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Young 'Echo Boomers' flock to downtown Toronto

Highly skilled and educated young people are now the key demographic in downtown Toronto, according to a new report by TD Bank.

Since 2006 more single people and young families are choosing to live downtown rather than heading out to the suburbs.

The report found Echo Boomers, those who are born between 1972 and 1992, are trading larger, more affordable homes in the outlying GTA for the shorter commutes, access to public transit and closer proximity to amenities that come with living downtown.

The boom has created a wave of condo development and an increasing number of businesses purchasing office space in the downtown core.

From 2006-2011 the population growth in downtown Toronto has tripled, outpacing growth in Halton, York, Peel and Durham regions.

Echo boomers are now the largest age group in Canada and represent one-quarter of Ontario’s population.

A 2011 census by Statistics Canada found that half of those living in the downtown core are echo boomers, and that they were responsible for 70 per cent of the area’s population growth since 2006. The study also found that the amount of people over the age of 25 who live downtown who have a post-secondary school education is almost 20 per cent higher than in the rest of the province.

Because of this boom, employers and businesses are taking on the higher cost of locating downtown to be closer to this market. To accommodate these corporations, more “mixed-use” highrise buildings are being developed – which house both commercial and residential space.

The business and population boom has caused employment growth in the downtown core to skyrocket from -3.3 per cent in 2000 to 14.2 per cent in 2011, making it almost double the employment growth in the suburbs.