Downtown Toronto will turn into a child-free zone if apartment and condominium builders don’t start including family-friendly units in their developments, says a downtown councillor.

But developers who turned up at City Hall last week attacked a proposal that would require 10 per cent of all units in large developments to have three or more bedrooms.

Coun. Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina), who is leading the charge for more family housing, says downtown schools are emptying out as a wave of new development suited only to singles and couples is built.

Vaughan said it’s healthy to have more children downtown, to make use of the schools, community centres and libraries that have already been built.

While the downtown core’s population has increased, the number of children could decline over time unless policy changes are made.

“The issue is in 25 years, if you don’t build family housing now, I can guarantee you there’ll be no children living in the downtown core,” he said in an interview.

But developers say the 10 per cent family-unit proposal flies in the face of market forces.

Alan Vihant, of Concord Adex, told the planning and growth committee that the kind of unit proposed would have to sell for about $650,000 — and for that price, many families will opt to buy a house.

“There are many housing choices at this cost level, and there is little demand for families to live in a 1,200-square-foot condo unit that costs $650,000,” he said.

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