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If you’re a twenty-something looking to buy a home in the GTA, you’ll likely be met with “good luck.” These days buying a home may seem more like a cruel joke than an actual reality. The Toronto housing market is in rough shape especially as interest rates continue to climb and GTA home sales hit an all-time low this past month. It’s no wonder that a growing number of young adults are choosing to live in their parent’s home longer than the average person. So, what can be done about this? The Ontario government has put measures in place to cool the housing market, but more can be done.


Facebook to build homes for the community

Just south of the border, Facebook made a huge announcement—they will be building 1,500 homes to help workers deal with the Silicon Valley housing crisis. The social media giant has sent plans to the local council to build a neighbourhood of homes, shops and a public plaza across from Facebook’s global headquarters. This is the company’s response to their workers coping with soaring rents, incredibly long commutes and the region’s lack of investment in much needed infrastructure. 15 per cent of Facebook homes will be offered below market rates, and the apartment block homes which aims to be built by 2021 will be available to both Facebook employees and people working elsewhere.

John Tenanes, Facebook’s vice-president for global facilities says, “Our goal for the Willow Campus is to create an integrated, mixed-use village that will provide much-needed services, housing and transit solutions as well as office space.”

But Facebook isn’t the only tech giant looking to invest in the real estate market. A Google spokesperson recently claimed it would dedicate $30 million to building 300 prefabricated apartments for workers at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Apple is also taking business into its own hands as it plans to move roughly 12,000 staff members into new Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California. The company is required to pay approximately $5 million to the city as a “housing mitigation fee” in exchange for its interference with city housing. Apple estimates that the new office will bring in a 284 per cent increase in demand for housing within the city.


The rise of Toronto’s newest tech district

There is, however, good news in store for those closer to home. Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. is looking to develop a 12-acre, high-tech strip in Toronto’s waterfront region. They plan to call the new community Quayside. It aims to be a testing grounds for emerging technologies, materials and processes that may be used in other cities across the globe. As it stands today, there is not much to boast about the area with few businesses and even fewer attractions. This makes it the perfect grounds for experimentation especially with its proximity to Lake Ontario beach front and the city centre. The price range for these homes has not yet been determined since it’s still in the initial phases of development, but it will surely provide Toronto and GTA residents with more potential options in the search for their next home.


The future of real estate is changing, but this may not be bad news. If large, influential companies are willing to step in and provide local residents with better, more affordable housing options, is there a reason the effort should not be supported? The way that the housing market is currently, the average homebuyer surely needs to embrace some change. Big names in the industry like Google, Apple and Alphabet are beginning to pave the way in the North American housing market. Here’s hoping more industry leaders follow suit.  



Aileen Ormoc | The Edge Blog


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