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Media Release

New Report: Manufacturing Workers Continue to be Priced Out, which Threatens GTA Growth

Housing shortfall in Toronto and the Peel Region must be addressed to realize the forecast potential of adding 114,000 manufacturing jobs by 2050.

Manufacturing workers

TORONTO, ON, September 13, 2021 – Today, the Toronto Region Board of Trade and Smart Prosperity Institute released ‘Priced Out’, a report that explores housing affordability for manufacturing workers in Toronto and the Peel Region. The report uses data and case studies to highlight the struggles of manufacturing workers in that the Goods Production and Distribution District (GPDD), and emphasizes that the 114,000 manufacturing jobs forecast to be added by 2050 are at risk if workers continue to be priced out. 

The GPDD, defined by the Board’s Economic Blueprint Institute (EBI), accounts for a large share of production and supports movement of goods across Canada. The largest concentration of jobs in the GPDD is the Pearson Airport Employment Zone, which spans across Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga.  

The report finds that manufacturing workers struggle with affordable housing in the GPDD. A double-income family working in the GPDD and earning $85,000 would have to spend 20% to 30% of their income to rent a 1-bedroom unit in areas near the Pearson Airport Employment Zone. Of the 59,077 properties sold in the GTA between January and May of 2021, this double-income household would only qualify for a mortgage for the lowest 3% of homes – mostly 1-bedroom condos.  

“Our region is primed to be a leader in the $3.3 trillion global climate economy - but to secure those jobs, we need to solve our housing crisis and ensure middle-class working families can afford to live here,” said Jan De Silva, President & CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade.   

The report highlights the bright future of the GPDD, which is expected to create up to 114,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector in the next 30 years, driven by Canada’s net-zero emissions target in 2050. However, for this economic growth to continue in the GPDD, firms must be able to find the workers to take those jobs. Exceptionally high home prices, due to a lack of housing, has made it nearly impossible for these families to find affordable housing near where they work.   

“A lack of family-friendly, climate-friendly housing in the GTA is squeezing the budgets of working families, and makes it difficult for our more innovative clean growth firms to attract and maintain workers. To drive better economic and environmental outcomes for Ontario, governments across the GTA must ensure an adequate supply of homes.” Said Dr. Mike Moffatt, Senior Director, Policy and Innovation at the Smart Prosperity Institute.  

“Failure to address the housing shortage will result in a loss of these jobs and economic opportunities to other parts of the world. Housing affordability is a top issue in next week’s election for a reason, and we can’t afford to keep kicking the can down the road,” said Craig Ruttan, Policy Director, Housing, at the Toronto Region Board of Trade. 

Read 'Priced Out'

Learn about housing affordability for manufacturing workers in Toronto and the Peel Region.
A manufacturing worker grinding a steel frame.

About Toronto Region Board of Trade

The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential business chambers in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic agenda. We pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.

Media Contact

Andrew Perez, Media Relations Manager