The City of Pickering has initiated a Housing Strategy Study.

All levels of government generally acknowledge that there is a housing crisis. Affordable housing means annual housing costs (rent or mortgage payments) that do not exceed 30 percent of gross household income. There is a lack of affordable housing options, both rental and ownership, to many people in the City of Pickering.

The purpose of this Study is to establish the City’s role and priorities in facilitating opportunities for developing a diverse range of housing, including affordable, age-friendly, and accessible housing in Pickering over the next 10 years (2021 – 2031). 

The outcome of the strategy will be to identify actions that the City may undertake to ensure an appropriate balance of housing types and tenure that meet the diverse needs of a complete, prosperous community.


According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the housing continuum is the range of housing types available in a community – from emergency shelters on one end to home ownership on the other.  In between are a variety of housing options and types, each critically important for different people at different stages of their lifetime.  While the housing continuum appears linear, people may move between housing types at any time of their life.


The Housing Continuum


A healthy housing system offers a diverse mix of housing forms that can accommodate a variety of individuals and family needs.  A balanced housing market should include both rental and ownership options, and give people at all income levels access to safe and stable housing.

In 2019, the average price of a new single-detached home in Pickering was $961,753 and $699,087 for a resale home.1  In 2018, a home in the City of Pickering would be considered affordable if it sold at or below $450,902.2

In 2016, approximately 46 percent of renters, and 22 percent of owners in Pickering spent more than 30 percent of their household income on housing costs.3

Older adults currently represent the fastest growing segment of the population in Pickering, and are forecast to represent an increasing share of the population over the next decade. In terms of housing affordability, older adults are a particularly vulnerable segment of the population. Some seniors may prefer to “age in place”, while others may prefer retirement communities, multi-generational and shared-ownership homes. Some older adults find, when they wish to downsize, that they must leave their neighbourhood or the City to find acceptable, affordable housing.

Various roles and responsibilities at the federal, provincial, regional, and local levels provide policies, plans and initiatives to enable affordable and diverse housing options.  Locally, the City of Pickering has several policies documents, strategic plans, and financial tools at our disposal to address housing.

The Housing Strategy Study responds to Council direction (June 29, 2020, Resolution #352/20 and September 23, 2019, Resolution #140/19) and Action Item 1.1 of the City’s Age Friendly Community Plan, for staff to undertake a study to prepare a comprehensive housing strategy that focuses on the need for delivering more lifecycle housing options, including affordable and accessible units to support changing demographic conditions.

Report PLN 05-20 to the Planning and Development Committee outlines the purpose and objectives of the Housing Strategy Study.

1 Toronto Real Estate Board, Market Watch December 2019
2 Durham Region, Planning and Economic Development Department
3 Statistics Canada Data, 2016 Census

Key Objectives

The City of Pickering’s Housing Strategy Study will provide a framework to ensure the City can support a supply of suitable (as it relates to the size of the household), adequate (as it relates to physical condition), and affordable (as it relates to household income) housing for all ages and abilities within its jurisdiction.  This also ensures that the City meets the housing needs to support a diverse workforce.

The Pickering Housing Strategy Study will:

  • Identify housing priorities, policy alternatives, including recommendations for official plan policies and zoning regulations, and allocation of City resources;
  • Develop a baseline database of the City’s demographic profile, socio-economic characteristics of households and housing stock;
  • Develop a protocol for regular updating of the database;
  • Identify expected population and employment growth over the next ten years that will influence future housing needs;
  • Analyze the data and trends to identify the City’s housing needs and gaps;
  • Identify and examine the current policy and legislative context that influences the provision of housing, affordable housing and age friendly housing in the City;
  • Identify and examine the roles, responsibilities, and interrelationships between the City, the Regional Municipality of Durham and other levels of government, and the private and not-for-profit sector;
  • Recommend an Action Plan that identifies actions that the City may undertake to ensure an appropriate balance of housing types and tenure that meet the needs of a complete, prosperous community; and
  • Recommend a Monitoring Plan that will regularly update and review the baseline data set with the goal of identifying whether or not the goals and objectives of the Housing Strategy are being met, and if any modifications to the Action Plan are necessary to ensure that the goals and objectives of the Housing Strategy are met.

Project Status

The House Strategy Study will be completed in three phases:

Phase 1: Research and Gap Analysis

Phase 2: Draft Housing Strategy and Action Plan

The City is currently within Phase 2 of the Study.

Phase 3: Recommended Housing Strategy and Action Plan to Planning & Development Committee for Council adoption

Reports, Videos & Other Documents

Project Initiation:

Report PLN 05-20

Pickering Housing Strategy Study and Association of Municipalities of Ontario Report titled “Fixing the Housing Affordability Crisis, Municipal Recommendations for Housing in Ontario”

Phase 1: 

In Phase 1 of the Study, City staff will launch the study, undertake and analyze research and determine the housing gaps within the City, host a public open house, meet with stakeholders, and report to Planning & Development Committee.

Phase 2:

In Phase 2 of the Study, City staff will consider the feedback from the Phase 1 engagement, prepare and circulate the Draft Housing Strategy and Action Plan to Stakeholders and agencies, host a public open house, and report to Planning & Development Committee.

Get Involved

Community Engagement opportunities will be provided throughout the study process, consisting of public open houses and stakeholder focus groups. Details regarding these engagement opportunities will be posted here as they arise.

Phase 1 Electronic Public Open House 1:

Electronic Public Open House 1 was held on January 21, 2021 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Pre-registered delegates provided comments and participated in a discussion with panel members following a pre-recorded presentation by City staff. You can watch a recording of the Electronic Public Open House 1 on the City of Pickering's YouTube channel.

View the Notice of Public Open House 1 - January 21, 2021

View the Discussion Questions

Phase 2 Electronic Public Open House 2

Electronic Public Open House 2 was held on April 29, 2021 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Pre-registered delegates provided comments and participated in a discussion with panel members following a presentation by City staff. You can watch a recording of Electronic Public Open House 2 on the City of Pickering's YouTube channel.

View the Notice of Public Open House 2 - April 29, 2021

View the Draft Action Plan


Margaret Kish, MCIP, RPP
City Project Manager
Principal Planner, Policy
City of Pickering
One The Esplanade
Pickering, ON, L1V 6K7
905.420.4660 ext. 2196

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