Toronto and other large urban areas will survive COVID just as it did SARS, AIDs, Polio and the 1918-19 flu epidemic.
The United Nations predicts that urbanization will continue regardless of COVID’s short-term implications. By historical comparison, COVID has not been nearly as dire as predicted. Other pandemics are likely to occur and we will deal with them. The simple fact is that cities are more productive and fewer farmers are needed to feed growing urban populations. Finally, people like cities which offer more employment opportunities and entertainment, better health services, and greater choice.
It is unlikely that work from home technologies will eliminate the need for office towers. Rent may drop and some may convert to residential towers but the attraction of city living will continue. We’ve seen this before when industrial spaces and factories were converted to lofts, hotels, art galleries, restaurants and high-rise towers. Cities repurpose and become even more attractive.
High-rise condo living will continue to appeal because of its convenience, luxury, cost and access to the many benefits of urban living. People will continue migrating to Canada, and Toronto, for the same reasons as before we learned of COVID.
Change is inevitable. There may be fewer retail businesses and bank branches, a transition that has sped up because of COVID. These are unnecessary as the convenience of online banking and buying make them increasingly attractive.
In short, little has changed that will negatively impact on the appeal of living in Toronto and its surrounding regions.