Retail continues to have much influence in Ontario's commercial market

Offices and industrial assets are also in full bloom, attesting to the market’s staying power

Retail continues to have much influence in Ontario's commercial market

Retail has maintained its dynamic presence in Ontario’s commercial property segment, despite the recent withdrawal of fashion-focused Forever 21 from the Canadian market.

In a recent analysis, CoStar Canada stated that retail continues to flourish in Onatrio, characterized by low vacancies, high asking rents, and sustained demand.

This mirrored recent observations by PwC, which noted last month that developers in the province must learn to quickly adapt to the multiple factors influencing tenant expectations, especially in Toronto.

In particular, the industry should explore the multiple possibilities in construction – particularly with respect to co-working space and higher-density housing.

PwC director of real estate research Andrew Warren added that mixed developments will see a much increased presence in Toronto, largely due to the needs of those residing and working in the city.

Warren argued that such developments are likely to include amenities like dedicated short-term rental space and package receiving rooms. Population growth should also convince developers to integrate co-living space and other alternative housing models.

Among the most prominent forces affecting Canada’s commercial assets is e-commerce, largely due to an emerging expectation for same-day delivery among consumers. This is driving demand for large spaces situated near major habitation and transportation hubs.

At present, 3.1 million square feet of retail space is under construction in the Greater Toronto Area. Office (over 12 million sq. ft. in progress) and industrial (18.3 million sq. ft. being built) assets remain as the region’s most significant powerhouses, CoStar stated.