Toronto office vacancies hit the highest rate since 2008

If you’re in the market for a new downtown Toronto office for your fast-growing startup, this could be the moment you’ve been waiting for.

According to a report released by commercial brokerage firm CBRE and first reported by Storeys, Toronto office vacancies have hit their highest point since 2008. This isn’t surprising given many companies have adopted a work-from-home or hybrid system that doesn’t require employees to be in a physical office at all times. 

According to the report, Toronto office vacancies are up almost a full percentage point during the first three months of 2021 and currently sit at 10 percent. This is very close to matching the 10.1 percent rate that was hit in 2008 amid the global recession.

Most of the vacancies from the past three months occurred in April, says the report. That said, there are some indications that the typically bustling downtown core could be coming back to life. The report says that as vaccination rates increase and life returns to the new normal, office vacancies will also decline as more people start to feel comfortable going into an office again. 

The CRBE says that most offices are working towards returning to the office in the second half of the year. That said, many companies are expected to shift to a “hybrid model” post-pandemic that doesn’t require employees to work from the office at all times, offering a more flexible system.

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