Greater Toronto Area

Office market report

Third Quarter 2021

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) office market’s gradual recovery from the impacts of the pandemic continued during the third quarter of 2021, building on the momentum reported in the previous quarter.

Although several major banks and professional services firms have announced further extensions to work-from-home in response to ongoing concerns about the Delta variant and the logistics of flexible work arrangements, other companies continued the gradual return to in-person work.

Quick stats


Overall downtown office vacancy rate – up from 2.1% in first-quarter 2020


GTA buildings with more than 50,000 sf available – down from 187 one quarter earlier

6.9 msf

GTA-wide available sublet space – down 4% quarter-over-quarter


Downtown sublet space as a proportion of total available space vs. 21% in the suburbs

9.6 msf

GTA-wide office area under construction – equal to 5% of existing inventory

Net absorption across the GTA remained in negative territory during the third quarter (-510,000 square feet (sf)); however, the extent of the losses in occupied area declined for the second consecutive quarter. If this trend continues, the market could post positive net absorption within the next two quarters. GTA-wide availability (15%) and vacancy (9.1%) each inched upward by 20 basis points (bps) during the quarter, as the increase in both metrics continues to level off.


Full floors available for lease downtown, out of 328 under construction


Year-to-date downtown lease transactions 100,000 sf+ vs. 20 in all of 2018


Suburban office area under construction as a proportion of suburban inventory vs. 11% downtown

GTA Sublet Availability - All Classes

GTA Occupancy Costs - All Classes

Numerous tenants took their spaces off the sublease market, indicating growing confidence in the eventual return of more employees to the office.

Click the link below to download the latest GTA Office Market Report.

Downtown’s availability (12.9%) and vacancy (7.6%) rates ticked upward during the third quarter, but the rate of increase slowed as it has across the GTA overall. Vacancy is expected to continue rising in the near-to-medium term as new supply deliveries, backfill space and companies adjusting their workplace strategies and return-to-office plans all contribute to the amount of vacant space.

Available sublet space declined for the second consecutive quarter, ending the third quarter just above 3 million square feet (msf) (30% of available space downtown) – down from the peak of nearly 3.3 msf in the first quarter of 2021.

GTA Overall Availability & Vacancy Trends

GTA Overall Absorption Trends

GTA Overall New Supply Trends

Construction continues apace downtown,

with 8.6 msf underway (65% preleased). One project was completed during the third quarter – Lifetime Developments' 147 East Liberty St. (108,000 sf).

For more market information

Steven Preston Research Manager, Downtown Toronto +1 416.673.4010

Anthony Hong Research Analyst +1 905.283.2392

Charles Torzsok Research Analyst +1 905.968.8023

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E. & O.E.: The information contained herein was obtained from sources which we deem reliable and, while thought to be correct, is not guaranteed by Avison Young. Acknowledgment: Data for graphs, charts and tables used in this report are sourced from Avison Young, Altus InSite and Realnet. Some of the data in this report has been gathered from third party sources and has not been independently verified by Avison Young. Avison Young makes no warranties or representations as to the completeness or accuracy thereof.