Toronto, ON – A poll conducted by Environics Research and released by Environmental Defence finds 73 per cent of Greater Golden Horseshoe residents believe that developers are building too many single-family detached homes in suburban areas at the expense of a greater mix of housing options closer to public transit, work and services in built-up areas.

“The poll shows strong support for the goals of Ontario’s Growth Plan, including increasing the density in built-up areas and offering more housing options for families, including townhomes and mid-rise buildings, in vibrant, public-transit oriented communities,” says Erin Shapero, Senior Program Manager, Greenbelt and Smart Growth for Environmental Defence. “It is critical that the province increase the urban density targets in the updated Growth Plan to ensure these types of homes get built,” she adds.

The survey also finds strong support for directing new growth to already built-up areas, with nine in ten residents in favour. Residents also support ‘gentle’ or mid-rise density on main streets, with 84 per cent agreeing that they would support this building style if it means better public transit and more shops, amenities, parks and greenspace in the community.

“The numbers show Greater Golden Horseshoe residents say ‘yes’ to mid-rise development in their backyard,” said Erin Shapero. “Residents know we can’t sprawl our way to a vibrant, sustainable way of living and they support protecting farmland and directing growth to built-up areas.” she adds.

Public support for the Greenbelt Plan, the Growth Plan and complimentary policies comes just as the province prepares to release final amendments to the plans as part of the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review. Environmental groups and agricultural organizations have called on the province to implement higher density and intensification targets for municipalities, and freeze urban boundaries to protect farmland and contain low-density sprawl.

The survey interview 813 residents across the Greater Golden Horseshoe on November 10, 2016 and is considered accurate to within +/-3.44%, 19 times out of 20.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

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For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 247; (416) 356-2587 (cell); abraude@environmentaldefence.ca