MILLENNIALS AND THE HOUSING MARKET: Aspiration vs. Reality: Homeownership from a Planning and Design Perspective

Free and open to the public

Dates: February 13, 2023

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Venue: Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre, 355 Cooper Street


To better understand how and why the Canadian marketplace functions as it does, this session explores potential disconnects between what it produces and the kinds of housing that aspiring homeowners might want. Focusing on design, the session will also compare and contrast what is available here in Canada with innovative and design-forward housing solutions elsewhere.




Keynote/Moderator: Pallavi Swaranjali, Professor, Interior Design, Algonquin College

Panelist: Gord Lorimer, Partner Emeritus, Architect, Hobin Architecture Incorporated

Panelist: Chris van Popta, Principal, Creative Director, Fineline Perspectives

Panelist: Dan Dixon, Senior Vice-President, Project Finance, THE MINTO GROUP


Canada’s current housing crisis affects a broad spectrum of the population and engages supply, affordability, tenure, and tenancy. To better explore the issues at play, this series focuses on millennials as a specific demographic group, and on a particular segment of the housing market, namely housing for purchase.


The goal of this series is to explore (and question) the status quo by fostering a dialogue between millennials (those born between the early 1980s and the late ‘90s) and an array of housing experts, including urban historians, developers, real estate professionals, builders, policy makers, financing specialists, environmental experts, and socio-cultural activists.


This dialogue is intended to explore opportunities to broaden the repository of existing housing and homeownership options by identifying limitations and determining what interventions may be necessary and/or feasible given the systems under which the housing market operates in Canada.


The series is jointly sponsored by:

•  Carleton University, Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism

•  Algonquin College, Department of Interior Design

•  The Urban Land Institute, Ottawa Chapter

•  The Canadian Centre for Mindful Habitats

with generous support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


All lectures are free and open to the public and will be held at the Carleton Dominion Chalmers Centre, 355 Cooper St, Ottawa.

Session 3 – Ownership from an Affordability and Financing Perspective

Thursday, March 9, 6:00 p.m.


This session looks behind the scenes to understand the impact of tenure, title, and financing options on what can be built and/or owned, including the effect on tenure and affordability. It explores various ways in which ownership can be structured (land lease, rent-to-own, second mortgages, etc. and questions what might need to change to support additional and unexplored options in Canada.

Session 4 – Ownership, Housing, and Community Design: A Sustainability Perspective

Thursday, March 16, 6:00 p.m.


This session explores homeownership and community structure from a sustainability perspective, considering the inter-relationship between economic, environmental, and social factors. It offers a critical look into what might be termed a ‘happy city,’ including the interdependencies, opportunities, and challenges of a design that fosters stability and accommodates change.