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Live-Work Developments : From Theory to Practice

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posted on 25.05.2021, 07:15 by Alfiya Kakal
Live-work developments are becoming increasingly important as a type of mixed-use development. This is manifested by the growing number of such units across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Along with their growing popularity, these units are being espoused by governments at all levels as a way of creating complete communities, reducing car trips and enhancing the public realm by allowing for a mixed-use, diverse, pedestrian-friendly built form. For these reasons, live-work units can be considered a means for promoting progressive planning principles. Their development however, challenges municipalities on a number of fronts. Residential expectations of peace, security and quiet enjoyment can clash with commercial externalities such as noise, traffic and parking constraints. Because of this live-work units have a tendency to revert to pure residential which then negatively impacts economic growth. Live-work units in a largely residential neighbourhood are particularly prone to such an outcome which can undermine the work function of the units. As well, design and building code considerations such as maximum allowable floor space can also significantly impact the viability of businesses in these units. NOTES 520 3 Given these challenges, this research explores two cases of live-work developments in the Greater Golden Horseshoe to assess their overall impact in meeting the stated goals of such developments. The two cases which are Cornell Village in Markham, Ontario and Port Credit in Mississauga, Ontario respectively are explored from the perspective of sustainability, economic impact and affordability. This research is intended to be exploratory in nature and used as a launch pad for additional, more quantitative analyses of the impact of such developments, particularly with regard to their economic impact in light of increasing immigration. The findings reveal that while both developments have had a certain degree of success in meeting their performative function, live-work units are highly context dependent. And their contributions towards environmental sustainability, job creation and urban development are determined by the economic and socio-spatial milieu in which they are located.





Master of Planning


Urban Development

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type