London has fared well in a new study of investment return in Canadian cities’ downtowns.
The independent study by the Canadian Urban Institute, titled The Value of Investing in Canadian Downtowns, examined 10 downtowns: Halifax, Fredericton, Ottawa, Toronto, London, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria.
Some London highlights:
- London leads the other cities for percentage of office space downtown. Downtown London contains 81 per cent of the city’s office space and is the only city that has seen growth in this area.
- London has a significant concentration of jobs downtown, with 303 jobs per hectare, second only to Ottawa with 318/ha.
- Between 1996 and 2006, London’s downtown population grew by 37 per cent, while the city’s overall growth was only eight per cent.
- London was commended for encouraging walking and transit use. Only 44 per cent of downtown residents use their car to get to work compared to 73 citywide.
The study also praised London for “bold and innovative” civic investments totaling $174 million to build the John Labatt Centre, Covent Garden Market, convention centre and central library.
“It’s great to see our downtown reflected as a leader in Canada,” James Yanchula, the city’s manager of urban design, said in a release. “The report shows that investments made in downtown London pay back big dividends of all kinds.”