GO Transit commuter rail ridership indicates a recovery, yet overall downtown office vacancy rates are still lagging

In 2019, the average monthly number of GO Transit rail passenger trips stood just above 5 million, while in 2023, it totaled slightly over 3 million. This indicates an approximate 60% recovery in average monthly trips between these pre- and post-pandemic years. Conversely, during the same period, Downtown Toronto's office vacancy rate rose from 2% to 13%.

Considering GO rail as one of the primary public transit options for office workers commuting downtown, the increase in ridership suggests a steady return of workers to an in-office environment. However, since vacancy rates are typically a lagging indicator, this 'return' has yet to translate into the overall vacancy rate. We anticipate that higher-end or Trophy properties, which have generally maintained lower vacancy rates, will experience a positive impact first before demand trickles down to the Class A and eventually Class B office market.

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