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GTA Commuting Patterns

Memph

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I had a look at the commuting flow tables available for the 2006 and 2016 census to see which communities were had net in-commuting vs net out-commuting.

The image shows communities with net in-commuting in blue and net out-commuting in red, with the surface area of the circle being proportional to the quantity of net in/out-commuters.
incommuting.jpg


So as expected, Toronto is a major job centre, but Mississauga and Vaughan are also major employment destinations relative to how big of a city they are. Brampton has the most net out-commuting at 83,875. With 0.65 jobs per worker, much of its population commutes to neighbouring communities for work. However, there are smaller communities that are more bedroom community-esque.

Workers per job
Georgina: 0.35
Mono: 0.39
Ajax: 0.50
Clarington: 0.51
Bradford-West Gwilimbury: 0.53
Whitchurch-Stouffville: 0.55
 

Memph

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Comparing the 2006 and 2016 numbers, some trends have continued.

The number of workers living in Mississauga barely grew, from 293,770 to 295,310 (+0.52%), but the number of jobs grew fairly significantly from 361,695 to 393,370 (+8.76%).

Brampton meanwhile continued to head in the opposite direction, with the number of workers increasing from 188,545 to 239,145 (+26.84%) and the number of jobs only increasing from 129,520 to 155,270 (+19.88%).

Most communities saw job growth, even if it did not keep up with population growth, but there was one notable example. I had to double check the numbers, but Oshawa lost about 8,500 jobs during those ten years, from 56,380 to 47,825.
 

Memph

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Who knew New Tecumseth was a local job hub?
It mostly comes down to the Honda assembly plant in Alliston that employs over 4000 people. Although even without that, there's a bit of manufacturing scattered about that makes for a better balance of jobs vs residents than somewhere like Georgina which basically only has local oriented retail and schools.

It could start to change though as there's a whole bunch of subdivisions under construction throughout New Tecumseth and not a whole of new employment.
 

Memph

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Other notable changes include Oakville turning into a net job centre (-6260 to 2350) thanks to job growth outpacing the growth in employed residents, and Markham doing the opposite (6505 to -575).

Milton and Whitchurch-Stouffville both saw rapid job growth, but it wasn't enough to keep up with even more rapid growth in workers/population as they transition from relatively balanced small towns into bedroom communities.

Milton
Workers: 26,015 -> 45,605
Jobs: 21,825 -> 29,965

Whitchurch Stouffville
Workers: 9,835 -> 18,030
Jobs: 7,695 -> 9,915
 

innsertnamehere

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Interesting how Burlington and Newmarket seem to essentially sit at more or less "even". Burlington seems about right, but I never pictured Newmarket as a largish employment centre.

Really shows you why Durham struggles with population growth despite it's affordability and relative adjacency to the GTA. It's too far from the west end of the GTA where all the jobs are and struggles with local employment. Anecdotally, My parents live in Whitby and one commutes to Vaughan every day on the 407 with the other being a local teacher. A lot of their neighbours are public sector employees in the area or in Toronto.

I imagine that Oakville will return to a net commuter centre in the 2021 census as growth in North Oakville has really picked up in the last 2-3 years, outside of the period that the 2016 census picked up. Job growth seems fairly strong as well however judging by new construction in their employment lands.

In terms of where I predict strong job growth in 2021 - Vaughan is seeing it's employment lands around the 427 explode right now while Mississauga will likely be slowing as the 905 office market has cratered since 2016. Toronto's downtown job growth has been ferocious and I expect it's taking a significant (potentially approaching 50%) of the GTA's entire job growth right now - at least in leading sector jobs and not local service employment.
 

Memph

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Interesting how Burlington and Newmarket seem to essentially sit at more or less "even". Burlington seems about right, but I never pictured Newmarket as a largish employment centre.

Really shows you why Durham struggles with population growth despite it's affordability and relative adjacency to the GTA. It's too far from the west end of the GTA where all the jobs are and struggles with local employment. Anecdotally, My parents live in Whitby and one commutes to Vaughan every day on the 407 with the other being a local teacher. A lot of their neighbours are public sector employees in the area or in Toronto.

I imagine that Oakville will return to a net commuter centre in the 2021 census as growth in North Oakville has really picked up in the last 2-3 years, outside of the period that the 2016 census picked up. Job growth seems fairly strong as well however judging by new construction in their employment lands.

In terms of where I predict strong job growth in 2021 - Vaughan is seeing it's employment lands around the 427 explode right now while Mississauga will likely be slowing as the 905 office market has cratered since 2016. Toronto's downtown job growth has been ferocious and I expect it's taking a significant (potentially approaching 50%) of the GTA's entire job growth right now - at least in leading sector jobs and not local service employment.
Sounds about right. Toronto captured 36% of employment growth from 2006 to 2016, and there hasn't been much suburban industrial or office development in the last few years.

Mississauga is still seeing a bit of new office space being built in its suburban office parks. Not a ton, but more than most other suburbs, and population growth is quite low, the condos are probably barely offsetting the effect of declining household sizes and more retirees, so I can see net in-commuting increasing a bit more there.

