Major Papers


In the 15 years before the First World War, Toronto's population increased quickly by over 140 percent and the city annexed significant amounts of land to keep up with suburban growth. This period marked the beginning of the housing challenges in Toronto (Purdy, 2003). Stagnant real incomes, the delayed expansion of the streetcar system, and rising residential densities all contributed to Toronto's housing crisis during this period of reforms. Since then, the size of Toronto’s population increased from 470,000 before the First World War to 6,372,000 in 2023 and the housing crisis has only gotten worse, with 1 in 5 households in the GTA living in core housing need (Fung et al., 2023). Considering the recent housing problems reported in the GTA, the question is how the current housing crisis has been impacted by the historical context of Toronto’s urban development as well as ongoing economic and social problems. To answer this question, this paper seeks to critically examine the multiple aspects of housing affordability in GTA. It will analyze the main factors contributing to the affordability crisis in the region and further delve into the daunting barriers that Ontario residents, including homeless individuals, encounter while attempting to access affordable housing in the GTA It will also explore various recommendations and solutions that have emerged in the quest to tackle the housing crisis in GTA. While these solutions contribute to mitigating the housing crisis, it is imperative for the government to collaborate with agencies and stakeholders to diversify the economy and allocate additional resources for job creation. This comprehensive approach, incorporating the benefits of proposed policies while addressing their flaws, is crucial for developing long-term and equitable solutions as the GTA navigates its housing crisis.

Primary Advisor

Elena Maltseva, PhD


John Sutcliffe, PhD

Program Reader

Elena Maltseva, PhD

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Document Type

Internship Paper

Convocation Year