Evton Capital Partners

Evton Capital Partners

August 19, 2010 06:00 ET

From Bay Street to Main Street-Commercial Real Estate Sector is Poised for Growth Outside the Downtown Core

Poll Finds That Traffic Congestion, Reliance on Public Transit has Torontonians and Investors Eyeing Workplaces Beyond the City's Centre

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 19, 2010) -

Attention Business Editors:

B-class office space outside Toronto's downtown core is receiving increased attention from buyers and investors alike, and is poised for growth as escalating traffic congestion and longer commute times restrict easy access to the city centre, according to the Evton Capital Partners Commercial Real Estate Trends Survey, issued today. In fact, nearly half of all Torontonians (43%) said they would be likely to change their place of employment in order to lessen their commute time. 

Evton Capital Partners, a commercial real estate investment and property management firm focused on acquiring B-class commercial properties for high-net-worth investors, commissioned a poll to determine the attitudes and beliefs of Ontarians around the geography of the workplace.

"As the city's population continues to experience burgeoning growth, there is an increasing need for employers to consider where their employees live, and how they commute to their workplace," said Bill Evans, co-founder of Evton Capital Partners. "Proximity to public transit and short commute times trump the prestige of an address or the need to be in the heart of the city – a trend that will only increase in the future."

Added Evans: "Popularity of B-class office buildings on the outskirts of the city's core that are on the subway line – be it in Midtown, Uptown or Bloor West– has increased dramatically over the past few years; more affordable lease rates compared to their city-centre counterparts were extremely attractive incentives during the recession."

Increasing demand for B-class office space in Toronto over the past few years has pressured both market activity and average purchase prices upwards. In fact, the price per square foot for B-class office space in the Greater Toronto Area has almost doubled over the past five years, from approximately $125 in 2005 to approximately $210 in 2010.

"From a historical perspective, Toronto's B-class office real estate market has performed very well," said Evans.


"As neighbourhoods continue to experience nodal development – the mix of houses, condominiums, stores and office space, all in one central area – people have the opportunity to lessen their commute time and increase their 'living' time," said Michael Bunston, co-founder of Evton Capital Partners. "Our survey found that sixty-nine per cent of Torontonians feel that average house prices will increase in neighbourhoods and areas that are characterized by nodal development."

As the City of Toronto continues to struggle with traffic congestion and overall public transportation issues, more than three-quarters (76%) of Greater Toronto Area residents feel that it is likely companies will soon begin to set up offices away from the city's core to make the workplace more accessible to employees. Ontarians identified Mississauga, Vaughan and Markham as the top three areas outside of Toronto's city centre that will see a boom in commercial real estate in the next five years.


Nearly half (45%) of Torontonians rank the ability to take public transportation to work as an important factor when determining their place of employment.

Added Bunston: "Debates around how the city's next mayor will deal with transit systems, and the unwavering public support for Transit City have shown us that people are passionate about public transportation– we are seeing that the proposed new line extensions are as much about building communities around the city as they are about moving people." 

City commuter chaos: More than one third (35%) of respondents in the Greater Toronto Area spend half an hour or more commuting in one direction. In contrast, only 20 per cent of Southwestern Ontarians commute for more than 30 minutes – be it on the road or rail.


Over the past five years, the purchaser profile for B-class office space in the Greater Toronto Area has changed dramatically. The combination of the high value of the Canadian dollar and reduced strength of the US dollar and Euro has led to a decrease in the number of foreign investors participating in Canada's commercial real estate sector. 

Since 2005, Canadian private investors have accounted for a large portion of deal flow in the commercial real estate market. The year-to-date dollar volume created by Canadian private investors is approximately $100 million and has already exceeded the total dollar volume by this group in all of 2009, which was approximately $75 million.


Evton Capital Partners is a commercial real estate investment and property management firm based in Toronto. Since its inception in 1995, the company has completed over $200 million in commercial real estate transactions in Ontario and Alberta. Evton is focused on acquiring private Canadian real estate investment opportunities for high-net-worth investors. Through selective and managed growth the Evton Real Estate Fund LP has accumulated over $77 million in assets under management since its inception in 2005. For more information please visit www.evton.com.


A total of 1,010 adult Ontarians 18-65 years old were surveyed by Ipsos Reid Polling between July 12th and 15th, 2010. Interviewing was conducted via an online survey utilizing the Ipsos iSay pre-recruited panel in Canada. A representative sampling matrix according to age, region and education level was utilized to ensure a representative sample of the target audience was achieved. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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