Oct 24

Can Light Industrial Uses be Combined with Accessory Residential Ones?

Can light industrial uses be combined with accessory residential ones? The answer is “No” at least if you are a city of Ottawa planner.

They feel every zone should be monotheistic–that is, only allow one type of use. It’s why Ottawa has so many suburbs that just plain don’t work… because there are no corner stores, no pubs, no medical clinics, no offices, no home-based businesses (at least with > 2 employees), no granny flats… Just endless rows of single family homes and towns with uninteresting architecture on curvilinear roads sized for formula one race cars. Every trip is a car trip.

A client of mine wanted to bring on a new sub-division where people could live and work. Mind you it’s light industrial work but still it reflects more than 150 years of history where mom and pop live in front with their family and the shop is in the back. You can see her sketch plan above. 

Tens of thousands of these places already exist across Canada but “modern” planners still say no to new development like this despite the fact that there is demand from entrepreneurs who: a) want to own not rent, b) want to live and work on the same piece of dirt, and c) know that the best way to reduce theft and vandalism is to live next to your plant.

Just to prove they exist in Ottawa, I added photos of the Honest Wrench (on 1st Line road in Manotick) and a mini storage business that I developed back in the day, which has a residential duplex in front and mini-warehouse buildings in back on 15-acres of industrial land in Kanata North. 

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.