Proximity to infrastructure more important than ever

TTC street carEver notice how many builders boast their new community is “just minutes from shopping, schools and all the amenities!”? And that “Everything you need is “right at your doorstep!”? Indeed, proximity to infrastructure and amenities – from transit to health care to schools to shopping to recreation – is critical for builders and buyers alike. It affects your lifestyle and comfort while living there, as well as resale potential down the road.Home building associations across the country often comment that development charges and other fees – which fund infrastructure expansion – are rising to prohibitively high levels. Consider, for example, development charges imposed by local and regional municipalities can reach as high as $63,000 per home. These costs are almost always passed directly on to new-home buyers.The federal government, for its part, is pledging to increase support for national infrastructure.Says Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) President Deep Shergill: “It’s an opportunity to restore fiscal integrity at the municipal level and fairness for younger generations. At present, many municipalities are financing community infrastructure by transferring the costs into the mortgages of new-home buyers, amounting to more than $5 billion a year.”Municipalities across Canada are now lobbying Ottawa to make sure they get their share of available funds to address road and transit needs.Faced with such infrastructure and funding challenges, municipalities are also considering other options – including new taxes and road tolls – to help pay for what’s needed.For homeowners and prospective new-home buyers, it is clear that proximity to infrastructure and amenities – particularly existing infrastructure – is more important than ever.With continuing immigration, general growth and construction expansion – all happening at a quicker pace than infrastructure improvements – our highways and transit systems will all be tested until everything catches up.Consider, for example, the population of the Greater Toronto Area continues to increase by about 100,000 people per year. Research suggests that by 2031, there could be three million more people living in the area – bringing with them an additional 1.5 million vehicles.As you’re out there shopping for your new home, look around to see how far you are from the nearest highway or rapid transit system that affords you a reasonable commute; and how close you are to health care, schools, shopping and recreation. Such communities, with nearby established infrastructure and amenities, will be at a premium, now and in future.


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