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    The Rise of Mixed-Use Developments In The GTA

    Discover the perfect blend of convenience and luxury, when home meets hub

    Written By Robert Van Rhijn

    Fun fact, when it comes to mixed-use development — Toronto was way ahead of the curve!

    Back in 1986, the local government created a zoning bylaw that allowed commercial and residential units to cozy up together.

    This move was part of Toronto's early efforts to focus on mixed-use spaces, especially as the demand for social housing grew.

    Probably one of the most standout examples is Mirvish Village, designed by architect Gregory Henriquez.

    This project, which took over Honest Ed’s at the bustling intersection of Bloor and Bathurst, mixed things up with some areas zoned as "commercial residential" and others as "mixed commercial residential."

    Mixed-Use Developments Transform GTA Neighbourhoods

    Although the concept of mixed-use properties has existed for some time, it has recently become one of the region’s most popular forms of development.

    Especially since last November, when Toronto’s most ambitious mixed-use development, The Well, with a whopping 1.2 million square feet of office space and 320,000 square feet of retail and food space, opened up.

    The Well also offers 1,700 residential units spread out over six rentals and condos, and according to their website, will house over 11,000 residents.

    Although, The Well “missed the mark” on incorporating affordable housing into the space, mixed-use development has been touted as the potential saviour of Toronto’s real estate issues.


    The Many Pros of Mixed-Use Developments

    According to a study in the Journal of American Planning Association, mixed-use developments are like superheroes for neighbourhoods.

    They can manifest in different ways: vertical (multiple uses in one building) or horizontal (different uses in neighbouring buildings).

    But regardless of whether they’re vertical or horizontal, one of the key advantages is their ability to foster a sense of community.

    By bringing together people from different backgrounds and lifestyles, these spaces promote interaction and social cohesion. Residents have access to a variety of amenities, such as shops, restaurants, and parks, all within walking distance, creating a vibrant and inclusive environment.

    Many mixed-use developments feature amenities like fitness centres, rooftop gardens, and community spaces where residents can socialize and unwind.

    It's like living in a resort, but with all the perks of city life.

    Mixed-use developments also promote sustainability by reducing the need for long commutes and encouraging the use of public transportation and cycling. This not only reduces carbon emissions but also helps alleviate traffic congestion, making the city more livable for all residents.

    Additionally, mixed-use developments often incorporate eco-friendly features like green roofs and energy-efficient systems, making them a greener choice for urban living.

    From an economic perspective, mixed-use developments can be a boon to Toronto's economy.

    Take for example The Well, which according to The Globe and Mail “generated over $63-million in net fees, charges and benefits to the city, including $1-million for subsidized rental housing, all before the doors opened.”

    By creating diverse, walkable neighbourhoods — these developments attract businesses and investors, boosting local commerce and creating job opportunities.

    Additionally, the presence of mixed-use developments can increase property values and tax revenues, benefiting the city's finances in the long run.

    But the best part? They can help tackle housing inequality in the long run.

    Future of Mixed-Use Developments in the GTA


    In the GTA, mixed-use developments are popping up in neighbourhoods like Liberty Village and Yonge and Eglinton, transforming once-sleepy areas into vibrant hubs of activity.

    And according to the City of Toronto housing action plan, there are plenty more mixed-use developments in the works. Which is great news because Toronto stands to benefit greatly from an increased focus on mixed-use developments.

    These innovative spaces have the potential to transform the city into a more sustainable, vibrant, and economically prosperous metropolis, enhancing the quality of life for all its residents.

    And, if you're in the market for a new place to call home (or just looking to upgrade your lifestyle), consider checking out a mixed-use development in the GTA.

    Starting your search for a new home? Click on any of these links to access active listings, sold listings or contact a Strata agent.

    For any questions about this article or media inquires, please email