45-48 of the BSB Power 50: Developments
The Power 50 is a collection of Canada’s top people, places and things of 2016. Our list is filled with game changers from all corners of the nation that are inspiring, innovating and influencing the way we live and work from the top. Giving you the best from every city, industry, office and home, The Bull’s Canadian Power 50 is not your typical list and instead is the definitive guide to who and what is changing the way Canada lives, works and plays.
It doesn’t take much to fall in love with Vancouver Island. Home to just under a million inhabitants and some of the country’s most amazing sights, sounds and smells, it was only a matter of time before the Jones’ started moving in and everyone felt the need to keep up.
No longer a hippie enclave, the Island is now one of the country’s most desirable locations for retirees thanks to the region's amazing year-round weather and myriad of activities and accouterments. As a consequence of the growing popularity, living on Vancouver Island is now more expensive, yet more fun, than ever.
Boasting an insane number of resorts, spas and golf courses, it’s no wonder that demand for alternative luxury experiences has grown throughout the region as new money needs places to be spent.
Enter the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, a private membership club and motorsports playground dedicated to serving up driving enthusiasts with the most amazing luxury thrill ride the country has to offer.
With a 2.3 kilometer track that boasts a whopping 19 turns, a lush clubhouse with a first class restaurant and future plans for a luxury car storage facility, off-road track as well as a major extension to the current track, the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit aims to be the number one destination for car lovers across the land.
46. Edmonton's Urban Renaissance
It hasn’t been uncommon in recent years to tune into various national new outlets and hear of the booming real estate markets in Canada; especially in booming cities like Vancouver, Toronto and even Calgary, depending on how that particular year had treated the oil market.
Today we all know that the home of the Stampede has seen much better days and headlines of the rise in home prices with the other two seem to be on repeat like Groundhog’s Day but the real downtown story in Canada is actually being played out this year in Alberta’s capital, Edmonton.
Yes, you read that correctly.
In fact, the City actually experienced significant job growth in the past year. This was driven by the healthcare, construction, manufacturing, and, funny enough, oil sectors as opposed to the rest of the province that suffered from a net loss across the board.
Better still, an influx of development in the City lead by Oilers Owner Daryl Katz and the Katz group will see the construction of the $2.5 billion dollar Ice District project that includes a new arena for the team along with a plethora of commercial, residential and public buildings and spaces all slated to bring people back to the city’s downtown core.
All this growth also has the rest of the country taking notice too with numerous Toronto and Vancouver based developers heading to Alberta’s capital reviving a city with fresh money, people and ideas resulting in an increasing vibrancy. Beyond the Katz Group projects, there’s another $2.5 billion dollars in residential and commercial development planned or underway, new LRT stations and investment in Universities making Edmonton a city that Canada can no longer ignore.
47. Allied Properties
For those that are starting a business in Toronto, Allied Properties holds an amazing inventory of some of the finest historic buildings the city has to offer. In fact, as Allied boasts an occupancy rate of 97% its stock, publicly traded on the TSX, is up a whopping 16% this year — a full seven points above current industry averages.
However, as demand for office and retail space in Toronto has continued to rise and inventory diminishes, Allied is now stepping up and changing their game. First they did so with the re-development of a derelict strip on Richmond Street, turning it into one of the city’s most beautiful office buildings, now known as QRC West. With its lobby that is home to what can only be described as a giant Jacks game piece, Allied has made the building the desired destination of every startup coming to town.
Now, they’re turning their focus to the bigger game by developing three brand new mixed-use projects targeted at changing the commercial landscape of the city in the process.
The Well stands to be the biggest of these projects that will see a new commercial shopping plaza and office tower erected where the Globe and Mail offices used to stand. Also ambitious is the King and Portland Centre that plans to see a new commercial and residential tower erected in the city’s trendiest area. Making this one a slam dunk is the fact that Shopify has already signed on to be the anchor tenant for the project with a commitment to lease over 100,000 square feet of the project, amounting to more than 45% of the total space available.
48: Giant Containers
Some stats peg the number of shipping containers in the world, mostly in China, at around 17 million. Of that 17 million, there’s only an estimated six million in use, which leads to a lot of extra steel laying around. For some companies, like Giant Containers, it’s but an opportunity to create something different.
With projects that turn shipping containers into residential, retail, commercial and even production spaces, Giant is making waves in a place that, while not new, may just be ready for it’s moment of glory.
Not only is building with shipping containers environmentally-friendly, but they also have the potential to greatly speed up the process while cutting costs. With customers to date like Nike, Volvo, Audi and the Canadian Government, look for Giant and the shipping container to push the envelope across the country, challenging the building industry and changing the way we live in the process.