Even with the COVID pandemic going on Canadian real estate market continues to develop and grow. Particularly the retail CRE (commercial real estate) sector has experienced significant growth during this year, many investors see a large potential for profit within Canada. 

It’s no secret the pandemic has impacted the market unexpectedly but this is a chance for room to be made for new trends focusing on resilience and specific strategies. According to the Urban Land Institute research and PwC Canada, these are the upcoming real estate trend for 2021 within Canada that everyone should watch out for.


15-Minute and 18-Hour Cities Being Built

More people are looking at remote work and more companies are opening up to the idea, and with this allows Canadians to live anywhere they like. People are looking at suburban and rural areas to move into affordable housing, now that commute time isn’t a factor, to get away from the densely populated cities.

This is helping to grow a trend of 18-hour cities, which are medium-sized cities that have higher than average population, jobs, wage growth, higher cap rates, along with a lower cost of living and doing business. 15-minute cities are also on the rise, the concept is that everything a person needs for daily life; work, grocery store, school, and more are fully accessible within 15 minutes, either by walking or biking.

These city types both pose excellent real estate opportunities, especially because they have massive growth potential.


Developing Suburban Offices

With the rise in remote work, suburban offices can potentially become the new normal for many in 2021. According to PwC Canada, 34% of employees prefer to be working from home, while 37% of employees prefer being in the office.

Everyone wants to work a bit closer to home, and this might be a wish come true. More Canadian companies that can afford remote working are reassessing their properties and looking more at the development of suburban office spaces.


Increasing Warehouse Space

With the pandemic going on and many stores closed online shopping has had a huge increase and many retailers are looking into investing in more warehouse opportunities.

Some investors and realtors seem to have found a potential solution; taking the excess space in shopping malls and repurposing it for distribution, warehousing, or other purposes. Many are even looking at grocery malls for this especially. 


Medical Office Space and Repurposing Shopping Malls

Telehealth in Canada has seen an increase during COVID, particularly within the senior population. But nevertheless, there is still a need for physical space. Plenty of healthcare centres while going digital are looking into repurposing their medical office space.

Countless shopping malls that had high foot traffic are also repurposing space and moving to bring in various healthcare functions, as hospitals struggle with space.



There have been some major shifts from the pandemic affecting how we use commercial real estate. Plenty of mixed-use and retail CRE opportunities will continue to be available in 2021. 

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