Municipal Policy

— Oct 8, 2020
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Job Creation and Housing Starts in Canada’s Largest Metropolitan Areas

Job Creation and Housing Starts in Canada’s Largest Metropolitan Areas is a new study that finds the Vancouver and Toronto areas—while accounting for less than 25 per cent of Canada’s population, accounted for 120,000 new jobs from 2015 to 2019. But over the same period, the number of new housing starts in the two regions remained largely stagnant at approximately 57,000 a year—a rate that has largely been unchanged since 2002.

— Oct 1, 2020
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Local Leviathans: The Rise of Municipal Government Spending in Canada, 1990–2018

Local Leviathans: The Rise of Municipal Government Spending in Canada, 1990–2018 finds that local governments across Canada have increased spending significantly in recent years—even before the COVID-19 pandemic and recession. In fact, from 2008 to 2018, total municipal spending in Canada increased 51 per cent, from $68.4 billion to $103.3 billion. And total municipal government revenues—including taxes, user fees and grants from other levels of government—increased 54 per cent over the same recent 10-year period.

— Jul 23, 2020
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Changes in the Affordability of Housing in Canadian and American Cities, 2006–2016 is a new study that measures changes in housing affordability—shelter costs as a share of income—over a 10-year period in 396 cities in Canada and the United States. Crucially, while affordability increased by an average of 10.5 per cent for the 344 American metropolitan areas included in the analysis, housing affordability actually decreased by 7.6 per cent, on average, in the 52 Canadian metropolitan areas over the same 10-year period. Put differently, while the majority of U.S. cities included in the analysis simultaneously experienced population and income growth and increasing housing affordability, Canada’s largest cities—while experiencing similar population and income growth—became less affordable to live in.

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