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The shift towards converting office spaces into housing is gaining traction among building owners, investors, and governments globally, primarily in Canada. Despite a modest improvement in suburban areas, Canada's national downtown office vacancy rate reached a record high of 19.4% at the end of 2023. Michael Case, managing director of CBRE’s downtown Toronto office leasing team, implies a "healthy" vacancy rate falls between 10 and 12%. 

With rising occupancy, an opportunity arises to convert 2.5 million square feet of office space into 18,000 to 22,000 housing units across 11 cities. Last year, 2.5 million square feet, 0.5% of the national inventory, shifted to residential use. Toronto's downtown faces a 17.4% vacancy rate, attributed by CBRE Canada to new supply, remote work, recession concerns, and U.S. tech demand during the pandemic.
Calgary, with a 30.2% vacancy, rebounds, boasting 17 conversion projects, 13 active in the last quarter. While improvements appear in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Halifax, Toronto's new office space heavily impacts national figures, adding 624,550 square feet and totalling 1.1 million square feet. Repurposing end-of-life buildings through office conversions proves cost-effective and eco-conscious, revitalizing downtowns and meeting housing needs. Recognizing and adopting similar initiatives is crucial, despite potential constraints from physical requirements, zoning, and costs.

Join us at the Office-to-Residential Summit by Trueventus aimed to create a premier destination for professionals to learn a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities in repurposing office spaces into residential properties. Also, showcasing case studies, and exploring innovative approaches to designing, developing, and managing office-to-residential conversions. 



EllisDon is Canada’s leading construction and construction services provider, completing over $6 billion worth of revenue annually in every market sector across the globe. We understand that the construction industry is rapidly changing and, as leaders, we must be at the forefront of that change. Our goal has always been to solve any challenge that our clients may have. From project financing, concept development, design, construction, operations, maintenance, retrofit and repurposing – we have a team for that. Our services include Pre-Construction Services, Estimating, Decarbonization Planning, Project Advisory & Management, Construction Management, Construction Implementation, Energy & Digital Services (including Digital Twin – eko) for Optimizing Building Performance, and Facilities Management and Life Cycle Planning.

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