From its very beginning, everyone could tell that Toronto would always be the biggest city in the northern Great Lakes region. Location meant that it was easy to transport goods, making the city an ideal spot for the structures which sprang up during the industrialization of the continent. With those buildings came thousands of workers, and with those workers thousands of offshoot businesses.
Today, Toronto is the largest city in Canada, and one of the largest on the continent, with a population of over 5 million in the Greater Toronto Area. People are willing to pay steep prices to purchase a condo, because of the many opportunities the city affords still. Many put their houses in the suburbs up for sale and move to the city looking to take advantage of those options.
In order to facilitate all those people and the co-ordinate all of the different needs and issues they bring, the city has had to make careful plans in the areas of urban planning and development. It was pretty clear for decades that the city would eventually outgrow its borders, thus there has been a series of annexes and amalgamations over the years. The most recent amalgamated the cities of Toronto, Etobicoke, York, and North York into the mega city we call Toronto today.
The first signs of urban planning actually began more than a century ago. Various national dignitaries (architects, military men, politicians, and so on) would often buy up plots of land near to the city. They would plan these neighbourhoods out for specific demographics and build large houses along well defined roadways. You can see the results of this planning in communities such as Rosedale and others which seem worlds apart from the bustling metropolis a few blocks away.
While none of these developers could have conceived of the incredible skylines of today's huge Ontario cities, there was sense that some kind of focused development would be needed. Out of this awareness would come planned communities.
Another area in which urban planning would shape the course of real estate and that in other areas was in urban rejuvenation. The sprawl of the city soon made it clear that there would no longer be anywhere to expand to. Thus, city planners began to think about rejuvenating older areas of the city. Defunct factories were converted to high density, high class condo developments. Areas such as Cabbagetown continue to undergo gentrification, creating more homes in formerly undesirable areas.
Using a taxi service to go for a tour of the city will quickly show the advantages that careful urban planning has brought to the city and its residents. There is still room for more people, and even with the huge population everyone seems to be able to move from one place to another with relative ease.