Media Releases

Survey demonstrates strong public support to expand municipal boundaries, build new infrastructure

Greater Toronto Area, May 17, 2022 – New public opinion research by IPSOS, released today by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), demonstrates that 71% of those surveyed agree with expanding municipal boundaries to enable more housing to be built at the periphery of GTA municipalities. Similarly, 78% of those surveyed support the building of more roads and highways to support residents and growth in the GTA.  

“It is not a question of choosing between building more homes to accommodate a growing population and protecting the environment,” said Dave Wilkes, President and CEO of BILD. “While those opposed to taking the necessary steps to accommodate the GTA’s present and future growth like to present these as stark “either-or” decisions, the reality is that with modern land development, building techniques and regulatory requirements, we know it is possible to balance both.”

The survey found that less than half of GTA residents (44%) are aware of the regulatory framework that governs the environmental aspects of building new homes and that only one third of GTA residents (35%) felt that building a new housing community is bad for the environment. When these groups were made aware of the regulatory requirements and industry environmental practices, over a third were less likely to believe building homes harms the environment and this rose to over half when informed of the energy efficiency of new homes.“There is a clear disconnect between perception and reality,” said Sean Simpson, Senior Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs. “The majority of GTA residents clearly favour the addition of more housing supply and transportation infrastructure. Of the minority who believe that building homes is bad for the environment, a large percentage (56%) are not aware of the regulations and practices already in place to protect the environment, and many report that their opinion shifts when presented with the facts.”

GTA Public’s Attitudes Towards Housing, Growth and the Environment
GTA Public’s Attitudes Towards Housing, Growth and the Environment

April 2022

The research found that a majority of GTA residents (92%) agree that we are in the middle of a housing affordability crisis. Four in five also agree that we are in the middle of a housing shortage crisis (81%) and that we must balance environmental regulation with the need to build more homes quicker (81%). That said, local opposition to adding housing supply within existing communities remains strong, with over half (55%) of residents opposing the construction of a high-rise apartment within ½ km of their residence and just under half (47%) of residents opposing a mid-rise apartment within ½ km of their residence.

“There is almost unanimous agreement that the GTA is suffering from a housing supply and affordability crisis and that adding supply is the solution,” said Mr. Wilkes. “This must be done by adding gentle density in existing communities and enabling new, denser, more land-efficient development at the peripheries of GTA municipalities. This research demonstrates to our leaders that the public supports the idea that growth and environmental protection can be balanced. By taking action now, a legacy can be created to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and preserve our collective quality of life.”

About the Survey

The survey of 1,000 GTA residents was conducted by IPSOS between March 11 and March 18, 2022. Statistical measures were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Ontario population according to census information. The results are considered accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

About BILD

With more than 1,200 member companies, BILD is the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the Greater Toronto Area. The building and renovation industry provides more than 231,000 jobs in the region and $26.9 billion in investment value. BILD is proudly affiliated with the Ontario and Canadian Home Builders’ Associations.


For additional information or to schedule an interview, contact Justin Sherwood at or 416-371-6005.