Ontario’s retail commercial real estate market continues to thrive, as demand remains ongoing, vacancies remain on the low side, and asking rents are high. 

Retail is such in demand that investors are redeveloping in order to add retail to the mix. Whether it is retail plus co-working space, or retail with higher-density housing, retail is the key in creating the returns investors want. 




Ontario’s mixed-used commercial real estate


Toronto and Ottawa’s retail has low vacancy and Ottawa’s office vacancy rate recently hit an eight-year low in the second quarter of 2019, dropping to 6.7% in the central business district.

Ecommerce in conjunction with retail outlets is one of the more prominent reasons why the Canadian retail and commercial real estate market as a whole continues to flourish, calling for large retail and office spaces with close proximity to transport hubs and housing areas.


Seeing this vast potential in Canada, Spaces, who offers co-working workspaces has developed a plan to open various co-working sites across the country. This flexible workspace provider opened its first Canadian co-working location in Toronto in the fall of 2017 and is now set to open two more in Ottawa and Gatineau.


Multiple Mixed-Used Projects Planned for Zibi and Spaces


The only One Planet Living location in Canada, the mixed-use Zibi, continues reinvigorating downtown Ottawa as a powerful, developing urban community. The sustainable community extends to both Ottawa and Gatineau and offering 34 acres of residential, commercial, and leisure spaces.


Zibi is developing at a swift pace, thanks to Theia Partners and Dream Unlimited Corp. Apart from various plazas and parks, it will house 5000 people in its condo buildings and offer more than 1 million square feet for Retail purposes.


Spaces is one of its latest developers. Spaces offer dynamic workspace that will open two co-working sites at Zibi in Ottawa and Gatineau. The sites will offer 55,000 square feet of flexible workspace, and they will be located just across the border from one another.


Spaces Zibi Ottawa, plans to open late-2020, will offer 26,000 square feet of co-working space to the city, located on Chaudière Island on Booth Street, where an old paper mill used to be. Spaces will design and construct the new offices with full sustainability in mind, honoring the sustainable community of Zibi.


Spaces Zibi Gatineau, which is expected to open mid-2020, will bring 29,000 square feet of co-working space to the city in Quebec, located west of Place de l’Île Philemon and east of Eddy Street. They plan to repurpose the location with both Retail and other commercial spaces. 




Ontario’s retail and mixed-use commercial real estate trends have been positive for investors. They are both enjoying lower vacancies and high demand with Retail being the influencer and the beneficiary as demand continues to be strong.


This is precisely why mixed-use spaces continue to develop in the province, especially in Toronto and Ottawa. If you are interested in investing in Canadian retail commercial real estate, contact ReDev today!

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