Toronto Retail Market Report
Robust Population Gains Support Retail Sales;
Suburban-Centric Retail Assets Shine
Record immigration a backstop to slowing economy. As of June, Ontario has seen its population grow 3.4 per cent annually amid historic immigration. With Toronto being the choice for many of these new arrivals, retail sales over the first half of 2023 remained relatively stable compared to the same time period last year, despite rising borrowing costs eating into consumers’ real disposable income. This trend is likely to continue as Canada plans to welcome 1.5 million immigrants by 2025, with roughly 40 per cent expected to reside within the Greater Toronto Area. As a result, Toronto’s retail sector is well positioned for long-term growth despite potential near-term challenges. This is especially true for more suburban markets as new arrivals tend to live outside of the downtown core. As of the end of the second quarter, these more suburban settings — such as the North GTA West, Brampton and Mississauga — hold the lowest vacancy rates, allowing them to experience the highest annual rent growth.