As GTA land vanishes, Calgary opens another 400 acres
September 26, 2023
Genesis breaks ground for Calgary homes. | Genesis Land Development Corp
Two Canadian cities are a study in contrast when it comes to residential land.
In Greater Toronto, where the average home price is $1.13 million, the Ontario government recently reneged on a promise to remove 7,400 acres from the Greenbelt, an extensive land parcel in the region which is protected from development.
Ontario created the Greenbelt in 2005 to protect agricultural and environmentally sensitive lands in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area from development.
These acres were removed in 2022 because of a perceived shortage of land available for new housing. A University of Toronto study of the inventory of “shovel-ready land,” released in March 2023, concluded that “unless demand for ground-related homes drops sharply, housing affordability will be severely compromised” right across the GTA.
Meanwhile in Calgary, where the average home price is $553,800, a residential developer recently purchased 460 acres of land—and there is a lot more where that came from.
Genesis Land Development Corp. bought the land in southeast Calgary for $25.8 million, the company announced September 20, 2023.
The purchase is within a Future Urban Development (FUD) zone, where land is awaiting development. The City of Calgary currently has 41,500 acres in FUD zones—enough land for more than 330,000 detached houses if all zoned for residential, based on the city’s minimum-build density of eight units per acre.
In June 2023, Genesis broke ground on development of a 230-acre parcel in northwest Calgary and plans to build 1,050 homes there.