What About Unused Space?

What’s the problem?

Abandoned space! As said in another post, 31% of space downtown is not in use. And boarded up windows are unsightly and make our downtown seem disreputable. Also, downtown’s walk-in clinic is quite far down Dundas, and a closer clinic would be much appreciated by many. Also downtown currently has no multi-purpose community centre that’s accessible to people from all income groups.

What kind of solution can we imagine?

A Community Centre and Walk In Clinic downtown, along murals on boarded up windows.A community centre, a walk in clinic, and murals replacing boarded up windows would improve access to services downtown and also could possibly make our building fronts more attractive without detracting from their heritage value.

What might make this solution possible?

Pressure from locals on building owners/developers and on city council.  Let them know you can’t see the value in empty buildings when people are struggling to access affordable housing, healthcare, and other services. What if City Council set up a fining system for building owners who left lofts unoccupied and storefronts empty and barren? This might encourage initiatives to populate and to beautify our downtown core.

What do YOU think can be done to make this happen?


3 responses to this post.

  1. A lot of this depends on the owners of the buildings. Allowing for cheaper rent payments for community projects would be key in developing some of the building’s potential. Why couldn’t an owner allow for one floor of their mostly vacant building to be used for community projects. It then opens the door for other business prospects to see and use the remaining space.


  2. In Windsor a great “artist collective” used vacant store fronts for social innovation.



  3. Wow, wow! Not only do I love your ideas Clara, but the brokencitylab link was really inspiring as well.

    I was just thinking about how downtown London doesn’t have a community centre- and wondering why not. I am from Vancouver, where the Carnegie Centre is the heart and soul of the Downtown Eastside, and what a difference that makes. Somewhere warm and fun to be, accessible to everyone- how do we make it happen here?

    keep up the great blogging!


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