The feasibility of adaptive reuse of vacant industrial buildings in Southwestern Ontario
This research investigated the feasibility of adaptive reuse of vacant industrial buildings in Southwestern Ontario. Adaptive reuse is a conversion strategy that has recently been utilized in cities faced with a decline in industry. The cities experiencing a labour shift away from manufacturing now have dilapidated vacant or underutilized industrial buildings cross their urban landscape. Adaptive reuse is the process of reusing an existing building, with or without changes to the structure, for a new purpose. Southwestern, Ontario is a region that has struggled to rebound from the economic shift, and the 2008/2009 recession. The region is located southwest of Toronto, bordering Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. This study, through case study analysis, explored the characteristics that are important in hindering or facilitating the feasibility of adaptive reuse of existing vacant industrial buildings. The case studies demonstrate that location, market characteristics, legislation, council support, and financial implications are the most important factors in assessing the feasibility of adaptive reuse. This research, and the recommendations provided, may aid municipalities and counties in encouraging and working with developers to revitalise their vacant industrial buildings.