Building complete communities benefits everyoneNew report looks at the benefits of intensification in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

March 30, 2016

TORONTO — Residents benefit from a cleaner environment and more economic opportunities when municipalities prioritize access to transit and diversification of  housing options, according to a new report from the Pembina Institute.

Close to Home: The benefits of compact, walkable, transit-friendly neighbourhoods highlights the benefits of density and illustrates how building complete communities can make life more affordable and enjoyable for its residents.

Good land-use planning and increased density around transit development brings more people and jobs closer to transit. This approach ensures land is used effectively and gives residents more transportation options. In Brampton’s Mount Pleasant community, a recent housing development was developed within walking distance of the GO station, public library, community centre and a primary school. Smart planning pays off: one in five riders walk to Mount Pleasant GO station.

The report shows that implementing the right policies also has economic benefits. The City of Kitchener paired policies to attract new businesses and support density targets, which improved the city’s economic stability and helped revitalize its downtown. The region now has one of the highest employment densities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. 

Quick facts

  • Infrastructure costs for location-efficient communities can be as much as 50 per cent lower than those for new low-density developments
  • The successful roll-out of regional rapid transit projects will put one million more people in the GTHA within walking distance of rapid transit by 2030
  • More than 80 per cent of GTA residents would prefer to live in walkable and transit accessible neighbourhoods


 “By focusing on building complete communities, we can create walkable, transit-oriented communities that provide economic and environmental benefits to the people that live there.”

— Dianne Zimmerman, Program Director, Transportation and Urban Solutions, Pembina Institute



Visit the Pembina Institute’s website to download a copy of Close to Home.


Kelly O’Connor
Communications Lead, Pembina Institute


Report: Make Way for Mid-Rise (2015)

Report: Location Matters (2015)  

Blog: The High Cost of Low Density


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