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September 21 and 22
2 days, 2 disciplines, 2 ways to participate – defining our professional roles and uniting to build more equitable, accessible and inspired communities.
In a metropolitan area, cities and suburbs are seen together contiguously, and the settlement areas outside the contiguous land are typically known as the exurbs. In the Greater Toronto Areas (GTA), the Towns of Milton, Halton Hills, Caledon, East Gwillimbury, Whitchurch-Stouffville, and Clarington, and the Township of King are exurban municipalities.
Census data reveals that the suburban area in the GTA, or the contiguous built-up area without the City of Toronto, grew by 64.48% between 1996 and 2016. During the same period, the seven exurban municipalities combined grew much faster by 82.17%, and two exurban municipalities, the Town of Milton and the Town Whitchurch-Stouffville, led the growth in the entire GTA by achieving a growth rate of 243.04% and 131.09% respectively.
All the seven exurban municipalities are well connected to the core area — for example, they are all connected to the 400-series highway network, and except for Caledon, they are all serviced by Metrolinx passenger GO rail. Their booming growth is predominantly residential with very limited jobs created locally, which has significant implications in transportation, municipal finance, and complete community building.
With its population of 50,000 and location just north of the City of Markham, the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville provides interesting lessons learned related to emerging exurbia and its development pattern. This presentation provides a general review of the growing exurban communities in the GTA and shares our findings, as well as the draft policies developed for the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, which may be applicable in other exurban municipalities in the GTA and beyond.