With the popularity of walkable urban environments on the rise, more developers are turning to mixed-use projects, usually bringing together some combination of office, housing, and shops, sometimes with a hotel or community-serving uses. The following 10 mixed-use projects—all built during the past five years—help activate the public realm by weaving in open space, pedestrian and transit connections, or ground-floor retail and dining options. They include two projects that incorporate schools, two that involved converting buildings originally erected to support international sporting events, a shopping mall redeveloped to add a library and a hotel, and a transit-oriented development that provides affordable housing and a multicultural community center. …
2. Canary District
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
When Toronto won the opportunity to host the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, it also gained a chance to speed redevelopment of a portion of former industrial land. On 35 acres (14.3 ha) along the Don River, locally based Dundee Kilmer Development constructed an athletes’ village with the capacity to house 10,000 athletes and officials before being converted into a variety of uses. To avoid homogeneity in the design, the developer worked with a joint venture of four architecture firms: architectsAlliance, KPMB Architects, MJMA, all of Toronto, and Daoust Lestage of Montreal.
The complex now includes 738 market-rate condominiums, 353 affordable housing units operated by two local nonprofit organizations, a 257-unit student residence for George Brown College, and a YMCA community center. A network of walkways and open spaces enhance connectivity throughout the complex of low- and mid-rise buildings. Precast brick panels reference the city’s numerous 19th-century brick buildings and visually unify the complex. Historic railway buildings were incorporated into the project, which was completed in 2016.
Published in Urban Land, Winter 2019, pgs 34-35, and online at https://urbanland.uli.org/development-business/ulx-multifaceted-mixed-use/