Agreed on Oakville, Vaughan and Durham Region. I think Caledon has some employment lands planned? It's been getting a fair bit from 2006-2016 too, with job growth slightly outpacing worker growth (+4185 jobs vs +3715 employed residents). I wonder if we'll have new industrial areas spring up or if those days are over and it's mostly just warehouses for the retail sector at this point? The area near the 407 in North Oakville is zoned for employment as well as a good chunk of land in Milton

I do question how wise it is to have so much residential growth in Durham, especially since most of it is sprawl towards the 407, there's only so many cars that can be accommodated by the park & ride stations. It does seem like the west-central GTA is where it's at. The closing of the GM plant won't help.

Newmarket actually switched from net in-commuting to net out-commuting
Jobs: 36,170 --> 34,875
Workers: 34,390 --> 35,390
Net: 1,780 --> -515
The employment areas along the 404 are quite large and it also has the hospital and York Region offices probably employ a few thousand people.

Burlington's headed in the opposite direction
Jobs: 72,470 --> 78,055
Workers: 73,965 --> 78,145
Net: -1,495 --> -90

Perhaps it'll switch to a net job centre to compensate from Oakville switching back to a net commuter centre since I can see employment growth in Burlington continuing and they're run out of room for new subdivisions.
 

mjl08

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Interesting how Burlington and Newmarket seem to essentially sit at more or less "even". Burlington seems about right, but I never pictured Newmarket as a largish employment centre.

Really shows you why Durham struggles with population growth despite it's affordability and relative adjacency to the GTA. It's too far from the west end of the GTA where all the jobs are and struggles with local employment. Anecdotally, My parents live in Whitby and one commutes to Vaughan every day on the 407 with the other being a local teacher. A lot of their neighbours are public sector employees in the area or in Toronto.
Everyone I know who lives in Durham is commuting at least 3 hours a day. Very few large employers apart from the public sector.

Are there any recent figures on 'reverse commuting' e.g. commuting from home in Downtown Toronto to work in Markham or Mississauga?
 

innsertnamehere

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Sounds about right. Toronto captured 36% of employment growth from 2006 to 2016, and there hasn't been much suburban industrial or office development in the last few years.

Mississauga is still seeing a bit of new office space being built in its suburban office parks. Not a ton, but more than most other suburbs, and population growth is quite low, the condos are probably barely offsetting the effect of declining household sizes and more retirees, so I can see net in-commuting increasing a bit more there.

Agreed on Oakville, Vaughan and Durham Region. I think Caledon has some employment lands planned? It's been getting a fair bit from 2006-2016 too, with job growth slightly outpacing worker growth (+4185 jobs vs +3715 employed residents). I wonder if we'll have new industrial areas spring up or if those days are over and it's mostly just warehouses for the retail sector at this point? The area near the 407 in North Oakville is zoned for employment as well as a good chunk of land in Milton

I do question how wise it is to have so much residential growth in Durham, especially since most of it is sprawl towards the 407, there's only so many cars that can be accommodated by the park & ride stations. It does seem like the west-central GTA is where it's at. The closing of the GM plant won't help.

Newmarket actually switched from net in-commuting to net out-commuting
Jobs: 36,170 --> 34,875
Workers: 34,390 --> 35,390
Net: 1,780 --> -515
The employment areas along the 404 are quite large and it also has the hospital and York Region offices probably employ a few thousand people.

Burlington's headed in the opposite direction
Jobs: 72,470 --> 78,055
Workers: 73,965 --> 78,145
Net: -1,495 --> -90

Perhaps it'll switch to a net job centre to compensate from Oakville switching back to a net commuter centre since I can see employment growth in Burlington continuing and they're run out of room for new subdivisions.
Burlington only has one real new subdivision left to build, and it's pretty small - they will become the third GTA municipality to be "built out" after Toronto and Mississauga within the next 5 years (Newmarket is close behind for that title too). The condo market there has really intensified in the last few years though, but I suspect it'll be like Mississauga with new condos generally offsetting shrinking household sizes.

I'm hopeful that the 407 employment lands in Pickering start driving some real employment growth in Durham - it badly needs it, especially with the loss of GM. The tenant announcements seem to be off to a good start with the first few buildings already under construction as far as I know. I expect with the rapid downtown employment growth that many will be moving to Durham and be choosing to GO commute however - the relatively affordable real estate so close to the core will be attractive.

I wonder how much employment growth in Mississauga will slow as their employment lands start reaching capacity (they are pretty close right now), and where it will shift to. I imagine most will get spread out to Milton, Brampton, and Oakville. Halton Region has some pretty crazy growth projections for Milton over the next several decades - it's supposed to accelerate and become the largest municipality in the region by population by 2030, passing Oakville and Burlington. Brampton's residential growth has been ridiculous over the last decade and that is likely to continue as well however, and Toronto is accelerating in both population and job growth. I seem to recall seeing something that it took over half of the GTA's job and population growth last year, for the first time since the 1970's.. pretty crazy considering it's 100% intensification.
 

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