Photo: chriskay/Flickr

If you build it, they will come. At least, that’s what some experts are predicting for four GTA areas, each set to become major transit hubs in the next few years.

“In the not-too-distant future, the developments in progress… at East Harbour [in Toronto], Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, Pearson Transit Centre and the Hurontario LRT corridor will provide significant opportunities for forward-looking commercial property owners,” reads a new report from Avison Young.

The report, released earlier this week, outlines potential areas for explosive growth in the GTA as its population continues to expand and the provincial government puts more and more money into transit infrastructure.

The population of the GTA is set to grow by 42.3 per cent to 9.6 million by 2041. In response to this rapid growth, the Ontario government committed over $160 billion to developing new transit in 2014.

According to the report, areas adjacent to transit developments like the Vaughan subway expansion, can expect to see an increase in both residential and commercial property investment.

Photo: Avison Young

“Developers are making significant investments in all types of residential and commercial real estate in locations that will be required to accommodate the future population growth,” reads the report.

One area ripe for development is the Hurontario corridor in Peel Region, where a 20-kilometer provincially-funded Hurontario LRT will be completed by 2022.

“In the case of the HLRT, it traverses an incredible amount of real estate and population,” Avison Young Canadian research principal Bill Argeropoulos tells BuzzBuzzNews. “It will run from Mississauga to Brampton, areas where you’re going to see the population expand rapidly in the coming years.”

Photo: Avison Young

According to Argeropoulos, while the Hurontario corridor has seen relatively little commercial real estate development over the last few years, the introduction of the LRT could make all the difference.

“There’s been very little if any office development in that area for quite some time, but the HLRT will link it to other networks in Mississauga, and that’s going to be very attractive to investors and developers,” he says.

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Argeropoulos also stresses that the new infrastructure will allow for the development of residential property for young professionals currently working and living in downtown Toronto, who are facing affordability issues.

“Not everyone can afford to live and work in downtown Toronto,” says Argeropoulos. “What’s exciting is that these areas can provide affordable housing to people who want to commute, and will now be able to do so without using a car.”

He says that the areas surrounding the new Vaughan subway extension, the Pearson Transit Hub in the area surrounding Pearson International Airport, and the 60-acre East Harbour transit hub located east of the Don River, will likely see similar development booms in coming years.

“The opportunity for investment is there, so I think there are two attitudes you can have about it,” says Argeropoulos. “Either you build it now in anticipation of the demand, or you do it after the fact. But either way, we’re going to see major commercial and residential growth in these areas in the next 10 years.”

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