Yorkdale Shopping Centre – arguably the best mall in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for those with major dollars to drop – will add apartment buildings to its shiny, designer-filled real estate. 

In what likely comes as music to the ears of time-strapped shopping lovers, Oxford Properties Group just announced it would add apartment buildings to the sprawling mall, which is regarded as the most valuable shopping centre in Canada.

That's not all: Oxford has plans to add homes to two other malls in the GTA; Square One Mall and Scarborough Town Centre.

In fact, construction has already started at Square One in Mississauga. Meanwhile, Scarborough Town Centre is in the proposal process. Yorkdale will be the last mall to break ground, says a spokesperson for Oxford Properties.

According to Oxford Properties, building at malls was in direct response to the critical need for additional housing supply that plagues the GTA.

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The new additions will house predominantly rental units and appeal to "a wide array of potential residents, representative of the economic and cultural diversity across the GTA," according to Oxford Properties.

The idea is to jump on the vibrant mixed-use neighbourhood bandwagon and invite future residents to live where they shop and dine (mall dining isn’t what it used to be, with fancy new restaurants having become shopping mall anchors as of late). In fact, the mall is becoming a hot bed for condo developments throughout North America, as the eyes of developers turn to them as one-stop shops for future mixed-use communities, especially in regions where developable land is scarce.

These new residential additions to malls reflect the growing trend of vertical and centralized communities and a decreased reliance on, or design for, the automobile.

"We don’t believe extensive surface parking lots are the most efficient use of transit-adjacent real estate; adapting some of this space for much needed residential stands to provide significant benefit to the broader community," said the Oxford Properties spokesperson.

As for whether the buildings will serve as a needed catalyst to revive the hard-hit shopping mall culture any time soon, it's doubtful: these live/shop/play communities are long-term projects, says Oxford Properties.

Until then, we can simply dream about living on top of what's essentially a massive closet...

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