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Toronto Mayor John Tory speaks during a press conference at Queen’s Park in Toronto on June 27.Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

Toronto mayoral candidate John Tory announced a five-point plan to address the city’s housing shortage this morning, his first policy promise in his bid for re-election.

Tory’s plan includes allowing more multi-unit buildings – including duplexes, triplexes and walk-up apartments – in neighbourhoods, and greater densities on major roads and in areas served by transit.

The plan would also see the city enact a so-called “use it or lose it” policy for developers sitting on approved but undeveloped land, which would see them pay higher taxes or have their zoning approvals expire after a certain timeframe.

At the announcement this morning, Tory said he wants to help young Torontonians have a chance to live in the neighbourhoods where they grew up and senior residents stay in their areas when they decide to downsize.

House prices in Ontario nearly tripled in the last 10 years, far outpacing income growth, a government-commissioned task force report said last year. The province is also 1.2 million homes – both rental and owned – short of the G7 average.

Earlier this month, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark introduced legislation that would give the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa veto powers over bylaws that conflict with provincial priorities, such as building housing.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated what John Tory’s plan included. This version has been corrected.

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