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Office parks are the unintended stepchild of the industrial park – a product of mid-20th century planning gone wrong and unchecked, as cheap land and quick development opportunities converged in spacious lands that were often zoned as noisy, industrial areas.

Spectrum Square is the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan's gamble to make these spaces better. The landlord's 1.3-million-square-foot development, in Mississauga's 380-hectare Airport Corporate Centre, aims to inject a sense of urbanity into the suburban office park.

Its seven state-of-the-art office buildings will have 11-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, raised-floor HVAC systems for better air circulation, and plenty of collaboration-oriented open-concept space. Buildings will be pushed up to roadsides, with parking lots tucked in behind, favouring transit-taking employees. (Mississauga's Bus Rapid Transit line is expected to nestle against the development along Eglinton Ave by 2016.)

The real anchor for the project, though, will be its six-building "restaurant campus," which will host more than a dozen food vendors and offer an open plaza for the Airport Corporate Centre's 55,000 workers to mingle, eat, and, HOOPP hopes, build a sense of community.

Read Josh O'Kane's full story.

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