat Bayly Square.

Lowrise living

Still sometimes considered suburbs of Toronto, Pickering and Ajax appeal to those in search of single-family and other ground-oriented homes, since, well, there is new lowrise home development in the area. And, like elsewhere in the GTA, “missing-middle” type housing is also gaining popularity here.

Location, location, location

Pickering is 40 km east of Toronto, population 91,771; Ajax 46 km, population 121,780

Key landmarks

• Casino Ajax
• Claremont Conservation Area
• Frenchman’s Bay
• Greenwood Conservation Area
• Petticoat Creek
• Pickering Town Centre
• Veterans’ Point Garden

Select housing developments

A Towns

By Paradise Developments


By Geranium Homes


By Madison Group


By Fieldgate Homes

Seaton Whitevale

By Mattamy Homes


Visit nexthome.ca


Central Ajax
Pickering Beach
South Ajax


Nautical Village
Rouge Park
Village East

About Wayne Karl

Wayne Karl is an award-winning writer and editor with experience in real estate and business. Wayne explores the basics – such as economic fundamentals – you need to examine when buying property. wayne.karl@nexthome.ca

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