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Commercial Activity in the GTA and the Impact of E-Commerce


Commercial Activity in the GTA and the Impact of E-Commerce

By Dr. Maurice YeatesDr. Tony Hernandez and Vincent Kakuk

This CSCA Research Insight focuses on the changing commercial structure of the Greater Toronto Area throughout the 2010s. Combining data sets from the CSCA, Statistics Canada and Environics Analytics our analysis highlights the importance of e-commerce in the GTA, with an estimated 12.5% of total retail sales in 2018 being generated through online channels (with Amazon accounting for about 40% of the online sales). There are however marked differences in the level of online sales penetration, for example, high in the clothing sector, and low in grocery. While the commercial space in the GTA has kept pace with population growth, the data shows a shift from retail to service (especially food services) and the continued evolution of shopping centres. Data on household expenditures underline the competitive market in which retailers and service firms compete - an environment of low population growth and a tightening of spending on small ticket items (encompassing many retail categories).

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