York Region Commercial Office Market Analysis

The Regional Municipality of York and its municipal partners have an ambitious plan to develop four new downtowns along the corridors of Highway 7 and Yonge Street.  Referred to as the Region's Centres and Corridors, these areas identified as high-density multi-use communities and the location for the Region's growth in office type employment.

In order to better understand the market opportunity for commercial office development in the Region's various locations within the Centres and Corridors, as well as identify challenges to attracting commercial office development, Chris project managed an initiative to complete an economic analysis of the Region's commercial office market.

This study looked at understanding the costs and benefits of developing in the Region's Centres and Corridors and then comparing these against similar commercial office nodes in the Greater Toronto Area.  With this comparison complete, the study then provided a range of policy and program recommendations for facilitating commercial office development in York Region.

Partners in Project Green Policy Toolkit

As a result of the Partners in Project Green Strategy, Chris project managed the development of the Partners in Project Green Policy Toolkit - a number of planning policy tools to encourage green business through the development process.

Working with the municipalities of Toronto, Peel, Mississauga and Brampton, Chris worked with his team to develop 11 policy tools for municipal use.  These included communications tools, primers and policy templates that each municipality could use to encourage green business development and a more consistent approach to eco-economic development across the Pearson Eco-Business Zone.

The communications tools were meant to help municipal staff learn and communicate about Partners in Project Green and green business. The tools included text that could be ‘cut-and-paste’ or edited as needed to help staff communicate to different audiences, such as other staff, council, businesses, or developers, the benefits of green business.

The primers provided brief overviews of key land-use issues in relation to encouraging green business. The primers were there to assist staff from different municipal departments develop a common, albeit high-level, understanding of the policy, regulatory, and incentive framework that is shaping eco-business zone activity in the area.

The policy template tools provided specific examples of best practises, current policy wording, advice and other practical, hands-on guidance from creating eco-business policies, such as official plan statements, policy language and subdivision guidelines in municipalities touching on the Pearson Eco-Business Zone.

To view the Pearson Eco-Business Zone Policy Toolkit visit: www.partnersinprojectgreen.com/policytoolkit.