Use Existing Buildings Before Building New Ones, Part 4

Why was this outdoor commercial mall built on Edmondson St. in Brantford, Ontario


when the following vacant commercial buildings in the Market Square in downtown Brantford were and are still available? Click on the picture for a closer look.


One of the main causes of the deterioration of a city’s downtown core is the indiscriminate building and overbuilding of indoor and outdoor commercial malls outside the downtown core.  To stop this, citizens through their city government* need to better plan and manage the city layout.  The principle of using existing buildings before building new ones must be at the forefront of this process.  The ad hoc approach that follows the whims of developers and city councils does not cut it anymore.

A city has a tremendous opportunity to create a layout that is an integrated whole.  A layout where:

  • Business
  • Civic
  • Cultural
  • Educational
  • Entertainment
  • Healthcare
  • Recreational
  • Residential
  • Retail

uses are distributed in a methodical way.  The goal is to strike a balance between convenience and keeping the downtown core vibrant for all citizens.



*In Ontario, cities need to have the final say on development issues instead of the Ontario Municipal Board.













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