Brampton will outpace Ottawa to become Ontario’s 2nd-largest city, premier says


Published February 23, 2024 at 10:46 am

Brampton housing tagets funding

Premier Doug Ford says Brampton is on track to become Ontario’s second-largest city and is making significant progress on meeting provincial housing targets, leading to a $25.5 million funding boost.

“This is my prediction here, and I think it’s going to happen…they’re going to grow even larger than Ottawa,” the premier said at a press conference in Brampton on Friday.

“Over a number of years, they’ll be the second-largest city in Ontario,” he said.

The premier made the claim while in Brampton to present the city with $25.5 million in infrastructure funding as a reward for hitting more than 80 per cent of its provincially set housing targets last year, breaking ground on some 7,028 housing units in 2023.

Ontario’s More Homes Built Faster Act wants to see municipalities add 1.5 million homes across the province over the next 10 years, with Brampton’s target set at 113,000 new units.

And while Brampton didn’t quite meet its full 2023 target, Ford says the $25.5 million in funds rewards the city’s “significant progress.”

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said the city approved more than 12,432 new housing units last year, not including 4,494 net-new additional units that were also registered in Brampton. He says the city saw more than $2.3 billion in construction value through issued building permits in 2023, with $some $1.3 billion for residential developments.

“We are very much determined to hit our housing goal,” Brown said at the funding announcement. “We don’t want to just sign a pledge. we want to hit that pledge and exceed it.”

A previous update on Brampton’s housing targets in January showed the city had only hit 35 per cent of its 2023 number, meaning the city would have recorded some 50 per cent more progress in a little over a month, according to The Pointer.

With Brampton’s population spiking more than 10 per cent in 2021 alone, Brown said the city is seeing “explosive growth” compared to similar municipalities, particularly Mississauga which had a 1 per cent decrease in population over the same period.

Premier Ford echoed Brown’s stats, saying he expects Brampton will eventually eclipse Mississauga and then Ottawa’s population of more than 1 million.

The additional funding comes from Ontario’s Building Faster Fund, given to municipalities that have reached at least 80 per cent of their provincially assigned housing target with more available for exceeding targets.

“As the fastest growing big city in the country, investing in housing isn’t just about building the structures, it is about building communities and ensuring residents always have somewhere to call home,” Brown said in a statement.

The province says there will be more funding announcements through the Building Faster Fund in the coming weeks, with Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra urging more municipal collaborations to help tackle Ontario’s housing crisis.

“My message to mayors across this province is that we must continue to work together and build on our progress on making homeownership a reality for everyone,” Calandra said in a statement. “We will give you the tools you need to succeed in our shared goal.”

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