MLS Zoning Change: TREB Introducing Friendly Community Names

Ongoing construction work in Toronto
Construction City by Jim Crocker

To simplify the usage of the Greater Toronto MLS, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has been working on a new zoning system for the Multiple Listing Service. This change goes public today, on July 5th, 2011.

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The newly organized MLS will allow real estate agents and their clients to zoom in directly on individual neighbourhoods with every search. This should significantly speed up and simplify the search process since every search will include fewer false matches.

Up until now, the Toronto MLS was divided into 86 “logical” districts, shaped by organic developments in the GTA region and based on the historical urban and rural divisions. The population of the entire province of Ontario was barely at the level of what the Toronto metropolitan area population is today at the time when the MLS was first introduced, according to Statistics Canada. This fact alone proves that the old categorization system was simply not enough to harness the explosive growth of Toronto. On top of that, the old system (wherein each district has an obscure code) was not very intuitive and didn’t allow for easy modification or enhancement.

These are all the problems that the new classification system should do away with. Splitting the GTA into “human-readable” and commonly-known areas, municipalities, and neighbourhoods or communities, the MLS will make it easier for both Realtors® and home buyers to focus their efforts on particular neighbourhoods and localities.

Of course, Toronto is an enormous municipality of its own, so the core city area will continue to be split into coded districts, although each of the districts will in turn contain its fair share of neighbourhoods. This ensures that even the city itself will be easily searchable.

Was this step purposefully timed to facilitate TREB’s anticipated introduction of enhanced real estate listings after the US example?

Surely, the new enhanced listings system would not want to inherit the obsolete MLS zoning, so this reasoning would make sense. What do you think? Let me know in the comments, and happy home trading in the meantime!

(Also, please let me know if you have any questions about the new Greater Toronto MLS zoning in the comments or via email.)

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