Toronto

Here's where single-person households are clustering in Toronto

New maps released by the City of Toronto reveal how national trends are playing out locally.

More people live alone in Toronto than the national average, with many concentrated in specific neighbourhoods

As more and more Torontonians opt to live alone, they tend to cluster in specific parts of the city. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Want to know where Toronto's growing number of single-person households are located? Look up.

According to new maps released by the City of Toronto based on 2016 census data, single-person households are clustered downtown, in Mimico, along Yonge Street and in the Sheppard East corridors.

"These are areas where there are high-density residential buildings and condominiums," said Harvey Low, who manages social research for the city.

New data from the 2016 census shows that a third of Toronto households have just one person in them.

West Queen West, south eastern Etobicoke, and the area around the Don Valley Parkway and Eglinton Avenue are also condo-dense and popular for the spiking number of people choosing to live solo.

The dark red and dusty mauve areas indicate where the highest numbers of people living alone are grouped. (City of Toronto)

The rise in people living alone is a national trend, with single-person households now representing 28.2 per cent of all households in Canada. At 32.3 per cent, Toronto has an even greater proportion.

That number has been growing slowly but steadily over the last decade, with about 64,000 more single-person households now than in 2006, roughly in step with population growth. 

That group is growing even faster in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, which added about 122,000 single-person households in the same ten-year period.

Age and divorce rates play a role

Low said several factors account for the growth.  

"We're finding the phenomenon of an ageing population of seniors, more seniors are living on their own and in their own homes," he said.

Women's economic independence also has a role to play: "They are entering the workforce in greater numbers, and that gives them the ability to live on their own — that's another factor," said Low.  

Higher numbers of people getting divorced also likely plays a role, he added.

Where have all the young adults gone?

The city's maps have other stories to tell about how national trends are playing out in Toronto.

According to the census, nearly half of the city's young adults have yet to leave the nest, putting Toronto ahead of any other place in Canada when it comes to young adults living at their family's home.  

In the GTA, the highest concentration of them — upwards of 60 per cent of the young adults in the area — are found in outer suburbs like Morningside and Agincourt in Scarborough and the Richview area of Etobicoke.

The trend also extends to the Toronto Islands, where close to half of single young adults live with their parents.

The dark purple areas indicate where the highest percentage of young adults still living with their parents reside. (City of Toronto)

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