Measuring Main Streets


Emerging from the data that underpins the mapping tool, CUI and select partners developed a project executive summary, four research reports, and three regional reports to reveal key findings and messages, enable sensemaking, and point toward real-life applications and interventions.

Executive Summary

Learn about the Measuring Main Street project and platform.


Executive Summary: Measuring Main Streets

Research Briefs

Research found that the state of a community’s main streets has direct and tangible impacts on social outcomes –– namely resiliency, equity, and community. In each of these thematic briefs, discover three key findings, and nine messages to city builders.


Main Streets, Malls & Mice

Trajectories of main streets, shopping malls and online behaviour

Main Street Resiliency

Analysing main street resiliency through visitor levels over the pandemic

Infrastructure Equity & Main Streets

Idenitfying equity gaps in main street civic infrastructure

Open North Report

This research brief outlines key opportunities for local governments to better integrate data and technology initiatives into the planning of infrastructure investments to address main street challenges. It also highlights examples from local governments who are already strategically integrating data and technology into their city-building work and offers guidance for local government staff seeking to do the same in their communities.


Open North: Data Driven Approaches to Main Street Challenges

Planning data and technology projects to support smart civic infrastructure investments

Regional Reports

Three regional reports provide a higher-level analysis of Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton main streets based on the sixty case studies. The insights and context provided aim to add depth to the data while tackling implications for the three guiding themes of resiliency, equity, and community.








The Measuring Main Streets platfrom (part of the Research Knowledge Initiative program from Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Canada) was developed by the Canadian Urban Institute in partnership with Environics Analytics and Open North.

Canadian Urban Institute Canadian Urban Institute Environics Analytics Open North