How do you know a region is doing well in terms of economics?
When the prices of commercial real estate start going up, you know the economy is booming.
In Toronto this is really evident in the satellite regions of the GTA, places like Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Woodbridge and Thornhill.
The Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre however is just one example of this phenomenon - and I should point out that historically the location was more well known for the fishing and hunting store Bass Pro (hence the street name), but now the place is a haven for shoppers looking for high fashion, shoes and generic shopping mall products.
Another example is companies like Omni Hearing, a hearing clinic located in central Vaughan, a small company which is doing so well financially that they are now expanding to a new location in Oakville. Omni Hearing offers excellent service, a broad selection of hearing aid styles / hearing products, and free hearing tests. It is so small that when you look at a photo of the location you realize just how easy it is to make a financially successful business in Vaughan.
What this means is that when you build a business in a place with a booming economy, as long as you provide great service / fair prices, you are guaranteed to succeed financially.
So what if I wanted to open a company in Vaughan, either a new business or expanding an existing business?
Well then I will need to find a good location - or depending on the niche market, a place I can afford and then do a good job advertising it.
In which case the website I like browsing is ICX.ca. It isn't just for Vaughan, it is commercial real estate for all of Canada. So if you are looking to buy commercial real estate, that is the website I recommend.
When browsing Vaughan's commercial real estate on ICX you realize something... there isn't a lot of places actually available. Why? Because the businesses in Vaughan don't seem to suffer from bad economics very often. The few companies that don't survive (and the land ends up being sold) simply were not competitive, had a bad niche market, the manager probably mismanaged the business, etc.
You can also browse leases instead of sales.
Just for fun I am also browsing other locations across Ontario to see what is available. One of the things I enjoy doing is browsing the listings for small towns that have a really bad economy - sometimes they have very few places on the market, and sometimes they have a LOT - but the prices are super cheap because nobody is buying. (A bit like browsing commercial real estate in Detroit.)
For example if you browse the commercial real estate of Windsor (right across the river from Detroit) what you find is that even larger buildings are for sale - and while the prices are sometimes still in the millions, they are comparatively cheap since the economy in Windsor-Detroit is so weak.
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