CUI has a long history of working with/in downtowns to support better decision-making and investment from the public and private sectors.



In 2011 CUI was retained by Downtowns Canada (formerly the Canadian Issues Task Force) and the International Downtown Association (IDA) to prepare a series of downtown case studies. We developed a new methodology for measuring and evaluating the prosperity of downtowns.   

The result was two ground-breaking volumes of research containing a total of 17 case studies in a project entitled, The Value of Investing in Canadian Downtowns. In 2013, we expanded the project to include 5 northern downtowns, raising the total to 22. 

Our work strengthened capacity for better decision-making in 22 Canadian downtowns. 

In 2015, the project received the prestigious Pinnacle award for Leadership and Management. 



CUI was retained by the International Downtowns Association in 2015 to develop a National Downtowns Toolkit for Canadian Downtowns.  The Toolkit was to build on the success of the CUI’s work delivering 22 downtown case studies across Canada from 2011 to 2014.  The Toolkit further developed the methodology for organizing, collecting and analyzing data and created tools to help BIAs/BIDs gather the evidence needed to prove the importance of their downtowns.  


PLANNING DOWNTOWN: TOCore Toronto Community Services & Facilities Study

CUI in association SWERHUN Facilitation and Social Planning Toronto worked with the City of Toronto Planning Division in the development of a Community Services and Facilities (CS&F) Study for the downtown.  CUI developed the Needs Assessment Report and helped to design and deliver an engagement process that engaged over 300 organizations involved in the delivery of Community Services in the downtown to TOcore.

The project resulted in a road map and 13 strategic actions that are helping departments and agencies identify and fund improvements to social infrastructure in downtown Toronto.



Over the past several years, CUI has conducted research created visual tools for London, Kingston and Fredericton, in order help staff, community partners and investors develop and maintain their cultural resources. In Kingston we created an online culture map which highlights the City’s attractions, venues, sites, facilities and historic districts and properties. We engaged local stakeholders and created a community data sharing partnership among cultural stakeholders, and City’s IT and the Cultural Services Department and integrated the Cultural Resources Database (CRD) with Kingston's Enterprise GIS system.  


DOWNTOWN Moncton evaluation(2016)

CUI is currently working with the City of Moncton Economic Development Department and the Downtown BIA to to measure and evaluate the success of the City’s initiatives to revitalize the downtown, through data collection and analysis, surveys and stakeholder engagement. The final product will be a State of the Downtown Report and a series of recommendations for updating the data going forward.