Live-work spaces: why so few?

Millions of people in North American cities have home-based businesses, but we’re restricted from using our homes as production, distribution or employment centres, and in most cases, we’re even forbidden to put up a sign.

The “Tin Town” district in the city of Courtenay, B.C., on Vancouver Island, is an exception to this rule. I recently attended a social gathering in a solid, well-appointed upstairs apartment on Rosewall Crescent, in an area zoned “Industrial” on Courtenay’s land use map.  Nearby, one can find the Freakin’ Coffee Shop, the All in One Party Shop, the Sirius Beauty Dog Spa, the Soap Exchange Refill Centre, Klitsa Signs, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Gemini Dance Studios, a marriage counsellor, and a handul of art and design studios that may dabble in sculpture and metal work.  In several cases, people live in the same aluminum-clad unit where they do business, or in an adjacent unit. Continue reading