A new poll finds that most Toronto residents want more housing built, even if it requires some compromises.

The poll, conducted by Liaison Strategies for the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, is the second part of a larger poll about the upcoming mayoral race.

While the first part of the poll surveyed voters about their voting preferences, the second asked a number of questions about housing.

It found that 69 per cent of voters say they support building more housing in the city.

In a separate question, 45 per cent said they support “maintaining the characteristics of Toronto neighbourhoods.”

“But when asked which was more important, more housing or preserving the character of Toronto neighbourhoods, voters chose housing by a margin of 40 percentage points,” Liaison Strategies Principal David Valentin said in a statement.

Some 58 per cent said building housing was more important than maintaining the characteristics of neighbourhoods in Toronto, while 18 per cent said the opposite.

Some 61 per cent said they support building more housing by allowing larger developments near transit corridors, while 20 per cent opposed the idea, 10 per cent were neutral and nine per cent said they weren’t sure.

Asked whether they support or oppose building more housing by allowing apartments and condos on land currently zoned for single family homes, 47 per cent said they support the idea, while 19 per cent said they oppose it. Some nine per cent said neither and 26 per cent weren’t sure.

On the question of whether they support or oppose building more housing by reducing parking requirements for new developments, 56 per cent said they supported the idea while 21 per cent were opposed, nine per cent were neither and 14 per cent said they weren't sure.

“I think if we had done this poll, 10 years ago, you would have seen very different numbers — ‘build more housing, but I want my neighborhood to stay the same,’” Valentin told CP24 in an interview. “So I think what we're seeing now is ‘build housing at all costs’ and people are seeing the prices are getting out of control. People are being priced out.”

Housing affordability is one of the major topics being discussed by candidates on the campaign trail in the race to become Toronto's new mayor. A range of ideas have been floated, from eliminating the municipal land transfer tax, to building more city-owned affordable housing, to allowing Montreal-style multiplexes. 

While home prices slumped during the pandemic, they have rebounded somewhat, with the average Toronto home price in the city now around $1,153,269, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.

Valentin said housing affordability is likely to continue to be an issue candidates talk about as it resonates with voters.

“Also anecdotally we're talking to people in different forums and they're telling us, you know, they really don't think their kids will ever be able to afford a house and you've got a lot of people who are living in their parents’ basements right now,” he said. 

The interactive voice response poll surveyed 1,257 Toronto voters May 5-6. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.76 per cent, 19 times out of 20.